Tuesday, November 27, 2012

All I Want For Christmas Is...

Since it’s almost Christmas and I have been a…mostly…good runner girl, I thought I would post my Christmas List in case some of you out there would like to get this runner girl a present.

Obviously, I still believe in Santa if I think that’s gonna happen. But you never know. ;)

All I want for Christmas is…
  1. Long run fuel that tastes exactly like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup and gives me all the energy I need WITHOUT upsetting my stomach.
  2. Perfect race photos EVERY time in which I’m smiling and look super fast and hard core. And my eyes are open.
  3. Legs as fast as a CHEETAH and as nimble/quick as a Mountain Goat.
  4. The sexiest pair of sunglasses ever with built in GPS that display my pace, time, and distance on the lens AND maps when I need it. Oh, and take pictures/video of where I’m running.
  5. An EMP superpower that allows me to stop the engines/electronics of any and all cars that cut me off, try to run me over, make rude comments, or are just plain dumbasses.
  6. MAGIC running shoes that change color to fit my mood, last forever, are super light, have great traction, and protect my feet on rocky trails.
  7. A sponsor OR job that requires me to run and race A LOT to test out new gear and courses.
  8. LIFETIME supply of burritos and pancakes.
  9. DOG to go running with.
  10. My very own RUNNER BOY who doesn’t care that I race and travel a lot, who will crew me during my 100s, and is faster than me so he’ll push me to be faster but there’s still the chance that I COULD beat him if I wanted to. Oh, and he does not have to look like Daniel Craig, Hugh Jackman, or Matthew McConaughey…but if he did, I wouldn’t complain. And the accent could stay. ;)
 So that’s my list. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for, do you?

Who wants to lay odds on my chances of getting any of these? After all, I have been really, really good...see...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

San Dimas Turkey Trot Race Report

Today, I ran my 3rd race this week and it was the most disappointing of the 3. This was the 4th year I've run the San Dimas Turkey Trot 10K and for the last 2 years, I've improved my times. Last year I did it in 54:55 and was 4th in my Age Group. I thought I might be a little slower this year but thought I would be pretty close to that time. Wishful thinking, as it turns out.

The Turkey Trot takes place in my favorite place to run - Bonelli Park. I love running there and this is a fun 10K because it's hilly, with some dirt, a stream crossing, and of course lots of trees. I always sing or think of "Over the River and Through the Woods" while doing this race. It's the perfect place to hold a Turkey Trot.

The race is also fun because they have a costume contest and encourage runners to dress as turkeys, pilgrims, or Indians. I have a costume that I wore for Halloween a couple of years ago and I decided that I would wear it today. Since I have short hair, I decided to wear the wig that came with it.

I did a 1.5 mile warm up in it and it seemed okay so I decided it was a go for the Turkey Trot. I felt good about this and ready to race!

The race started at 8 and it was already starting to feel warm. The 5K and the 10K start together but split off almost immediately so it was crowded but there was room to run. We start off on an uphill but then have a nice downhill through then next 2 miles. I think I ran an 8:50/9:00 min pace for the first 2 miles. I was still keeping up that pace when we hit the stream at mile 2.5. There wasn't very much water in it so I just plowed through instead of trying to hop rocks. After that it was an uphill to the turnaround at mile 3.5. I think this is where I started to slow. We were out of the shade of the trees and I was starting to feel hot in the wig and the dress and just losing steam.

After the turnaround, we had a little downhill and I got back some of my energy and then we hit the next big hill and I ran it but didn't have it in me to storm up it so more time slid away from me. I was carrying water and drinking it like it was going out of style but still feeling hot. Then thankfully we had a nice downhill again before the last little hill. At the top of that hill, it was mile 5 so it was just 1.2 miles to the finish and it was all downhill.

