Thursday, December 31, 2009

The 5K, Barney Butter, and 2010

First of all, I want to say 
Happy New Year to everyone! 

The Holiday Bowl Parade 5K
This was a very fun race!  I went into it with the goal of having fun and it was "mission accomplished".  I got to run it with my friend Beckie who is out from Colorado for the holidays.  She is a San Diego native who moved to the Denver area a couple years ago.  

That's her, registering for the 5K

Beckie recently finished the Couch to 5K program so this was her first race- ever.  She did great!  It was fun being a part of her first race... she was so excited about the swag and the goodie bag.  She ran the whole way and we actually came into the finish line together.

 Here we are before the race, in front of the Star of India (the ship in the background).
I'm glad to see my reflective Road Runners logo works.

 And here we are after the race... with the San Diego
Harbor behind us.

The course was beautiful.  The weather was running-perfect.  The atmosphere was so much fun!  There were thousands of spectators there to watch the Holiday Bowl Parade and the 5K course ran along the same route, prior to the parade.  They cheered the runners as we went by.  I almost felt like a celebrity.

 Did I mention the route was beautiful?

And my favorite part of the race?

That's right, folks- real bathrooms with flushing toilets, soap and running water... thanks to the Hilton at the start of the race. 

My Time?
The race didn't have the time chip thingees so I am not putting much stock into the actual race time.  At the start, it bottle-necked so badly that we probably walked for almost two minutes before being able to run.  The time at the finish said 39:10, which isn't too different from my prior 5K times.  So, did I PR?   I might have, if I could subtract some of the time it took to walk to and beyond the start line.  I decided not to wear Rudy (my Garmin) so I'll never know for sure.  And that's OK because I had fun and my heel and legs felt pretty good!

Barney Butter
I was the lucky winner of She Wears a Red Sox Cap's Barney Butter Giveaway. I got it in the mail yesterday and I have to say, this is without a doubt the best almond butter I've ever had!!  I tried it on organic apple slices and it was delicious!  My favorite part of this almond butter is that it isn't as sweet and gooey-rich as other almond butters I've tried.  It tastes like almonds!

I received a jar of the smooth and the crunchy kind. My favorite is the crunchy but my husband liked the smooth better. I will have to order this in place of the brands I've been buying because it is so yummy!  If you'd like to try this deliciousness for yourself, check out the Barney Butter website. They have free samples.

Thanks, Kelly, for the scrumptious almond butter! 

Check out some of the other blogger giveaways going on right now... you can find them on my sidebar to the right. 

Alright everyone!  Off to party!  Have a fun and safe New Year's Eve!!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I Found Some New Muscles!

And they are all in my feet and calves. And right now they hurt.  I guess I woke up some sleeping  muscles and they are not morning people .

I was warned that running in Vibrams and/or barefoot will make you sore for a while.   I'm here to vouch for that little bit of information.  So far it seems like the good kind of sore... the kind you like to feel on your butt the day after doing squats.

I tried out a run yesterday.  It was just a mile but that was enough for now!  I felt slow and apprehensive but really good for the first half mile.  The next quarter mile was pretty much downhill and I was going fast (fast for me, that is) and I still felt pretty good.  I hit the proverbial "brick wall" at about three-quarters of mile and had to walk the rest of the way home.

Here's where I ran and how it felt:
  • Sidewalk= Eh, boring... I don't like running on sidewalks
  • Asphalt= Better... I like to feel the bumps on the soles of my feet
  • These rocks you find in peoples' water-wise gardens= Bumpy, a little uncomfortable, and fun!  I'm weird & like to feel rocks under my feet (a couple of my friends used to call me "Goat Girl"- I don't like goats & it wasn't very flattering, in my mind... so please don't call me that).
  • Dirt= Ahhhh...sweet bliss
  • Smashed Tequila Bottle= Managed to avoid that one!  Guess I shouldn't drink that stuff while I run!
Post Run
I felt sore.  My heel hurt (but then it's never stopped hurting since the marathon).  About 20 minutes after running, I noticed a strange sensation in my feet.  They felt.... alive.  That's the only way I can describe it.  They were warm, flexible, and I could feel the blood flowing through them.  I could tell they were happy... even if it was only for a little while, before the muscles decided to cause a rebellion (isn't that just typical of those hard-to-please body parts?!). 

The Day After
I'm sore.  Did I mention that?

I'm doing a 5K.  This was the one that was going to allow me to redeem my lack of PR on for my last 5K.  Now I'll be running it for fun... screw the PR because I doubt that's going to happen with these aching muscles.

I will be wearing my shoes.  I can tell I'm not ready to race barefoot or in my Vibrams.  All in due time, I guess.  I just wish I weren't so impatient.

I have to go to bed now so I can get up early for the race.  I'll be sure to take pictures!  I plan to catch up on my bloggy friends tomorrow afternoon. 

By the way, thanks so much for all the nice, supportive comments regarding my last two posts!!  I appreciate you all so much! 

