Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday LSD Run

Today was another of our famous Long Slow Distance runs.... 10 miles down to and around the Cheshiahud Loop. Wil was a superstar, as usual, and took off at such a fast pace that I thought I was going to be sick. This provided me with a great little distraction as we zipped along... "Ooh, I think I will be sick.... should I stop? Should I slow down? What happens if I do throw up? Well, I'll just keep going, I suppose... Ooh, might be sick... good to try and run through it... that would be very brave...."

Eventually, at around mile 3, my stomach had settled enough that I needed to find something else to distract me. Deliverance arrived in the form of a tiny French bulldog puppy, all fawn-colored (not even a dark face), accompanied by his humans -- two charming gentlemen strolling in their pajamas. The puppy spotted us, stopped cold, and when we got close, started running along with us. Adorable. I've never seen a Frenchie that color -- a lovely pale beige color, with a very sweet face. Adorable!

I spent the next mile or so imagining a doggie like that living with us, cuddling with the cats, wagging his tiny tail when we got home. But I don't think we have a dog-friendly lifestyle.

We rounded the bottom of the lake as the purple S.L.U. Trolley sped past us. I know that the sidewalk is set at a "safe distance" from the trolleys, but they do seem to come very close! Felt pretty strong until the "big hill" -- I ran halfway, but then stopped at the steep bit. Wil, however, powered all the way up. Bless.

Not much more to report -- we ran across the University Bridge, over to the Burke-Gilman Trail, and then through Fremont to home. Felt pretty strong the whole way, and very confident going in to Disneyland next weekend. Coast to Coast Medal here we come!

In only vaguely related news, I start my new job at Brooks on Monday -- very exciting!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Monday mileage

After seeing Wil off this morning for his bicycle commute, I had an idea. It's not very often than I REALLY feel like running. Usually I feel like I should run, or at least I know that I'll be really happy when I finish running. And often I just don't want to run.

We should have run this weekend -- but after a rough night with squabbling cats on Friday, we both woke up tired and worn out. And then on Sunday, we woke up to pouring rain -- the first real rain in weeks. So that kept us off the roads, too.

But this morning was glorious -- a perfect Seattle day. A little crisp, even chilly in the early morning, but the sky was clear and blue and the sun rising. I had a piece of toast and got myself ready to run.

The other day when I ran I filled up my Camelbak waist pouch and then discovered that it was soaked. I quickly decanted the remaining Powerade into Wil's Amphipod and ran with that instead. I do love that thing, even if it looks a bit too much like Batman's utility belt. Since I had forgotten to test the Camelbak (was it a leak? Or did I just not close it tightly?), I decided to run with the Amphipod again. (And have now decided that I should buy one for myself...)

I wasn't quite sure where -- or how long -- I wanted to run. I decided that I would run down to Fremont and, if feeling good, I would attempt the Lake Union loop. I'm happy to report that I felt great -- again, the cool morning certainly helped! I ran counter-clockwise around the lake, spending much of the time enjoying the weather, this beautiful city, and meeting a handful of runners, a few tourists, and a gaggle of commuters -- some waiting for the Trolley, others zipping past me on bikes.

By the time I reached the big hill, I was feeling loose and comfortable... but I still ended up walking up the hill. I reminded myself that this was a long, slow run, so I wanted to take it easy. Ran across the bridge and around the corner on to the Burke Gilman Trail.

I started to feel a bit tired... more bored than tired, really... but was happy to reach Gasworks Park and know that I only had a mile or so to go. I amused myself during this stretch by thinking about the renaissance fair we went to on Saturday (no, we weren't in costume...) and my surprise at being given dollar coins as change in the Red Dragon Pub. I had NO IDEA that there were new dollar coins coming out, or that they would have all the presidents on them. So being handed three golden coins with James Buchanan's face on them was pretty confusing. At first I thought that maybe they were souvenir "Fair" coins, but they had a very fine Statue of Liberty on the back, so I realized they were real. I know that I'm not exactly a numismatics geek or anything, but it was surprising to see a new coin in the flesh before I had even heard of it.

(Come to think about it, maybe it's no surprise at all? I remember the first time I saw the "new" $100 bill in Barcelona, with the great big "Jack Benny" Ben Franklin portrait on it, thinking it was counterfeit. And then the first time I saw one of those state quarters, with Cesar Romney on it. And of course the first time I saw the big-faced JEFFERSON nickel. Perhaps I just don't know anything about American currency...)

Plodded on until I had passed Fremont and reached the Fred Meyer, doing a tiny sprint and Rocky-style arms in the air at the 10-mile mark. Yeah, I'm that much of a dork.

It's hours later and I'm feeling surprisingly fresh... a little soreness in my knees, a little tenderness in my Achilles tendons, but otherwise okay. Think I'll take a rest day tomorrow, though...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8 miler

Went out for our long run today -- an 8-miler. Was thrilled that today was cool and misty -- my favorite running conditions. 60 degrees? Perfect.