I knew I was not going to be close to last year's time but was hoping I would be under an hour. But I looked down at my garmin and it said 59 and change and I hadn't even hit the 6 mile sign yet. Though at that point my garmin already said 6.2 miles. So I crossed the finish line at 1:01:41 (6.5 miles per my garmin so 8 miles for the day) and was pretty disappointed. That was not my best run at all but at least I got a medal!

Yeah, yeah, I know I'm being hard on myself. I know that I just ran a marathon last Sunday and did my first 10 Mile race on Thanksgiving and I'm still bruised from the fall in that race but I thought I was Wonder Woman!!!

Anybody got some cheese to go with my whine? I know I should be happy that I can run at all. I should be happy that I can do as much as I've been doing without getting hurt. Well, except for when I fall. I should be happy that I'm a solid, little workhorse that gets it done. And I am. Mostly. But damn it! I want to be a thoroughbred! I want to be sleek and fast. I want it all. Why am I not getting there? Will I ever get there?

I have one week until the Death Valley Trail Marathon. I'm going to hope for a Christmas miracle. ;)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Day Classic Race Recap

I am so full. I ate way too much today. But today was a good day...despite one mishap.

I've been doing a local 10K Turkey Trot for the past 3 years but it's on Saturday so I've never raced on Thanksgiving before. When I figured out that I would be spending Thanksgiving in Arizona, I looked to see if there were any races I could do and I found the Arizona Road Racers Thanksgiving Day Classic. There was a 10 Miler and a 5K and I decided to sign up for the 10 Miler. I've never run a 10 Mile race before so it would be an automatic PR! The only thing was that I didn't know how I would feel after the Flying Monkey Marathon.

Turns out, I was a little bit sore and tired but not too bad. I felt like I could put in a good run at the 10 Miler, probably between 1:30/1:40. I just wasn't sure how hard I wanted to run it since I have my usual 10K Turkey Trot on Saturday too. The first time I've ever done 3 races in one week. I kinda sorta am floored that I'm in this place in my life right now where I can run a marathon, a 10 miler, and a 10K all in the same week. You know?

So, this morning I got up and ate and got ready and then drove over to the Peoria Sports Complex. I got there way early so got my shirt and bib and then went back to the car to stay warm. When it got close to race time, I headed over to the start and while I was waiting there, I saw RIF #66 Robert (@bateluer) and met some of his friends. Then it was race time so we headed to the start line.

The race was supposed to start at 8 but we didn't start until 8:15. It was supposed to be a warm, sunny day but it was cool when we started. The course was a lollipop course with most of it along the river bike path, all paved except one tiny section from the road to the bike path. It was also flat except for the little bumps when we went under and then over the street overpasses.

I decided I felt pretty good and was hoping for a 9:15/9:20 avg. I kept that up for most of it and felt like I could maintain it or pick it up at the end. I was carrying water so didn't have to stop at any aid stations. I was waiting for mile 7 and then going to pick it up for the last 3 miles.

The plan went really well until just past mile 8 when BAM...I caught my foot on a rock next to the path and did a spectacular diving fall into the pavement. My first thought was OW. And my 2nd thought was CRAP, MY TIME! I'd hit both knees, my left elbow, and my left hand but the scrapes didn't look too bad and I felt like I could run. Two runners stopped to make sure I was okay and I told them yes and then started running again. I'd lost a couple of minutes and I slowed down a little in those last 2 miles but I thought I could still make 1:35 so I picked a couple of runners in front of me and tried to catch them.

I crossed the finish line just as the clock turned over to 1:35 but I think I was under that since I didn't start near the front. So I'm pretty sure my time was 1:34 something and I am pretty happy with that. I was a little slower than I'd hoped but not too much slower.

After I finished, I grabbed some water, banana, and chips and wandered around a little so I wouldn't stiffen up then went to my car to clean up. My knees weren't too bad but when I took off my arm sleeves, I saw that my left elbow had taken the brunt of the fall and it was a mess. Oh, and my brand new Run It Fast shirt was a mess - dirt, and concrete, and blood. Damn it! I have got to talk Josh (@bayou) into ordering black shirts.