Monday, December 28, 2009

There's GOT to be a Better Way-- Part II


If you haven't read Part I of this, you might want to go back one post.  Here, I'll even save you the trouble of having to click around too much to get there.  Just click here:  Part I 

I left off on my last post explaining what I had been learning about running barefoot as opposed to running with shoes.  I tried to leave you guessing regarding what I was going to do with the information... but I'm sure you've figured it out.  And if we're Facebook friends, you probably already know.

Making Contact
The more I read about barefoot running, the more I just wanted to get out there and try it.  I have always enjoyed being barefoot and I love to feel the ground under my feet (unless I'm in my boys' bathroom... then I pretty much have to put on some of those biohazard footies prior to entry).

So the other day, I was a good cross-trainer and went on a bike ride.  After that, I decided to go on very short, one-mile run.  I headed out with the intention of taking my shoes off for the last couple blocks of the run... just to try it.  The shoe part of the run was OK... there was some heel pain but that is "normal" for me.  When I took my shoes off (looking around first to see if anyone was watching the crazy lady remove a perfectly good pair of shoes to go native) and kept going.  It was weird at first.  Then it was fun!  Here's the amazing part:  My heel wasn't hurting!

I definitely felt my muscles in my feet waking up and starting to gripe a bit.  But it was that good kind of pain you get after you've lifted weights.  I had read that barefoot running needs to be eased into slowly... and that is why.  Muscles our feet haven't used much since childhood need to be built up again.

My first barefoot experience, though short, was really enjoyable!  I know what you're thinking... "Wait a minute, this is the same person who enjoyed getting a needle shoved into the bottom of her foot."  Let's just say that I would choose running on pavement, dirt, and seed pods over a cortisone shot any day of the week!

What about Broken Glass, Sharp Rocks, and Grounded Bumble Bees?
I'm not entirely fearless, so I started researching the various so-called barefoot running shoes.  The shoe name that kept coming up was the Vibram Five Fingers.  The name alone was enough to make me wonder if they were serious.  Their appearance is even more awkward.  The name kept coming up, however, in the online barefoot community as a decent foot protection option.

The Search
There are a few barefoot running shoes out there but I decided to give the Vibram Five Fingers a try.  Fortunately, I had received some unexpected cash for Christmas so shopping I went.  First, I tried shopping online but quickly learned that many places were cleaned out of the more popular sizes & colors because of  Christmas and weren't expecting to get more in stock until mid-January at the earliest.

I knew the model I wanted to get (KSO).  And I knew the color I didn't want to get (black).  The black look way too much like gorilla feet for my taste.  All the online retailers that had my size, only had it in black.  So, I tried my luck at the local retailers listed on the Vibram website, not expecting good news.  I called every store in a 30 mile radius (there were eight) and finally struck gold at the Birkenstock store in Encinitas, which is about 15 miles away from my house.

Not only did they have my size, they had it in a color other than black.  Score!  I asked the salesgirl on the phone to hold them for me, convinced my clean-cut, conservative husband that going to a Birkenstock store to buy shoes does not make you a hippie, and off we went.

Here they are, in all their crazy-looking glory:

Side note: Those who live in San Diego County might recognize this Encinitas hill... this is the killer hill right next to Moonlight Beach.  We are going down.  In our van.  But not too long ago this was mile 17 of my running group's 22-mile long run before the marathon.  And we had to go up.  It was fun.

I also wore them geo-caching... one of my husband's favorite hobbies:

They are suitable for street running, trail running, hiking, rock climbing, walking, kayaking, boating, and geo-caching.  I like how they feel, how I can feel the ground through them, and that my feet don't get dirty in them.

I haven't tried running in them yet... the instructions are very clear that you need to gradually build up feet strength before going too far in them.  I hope to give them a short run around the neighborhood after I get some laundry done... in other words, sometime much later this afternoon.

Being Balanced
So, am I giving up on running shoes?  Am I going to become one of those runners who believe there is only one way to run?  Will I start eating only fruits and berries and refuse to wear deodorant?  The answer to all of the above is NO.

Like everything else in life, there needs to be balance when it comes to running.  To jump from one extreme to another in anything is not my style.  I like shoes.  And I LOVE socks.  Wouldn't it be ideal to be able to run properly no matter what is on- or under- you feet?

Will running barefoot/gorilla-footed solve my injury issues?  I don't know.  I hope so.  If I continue getting injured doing what I have grown to love, I'm going to have to try something else.  If that involves spending $400 for podiatrist-prescribed custom orthotics, I'll be willing to try that too.

For now, I'm trying this whole barefoot/almost-barefoot thing.  Because it makes sense.  For now, I'm going to try out alternative running techniques (like Chi Running).  Because I am still a rookie.

You can bet I'll let you know how it goes!!

