Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Setting up 2010...

Finished 2009 in Vegas...13 marathons for the year (18 marathons total) and 4 halves (1o total I think)...lots of life changes for me and more to come in 2010...
No-one ever said running 13 marathons in a year was easy...
BUT then again I might take that over LIFES stuff...ANYDAY!
Need to get healthy mentally now....and get back in the race....

2010....here I come!

My goal is to end 2010 an Ironman...this I know will be my biggest challenge athletically EVER. My focus needs to be onl June 27th in CDA, Idaho....where it all starts for me in the water...I need to learn how to love the swim by then...I need to force myself to get in the water and just do what my coach tells me to do...I like it when it's over...it's a matter of getting there...Just like things in life...sometimes you have to do what you don't want to cuz it's painful...and sometimes when you do what you want to it's equally as painful....
SO...here I go....

My journey to Ironman is the REAL DEAL for me...the little races along the way are to keep me inspired, competitive and in check...I like to race...what can I say?

RACE Line Up 2010:
2/7/2010 Surf City Half Marathon http://www.runsurfcity.com/
March, 2010 TBD OR nothing.....?
4/19/2010 Boston Marathon http://www.bostonmarathon.org/
4/23-4/24/2010 Ragnar Relays, So Cal -Big Sur Challenge is OUT... :(
5/2/2010 Wildflower http://www.tricalifornia.com/index.cfm/WildFlower2010-main.htm
June 27th, 2010 IRONMAN Couer D'Alene http://www.ironmancda.com/
July 11th, 2010 Jungle Run...GOING to get my Monkey I was shimmed out of!
August 14th, 2010 Idaho Springs, Half Marathon...My Birthday...
August 27th http://www.hoodtocoast.com/
September TBD
October, 9th 2010 http://www.levisgranfondo.com/
November TBD
December TBD

** Subject to change...and add ons! haha....

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Las Vegas RnR race report...

First let me start by saying...I AM BOSTON bound...I got that taken care of! Woo Hoo!

Saturday December 5th...Board the plane to Vegas! MY last race of 2009...NEED to make it count. NEED to PR! On the plane I make the perfect play list and look forward to hooking up with all my peeps at the airport in Vegas when I land!
packed 7 peeps in a 5 seater...FUNNY!

Arrive early into Vegas..MY sister & her friend Karen, Monica, my cousin John and his buddies all connect! AND off to the MGM we go! Check in...2 rooms between the 7 of us race night...ONLY 1 room ready! We all head up to the 1 ready room and walk in to find maintenance caulking the sink in the bathroom...NEW room assignment...throw all our bags in the room! Head to Mandalay Bay to the expo!
Monica and I with our free Wynn Beanies on! DORKS!


Cold walk to the expo....check in get our bibs, etc....met up with some cool twitter people..and then headed for a little lunch! More cool twitter people...back to the hotel...get gear ready..laid out..YOU know the geeky stuff us runners do!Dinner for 16 at Fammia in the MGM...YES...all the cool twitter people, my sis, Mon, the John's and George...GOOD times...Dinner for me CHICKEN and salad...NOT enough chicken. NEEDED a whole chicken...a few stellas and then back to the room to go NIGHT NIGHT!

Alarm goes off at 4:15AM...UGH! I hate 6:15AM start times..throw our gear on...choke down half a bagel and big starbucks coffee...AND off to the start me and my crew head!

HERE's the deal..IT was 30 out and it felt like 25 to me. I planned for the cold so I was OK....walking over to the start helped get us warmed up...My sister and her friend Karen's first half marathon so she had to take pictures of all of us, etc...They were walking it...realizing we only had 25 mins til race start Monica and I headed to corral #2 with the 3 boys who were in corral #1! My cousin John wanted to PR the course and Q for Boston again...the boys lined up with the 3:10 pace group and Monica and I hung back a little in the front of corral #2!

A fake Celine Deon sang the national anthem...countdown...
wheelchairs were off!
Then corral 1...then Monica and I were off!