I drove back to my sister's, stopping at Wal-Greens for band-aids along the way, and then got ready for Thanksgiving. Yeah, that shower was not fun! And I really wanted to spend the day icing my knee and elbow but didn't get a chance to until this evening. I am a little stiff but I think I'll be okay to run the 10K on Saturday. I hope.

At dinner, we went around the table and each said what we were thankful for. Of course, I said I was thankful for the fun times I had with the munchkins and being able to spend Thanksgiving in AZ but in my mind, I thought "I'm thankful I didn't break anything today!". :)

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving! Thanks for reading!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Flying Monkey Marathon Race Recap

This past weekend, I flew to Nashville, Tennessee to run my 9th Marathon – The Harpeth Hills Flying Monkey Marathon in Percy Warner Park. It was my second trip to Tennessee and I was excited because I’d heard so much about the Flying Monkey from my Run It Fast friends who have run it before. The race has a cult following and after running it, I can totally see why! It was hard, hilly, beautiful, and a lot of fun.

So yeah, I picked another race with hills. I guess I’ll never learn! 

The Flying Monkey is THE race that gave me the idea for my Year of Animal Racing in 2012. I knew I wanted to sign up for it this year so I figured why not do as many animal races as I could find. Wouldn’t you know, since last year sold out so fast (in less than 4 minutes), this year RIF #57 Trent (@hhflyingmonkey), the RD, did a lottery. Let me tell you, I used every wish possible to get into the Monkey. And luckily…or not so luckily as the race veterans would say, I got in! 

Since the Flying Monkey is the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I decided to take Mon-Wed off of work (we get Thanksgiving and Friday as paid holidays). The plan was I’d drive to Arizona, fly out to Nashville on Saturday, race and have fun, fly back to AZ on Monday and then stay thru Thanksgiving with my family there. So on Friday after work, I drove to my dad’s. Spoiled daughter alert…my dad got up with me at 3:45 on Saturday so he could take me to the airport for my 6:20 am flight. Thanks dad! Love ya!

My first flight was to Chicago and we had a tailwind so we were almost 30 minutes early. And then my flight from Chicago to Nashville was early too. Sweet! The weekend was off to a great start! This was a good sign for the race the next day. After I landed, I got my rental car and then drove over to the race expo to pick up my packet. Totally sweet swag with my bib. Not one but TWO shirts (one tech and one cotton one), a sticker, and a magnet (which was perfect for my magnet collection).

So cool that my tech shirt has my name on it, er Coyote on it! And I love the Banana in Black shirt too.

I also picked up Josh’s (@bayou) packet and RIF #151 Chris’s packet since Josh would be doing the early start and Chris and I were going to see him off. Then I went to the hotel…and then went for an easy 5K run. Probably shouldn’t have but wanted to keep the run streak alive. I’m a nut, I know. But it was a good run. Then I showered and got ready and headed to the pre-race dinner at a little Italian place in downtown Nashville. 

There was a good turnout at the dinner and the food was good, especially the pizza. And there was monkey cake! Woo! There were 4 other RIF Club Members there, RIF #124 Michelle (@MarathonMomof6) who I met at the Leading Ladies Marathon, and then I got to meet RIF #13 Mikki, RIF #44 Heather, and RIF #9 Jess. I also got to meet Houston (@houstonwolf) who I know from FB/Twitter. Michelle was our hostess for the dinner and she did a great job. She gave out door prizes and I won a barrel of monkeys!