I'm on a Winning Streak!
By the way... I'm a WINNER!!  I won some Barney Butter from the beautiful, fun, kindergarten-teaching blogger Kelly at She Wears a Red Sox Cap. I can't wait to try it! YUM!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

There's GOT to be a Better Way- Part I

I don't know where to start!  Since my last post, I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking. 

If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you know that since I started this venture into the world of running less than a year ago, I have spent much of my time trying to recover from one injury or another.  Looking back, I can almost trace each of my injuries according to the type of shoe I was wearing at the time.

Here's my shoe/injury time line:

January 2009- Asics GT-2140:  My first pair of shoes as I started training for my marathon.  I bought these based on "expert" evaluation of my running.  I was told I overpronate so I need stability shoes.  Less than three months later, I exchanged them due to sharp pain in both ankles and the start of pain in my right knee.

March 2009- Asics Kayano15:  My second pair of running shoes.  I exchanged the first pair for these based on the suggestion that I must need more cushion along with that stability.  The ankle pain disappeared... but the knee pain intensified.  My knee became so bad I couldn't run or train for the marathon for about four weeks.  Heck!  I could hardly walk!  I had X-rays and physical therapy.  Once the knee pain became tolerable, I was given the OK to start running again.  So I did.  During my first long run since my knee setback, I started experiencing pain in my left heel. That same day I said "adios" to my Kayanos. 

May 2009- Mizunos Wave:  I can't remember the exact model but I know they were expensive.  Fortunately, I was able to exchange the Kayanos for these even though it was a few days past my 90-return period.  The Mizunos were recommended for their stability, cushioning, and lighter feel than the Kayanos.  They felt better than the Kayanos but they did nothing to help my heel.  In fact, the heel only got worse as I kept training for the marathon (if you can call inconsistent runs, pool running, and bike riding "training").   At the end of May, I did the marathon but it was not pretty.  Honestly, it was ugly.

I could go on to include the pair of Saucony TR 3 that I  purchased in May of 2009 through because I had won a bloggy raffle for a $100 gift certificate.  These were the least expensive of the shoes I tried and didn't boast stability control.  But they were my favorite of the bunch.

I could also include my most recent purchases and exchanges as part of my shoe history.  In fact, the pair of Saucony I purchased, tried to run in, and subsequently returned was very unkind to my heel (which has not been pain-free since May).

So Where is this Going?

All of the above leads me to the present.  I am SO tired of being injured.  I'm sick of hearing people tell me that I should take up bike-riding and give up on running.  I'm frustrated that the cortisone shots I've had have done nothing to solve the problem.  I've heard everything from, "You just don't have a runner's body" to "Running is too hard on the body".

I cannot accept that reasoning.  I experienced enough elderly, physically handicapped, and overweight people kicking my butt during the marathon that I refuse to buy that I am not cut out to run.  I have no physical reason to keep my body out of the sport.

I like running.  I need to run to keep my brain clear.  I spent years declaring my hatred of running... only to find that I actually love it. I'm not going to give it up that easily.

So... is it me?  Am I doing something wrong?   No one taught me how to run.  I didn't think anyone would have to.  Now I am learning that I was wrong.  Maybe there is not just one way to run... but there are better ways to run.

This realization inspired me to check out Chi Running.  Researching Chi Running lead me to the barefoot running movement.  At the same time, I got Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run for Christmas (I ordered it on my husband's behalf... as his gift to me).  I didn't realize it when I ordered it, but much of the book looks at the impact running shoes have had the running community.  In short, running shoe companies may have had good intentions when they first introduced high-tech shoes to the market but have actually contributed to the rising number of running-related injuries.

Those who advocate barefoot running explain that the foot has been designed (or "evolved", if you prefer) to take on the rigors of running and don't need help with their intended purpose. They argue that all these specialized running shoes are actually making our feet weak and out of touch with their relationship to the ground (the italicized part is my interpretation).

So, where does this leave me?  I'll have to finish that later.  This is already a ridiculously long post and it's getting late.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and continue to enjoy this holiday season!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Signing off for Christmas

I probably won't be posting until after Christmas so I just wanted to quickly tell you all


I hope your holiday- however you might celebrate it- is joyful, memorable, and full of love & laughter. 

I am so thankful for my Running Blogger Friends... you all deserve the best!

Cyber Hugs to you all!

Sara (Rookie on the Run)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Uncanny iPod Brain

I Lied
Well, not intentionally... I miscalculated.  I thought my cute pink shoes were coming today but they are actually scheduled to arrive tomorrow.  I'm waiting, Mr. UPS... get your brown-clad fanny to my house!

My iPod has a Sense of Humor
Seriously.  Sometimes I think it has a mind of its own.  For example, it had been raining early this morning.  When I started out on my run, however, the sun was shining between the scattered clouds.  The first song that popped up on my iPod was "Walking on the Sun" by Smash Mouth.