I had a race plan...I sharpied it on my arm...I knew exactly how I was supposed to race Vegas...BUT of course at mile one when I looked down at my watch and realized I just ran a 6:40 mile...and lost Monica...I needed to regroup and slow the heck down...I finally got back on pace and my first 10k was right on pace....made the turn out to mile 13 and was still feeling pretty good...hit the first half exactly on pace...and then something happened...

I hit a wall...wasn't feeling it...and wasn't loving what I was doing...wished at one point I quit with the half runners...wanted to DNF for the first time in my life...WTF? Mentally I wasn't where I needed to be to push thru for a PR...the mind games started...miles 16 to 20 were complete CRAP! My calves cramped and also a steady incline that made me question this sport...Mile 18'ish I saw my cousin John who was ahead of the 3:10 pace group...at that moment I prayed that he would get the PR, BQ and take any MOJO I had in me...
I knew I was Boston bound anyway....

Mile 20 I got my race back..and I was still pacing for a sub 3:28...my body was tired..my quads not loving me...I picked up some speed on the gradual descent...hit mile 24, an overpass that was a hill...and I walked...NOT to mention from mile 20 on I walked every aid station..NO lie. I needed the recovery for my legs. Mile 25 winded around the back side of Mandalay Bay...
which was ugly and I walked a little...
hit mile 26 and decided to get my crap together and get the race done! HAHA!

Finished at a 3:37 and some change! Didn't care about not PR'ing...still a good race time. COULD have been faster...for sure. Placed 16th in my AG and 129th female finisher overall!

Here is what I learned in Vegas...13 marathons in one year is retarded...
you can't PR every race when you are running that many in a year.
I also learned that if you are NOT mentally in the race you are screwed...
and I learned that what is happening in your personal life affects how you train and race...
sometimes it's better to back off, regroup and make a new plan.

SO...my plan for 2010 is Boston for a PR! Ironman to finish under 12 hours...
and some tri's and 13.1's in there too.

SOME GREAT races by my peeps in VEGAS:Align Center
Cousin John... 3:09:49 Boston Q! PR!
George...3:09:50 Boston! He only trained for 7 weeks BTW!
Jared...3:07 Boston Bound and a PR!
Monica....2:00 for the half...NO training! LOL
Teresa, my sis and her pal Karen...3:24 walking the half! First 1/2 marathon ever!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Getting it DONE..Big Sur..race report…

The plan was to run the Malibu Marathon…BUT a silly thing called LIFE got in the way…dealing with personal stuff and knowing that I needed to stay close to home in RWC…SO…. I backed out of Malibu…it was a sad BUT right decision.

Big Sur just happened…I got a last minute entry and I took it happily. I had heard a lot about the courses beauty…. so I was pretty excited to race.

Headed to Monterey Saturday afternoon to pick up my race stuff…met up with my PAL for some chicken nachos and a few beers! http://www.peppersmexicalicafe.com/

Checked into a crappy hotel…and then got the news that my application wasn’t accepted for Boston…PISSED off I fell asleep around 11PM…. woke up at 5:45AM equally pissed.

Sunday RACE morning was cold…the sky was clear BUT it was cold…I layered up in a base layer, long sleeve dry fit, tights, a vest and gloves…. headed to the race start…and hung out just watching and listening to the people. So many people running their first race…that is always fun to see the excitement in their eyes!

Lined up in the corral…decided to hang with the B crowd…still layered…still cold…A corral took of at 7:05 and 1 minute later the B corral was OUT!

I made the mistake of NOT even looking at the course…or even coming up with a race strategy…I also made the mistake of not bringing my own GU…

The first part of the course winds through downtown Monterey….then out thru Cannery Row and into Pacific Grove…pretty rolling first 6 miles..My calves weren’t working properly for some reason…and I was pacing a little under 8 min miles…NOT fast and NOT feeling the race.. I knew I could go faster and FINALLY at mile 8’ish decided to get my race on. Hit the turn around and it was downhill for about a mile…I kicked it into gear and started pacing around 7:10 min miles from there out…The entire second half of the Big Sur course is along the ocean….the air felt crisp and good on my face…BUT my body was so hot from all the layers that I was mad at myself for not checking my stuff…I was also still pissed about the Boston screw up and mentally I was disconnected from my race.

