Sunday, November 29, 2009
Thanks for all the Garmin advice! Santa is coming early this year and he'll be arriving in a brown truck, most likely on Wednesday or Thursday.
I think I'm going to call* my new running partner Rudolph: He's red, will guide me on my runs (fog, or no fog), and the name is appropriate for the season. I'll call him Rudy for short.
*I got the idea to name my Garmin from Irene over at Magazine Smiles. Her Garmin is a girl but I guess mine will be a boy. Maybe if they get together, they can make little Garmin babies. What do you get when you cross a 305 with a 405?
I decided for Santa that he is going to bring me a Garmin for Christmas. I'm looking at the Garmin Forerunner 305 on Amazon.com. The price is better than I expected and it has great reviews. I put it in my shopping cart but don't want to click "checkout" until I find out what you think.
So, those of you who have this watch or know someone who does, please let me know what you think.
Saturday, November 28, 2009
Three days ago, it was hot & sunny here. I ran in shorts and short sleeves... and I was still too hot! Today, the weather was completely different. It's been raining, hailing, and is a bit chilly. And I love it!
The rain almost kept me from my scheduled 5-mile run today. By the afternoon, however, I had cabin fever and decided that the rain wasn't going to keep me from the trail run I had been looking forward to. What motivated me even more was Ann's post at Run DMZ about the very area where I was planning to run. Thanks, Ann!
What a Difference in my Run
Today's run was so different in every way from the last two runs I did. My calf felt fine. I wasn't too hot. I wasn't scared. It was so much fun! In short, I loved today's run. I felt great and must have had a big grin on my face the entire time. Even when it started to sprinkle on me, I just kept running and smiling.
What a Difference a Trail Makes
I absolutely love running on trails. I feel like I'm in my element when I'm out in nature, feet pounding on dirt instead of pavement. I ran on wide trails and narrow trails, steep trails and level trails. I even attempted to run on an impassable trail.
In the past, I've been able to cross here by stepping on stones. The rain made this brook a little too deep and wide to cross.
What a Difference a Drought Makes
Less than a year ago, Lake Hodges was... well, a lake! Now it looks more like a big puddle. The area is still beautiful because the landscape is green, thanks to years and years of being covered in water.
It really makes me sad. Several years ago, we had a wonderfully wet El Nino winter. The water level was so high that the dam on the west side of the lake overflowed, pouring water into the river valley below. People used to use Lake Hodges for fishing, kayaking, windsurfing, and boating. I hope and pray we get another wet winter soon! I miss my lake.
What a Difference Hope Makes
These days, a rainbow means different things to different people. To me, a rainbow reminds me of God's promise to Noah to never flood the earth again. While I try to tell God a little flooding in all the right places would be a good thing, I think the point of God's promise was that He loves all of us and promises to take care of us. Life isn't always perfect but there is always hope. So, what a wonderful thing it was to be reminded of this when I saw this at the end of my fantastic run:
If you want to see more pictures of the Lake Hodges area and of the new footbridge I got to run across today, check out Ann's blog! She is a local blogger friend I've never met but since we seem to haunt the same areas, I think we'll have to change that. She is recovering from an injury so I figure if she walks and I run, I might be able to keep up with her!! What do you think, Ann? :)
HBBC Points for 11/28
Friday, November 27, 2009
On Wednesday I did it. I went back to Mule Hill and ran it. OK, OK... it turns out I mostly ran it. As I was (mostly) running, I was thinking up a way to blog my run. My Mule Hill Come-Back. I was trying to come up with a great one... one that would bring sponsors, test products, cool gear for give-aways...
I tried, but all I've got for you are the same questions I asked myself along the way.
Don't worry about answering these... unless you really want to.
My Running Thoughts...
- Why are there so few people on the trail the day before Thanksgiving?
- Why is it nearly 80 degrees out on the day before Thanksgiving?
- Why can't I have one of those bodies that allows me to pull off running in just a cute little sports bra? With shorts, of course!
- Why didn't I get up earlier to do this run?
- How am I going to know how far I've run since there aren't any mile markers on this trail?
- Why didn't I buy a Garmin when I had the money?