A few songs later, the sun was still holding its own when Led Zeppelin's "Fool in the Rain" came on.  I thought to myself, "Well, I might be a fool but at least it's not in the rain.  Yet."  Two songs later, Miley Cyrus' song, "The Climb" came on... just as I was making my way up a hill. 

Guess what happened not long after "Who'll Stop the Rain?" by CCR came on.  Yep!  It started raining!   I was beginning to wonder if I should consult my iPod for the winning lotto numbers.

The next song up was "Crash into Me" by Dave Matthews.  At this point, I decided it might be in my best interest to run on the sidewalk rather than on the street.  I was wearing my Road ID bracelet but I sure didn't want to have to make use of it!

The next- and final- song was KT Tunstill's "Black Horse and a Cherry Tree".  I was walking up my driveway when this one came on.  I turned it off.  I have always wondered about those lyrics... and didn't want to find out what they mean first-hand.

Wardrobe Malfunction
I recently purchased a RunningSkirts Capri Running Skirt for cool morning runs, like today's run. I love it!  The only thing is, when I tried it on at their warehouse, I was in a hurry and had my four year old with me.  As a result, I didn't get to spend much time really evaluating the fit.  I think I should have gotten the size smaller than the one I picked.  When I run in it, it feels like it is going to slip off my hips and drop to my ankles.  I spent the first half of my run pulling them up and finally folding the top over at the waist... which seemed to help.  I hate having to fiddle with my clothes when I run!!  I'm hoping they will fit better if I wear underwear with them.

Sorry.  Is that too much information? 

As promised, here is the topic I'd like to discuss for this post.  Chi Running.  Have you tried it?  Have you even heard of it?   Do you know anyone who follows this running method?

If you have answered "yes" to any of the above questions, I'd like to know what you think.

I ordered a book off of but I won't get it until after Christmas.  I'm interested in this running method because it supposedly reduces injuries and increases speed.  Running form, foot strike, and thinking seem to be important aspects in Chi Running training.

I have never really learned how I'm supposed to carry myself and plant my feet as I run.  I just figured running is running, and whatever works is the best.  Based on my injuries and excessive slowness, what I'm doing is not working for me.  Will Chi Running be the answer?  I don't know yet.  But I'm willing to try!

Monday, December 21, 2009

Random Ramblings

Today's Run
Didn't happen.  I was so looking forward to getting up and running this morning.  Instead, I woke up several times in the night with a headache (sinus related, I'm sure).  The headache stuck with me until mid-morning so the run was just not meant to happen.

The good news is, I feel less stuffy, my headache is gone, and my heel feels even more ready for a run.  So, let's hear it for tomorrow!

Adventures in Shoe Shopping
I mentioned in my last blog that I returned my new Saucony Grid Fusion 2 shoes.  I love my current pair of Saucony shoes so I thought I'd give these a try.  I'm sure they are great for some people but they were lacking in cushion and flexibility for me.  I was able to place an exchange and send them back to free of shipping charges... even though I had run in them!

I exchanged the Saucony for these:

Ryka Revive

Why Ryka?  My husband used to work for Jazzercise and this is the brand the company endorsed.  I received a free pair of cross trainers from Ryka through Jazzercise and loved them!

Based on my previous experience with Ryka, I was willing to give them a try.  Plus, I like the colors on this shoe.  When the UPS guy dropped them off, I immediately tried them on.  I liked how light they were... for about 5 minutes.  Upon closer inspection, I discovered that these appear to be made of really cheap material.  They feel light because they are about as flimsy as flip-flops.  I didn't have to test run these to know they were not right for me.

Once again, I took advantage of the free exchange shipping and taped them back up in the box they arrived in.  They will be going home tomorrow via UPS.

My newest shoe adventure will involve these:

New Balance WR769KM- in Lace Up for the Cure Pink

These are not only super cute, part of the cost of these shoes goes to the Komen Race for a Cure Foundation.  They also have great reviews, especially in the areas that are of most concern to me- cushion, flexibility, and stability.  

I'm expecting Mr. UPS to drop these off tomorrow (OnlineShoes is offering 2nd Day Air at the amazing rate of $5.99 right now!).  I can't wait to see how these work out.  Hopefully they will.  

I'm like a kid in a candy store when it's time to get new running shoes!

Running Groups
I'm considering signing up with a running group in January.  I was in one when I was training for the Rock 'n' Roll San Diego Marathon but didn't sign up again after that.  

I liked my running group... sort of.  I didn't really bond with anyone in the group and it didn't feel very friendly.  I did like the accountability and the planned runs, however, and I think I need this again.

I'm looking into a few options, including the group a few of you already are a part of (San Diego Track Club).  I'll need to decide soon since many groups start sign-ups in January.  

Are you in a group?  Have you been in a group?  What do/did you like best about your running group?

Coming up
I had planned on picking your brains regarding Chi Running but this post is already too long.  So, I'll save it for the next post.  If you don't know what Chi Running is, here is a link to the Chi Running website: ChiRunning.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Runny and Running

I just read this post in its entirety... I apologize in advance for its negative, complainy tone.  It's the sinus infection/headache talking.  I don't like much of anything when I have a sinus infection.  So, please keep that in mind while reading it and expect a more positive post in the near future! :)

I Just Had to!