After the dinner, I went to the store to buy breakfast and water and goodies to take to the race. Then I got my gear ready and went to bed. I slept pretty well and woke up at 4:45 to eat and shower and get ready. I left the hotel at 5:55…and had to wait 5 minutes for the ice on the car windows to melt! Holy smokes it was cold. I wasn’t expecting it to be that cold. This So Cal girl does NOT like cold like that. I drove over to the park to meet Josh and Chris. Luckily, Josh had the Tahoe running and the heater was blasting so we could stay warm while he got ready. Then it was almost race time for him so we got out and headed over to the start. I met RIF #187 Daniel for the first time. There were about 30 early starters, including RIF #159 Diane who I’d also met at the Leading Ladies Marathon, and they started at 6:30. Brave souls were facing the monkeys without support until 8 when the official race started but I think they all made it out alive! Josh ended up running a 3:49 which is awesome! I saw him a few times on the course but didn’t get to see him after the race because he had to head back to Jackson for a funeral.

Once the early starters were off, I hung out with Chris and Daniel and then met RIF #182 Clark. Then I went and got ready myself, hit the porta potties, and went back to the start. All the RIFers I’d met so far were there and then I met a few more – RIF #181 Donna, RIF #189 Marlene, RIF #186 Danny, and RIF #34 Leah (@leahthorvilson). We took a couple of group pictures and then it was time to race!

Ok, so the Flying Monkey has hills. And not just one or two but pretty much all 26.2 miles you are going either up or down. It’s in Percy Warner Park and it’s on roads thru the park with just a little bit of grass at the start and at the end. There were a few cars and some cyclists in there with us but for the most part, we had the roads to ourselves. It is a beautiful park and the last bit of fall was hanging on so the trees and the scenery were gorgeous. I did get distracted a few times from that.

It was also cool listening to the birds and other animals while we were in there. At one point, late in the race there was no one else around and listening to everything going on made me think of the beginning/end of Pirates of the Caribbean and I thought, “yeah, this was an E ticket ride”. :) Also, I’m pretty sure I heard monkeys a few times but never saw them! Which is kind of disappointing but probably for the best since I’m not sure I could have survived both a monkey attack and the hills!

My plan for the race was to just have fun. I didn’t think I would be speedy coming off last week’s Malibu Marathon. I didn’t taper for the Monkey (ran 10 K, 8 miles, 5K, 8 miles, 10K, and 5K Mon-Sat) either but was still feeling really good and ready to run. 

MILES 1-13
These miles seem to fly by. I ran most of the hills and walked some of the steeper parts. There was man I leap frogged with the entire race. I’d pass him going up the hills and he’d pass me on the downhills. I got to talk to a few other runners and ran with Donna for a little bit. You could hear the aid stations thru the trees and that made it fun too. The volunteers on the course were awesome, very enthusiastic and helpful.  There were also fun signs along the course to help pass the time but like I said, the miles flew by. I did the first half in about 2:27. I had visions of a 5 hour finish at this point. But the Monkey had a different plan for me. 

MILES 13-20
After the halfway point, my stomach started getting grumbly. Not gurgly, sloshy like it sometimes gets but it wasn’t happy. I was drinking GuBrew /S Caps combination (I add 3 S caps to the mix so I don’t have to keep popping them on the course) and I don’t think that bothered me so I’m not sure what happened there. It didn’t slow me too much until I got close to mile 18. We had a nice little downhill going to the aid station there and instead of enjoying it, my stomach rebelled furiously. I couldn’t remember if there were porta potties there but felt like I needed one quick but there wasn’t one there. After the aid station, we headed for a good uphill and I decided to walk most of it to see if that helped settle my stomach and it did help some. At least it settled to a point where I didn’t have to worry about having an accident anymore, if you know what I mean. I popped an S Cap hoping the extra salt would help and maybe it did. The runners thinned out in the second half but I didn’t mind. It was cool and a little breezy and the sun thru the trees was amazing. Seriously, if you’re gonna do hills, pick a beautiful course and then you won’t notice. Well, not much anyway. ;)