Finally hit the 11-mile mark and started pushing a little harder. MENTALLY I got myself IN CHECK…NEEDED to be done the entire race….the final push was on a bike trail…it was pretty flat and fast…I looked at my watch and realized that if I pushed a little harder I could PR…with a 1:40 and change…picked up a little speed and saw the finish line ahead of me…the clock said 1:41:48…wooo hooo! PR’d by 1 minute! Remember the staggered corral starts?

Post race beers and deep fried pickles at the Mucky Duck with @g_monee...GOOD times! http://www.muckyduckmonterey.com/index.html

WHAT I do know is that I can run a half faster then I did in Big Sur…what I learned is that every race needs a strategy…even the little ones. I also learned that your body heats up pretty fast and that’s why they have sweat checks!

Overall BIG SUR Half is a gorgeous course…and the race is very organized. Stuck around for the race awards…never do that…and was motivated by all the top finishers and the speed that was out on that course. This race was NOT a top 10 for me in my age group…I was 13th and ???? overall female finisher. I KNOW that I have to up my game so I can run with the fast chicks. I also KNOW now that YOU can’t let the stuff in your head affect your race…

Next up…VEGAS Rock and Roll Marathon…see ya there!

I’m in corral 2 and I’m #2369!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting MARATHON #16 & #17 done... in 7 days!

Yeah, I've done 3 in 13 days...so I thought 2 marathons in 7 days piece of cake...When I did Boston to Big Sur in 6 days...NO BIG..I ran a great race in Boston, NO PR, BUT I battled...In Big Sur I went with the motto HAVE some FUN...did just that! NO PR in Big Sur...wasn't my intention. SO When I did PR on the 3rd marathon in 13 days in Eugene...
MY expectations of myself got a little HIGHER!

Santa Rosa! PR!

The BIG PR in Santa Rosa sets my BAR a little high...HAPPY as heck to be a sub 3:30 marathoner...I KNOW I can get better and faster...I know I made mistakes...STILL need to learn few lessons. 3:28 in SR was a cool accomplishment for me! FOR most maybe....
MAUI...KILLED my MOJO...Psychological crap to deal with...NEXT race COWTOWN...NOT too BAD no PR a top 5 finish and a top 10 overall finish...MISSED a PR by 1 MIN...SO that I can call a wash..DID I mention that was 1 week before Long Beach????? 10/4....Swag!

Here's where it gets tricky...GET to Long Beach...check the course...FLAT and fast with a downhill finish..hmmmm....thinking I can PR...NO problem...ALSO not remembering what I have been advised...DO NOT RACE Long Beach...it's a LONG training run...DO my pre-race thing...Ya know chicken nachos and beer w/@runner03....

Roberto and I!

Meet up with the the twitter clan for some more pre-race "get your mojo on" kind of fun...HEAD back to my room and get my gear ready....You know...the norm. GO to sleep thinking 1 thing...PR this COURSE!

Alarm goes off at 5:15AM on 10/11....I get up (WAS the hardest time I've ever had getting up for a race)...hit the coffee..get my stuff together...race gear on & packed my belt... @runner03 called from the lobby and 6AM we hit the road to the start! GET there with 15 mins to spare...stand in the bathroom line...YEH, that wasn't moving...DECIDED to head to the start....
COULDN'T get in with wave 1....WHERE I was supposed to be...
SO we ended up in wave 2...RIGHT behind the 3:40 group...
THIS is where the mind games begin for me....

I check my watch...Start time for me is like 3+ minutes after the clock time...SO of course I am NOW pissed I'm not with wave and I break out...WAY ahead of the 3:40 group now...pacing a 3:25 most of the first half...til 16 miles maybe...
CUZ I know I am better then a 3:40 pace.
DUMB attitude...
Lets just say...I started to REALLY listen to my body at mile 18...ITB's a little rough...and I couldn't seem to get enough nutrients into my body. YEH...I was drinking a ton of fluid...