- Would I feel safer running out in the middle of nowhere if I had a dog to run with?
- Why aren't there more people on this darn trail?
- Horses can read... who knew?!
- Will anyone hear me scream if I get attacked out here?
- Why didn't I bring my pepper spray?
- How did the firetrucks get out here during the big Firestorm of 2007?
- Didn't that sign at the park entrance say something about mountain lions?
- What the heck? Is that a lake?
Turns out the "lake" was a crop that was covered up with some sort of reflective white cloth.
- How far have I run?
- Why is it so stinkin' hot?
- Why can't I move to Washington?
- Would a Golden Retriever scare off a potential attacker?
- Where should I turn around?
- Should I ask Santa for a Garmin?
- If I turn around at that funny tree, will I be able to identify it on the satellite map on Daily Mile?
- Where are all those smart, literate horses?
- How could I have mistaken that for a lake?
- Who is that teenage boy? Who are all his friends? Where were they when I was all alone on the trail?
- Do they think I'm some old lady about to keel over because I'm so red and sweaty?
- Why is it so hot?
- Is that man running shirtless?
- Where was he when I was spooked on that back trail?
- What if the shirtless guy is a serial killer?
- Is that the end of the trail?
- How far did I go?
- They call it Mule Hill because during the Mexican-American War, much of which took place in this area, the American troops got low on food and had to eat their mules.
- This is what a golf ball looks like after it's been through a California wildfire:
Mule Hill Summary
In case you didn't notice, it was too warm for my comfort on Wednesday. I don't like to run when it's warm. I think the run would have been more enjoyable if it weren't so hot!
I like the trail but most of the trail is in the middle of nowhere. For much of the run, I had deserted farmland on one side and dense brush and trees on the other. Southern California is not known for its lack of crime so I got pretty spooked out there. My mind kept replaying old "America's Most Wanted" episodes.
In terms of scenery, the area has its own beauty. Right now, the area is extremely dry and brown, however. It will be gorgeous in the spring, when it is green and the wild flowers are in bloom. Here is how it looks right now:
I decided that I prefer to run along the trail that is west of the I-15. There is a pretty lake and the trail isn't so isolated. The photo at the top of my blog was taken along this trail. In addition, there are a few mile-markers along the route. On the down-side, it is more rocky and hilly... but I'll take that over the loneliness of the Mule Hill trail.
I think I was able to figure out my mileage using Daily Mile's satellite map. Based on recognizing the area's landmarks, I estimate I went almost 5 miles. I ended up walking more of it than I wanted because of the heat and my sore calf.
I was only supposed to go 3 miles but I figured I'd be happy if I ended up doing more since I missed Saturday's "long" run and Monday's short run. I was tired but it felt wonderful to get out there and work my muscles!
Tomorrow I hope to get in a trail run along the lake. It's supposed to rain, so we'll see. I don't want to run in mud. We need rain, so I'll gladly sacrifice my trail run for some of the wet stuff!
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Life in General:
- My husband: He really is a great guy!
- My boys: They are the best!
- My home: It's small but I love it.
- My church: It's casual, welcoming, and filled with fun people.
- My neighborhood: I love the hills behind my house!
- My new job: I love that my schedule won't take me away from my kids. I think it'll be fun and the extra paycheck will be very welcome.
- Health: What a blessing that my boys and family are healthy!
- I got to run today!!
- Less pain in my heel
- Less pain in my calf
- The weather here... which allows me to run outside year-round
- My Blogger friends... sounds cheesy but it's true. You help keep me motivated!
- My cute little socks
- Lip Balm
- My iPod
HBBC Points for 11/25:
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Yep, that's what I'm doing these days. I like it better when I don't know how many calories are in my favorite treats. For example, my beloved Eggnog Latte from Starbuck's is 470 calories. And that's just the Grande size! Before I knew that little fact, I would tell myself that it couldn't be too bad.
That's the sound of my blissful bubble of ignorance bursting.
One cookie has 150 calories! I ate four of them on Sunday. Before I bothered to check.
I could go on and on but the sound of popping bubbles is giving me a headache. Alas*, it's good to know these things. I watched School House Rock when I was a kid, and they told me that knowledge is power. It has to be true.