MILES 20-26.2
My stomach felt better after the walking bouts between 18-20 so I was able to run a little better after that.  I was zapped of energy but nothing hurt and no blisters that I could tell. Just a 10K left so might as well run, right? Let me tell you, I sure was glad the course was marked and there were people directing us on the course because I had no idea where I was most of the time! I worried that if I got lost in there, I’d never make it out and I’d be monkey food for sure. But I didn’t get lost and just kept moving forward. I never once doubted I would finish but was a little sad to see the 5 hour goal slip by. Then my next target was 5:15 so I used that to make myself run when I felt like walking. I was tired and ready to be done! I wanted that medal! :) So the miles kept slipping by and then there was only 5K left and then only 2 miles and then finally it was the last mile and I could hear the finish. I knew everyone could see me coming across/down the hill in the grass so I mostly concentrated on not tripping in the grass. I did not need hundreds of witnesses for a face plant at the end. Or grass stains on my sparkly new white RIF shirt. I’d never live it down.

And then I was in the last turn to the finish and then there was the finish and I was done! 5:16 and change. My first Flying Monkey Marathon! I’d survived and had one kill under my belt. I got my Monkey Medal! Woo!

I also got a beer glass…

I’m pretty happy with the 5:16. I know I didn’t run the Monkey as hard as I could have. I have a 10 mile Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving and a 10K Turkey Trot on Saturday so I did want to save a little bit for those. One or the other I hope to run hard but I’m not sure which yet. Maybe the 10K. Anyway, I think I ran pretty smart and would have had a better time if not for my stomach. Stupid stomach! 

After I finished, I saw RIF #79 Dallas and he put the medal on me and congratulated me. I went to the car to change my shoes and clean up a bit and then went back to race for the rest of the festivities. I met a couple more RIFers, #165 David (@DavidRoadRunner) and #206 Gary and then hung out and talked to some of the other runners while we waited for the awards and door prizes (I won the Monkey gloves pictured with the beer glass above!) to be handed out. I also grabbed a plate of food. I’m not sure that was the smartest idea but I needed food and thought maybe real food would help my stomach. No beer for me, but I sat with Dallas and Jess in the beer corral for a while and visited. 

When my stomach started acting up again, I decided it was time to head out and get a hotel for the night. I drove over to Nashville and got a room near the airport, rested a while, showered, and then headed out for some dinner. I’d asked at the hotel for some recommendations and they suggested a little place near Opryland, which I wanted to visit too. It was a placed called Caney Fork and I had the BBQ Pork sandwich and fries. I could have probably eaten the whole BBQ Pork plate but I wanted to save room for ice cream! Oh, and they served up a free appetizer of hush puppies so you know this girl was happy. I did not get a pic of the hush puppies because I may have inhaled them. Man, it’s a good thing I can’t get those at home!

I walked off dinner by walking over to Opryland. It was a cool but beautiful night and Opryland was already decorated for Christmas so it was awesome.

Inside was pretty darn cool too with lights and wreaths and poinsettias and Christmas decorations everywhere. I checked out the lobbies and the atriums and the shops and stopped for some Butter Pecan ice cream. Yummy! 

And then I was one tired runner girl so I walked back to my car and headed back to the hotel. I packed my bags for the flight home last night and I got so much Monkey Loot, I had a hard time getting my bag closed! That’s what I’m talking about! That’s exactly why this is cult race. Not only do you get cool swag but Trent goes that extra step with the small details like our names on the bibs and shirts. I WOULD recommend this race but that might make it harder for me to get in again so don’t run it! It’s really hard and there are scary flying monkeys that love to eat runners for breakfast! Don’t do it! ;)

Anyway…I flew back to AZ this morning (this flight arrived early to so I had a VERY lucky travel weekend) so it was a quick trip but it was jam packed with friends and meeting RIFers and adventure and hills…and a little running. ;) My kind of weekend!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Malibu Marathon Recap

I signed up for the Malibu Half Marathon back in July. I wasn’t sure how my legs would feel 2 weeks after my first 100 miler and I thought the half marathon would be a safer bet. But since I only (!) did 100K at JJ and I did a lot of walking, my legs didn’t get that beat up. I started thinking about switching to the full marathon at Malibu but the website said you could only switch up until October 15th. Just in case, I decided to email the RD and ask if I still could. You for sure don’t get what you want if you don’t ask and sometimes it works out when you do so it doesn’t hurt to ask! That’s my motto anyway. :) The RD said I still could so I did! Woo! Marathon #8…here I come!