BUT the GU was hard to choke down...BY mile 16 I had only taken a GU and a half and 2 salt tabs...JUST wasn't feeling it! Decided I would NOT aid station til 20, (MISTAKE #28) and would then do a little GallowayING. If I could just finish under 3:45 I would be happy....AND truly ALL I was shooting for on this SUPPOSED to be LONG Run was a 3:45 max! MILE 21 came and went and GUESS what? SO did the 3:40 pace dude..Stuck with them til 23....HERE's where the nutrition ISSUE kicked in...calves started to hurt a little...dehydration perhaps...took 2 more salt tabs...GOT sprayed with some cool down spray on my legs...
ITBands were killing me..NOT just one BUT 2...NO Ibuprofen pre-race either...MISTAKE #29...SO I sucked it up GallowayING to mile 24...YES..I walked between 23-24..LOSER!

MY RACE JUST started...MANY people were fading at the 22-24 mark...I got a second wind around 24 and picked it up. ALL the powerade kicked in perhaps...MAYBE the line up of fans...WHO Knows...LOOKED at my watch and realized based on my start time I would still sub 3:45 and of course BQ ANYWAY! Mile 25 to the finish was a complete downhill...FAST last mile..MY pace was around a 7 min mile...WAS picking off lots of chicks and dudes...that felt pretty good...
ME! AT Mile 24!

Moral of the story...GO into the race with a strategy (amateur mistake)...NO flip flopping...AND I did that all the way from the expo to mile 16'ish...THE other mistakes...fueling my body is necessary in endurance racing even if my MIND is saying something else....CHOKE IT DOWN!
THE other lesson I learned...
A Blackberry cannot absorb 26.2 miles of sweat
and keep working...

Monday, September 28, 2009

My "PW" in Maui....

I've had a week to ponder this...and have recovered quite nicely thanks...BUT going from your PR to your PW in 2 weeks is a tad bit hard to stomach!

Arrived in Maui pretty certain I would race the Maui Marathon at a respectful pace...YOU know a 3:45 or so..not fast...not too slow. Got the rental car....drove the course up through kaanapali to where were staying in Kahana...easy course..a little Big Sur like...BUT not nearly as tough! Still confident that I could sub 3:45 the course.

Woke up Saturday still on mainland time..good thing...with a 5:30AM start time I was hoping I didn't adjust to the time until Monday post race. Did a 3mile run...and the realization of the humidity sunk in..hmmmm...a sub 3:45 now became a question. The mind games started in...I hit the expo...met @patricemalloy (PR expert) and poof I was ready to roll! Number 513..lucky number...sure if I was superstitious...headed to the beach to do what you do on Maui...hang....

The night before the race was hot..humid...had to be on the road at 2:45AM to catch the bus by 3AM...Didn't sleep much which isn't uncommon. SO when the alarm went off I might have had 2 hours of crappy sleep...

Bussed out the start...feeling pretty good...normal race stuff..peanut butter and jelly, coffee...packed bags with tons of GU and saltsticks....It was almost 80 when we finally arrived at the start...1300 people waiting for almost 2 hours to get 26.2 miles done....

Race started at 5:30...it was dark and we ran under lights on the course. Was feeling pretty good...even though I forgot to charge my ipod...I was listening to Pandora on my phone. The road from Kahului to hwy 30 was great...pacing dead on...hit hwy 30 into the rolling hills to Kaanapali and was pacing a perfect 3:45 finish until mile 16...yep....the sun was up...the heat was too and the humidity was CRAZY!

SO my race started at mile 16...phone died..no music..if ever I wanted to quit it was at mile 17...THANK God I met Tiffany, an Ironman who was having my kind of race too....and some dude from LA running his first marathon...WE rallied and hung...