"Conjunction-Junction, what's your function?" Ahhhh... those were the days!
In Other News...
Tomorrow I am taking on Mule Hill again. My calf feels a little better and I'm hoping it will hang in there for my run. I took my boys on a "hike" there this afternoon (it's amazing how crazy house-bound boys can make me!). I loved it more than they did but it did its job tiring them out. I also got to take more pictures... with my big girl camera. I'll post them after I run it (hopefully tomorrow).
New Blogger Look
Some of you have made comments about the new look for my blog. Thanks for the kind remarks! Bethany from Our Love on the Run** wanted to know if the picture at the top is of a trail where I get to run. The answer is, yes... but not as often as I would like. In fact, that trail is across the I-15 from the Mule Hill Trail. If you're local or if you ever come to San Diego, you've got to check out the San Dieguito River Park .
I love nature!!
*"Alas"... I must have picked that one up from some Jane Austin novel, or something.
**Check out Bethany's blog... she and her fiance got engaged at the 2009 Boston Marathon... how cool is that??!!
Tomorrow is Day 3 of the Holiday Bootie Buster... I hope to be able to add some running points!
- Strength Training= 2
- 7 Servings of Fruits/Veggies= 1
- Walking= 3
Sunday, November 22, 2009
First of all, congratulations to all of you who had races today! I've read so many awesome race reports... even a few Boston Qualifiers!
Thanks for all the advice regarding my calf. It still hurts so I'm going to keep giving it rest and try rolling it with The Stick. Hopefully, I'll be able to get back out there soon! I still don't know what is going on with it but I'm not too worried since I've gone through worse in my short running history.
Meanwhile, I will continue with my strength training. The Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge starts tomorrow and I want to kick butt in this challenge... even if it is just my own. I'm going to need the motivation to keep myself from gaining weight over the holidays. My body just doesn't metabolize like it used to.
So Hard to Say NO
My biggest temptations during this time of year are fudge and Egg Nog Lattes from Starbucks. I don't mean to brag, but I make the best fudge I've ever tasted (I think it's the Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur I put into the mix). I love to make it... and sample it. A lot of it.
The Egg Nog Latte thing... let's just say, it's a good thing they don't make them year-round. I would drink them year-round and I'd probably be 400 lbs by now. Mmmmm...
So, my question for you is:
Which high-calorie holiday food(s) do you find hard to resist? How do you successfully avoid them... or at least eat in moderation?
Good luck to everyone taking on the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge! If you don't know what that is, check it out here. I'm sure it's not too late to sign up!
Saturday, November 21, 2009
After a very restless night of uncomfortable sleep, I woke up Saturday morning with a pain-free head. The headache left its groggy residue on me, though, and I was worried about doing something to trigger it again.
By mid-morning, I felt more confident that my headache was gone for good. I went outside to test the temperature and discovered a glorious, gorgeous, perfect day! I immediately got ready to run.
I had been planning to do my four-miler on a local trail called "Mule Hill Trail". I had always wanted to try it and this was the day! Beautiful weather, awesome trail, no headache... I was sooo looking forward to this.
The picture was taken as I was running on another trail in the San Deguito River Park.
When I got to the San Deguito River Park which is where the trail starts, I sort of felt like I had to use the "facilities". The problem is, this is the only facility.
As always, I started my run with a brisk walk in order to warm up. I was enjoying the sunshine, the calls of the hawks soaring overhead, and looking forward to starting my run. At one point during my warm-up, there was a small incline. As I walked up it, pain shot through my right calf muscle. This is the same calf muscle that felt like it had a knot in it the other day.
I figured the pain would ease as I continued to warm up my muscles. It did, mostly. Until I started to run. As I took my first running step, the pain shot up my calf again. I stopped to stretch and massage it. I tried running again, and it still hurt. I tried to keep running, hoping it would work itself out. It didn't. It only felt worse. I tried more stretching and more massaging. Nothing helped.
After a couple more attempts, I reluctantly decided to give up. Ugh! I was so disappointed. I felt like crying but there were too many people on the trail. First, a killer headache (which kept me from doing my strength training on Friday) and then a bad calf!