My family was coming into town for the weekend for my aunt’s 65th birthday on Saturday but I had to pick up my bib in Malibu that day and that meant I would miss out on time spent with them. Either by making a 4 hour round trip in the morning or by going in the afternoon and missing the party. But then score…Josh (@bayou) went to pick up his bib on Friday and they let him pick up mine too so I didn’t have to miss out on family time. So Saturday was spent hanging out with my sister, brother-in-law, and the M&Ms and then the rest of the family at the party. Birthday cake is carbs, right?

Josh and I were riding over to the race together and we decided 4am would be a good time to pick him up. We had to be at Zuma beach before 5:30am when the last bus to the race start left. Since it was going to be a REALLY early morning, I decided to go to bed early and actually went to sleep around 9pm. But then I woke up at 12:40 and couldn’t go back to sleep. :( Which sucked. But on the plus side, I didn’t sleep thru my alarm!

Finally, about 2:30 am I got up and took a shower and then started getting ready – ate, got dressed, etc. I got to Josh’s just before 4 and then we drove over to Zuma where we finished up getting ready and then boarded the bus. Oh, the bus was nice and toasty! The ride over was nice but too bad it was in the dark so we couldn’t enjoy the view. Mostly, it was spent just listening to the other runners talk and Josh snoring next to me. ;)

We were on the second bus so when they dropped us off at the start, I immediately jumped in line for the port-a-potties since the lines were short. Then it was just a matter of waiting around for the start of the race. It was cold and they were offering ponchos while we waited but I didn’t get one. I should have though because the race was supposed to start at 7 but we ended up not starting until 7:30 because of some last minute bib distributions. :(

But finally, it was 7:30 and we were off!

Ok, this was the plan…since I’d run 100K two weeks ago and the Flying Monkey Marathon was in 1 week (and it’s got some hills), I decided I wasn’t going to race Malibu hard. I figured I would run it relatively easy and finish between 4:30 and 4:45. I knew there were some hills at the end but I figured I would hit that time pretty well.This is the course map:

MILES 1-13
These miles were okay. I, of course, went out too fast (around 10 min miles for the first 2) but finally settled down and ran about a 10:30 pace after that. The course was flat thru the first half and was a little boring, mostly farm fields to look at. The race wasn’t very big and I did talk to some people while we ran but too many runners were wearing head phones so that made it hard. At one point the race ambulance was coming by and I shouted at a girl running slightly in front of me to move back to our side of the road to let it go by and she never heard me. She didn’t move over til they blasted their siren real quick. I get wearing music but not so loud you can’t hear anything going on around you.

I felt pretty good thru the first half. My right foot was bothering me a little but it wasn’t getting worse so I didn’t worry about it. I think it was because of the slant in the road so I tried to run on the flattest parts I could find. I was carrying a water bottle filled with GuBrew but did get water at almost every aid station. I walked a little thru them because I am terrible at drinking from those little cups. I usually end up with more on me than in me. But the aid stations in the first half were every couple of miles so it wasn’t that much walking.

MILES 13-19
Finally, we hit Pacific Coast Highway and we could hear, see, and smell the ocean. It was a stunningly gorgeous day in So Cal, the kind they put on postcards. There was a little bit of cooling breeze too. The high for the day was 68 so it never got too hot but the breeze still felt great.

These miles passed pretty quickly. I still felt good and I was just enjoying the view. I kind of lost track of miles in this section. Just running and trying to keep myself reigned in. Once we hit the half way point, I was thinking “only a half left, you do that all the time”. But I remembered I had bigger fish to fry in a week so kept it steady. Then when we went past mile 16, I thought “only 10 miles left, you do that all the time”.