I know I said I wasn't going to do a trail run on Saturday.  But I did.  I just couldn't get myself motivated to do a street run.  So, I headed out to my favorite trail along Lake Hodges and made a point to keep my feet from doing the slipping thing I mentioned in my last post.  Which, by the way, I think was only happening in my new Saucony shoes (I sent those back to last week because they hurt my feet).

It's Not Beginning to Feel A Lot Like Christmas

I love being out in nature.  My only regret is that I didn't start out earlier. It was HOT yesterday!  It felt like early summer in San Diego County.  I know a few of you reading this had several inches of snow dumped on you this weekend.  Some of you probably wish it would feel like summer where you are.  Well, you can have it!  After my run --which turned into more of a nature walk-- I got into my car and noticed that the outside temperature was reading at 95 degrees.

That reading was higher than the real temperature because the van had been sitting on the hot asphalt while I ran/nature walked.  I'm pretty sure the real temperature was closer to 90 degrees... but you get the idea.  It was HOT!

The Heel Saga Continues

My heel has been feeling better since my cortisone shot on Friday.  But it still hurts. I'm getting frustrated and discouraged about this.  Usually, my heel & foot feel OK while I'm running... it's after the run when it really hurts.  I should probably be better about icing it after I run.

Back to my Run
My trail run didn't go as well as I had hoped. I had decided ahead of time to follow the Galloway model of run/walking at a ratio of 5:2 (five minutes running and then two minutes walking).  I am hoping that Galloway might help keep me injury-free during my longer runs.  This method worked well until about mile two.  My body was not happy with me for making it run in the heat... especially since it is still doing battle with this darned sinus infection.

I was having a hard time breathing.  I probably sounded like a wheezing old lady rushing to the liquor store for a pack of cigarettes. And since I've never mastered the fine art of blowing snot rockets, it wasn't pleasant.

After mile two, I threw in the towel and enjoyed a nature walk back to my car.  The temperature was much more tolerable when I wasn't trying to run.   There were lots of people out on the trail.  I enjoyed seeing dads biking with their kids, people walking dogs, and the occasional hot, sweaty runner.  

Tomorrow morning (early) I am hitting the streets again.  Since it is Christmas break I don't have to work.  I don't have to rush kids to school.  I won't have to deal with the traffic from other parents rushing their kids to school.  It should be nice.

Except for this sinus infection... if only I could learn how to blow those snot rockets!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Hooray for the Weekend!

This is the day I got my cortisone shot in my heel.  It hurt a little this time (as opposed to last time).  I'm hoping that means the doctor got that needle and its wonderful anti-inflammatory concoction in the right place.

I'm taking my heel with me on a run tomorrow morning so I'll let you know how it does.  I'm not convinced it will be all better but as long as I can run, I'll be happy.

To Trail or Not to Trail
I initially wanted to do a trail run tomorrow but I'm wondering if it would be best to stick to the roads for a little while.  I notice that my foot slides a bit on the "push off" when I run on dirt.   I'm not sure how great that is on my heel.

Well, that's all for tonight!  I've had fun catching up on some of your blogs.   I've been out of Bloggyland for a few days (Christmas shopping) and I apologize if I've missed anything important.  I'm trying to keep up with everyone... even if I don't leave a comment.

Have a fantastic weekend!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Last Chance- 2009

I found a new 5K to do.  This will be my last chance to redeem myself in 2009!  Anyone interested in joining me?

This race takes place just prior to the start of the Holiday Bowl Parade.  Here are descriptions of the run, found on the event's website.

"The 15th Annual Bumble Bee 5K Run will take place on the corner of Harbor Drive and Ash St. and finishes near Tuna Harbor Park. Athletes will run past 100,000 spectators. Runners, families and spectators can watch the remainder of the parade that features colorful floats, bands and huge inflatable characters."

Beautiful Waterfront Course...
The race begins at the corner of Harbor Dr. & Ash St. and heads south on Harbor Drive to 8th St., behind the San Diego Convention Center. It continues north along the marina walkway making a loop through Embarcadero Park N., finishing on the walkway just past G Street in time to catch the first band and balloons as they parade by. 

Fun at the Finish
Party after the race! Join us for the post-race party near Tuna Harbor Park. There will be live music, and lots of extra munchies including muffins, bagels, juice, fresh fruit and much more! You can also watch the remainder of the parade that features colorful floats, bands and huge inflatable characters. 

Holiday Bowl 5K | San Diego, California 92101 | Wednesday, December 30, 2009 @ 9:45 AM

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Reader Discretion Advised due to Adult Language

The Jingle Bell 5K was tons of fun!  I had the perfect running partner, one of my favorite San Diego attractions as a backdrop, no rain, and a personal record!

