Sunday, December 28, 2008

last long run 0f 2008

Meant to get up early to run today. The snow is finally gone, so no excuses not to get out and run in the real world. But when 7:00 rolled around it was still dark. Very, very dark. So we snuggled back down under the duvet and slept for another hour.

At 8:00 we got up, ate toast, and piled on the layers of clothing. Two long-sleeved shirts and a fleece for me, plus the winter tights. Earmuffs and gloves completed the look. (Very fetching.) I also wore the running belt that I plan on wearing to the race, plus my camelback.

Today was scheduled for a 10-miler; we decided to do the loop we did back on November 29 but in reverse because Wil still swore it was uphill nearly all the way. So down to Fremont, across the bridge and along Westlake to the S.L.U.T. tracks, then along Fairview to the big hill, across the University Bridge, back on to the BGT to Fred Meyer and then home.

I felt okay for the first half or so; then got a strange twinge in my left achilles. Since my right leg tends to be the one that hurts in various spots, pain on the left side was alarming. But I plodded on, feeling less and less happy. When we got to a break around the 8.6 mile mark, I decided to be careful rather than force my way through it. So I walked an interval, sending Wil on ahead. (He was running very strongly!)

At the next interval I decided to try running again, gently. Going around the Adobe campus, I finally glimpsed Wil far in the distance. Again I decided to walk, and Wil doubled back and passed me in the other direction. When he turned again and caught up with me, I started running to keep up with him. At that point we had .24 miles to go. So we ran, celebrating our achievement somewhere by the cement plant.

Walked home the rest of the way; left achilles still tender. So home, stretched a long time, and have been icing and elevating since my shower. Going to try and take it easy this week.

Because I failed to turn off my Nike+ the pace was off, and it captured all the walking on both ends of the run, but we covered 12.47 miles today. Wil had a strong run, and I... well, I am waiting for my new shoes to arrive.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas!

It's hard to believe that we're nearing the end of 2008 -- and hard to believe how far we've come. We went to schmancygym on Christmas Eve for another snow-day run and I was feeling blue that I only ran 5.7 miles. But looking back at my post for December 31, 2007, I was thrilled to be running 4.5 miles. So I need to remember that we've really come a long long way.

Now it's Christmas night and I'm feeling happy, semi-healthy, and very loved. Hope everyone feels the same!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

snow day

Given the recent weather, it was clear that we weren't going to get our 20-mile run in today. This had both of us feeling worried. But the 8 or so inches of snow... and that fact that crappy LA Fitness STILL hasn't opened in Ballard means that we would either have to drive to the one up in Shoreline or try and catch a bus to the one down on Westlake. Neither was very appealing.

Wil had the idea that we should try to buy a day pass -- or a week pass -- at one of the Ballard health clubs and just work out there. A little googling and I found a 15-day free pass to Olympic Health Club, which I have always shunned because their "joining fee" is really, really high. But with a free pass.... well, we couldn't resist. We bundled up and slowly walked to the gym.

Got there, had a tour of the crazy layout of this hotel-turned-gym, and then got in a run. I had to stop at the halfway point and slow down to a walk as my right foot was hurting, but after 5 minutes of walking I was able to speed back up. We decided not to shower at the gym -- not wanting to go out in the cold with wet hair -- so got changed and then went downstairs. The membership guy hadn't been there when we arrived (given the snow), but we spoke to him on the way out. He was everything the cheezy/sleazy guy from LA Fitness wasn't: professional, calm, open... honest. There wasn't a "hard sell", a "this deal runs out this weekend", etc. It was a "here's our December/January special, here's what it costs". Simple.

So, unexpectedly, we are now considering swapping gyms. Now we just have to figure out how to cancel our membership at LAFitness as quickly as possible.


Walked around the market after our workout, buying a couple of things from the vendors who had braved the trip. No, we didn't *need* potatoes, but if you drive from Colville to Ballard, I'm going to buy potatoes from you. Lovely blue potatoes. Purple mash, here I come!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Very busy afternoon -- a trip to the post office (and then to the shipping center, no lines...), then to Reba's to pick up a wheelbarrow, then home to dig up a layer of sod.... and then to the gym.

Got there at the busiest time; I beat Wil up the stairs and jumped on a recently vacated treadmill; Wil spotted someone leaving as he came upstairs and got on the one at the very end of the line. Hot, smelly, boring treadmill run. 5 minutes of walking, then 50 minutes of running, and 5 minutes of walking to cool down. Yawn.

So it's clear that I won't make my mileage goal for December, what with missing two straight long runs. But better to stay healthy and focus on the real task at hand. The icy sidewalks (and more snow in the near future) make me worry about this weekend. We'll see as we get closer.

My right hip is bothering me again, so I'm really trying to stretch it. Otherwise felt okay on the run, though I wasn't very fast. Hoping the new kicks arrive soon for better cushioning. Funny that my sister Gretchen sent me a link to a story on Cool Running about "the next pair of shoes" -- which I didn't see until coming home from the store to buy new shoes. Thanks for the support! :)

Less than four weeks now -- it seems hard to believe we're almost there!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

12 Ks of Christmas

...cancelled due to icy roads...