The next 9 miles were by far the toughest miles I have ever run in my life..I am not being overly dramatic either...Tiffany and I hung and pretty much complained about the humidity and took some pics! We hit every aid station...consumed sooooo much water and heed I'm surprised I never had to stop and pee...not once...ate every piece of fruit I could and I took in some serious salt...AND we walked a lot...I mean A LOT! Tiffany bailed on me at 25 and I walked because my stomach hurt so bad I felt like I was going to puke when I ran...was soooo ok with walking...people passing me, didn't care...all I could do was laugh...started running around mile 26 again...rounded the turn and finished nice and slow...steady...4:10...that's right... I am human after all! (I kid)
SO you see...Maui did a number on mind...made me question a few things about me...my cockiness...my limitations...my inability to put mind over and that I have more to learn about being better, a true athlete....made me wonder why I do this endurance crap to myself...
My answer...BECAUSE I CAN! I was 8th in my AG...and when I looked at the results I realized..The Maui Marathon did to me what it did to everyone else racing it! The best place in the world for a personal worst marathon is on Maui...PARADISE!
Next race is Sunday October 4th...Going for a PR! See ya there!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is it Selfish? Just Venting....

Yes...I train A LOT...NO I don't have a job...YES, I need one. NOW that we have cleared that up I can move on...

I am part of the unemployment statistic in California...I am searching for a job, which is a full time job...I am also a stay at home mom right now and that too is a full time job. I am an athlete and my training happens to fill in the blank spaces on my calendar. Believe me...I juggle to make it happen.

I have been called selfish for spending the amount of time I do on training and racing. I'm not sure what is selfish about wanting to be in good shape, trying my hardest and maybe WINNING a race here and there. I put my family first...I get my kids to school, to their sports, to the doctor..I make sure everyone has food, homework is done...I do the parent meetings, the back to school nights and I'm even a room parent. I am no different from the other moms or wives...with the exception of being an athlete.

Why am I explaining my life? Why do some people judge what I do? I'm setting an example perhaps? Trying to keep up with my kids...trying to not go postal...I need to do what I do or the lives of others will be altered...Or maybe I do alter lives in a good way...just maybe I can inspire a mom, a sister, a wife, a friend to register for a race or to just get their ass moving! Maybe this is supposed to be my job....
Join me in one these races to close up 2009:
October 4th...Cowtown Marathon
October 11th..Long Beach Marathon
October 18th..Nike Half Marathon
November 15th...Malibu Marathon
December 6th...Las Vegas RnR Marathon

My 2010 calendar is in motion.. Wildflower, Vineman (maybe!), Ironman CDA and Boston Marathon, Big Sur Marathon and Eugene Marathon in 13 days...STAY tuned more to come!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Getting it DONE in Santa Rosa!

Wow! Is all I can say....

I was looking for a PR...all I wanted in Santa Rosa was a PR...might be a long shot to sub 3:32, but it was all I wanted to do in the race. I knew the course was flat..a lot like the Eugene Marathon where I ran that 3:32...SO I knew I could bring something! (even though I hadn't run anything longer then 10 miles since the San Diego Rock N Roll Marathon!)

Here's how my race went...
Got to Santa Rosa around 7PM Saturday night...met up with @gregknottlemond for my pre-race chicken nachos and beer (rituals!) and talked a bit about my race strategy. Planned the meeting points...water...gu, salt...YOU know the whole deal! Finished up and headed to the hotel to meet @solorunner who just got in from Portland!

Went to sleep around 11...YES, I actually slept....this I knew was a sign of a good race...I was happy to wake up to FOG and not the SUN...got some coffee in me, half a bagel and @solorunner and I headed to the start to meet up with @gregknottlemond. QUIET at the race start...much more organized then I thought..not sure who was doing the half or the full..as all the runners walked to the start...

I filed in with the 8 min mile group...set my watch and turned on my play list. Sorta put myself in my zone..whatever that means! Count down and we were off..First mile I was pacing around 6:40..mistake number 1. Pulled myself together finally by mile 4 and was now about 5 mins ahead of my 3:30 pace...Got caught up with all the runners and was getting pissed that I got passed by 4 chicks. I had to fight with myself to slow it down to a 7:45 pace...It was tough...My first half was a PR for me..I ran a 1:38...and was feeling pretty good..I told myself I would race until 20 and then make a decision on incorporating Galloway..