MILES 19-24
When we hit mile 19, the hills started. They weren’t big but it’s really not nice to put hills at the END of a marathon, you know? Especially one I’m running easy and for fun. ;) Since I was ahead of schedule, I walked them a little but I still passed a lot of people in these miles. I ran out of GuBrew around mile 19 so after that I hit every aid station for water. I HAD to make sure I was hydrated properly although I felt like I was really hydrated because I still hadn’t lost the PMS water weight I’d gained (who knew that could be an advantage?) Anyway, I also grabbed a couple of pretzels for the salt at one aid station and a little bit of orange at another. I never hit the wall during this marathon so I obviously did a good job of carbo loading with cake on Saturday! And eating a good breakfast on Sunday. And I changed to a different GuBrew that was 250 calories instead of the 150 I usually do. All that was enough to get me thru without a drop in energy.

Oh, when we got to mile 20, I thought “only 10K left, you do that all the time”. And at mile 23.1, I thought “just 5K left, you do that all the time!” ;) I’ve done this at every marathon I’ve run. It seems less daunting this way and besides, how many times have we run 5K or 10K when we were tired or sick? I use that to remind myself that I CAN do it because I’ve done it before. It works for me anyway.

MILES 24-26.2
Then I was at the top of the last hill and it was all downhill to the finish. Woo! I flew down the hill and it was so awesome to hear the announcer and the music because I was ready to celebrate! I rounded the curve to the finish and there was Josh, cheering me on, and then out of the corner of my eye I see 2 guys trying to pass me so I sped up! But they still passed me. :( Darn it! LOL, but I was happy because the clock said 4:42ish and I’d made my 4:45 goal. :)

They gave me my medal:

Pretty cool, eh? And then they gave me by finisher’s beach towel (no shirt for this race but the towel instead):

Also cool, don’t you think?

Then I went to find Josh. He was lying on the ground next to the photographer, relaxing and watching the runners come in. I wanted to lie down too but I thought if I did that, I might not get up again. My legs were tight so I tried to stretch out my hamstrings but my legs were shaking too. We headed out onto the beach to take our post race photos and then went to get something to eat from the food trucks there. Then we took the LONG, LONG, LONG walk back to the car. Which was probably good for my legs but I was tired! But we eventually made it back to the car and I took Josh home and then drove over to my mom’s. Celebration dinner at my mom’s was chile con carne with rice, beans, and tortillas and then apple pie a la mode for dessert!

Marathon #8 was done! I had a great run and I'm pretty happy with my time. Especially with it being just 2 weeks after doing 100K at Javelina Jundred. My legs felt a little sore on Monday and today but I felt great on my 10K run yesterday and the 8 miler I did today. Not sluggish at all! What a trip! My foot bothered me for a while on Sunday but I used biofreeze on it and it's been fine since. I have come a long way since my first marathon! This was not my fastest marathon but it for sure wasn't my slowest. :)

I saw a post from Athlinks about how race times have slowed over the past 4 years and they asked the readers if theirs had too. For sure mine are faster now...4 years ago, I wasn't even running! I've come a long way, baby! ;)

Thursday, November 8, 2012

If I Had To Choose

If you follow my blog, you know there are two things that I love in this world. Well, there are a lot actually but the 2 foods I love the most are pancakes and burritos. If I had to live on them for the rest of my life, I could. No problem. But IF I had to choose...

I would choose burritos. I know, that's kind of cheating in a way because a burrito can have almost anything in it. For me, the 3 main ingredients are a tortilla, beans, and cheese and everything else is just a bonus.

For breakfast, I could have a burrito with scrambled eggs, potatoes, beans, and cheese.

For lunch, I could have a burrito with rice, beans, and cheese.

For dinner, I could have a burrito with steak, beans, and cheese.