I had plotted out a route up to the lookout then down to and across the locks, up to Gilman, then across Dravus and back across the Ballard Bridge, past the hate church and then home. Wil didn't want to end on an uphill, so we ran the other direction... which seemed to be ALL uphill... except for the very beginning, and the very end. Still, we plodded through it. I had a weird series of cramps in my right leg. First the right calf, then the right shin, and then the arch of my right foot. Weird. Clearly I just kept trying to shift my gait enough to stop one pain... and therefore created another.

Oh well. Took a little restroom break at the Locks, and then powered up the long long hill to the lookout. Managed not to hurl, but sucked plenty of wind. Oof.

We needed to do a few twists and turns to get to 8 miles, so ended up with some extra hills at the end... but made it home just fine. Next week we hit 10 -- which means we get to run my favorite running route -- down the trail to Fremont, around the lake, and then home. Yay!

Friday, August 6, 2010

NOT my hydration strategy for my next race...

Genius or idiot? Or an amazing mixture of both? Regardless, this story about an unusual approach to the San Francisco half marathon made me laugh out loud... And, no, I have no plans to ever attempt such a thing....

Monday, August 2, 2010

July recap, August plans

Well, I missed my mileage goal for July -- but at least I was close this month! I feel as if I have perhaps turned a corner and will be able to get myself moving again. I sure hope so!

I did, however, do well with my fundraising for Girls on the Run -- great to cross the $1000 mark already. There's still a long way to go, but I feel more positive about it than I did at the outset.

Other good things from July -- FINALLY getting the treadmill moved (though I STILL haven't gone up to Picnic when they're open to buy the thank-you bubbly!). Running my first Torchlight Run and actually enjoying it. Getting the NYC Marathon "Get Started Guide" in the mail, and knowing it was really going to happen!

August plans -- well, obviously more running. The mileage starts going up, with a 10-miler happening towards the end of the month, in preparation for the half marathon in early September. I need to get us back on a schedule -- NYC is less than 100 days away!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Torchlight Run

Since this is our year of Seafair, of course we had to do the Torchlight Run. Originally planned as a teambuilding event... for a team that no longer exists. So I was glad to have Wil as a running buddy.

Here's one thing I learned. If you go for a bike ride and spend the day in the sun drinking a couple of beers, you may not be at your best for an evening run.

We ran in to Brandon and a friend in the starting area and got an awesome pre-race photo:

It was rammed -- over 5000 runners in a city block -- and we had to climb over a fence to get into the starting corrals.

It stayed packed for the first several blocks -- past the park, up the road, and a few blocks... until, with a roar, we hit the parade route. Kinda fantastic to run down a road lined with cheering folks, little kids standing up to be high-fived, feeling a bit like a rock star.

This euphoria lasted for a few blocks... until I looked a block or so ahead and saw a man running at full speed, shouting "GET OUT OF THE WAY!!!".

Now, I had looked at the course online. I knew that the 5K was an out-and-back. But I didn't really think about how fast the leaders would be going, and that they would have long since turned the corner. And I should point out that I wasn't alone -- in fact, the entire width of the street was taken up by people running south... except for this lead pack of 3 people running north.

We shot over to the left, giving the leaders plenty of room, but others weren't as fast. I hadn't even seen the cones in the middle of the road. Oops. I was actually most worried about the little kids, who would have been smack in their path, but facing the other direction.

Anyway, we ran along the parade route, trying to avoid the oncoming crowds. The turnaround was well marked, but somehow a lot of people missed it. Still, it was much more fun once the 5K folk had turned back, so we could run along the whole route. Who doesn't love high-fiving strangers?

We ran down the hill toward the Viaduct -- fantastic in the evening.

Then a bit of out-and-back on the top of the Viaduct -- awesome. I had slowed WAAAAY down at this point... and of course we had to stop to take photos. Beautiful evening:

One lowlight -- at the water stop on top of the Viaduct I grabbed a big cup of Nuun... which apparently doesn't agree with me. About 5 minutes after drinking it I feared I would hurl. (Yeah, well, it wouldn't be the first time I lost it during a race!) So I just slowed down a bit more until I felt better.

We ran through the tunnel (why does everyone always speed up in a tunnel?), then out, around a corner, and a sprint to the finish. There was a huge bottleneck at the chip collection point... and huge huge lines to get into the beer garden (beer p-patch?). So we grabbed some goodies and headed home.

Overall, a fun race -- great to run on the parade route, great to run on the viaduct, fun to see so many people in costume, fun event shirt (even if it wasn't the "pirate tuxedo...". Not sure I need to run it again, but I'm glad to have finally run Seattle's classic running event.