My Running Buddy
Bonnie turned out to be an awesome running buddy.  She is a faster runner than me (but then, who isn't?!) but she was kind enough to stay at my pace for most of the race.  Bonnie finished the Las Vegas marathon the week before so she said she didn't mind an easy pace.  Let me clarify- an easy pace for her... not me!

She didn't try to get me to talk.  I explained to her that I hate talking while I run and she was so cool about that!  She didn't ask me questions or say anything that required a response.  I like to talk when I'm not running... but when I'm running, talking is not fun because I can't breath.  I like breathing better than I like talking.

Balboa Park
The entire race took place in Balboa Park.  I love Balboa Park!  If you've been there, you know why.  The place has beautiful trees, amazing architecture, and a peaceful atmosphere.  If you ever come to San Diego, you have to go to Balboa Park!  The San Diego Zoo is located here and there are lots of wonderful museums to visit.

A Break in the Rain
When the alarm went off at 5:15 on Saturday morning, I could hear the rain pouring down on our roof and patio.  I love rain but I find it difficult to get out of my nice, warm, cozy bed when it's cold and wet outside.  I forced myself to get up and get ready.

I wasn't worried about running in the rain.  I was worried about waiting in the rain.  Bonnie and I had planned on arriving around 6:45 in order to get parking and have time to get our bibs & stuff before the 8:15 start.  I was worried that we would have to stand around for an hour and a half, shivering in the rain.  Thankfully, the rain took a little break which perfectly coincided with the morning registration, packet pick-up, and the race itself! 

A Personal Record for Me
This was my second 5K.  My first was the Carlsbad 5000 back in April.  At that time, I was dealing with painful knee issues and the race was a struggle.  In addition, it was very warm on the day of the Carlsbad 5000.  These factors, combined with still being very much a running newbie, made my first 5K very easy to beat in terms of finishing time. 

WHAT?!!  Not a Personal Record?!
I was writing the above when I decided to read my blog about the Carlsbad 5000 because I was unsure of my time.  Turns out I ran the Carlsbad 5000 in a shorter amount of time than the Jingle Bell 5K!!  UGH!!  The Carlsbad 5000 was 38 minutes 11 seconds.  According to Rudolph-the-Red-Faced Garmin, the Jingle Bell was 39 minutes 12 seconds.  A minute longer. Grrrrr...

Please enjoy this little distraction while I go throw myself a hissy-fitty, pity party.  I'll be back momentarily.

@%&$!!   @&%&**@!!   &^%$&@#!??!

Still not ready...  enjoy this one for a while:

@%&$!!   @&%&**@!!   &^%$&@#!??!  &*&@@-- awwwwww...

Alright, I think I'm ready to continue.  It's amazing how much an adorable, smiling, golden retriever puppy can change one's mood.

What the Heel?
I'll blame this failure to PR on my bad heel.  I'm going to get my cortisone shot on Friday and I'm going to find a new 5K to run.  I will run it faster than my Jingly Failure on Saturday.  I will, dang it!

Ho-Ho-Ho, I'm Slow-Slow-Slow
Anyway, I got to meet Santa.  I didn't get to do that at the Carlsbad 5000.

That's Bonnie wearing the #1122 Bib.  I told you she's adorable! 

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Rain or Shine, It's On!

I did it!  I am officially registered for the Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K.  I even found someone cool enough to be a dork with me!  Her name is Bonnie and she just did the Las Vegas Marathon.

It's funny how I met Bonnie:  Last school year, my son was one of the Students of the Month at his school.  Like any proud mommy, I took pictures and posted them on Facebook.  The next day, I got a FB message from someone who pointed out that her son was in one of the pictures I took.

That someone was Bonnie and her son was a Student of the Month, also.   Turns out we have a mutual friend who commented on my picture and Bonnie was able to see the picture because it was on our mutual friend's wall.  At first I was worried that she was upset that her son's picture was on a social networking site (you never know if someone is in the Witness Protection Program, after all).  Thankfully, she didn't mind at all but noticed that I run.  And she runs.  Our sons are in the same grade at the same school, although they aren't in the same class.

We've been Facebook friends ever since and I even see her at school sometimes.  Even though Bonnie just finished a marathon, she is planning on doing the Jingle Bell 5K with me!  She is even going to dress up (she's adorable, by the way!).  Thanks, Bonnie!  I'm looking forward to getting to know you better.

A Run in the Rain?
Rumor has it that it is supposed to rain on Saturday.  If so, this will be my first rain race.  I don't mind running in the rain (the one or two times I have had the opportunity).  Who knows?  Maybe I'll run faster than usual just to get out of it... and to get an egg nog latte to warm up.

A Week of Rest
I mentioned in a previous post that I was going to take the week off of running because of my heel.  I've also taken a week off from any sort of exercise, unfortunately.  This is due to being a bit overwhelmed with my new job.  Even though I only work part-time, learning the "ropes" at any new job is exhausting for me.  By the afternoon, I am ready for bed!