It was only with the strongest of wills that we got ourselves bundled up and out the door to drive to Kirkland for the 12 Ks of Christmas. But we got there with little difficulty, and even got parking a block away from the start. (That should have been our first clue!)

Walking to the start line, we saw people carrying bags with drinks and shirts in them. Well, we thought, they're going to put their stuff in the car so they don't have to check a bag. Then, getting closer, we heard the announcer say something about a costume competition being judged at 9:30 so that they "can give out at least one award today". Uh-oh.

Sure enough, the race had been cancelled for ice-related safety issues. A little frustrating, given that we had seen the notice on the web site that, even with the snow, they had no plans to cancel the event. I even called the number on the site before we set out, figuring that they would have posted a message or something.

But they don't control the weather, of course, and it's better to be safe than sorry. I just kept thinking about what might happen if we were to slip and fall and injure ourself so that we couldn't run the WDW Marathon in a few weeks. It's just not worth it.

So instead we came home and decorated the tree. Neither of us could bring ourselves to go to the gym and churn out 9 miles on the "dreadmill". Oh, and we got new kicks at the running store. :)

If you're keeping track of my training goal, it's clear that I won't make my mileage for the month. Oh well. I've done the base training, and I'll get through it. One loooong run to go.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

news roundup

Extremely happy to be home and nestled in my own lovely bed. A few things...

- this morning's swim was my first time swimming since my bike crash, exactly 3 months prior. It seems a very long time ago! I decided to take it easy and swim for only 15 minutes. My shoulder seems to have held up okay, though it feels a little extra tender tonight.

- I somehow managed to leapfrog several runners in my Nike+ challenge to rank 5th overall. Apparently everyone else has stopped running. Sure, I'll never catch up with #4, but I may be able to fend off #6 and 7!

- We received our waivers and bib numbers for the marathon -- 8211 and 8212! Here's hoping they follow the same corral placements as in previous years and we go in the first big corral in the red start.

- On the way home from the airport we stopped in at AAA to pick up... our Disney World trip stuff! It's feeling more and more real every day!

Did I mention that I'm happy to be home?

Palace Hotel Pool, 6:45 a.m.

Blissfully empty and quiet for my morning swim. Somehow managed to miss the glass roof in this picture. The only problem with this pool is that the exercise room -- and all the bored people on treadmills, ellipticals, recumbent bikes and such are staring straight at you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

runless weekend

Woke up on Friday feeling terrible -- I'd been stuffed up and restless all night. I was getting up to go to work, when Wil pointed out that I sounded and looked terrible. Oh. So I decided to call in sick, and spent most of the day in bed dozing and snorgling with the cats.

Still felt terrible on Saturday, which meant we didn't do our long run. Nor did we do it on Sunday. Accepted wisdom is that you *can* run with a cold, as long as it's "above your chest". Since it was my head that was stuffed up, I could have run... except I felt weak and woozy.

Flew to San Francisco yesterday, still feeling a bit under the weather, but had a quiet night in the hotel room and plenty of sleep, so I woke up feeling okay. I love running in new places, so I laced up and headed out to run along the Embarcadero.

The worst part was actually getting to the Embarcadero -- the lights are timed to stop pedestrians after each block, which made for slow going. But once I reached the bay, I was good to go. The sun was just coming up behind the Bay Bridge, so I ran with the sun at my back, past the Alcatraz ferries, past the SF Zinzanni, past Pier 39, past Fishermen's Wharf, and out to the spot where the open-water swimmers train. Brrrrr! Two of them were out there, swimming away. Yes, they're my heroes.

Turned around there and ran back the other direction; this time into the sun and a growing headwind. But I felt pretty good and just plodded slowly along. Had to dodge commuters at the Ferry Building, which was fun. I remember how I used to feel when runners passed me -- sorta inspired, intrigued. I wonder if anyone had those thoughts about me? (Probably not -- ha!)

Then the long, slow trek back up Mission to my hotel, the fabulous Palace. I swear, I have 20-foot ceilings in my room. And it's blissfully quiet here.

Anyway, feeling nervous about having missed the 20-mile run at the weekend. We have a 12K scheduled for Sunday (the 12Ks of Christmas), so I don't really fancy adding that much mileage. Maybe we'll just hope that our base miles have us "fit enough", and run a 20 miler on the 21st. It's getting very, very close...

SF Morning Run Pix

The SF Bay Bridge from the Embarcadero, 7:15 a.m.

Fishermen's Wharf, 7:35 a.m.

Open-water swimmers and the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance, 7:42 a.m.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

38 days and some 100 miles to the start...

Ran at the gym this afternoon -- got there quite early (3:30) because Wil's biometrics appointment was over more quickly than we expected. Then again, how long does it take to snap a couple of pictures and scan a person's hands? So the gym was stinky, warm, and very empty.

We're now 38 days from the marathon, and we have about 100 miles of running to do before the race. I'm already starting to wonder if we should get some new shoes and start breaking them in... And speaking of shoes, Wil and I had both privately been wondering what shoes to bring to walk around the parks in. I'm thinking Keens...