I think only my running blogger friends can understand why I was broken-hearted.
I want to try it again tomorrow (Sunday) but my calf is still giving me trouble. It feels like somebody took the elasticity out of my calf muscle... as if it can only stretch so far before it wants to stop. The pain happens when I need it to stretch beyond its short range.
Any ideas what this could be? I thought it was just a knot before today... now I'm not sure. Any suggestions as to how to fix it?
Ending On Happy Notes
- I officially got the job at my son's preschool! I start on December 1st and am super excited! :)
- I made a yummy apple pie tonight
- I think I've lost weight because my clothes feel a little looser (which means I have to be careful not to eat too much of that pie!)
Sunday, November 15, 2009
I appreciate all your bloggy input regarding my new training schedule! A lot of you affirmed my decision to modify my schedule to one less running day per week. It seems weird to run only three days a week while training for a longish race... but I know my body will appreciate the break!
The stupid brakes in our Nissan Quest (minivan) decided to start grinding this weekend. At least that's how it feels. The last time this happened, we ended up having to replace all the brakes and brake-parts. The part that makes me mad is that we did all this work less than two years and 20,000 miles ago. There goes another chunk of money out the door. Grrrr...
The good news is, my husband is going to take the van into the dealership and ride his bike to work from there. I was not looking forward to sitting at the dealership all morning, while the service department checked and replaced brakes that should not need to be replaced already. It also means I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get in my run for tomorrow. Yipee!
Weak & Week
I did my four mile run on Saturday morning. I don't know what it was, but it was tough! My legs felt stiff and weak. I wasn't expecting this at all since it was "only" four miles. I guess some days are like that. It probably had to do with the strength training I've been doing... and that I had not run for about a week prior. I'm sure it will get easier after being more consistent with the running and muscle strengthening.
Weight & Wait
Back in January, when I was training for my marathon, I initially lost a few pounds. A couple months later, I noticed I was heavier than before I started running. At the time, I figured it was because I got used to eating a runners' diet and then had to take an unplanned, unwanted two months off of training due to injuries. I blamed the weight gain on having to wait around while my body healed.
Lately, I've read more and more accounts of people who claim to have gained weight during training. So, my question is this: Have you/did you gain weight while training for a race? If so, why do you think that happened? If not, what do you think you did differently than others?
I'm curious because I really want to lose weight while I get ready for this half-marathon, not gain it. What are your thoughts?
Knot & Not
I have a knot in my calf muscle that has been there since last Tuesday. It's not as painful as it was but it's still there. Is it true that dehydration can contribute to muscle tightness? I think I got dehydrated in Vegas but I've been trying to be good about drinking water.
But & Butt
OK, there's no real reason to use those two words. I'm just reliving my life as a third grade teacher. While teaching homonyms, those two inevitably came up (from the students, of course). Just goes to show, you can take the teacher out of the classroom but you can't take the classroom out of the teacher.
Bye, my running blogger friends! Thanks for stopping by. Wow! I'm on a roll tonight!
Friday, November 13, 2009
30 Minutes Cross-Training
Bike Riding 5.4 Miles
My Modified Hal Higdon Half-Marathon Training Plan
OK... here it is, in all its color-coded glory
I call it modified because I opted to have one less running day each week on my schedule. After the way my body rebelled during my marathon training, I do NOT want to overdo it again. I also added an extra day of strengthening and stretching. My target areas to strengthen are my legs, arms, and core. I have three reasons for this:
- To look good in my Running Skirt (vanity, pure & simple)
- To be able to run faster and better
- To prevent injuries, especially to my knees
Back in the Saddle
Well, not really a saddle... more like a bike seat. I went bike riding today to cross-train. It's been a while since I rode my bike. I'm not a huge fan of the bike... especially since my bike needs a tune-up and my pseudo-rural neighborhood doesn't seem to believe in bike paths.
It did feel good to ride my bike again. I didn't ride very far since I was only scheduled to cross-train for 30 minutes but I felt like I got a good workout. That's mostly because I kept the bike in thigh-burner gear. Not because I'm tough but because I still don't get the whole gear thing and also because the chain is more inclined to fall off or jam when I change gears.