I'm also fighting off a cold.  I feel OK... just congested and tired.  I've been taking mega doses of vitamin C and trying to take it easy.  I can almost hear Mrs. June Cleaver admonishing me, "You have a cold and you're going to run 3.1 miles in the cold and the rain?  You'll catch pneumonia!"

I have heard that this is just an old wives' tale.  Supposedly there is no real evidence that getting a chill makes you catch a cold... or pneumonia.  I happen to be one of those people who don't worry about her kids getting sick just because they insist on wearing flip-flops in the winter.  We don't worry about frost-bite here, either, so what heck... flip-flop away!

Sock it to Me!
I still haven't found my beloved Feetures Lite Cushion sock.  I have come to terms with the idea that he is never coming  back.  Click here to read the whole heart-breaking ordeal.   I have tried to find a decent substitute sock but have had no success.  No other sock hugs and pampers my feet like my Feetures.  So, tomorrow I am driving myself down to Road Runner Sports to get some more pairs.

Maybe I should become a Feetures spokes-woman.  I'd be in Sock Heaven!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

How to Butcher a Fun Christmas Song

Just hear those shoe bells jingle-ing
Ring ting tingle-ing, too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a 5K together with you

Outside the sun is shining
And no one is whining boo-hoo
Come-on, it's lovely weather
For a 5K together with you

Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up
Let's go
Just go with the flow
I'm running in a 5K and I'm slow

Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, it's grand
Just saying I ran
We're running along with the song
Of a So Cal wintry land

My cheeks are nice and rosy
And sweaty, smelly am I
I'm running in spite of my heel pain
and I'm hoping I don't cry

Let's take the road before us
And sing a chorus or two
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a 5K together with you

There's a post-race party in the Park this very day
It'll be a wonderful start to my Saturday
I'll be running the course they've set without a single stop
I don't care if my heel hurts so much I have to hop
Hop! Hop! Hop!

There's a happy feeling nothing in the world can buy
Knowing that I ran my best and that I didn't die
It would make a fine picture for Runner's World, July
These wonderful things are things we remember all through our lives

Just hear those shoe bells jingle-ing
Ring ting tingle-ing, too
Come on, it's lovely weather
For a 5K together with you

Outside the sun is shining
And no one is whining boo-hoo
Come-on, it's lovely weather
For a 5K together with you

It's lovely weather
For a 5K together with you

* My apologies to all those who are musically inclined, for I am not.

Jingle Bell 5K... Balboa Park in San Diego
As you've probably guessed, I plan on running the Jingle Bells 5K. My heel is still a bit sore but I'm taking the week off from running and I'm hoping for the best. I've even picked out what I'm going to wear.

Calling all San Diego Bloggers
I know a lot of you just ran the Vegas Rock 'n Roll Marathon... half or full... but I bet your body would just love for you to do a 5K this weekend!  Join me in the Jingle Bells Run/Walk!  You are pretty much guaranteed to finish before me!!  You know you won't be last!  We can dress in Christmassy stuff and have mimosas after the race (gah- that's for you, Cindi!).

I am still hoping to get at least one other person to join me.  I want to have fun and dress up a bit.  Doing that just isn't as much fun when you're alone. But, if I have to do it alone, I will.  And I will have fun! 

OK... I'm done begging.  I'm used to looking like a dork by myself.  ~sniff, sniff~

Needle Me, Baby!
I have another cortisone shot scheduled for next Friday. I can't wait! Sick, I know... but I hardly felt the last cortisone shot I had. Maybe I was just being tough because my boys were with me at the doctor's and they were fascinated by the big needle going into my heel.  If that's the case, they can come with me every time because the experience was delightful!

HBBC Points for 12/08

Run/Walk= 0
Veggies= 0
Strength= 0
Stretching= 0
Shopping= 100

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Running with Rudy

Sunday with Rudy in the Park
Rudy and I had a good run today. We went five miles on the trails at a local park. The weather was amazing! It was nice and cool and cloudy. Perfect!

There were plenty of hills to remind me that I need to run more hills. There were enough flat areas to remind me that, yes, I can run and breathe at the same time. For the first four miles things were going great! Slow, but great.

A view from one of the hills at Kit Carson Park

Another view from a different hill
I was trying to get a picture of this hill because it was very steep.
You can't really tell from this photo, though.

I decided I would push myself for the last mile in order to bring my average pace down. Or is it up? Anyway, I wanted to go faster. Rudy was reliable and let me know when I hit the four mile mark. I picked up the pace and my plan was working well. Until mile 4.1, when my fussy heel decided to pitch a fit.

Ow!! My heel never feels pain-free but usually it is a low-grade pain while I run. Not today. Not after four miles. I kept running and even tried to keep my pace up but the more I ran, the more my heel hurt. I finished up my five-miler with a "rump". Rump is a word I came up with today to describe my running limp. Or is it a limping run? Anyway, I haven't looked that pathetic since struggling with my bum knee while training for the marathon.