Or mix them up with chorizo, chicken, carnitas...whatever sounds good...or just the good ole plain bean & cheese burrito. Or throw in some vegetables if I'm feeling guilty. See what I mean? You could totally live on burritos. Or at least I could.

As an added bonus, they're easy to carry for my bike or run commute!

The other day, I ran across an old address from my first apartment and it took me back 20 years to when I first moved out on my own. I was barely making enough to cover my apartment, utilities (sometimes), gas, and insurance and often times had very little left for food for me and my dog. Luckily, Tiny was a small dog and didn't eat a lot.

Sometimes, all I could afford was dog food for her and a bag of pinto beans for me for the week. And maybe some tortillas. Or if I was really lucky, my grandma would send me some. Anyway, I'd cook up the beans and that's what I would have for lunch and dinner that week (I didn't eat breakfast back then).

Yeah, I ate a LOT of beans. You'd think I would have gotten tired of them but I never did. Maybe because they are a part of my heritage and have been a staple at meals my whole life? Maybe because they are tied to happy memories of going to my grandma's house after school where she would make me a burrito for a snack? Seriously, NOTHING beats homemade tortillas fresh off the griddle with some home cooked beans. NOTHING.

Eventually, I started earning enough that I could buy "real" food for lunch and dinner (still wasn't eating breakfast though). Sadly, with more money in my pockets, I started eating out for every meal and McDonalds and Carl's and I became "fast" friends and that's when my weight really ballooned. Blimp size ballooned. The more money I had the more junk food I bought. In a way, I was better off with no money. Weight-wise, at least.

It's kind of ironic that now that I am back to a healthy weight, burritos have become my go to choice for lunch again, don't you think? Oh sure, I bought burritos back then too but I usually had them with fries and they were BIG. The ones I eat now are smaller and healthier although some would say the tortilla and cheese kind of negate that. I say...my grandpa is 89 and walks ever day and my great grandfather lived to 100 (and had a girlfriend when he died) and they ate tortillas every day of their life. So there.

Anyway...yeah...I run for burritos. Because really? Is a life without burritos worth living? I think not. ;)

Have a great weekend and good luck if you're racing! I will be running the Malibu Marathon on Sunday and I will be having pancakes or a burrito after to celebrate! :)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The New Plan

I've decided that my next 100 miler attempt will be the Prairie Spirit Trail 100 in Kansas in March. I haven't signed up for it yet but I hope to before the end of the year.

So, with that in mind, I've been working on my plan for it. It still needs a lot of work. I've got most of the rest of 2012 figured out, except for maybe switching around some midweek long runs. I have some ideas for 2013 as well.This is what it looks like so far:

Yes, I'm a total geek. I like to color code...everything!
Yellow - ultra
Blue - marathon
Green - half marathon
Purple - 10K
Red - 5K
Orange - Other

Oh, and if a race has an asterisk, then I want to do it but I haven't signed up for it yet. And the far right column is the # of that type of race it will be (numbers/stats geek!).

You can see 2013 is kind of sparse so far. I need to work out back-to-back long run combos and concentrate on that so there will be less racing in 2013 except for big races. I do want to add a marathon/50K between Across The Years and Ray Miller 50 and then another one around 2/17 or 2/24. Or even a 12 hour would be good. If you know of any good ones around there, let me know!

My weekly mileage is not as high as what I did for JJ100 but I will have more long runs and hopefully at least 3 50 or + runs in my legs. And I really, really need to get those back-to-back long runs in this time! Really!

I switched up to the marathon at Malibu for this weekend. Oops. ;) But I think I'm good for it. The reason I didn't sign up for it in the first place was I didn't know how hard JJ would be on me. But since I only did 100K there...and a lot of it was walking, I think I'm ready. We'll see! Anyway, it will kick off an intense month or so of racing. Yikes! But they are more fun races than racing races so it shouldn't be too bad. I hope.

Wish me luck!