Running:1 Biking: 0
Just an observation: My shoes never fall off when I switch gears from fast to slow & slow to fast while running.
Tomorrow I will run four miles because that is what my good buddy, Hal, says to do.
- Here's one for Tall Mom on the Run... She spent the day taking care of her vomiting husband. Good job and stay healthy, girl! I hope your hubby is feeling better.
- Michelle at LetsRollMama gets one for being sort of new to the Running Blogger World. Check out her blog! She is sure to put a smile on your face, especially if you are a running mom.
- Another new blogger to me is Tricia at Endurance Isn't Only Physical. She gets a high-five this Veteran's Day week for being a being a proud wife of an active-duty army man. Thanks for your sacrifice, Tricia... and thanks to your husband! If you haven't checked out her blog, do it! She's an inspiration.
Happy Friday, Running Blogger Friends!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Technically, I should have started the training last Sunday but I was too busy causing bodily damage to myself in Vegas. And then it took a couple days to recover. So, today was the day.
Here's what I did:
45 minutes of strength training
15 minutes of stretching
Tomorrow (Friday) is a cross-training day. I'm going to ride my bike, even though the darn chain keeps falling off. We plan get the bike into the shop for a tune-up so, hopefully, that will soon be a thing of the past.
There you go... short and sweet, as promised!
Happy Friday, Bloggers!
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Now for the nonrunning-related blog stuff:
It Looks Like Good News
It looks like I have a job! I've been sort of looking since August but have found very few opportunities that fit into my Mommy Schedule. Honestly, I don't know how working moms juggle it all!
I got a call yesterday from the director of my son's preschool and I sensed right away what the purpose of the call was. I had mentioned a few months ago that I would be interested in applying to work at the preschool should the opportunity arise. Well, apparently the need has risen and the director wants me to fill it!
The problem is, I'm both overqualified and underqualified. I'm licensed by the state of California to teach Kindergarten through eighth grade. Preschool teaching is a whole other ball of wax. You don't need nearly as much education to be a preschool teacher... but in order to work in a preschool, state law requires you to have at least six units of Child Development. If you want to be a lead preschool teacher you need several more units.
I only have three units of Child Development (taken almost 20 years ago!) but I'm allowed to work if I am enrolled in classes. I will pretty much be the assistant to the lead preschool teacher. I'm happy with that, I don't want the responsibility of being the teacher. I've seen preschool teachers at work... and I believe they are truly overworked and underpaid! Even more so than elementary school teachers.
So, guess who's going back to school? Me! I plan to enroll in an online child development course through a local community college. I also need to get recertified in CPR and First Aid. I sort of like school so I don't mind the whole college thing. And CPR/First Aid is just something everyone should know.
I don't even know what the pay will be... but I don't care. Fortunately, we are not hurting for money right now. With that said, it will be nice to have a little extra to ease the financial strain that most one-income families have to face. The best part is, my work schedule will be the same as my youngest son's schedule. This is what I have been looking, hoping, and praying for.
Here's the Running Connection
Since it's only part-time, I'll have the hours I need to get other stuff done. I will still have time to train for my half marathon and have a way to fund our half-marathon weekend get-away. I will feel less-guilty about purchasing running stuff (I love running "stuff"). I think I will be less lazy since I tend to be happier and more energetic when I have more on my plate. Heck, maybe I'll even get those preschoolers to train for a half-marathon! Yep, right after I purchase my backyard bull.
One Final and Weird Non-Running Fact
The preschool is a church preschool. My church. It's also the church where my husband works. So, in a round-about way, I'll be working with my husband. Sort of. He has nothing to do with the preschool but our paychecks will be cut from the same place. And I will see him at the monthly staff lunches. Just sort of weird to me... but in a cool sort of way.
IF I actually get the job, that is. I'll believe it when I get the official word from the "higher-ups" I'll keep you informed.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
It's a LIE!
What happens in Vegas doesn't really stay in Vegas. Especially when it comes to the hefty meals, high-calorie cocktails, and yummy desserts consumed. Those things came home with me... on my butt, waist, and hips.
I had a great time but now I've got some serious damage control to do. I've been heavier than I like to be lately and my poor eating choices in Las Vegas left me feeling like I should try out for next season's Biggest Loser. I need Jillian to yell at me, I think.