I gave my foot an ice bath when I got home. I took my Naproxen. It still hurts.

I'm going to call my doctor tomorrow to see if I'm eligible to get another cortisone shot. I don't know if there is a limit to the number of cortisone shots one is allowed to receive in a certain period of time. Maybe I should ask him to put several shots in my foot until it's numb. As long as I don't grow hair on my chest from the steroids, I'll get as many shots as I need to take away this heel spur pain.

More about why I Love Rudy
If you missed my last couple posts, I better clarify that Rudy is my Garmin Forerunner 305. I named him Rudy (short for Rudolph, as in the Red Nosed Reindeer). Prior to last week, I ran blindly... never knowing how fast or how far. True, I could map my route on Daily Mile. As great as Daily Mile is, it's hard to map runs on trails. Also, it was always a surprise when I got home and discovered that I ran more slowly than it felt.

Rudy has changed all that. I know when to start and stop. I know when I need to work on my speed. Rudy inspires me to run faster, stronger, better than I had before. I'm so glad Rudy found his way into my heart... via Amazon and the UPS guy.

Jingle All the Way
I'm pretty sure I'm going to sign up for the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 5K. It's taking place on Saturday and sounds like so much fun! I love the idea of running with bells on my shoes. I'm going to see if I can get that cortisone shot this week. If so, I'll sign up for sure. If not, I'll have to see how my heel feels.

Any of you San Diego Bloggers doing this 5K? If you're not signed up- sign up!! I want to get dressed up and run with other goofy people.

HBBC Points for 12/06
Running: 5

Rookie LOVES Rudy!

I've been meaning to post about my first run with my new partner, Rudy. I've been working on changing my blogger layout and haven't gotten to it.

So, really quick...


Well, I'll save that for later today. I've got to get ready to do a five miler (with Rudy, of course). I don't usually run on Sundays but the weather is too perfect to pass up today- cloudy and cool. We are supposed to get pummeled with rain starting tomorrow (I hope, I hope) so I better get out while I can.

Don't want Rudy to get too wet.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Good, the Bad, and the Smelly

Duck!! Here come the bullets!
Bullet points, that is...

The Good
  • I had a wonderful run this morning
  • It was very chilly out (33 degrees) when I ran
  • I got my Garmin 305 today!!
  • I start my new job as a preschool teacher tomorrow
  • I survived three hours of "Job Safety, Chemical Hazards, and Sexual Harassment" videos as part of my job orientation
  • I used an hour of that time to stretch my muscles (I had a big, carpeted room all to myself)
  • I ordered a new pair of Saucony running shoes from Online Shoes*

The Bad
  • I ate horribly today!
  • It was still dark out when I set off on my run
  • I did something funky to my hip muscle and it hurts
  • I thought I was running three miles this morning but it was really only 2.5 (but now that I have my Garmin, there should be no more mileage surprises)
The Smelly
  • One nice thing about running early in the morning are the smells. The fresh, crisp air this morning accentuated the smell the California Sage Brush, the smell of manure from the small neighborhood ranches, and the occasional scent of someone burning wood in their fireplace... ahhh, love it!
  • Have you ever accidentally cooked cat food in the microwave? I was trying to defrost the kitty's frozen meat/veggie food but set it on high. While it smells tons better than canned cat food, it's not a pleasant odor. Especially when cooked on high in the microwave. I thought I was going to see my breakfast again, and almost did three times!
*If you feel comfortable enough to buy a pair of shoes you haven't tried on, Online Shoes is awesome and they have an amazing return policy... just in case.

Advice Needed

I need your advice again, running blogger friends. I mentioned in a previous blog that I'd feel better about running trails if I had a dog to run with. Many of you agreed. The problem is, we don't have a dog and never will. Unfortunately, Guitar Hero doesn't like dogs.

My parents have two dogs who could really use the attention and outside time. My dad has been unable to take them out due to all his serious medical issues. My stepmom is overwhelmed with work and with taking care of my dad. So, basically the dogs are loved but have been confined to my parents' backyard for nearly a year.

I'm not really familiar with their dogs because they've always been outside when I've gone over. I've also shied away from them because they are pretty big and barky. They are nice dogs, though, and are very sweet with my boys.

I'd like some advice regarding how to run with a dog. For example:
  • What kind of leash is best?
  • What if it wants to chase a bunny?
  • How do you keep it from fighting with other dogs?
  • How do you maintain your pace with a dog on the end of the leash?
  • What else would I need to know?
  • What if this happens:

Yep, I made this masterpiece! I figure it's been a while since I created a piece of art for my Running Blogger Friends. I've gotten better since my recreation of the Cytomax Incident.
I think.

HBBC Points for 11/30 & 12/1:

Strength & Stretch= 4
Fruits/Veggies= 2
Running/Walking= 3

Total: 9