The Eight-Second Workout Plan
The Professional Bull Riders World Finals was awesome! This was my third year attending the event and it gets better every year. It is surprisingly exciting to watch someone try to stay on a pissed-off, bucking, 1500 pound bull with a name like "Nasty Town". The riders only have to stay on for eight seconds in order to receive a score... but eight seconds is a looong time and few men make it.
I have to say, those professional bull riders are tough! They are also in amazing shape. I think they all have negative 20% body-fat. And nice, lean muscle. Hmmmm... I think I need a bull of my own. I can keep it in the back yard.
Twelve Week Count Down
I realized today that I only have twelve weeks until the Surf City Half Marathon. It's time to get serious about training and getting in good shape for the race. I'm going to spend the next few days reflecting on my training and race goals. My number one goal for training this time around is to remain injury-free. My number one goal for the race is to do more than "just finish". I'll share any other goals I think of... after I think of them.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Confession can be so good for the soul, so here goes...
- I didn't run this morning (boo! hiss! *tomatoes being thrown*). If you read last night's blog, you know I had every intention to run at the crack of dawn. I didn't. Truth is, I went to bed too late. After I signed off of blogger, I started playing Solitaire on my cell phone and couldn't stop until I won
one... two... three games.
- I am a sock whore! I just finished packing for Vegas. I swear, I have packed more socks than anyone could EVER possibly need! I don't even think I'll need socks. But I need to pack them, if that makes sense. I L-O-V-E Socks!
- I don't really like the girl (Tracey) who got kicked off of The Biggest Loser tonight. However, I almost cried when I got to see her beautiful family. I hardly ever almost cry.
- I plan on buying a huge bag of Peanut M&Ms tomorrow for our road trip to Vegas.
- I'm really looking forward to playing Solitaire and eating Peanut M&Ms on our way to Vegas. Don't worry, I'm not driving!
Good night all!
Monday, November 2, 2009
I don't normally like monkeys (although, I wouldn't mind my very own marmoset). One monkey, however, has really grown on me since I became a mom. That would be George... you know, the monkey who lives with the Man in the Yellow Hat?
My youngest and I used to watch Curious George faithfully on PBS... until he discovered the nautical nonsense of Sponge Bob, that is. During a brief moment of Spongelessness, we found ourselves watching an episode of Curious George I had never seen before. In this episode, Professor Wiseman (The Man in the Yellow Hat's ambiguous girlfriend?) signed up to participate in a race.
Here's the episode description as found on the PBS website:
Curious George, Personal Trainer
Professor Wiseman is too busy to keep an exercise routine. So when she signs up to run in a fund-raising footrace, she enlists George as her personal trainer to help whip her into shape. George quickly learns there is more to exercising than meets the eye, and teaches Professor Wiseman that the keys to running are stretching, keeping hydrated, staying motivated and pacing yourself.
Very simplified, but not bad for a monkey. Actually, that's probably about as much as I know... what does that say about me? Um, don't answer that.
This episode left me smiling... especially when Professor Wiseman showed George her finisher's medal. Running... it's not just for crazy people, anymore. It's becoming so main-stream that even monkeys are getting involved!
- I had to look up that word (minutiae) to make sure I spelled it correctly. I didn't.
- My allergies are horrible right now... as a result, I'm grumpy and didn't do any running or cross-training today.
- On Thursday, I'm going on a girls-only long weekend in Vegas. Woo-hoo!
- My party-buddy, Canadian cousin isn't going this year... I have a feeling I'll be blogging a lot.
- Less than fifteen years ago I was wearing a size 2 in clothes from the Gap... I swear they changed the sizes so that they run smaller... much, much smaller. Grrrr...
- My post-babies, nearing-forty body sometimes frustrates me.
- I like that it's light earlier in the morning now... I plan to run in the morning.
- I really like yogadownload.com
- Two and a Half Men is a funny show
- Meb Keflezighi, the winner of the NYC Marathon, went to high school in San Diego... my husband says there's hope for me yet! Ha. Ha. Ha. Funny guy.
Have a great Tuesday, everyone!