Headed out on my second loop...the thing is with Santa Rosa you do the same thing twice...which I sort of liked..headed into mile 15 feeling strong...kept pushing my 7:40'ish pace. Didn't take water, NuuN..Gu or salt (dumb!)..My IT band stopped hurting and I was just focused on the miles. The half marathoners were coming at me as I was going out and they kept doing the #1 sign...I was clueless and kept saying "NO this is my second loop"...they were trying to tell me I was the first chick heading out for the marathon..WOO HOO! I was too busy yelling "great racing guys! Good run!"....cheerleading 101! KARMA!

I was feeling pretty kick ass until mile 22..saw @solorunner and @gregknottlemond and asked what my pace was...I sooo hit a wall and was seriously DONE! @gregknottlemond says "you're doing just fine!" and I felt like SHIT! If there was a sniper on the course I wished he would have taken me out at mile 22! My race just started for me..Mentally I started messing with myself..I knew I was in the lead...even if I didn't PR I was gonna win the womans overall and my AG..BUT I wasn't here to do that...I was here to PR..I did the Galloway method a little at 23...30 seconds walking...I hit mile 24 and started to have the chills. I needed salt..I was getting fluid but I was pretty depleted..my stomache was aching, a little hallow..

Mile 25 I grabbed a salt tab (a little late I know) for my mental state and pushed on...No more markers...just needed to get thru that last mile...came around the corner...and the park was in sight..I was pretty happy..looked at my watch and I was around a 3:28 as I hit the last few hundred feet thru the park...SAW @solorunner and she was yelling "GO! YOU have it!" SO I picked it up a little so I could stay in the 3:28 range.. @epicbillbradley was announcing for the race and I heard him say "We have the first female finisher, Shelly Centis!" YAY....it was pretty cool to hear everyone cheer...Crossed the finish line at 3:28.51...a 4+ minute PR for me! ALL I wanted.. The win was a bonus!

I did win a bike...and some other swag...BUT most importantly I learned that it doesn't matter if you win, lose or PR it's how you treat the other people on the course...YOU can be the fastest, run the strongest...BUT none of that matters unless you show encouragement to the other runners! I had the most fun yesterday watching the half marathoners push their way to the finish as I was headed out on my second 13.1..To them that half was just as big as my full. Way to go runners...GOOD day in Santa Rosa for ALL the finishers!

Article and pics:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Taper Sucks!

Kicking off my next races lands me in TAPER week...I hate this tapering crap....it sucks the life out of ME and I feel completely worthless and BITCHY. I try to stick to the training schedule BUT I have a tad more energy then to just do 7.5 miles before race day...

I use Hal Higdons advanced training programs...I know if I stick to it I will be better race day. I constantly ask myself why is a taper important...what's the deal? I don't crave the carbs...I know how much food is good for my body...my issue is that I NEED to do miles...the more miles I can run the more complete I am. The less BITCHY...

What the damn TAPER does to me is makes me THINK way too much about my performance on RACE day. My ability...my goal. Is this bad? Maybe...not sure....I also tend to be more stressed out race week...shorter tempered...haven't gotten violent yet BUT I want to punch stupid people now and then...REST DAYS suck...AND I know I need them...BUT 3 rest days really could kill me...and by rest days does that mean NO bike or swim?

So here I am...5 days from my marathon...I want to PR, sub 3:30 on a flat course...I want to be top 5 in my age group and I need to stay strong the entire race... SO maybe that's why a I should TAPER!

RACE schedule 2009:
8/30 Santa Rosa
9/20 Maui
10/4 Cowtown
10/11 Long Beach
10/18 Nike half
11/15 Malibu
12/7 Vegas
(Does this mean every week is a taper now??)

GOOD reads:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Month to ME!

Yep...I'm in my 40's! Not that concerned...don't feel old...DON'T really care. I'm not giving in...why would I? I'm getting stronger, fitter and faster...I'm not defying anything....NO secrets.

The point is this...Aging doesn't mean you can't be fit. Having kids doesn't mean you have to be FAT! It doesn't mean you have to stop being active...In fact it's completely opposite! I have friends in their 40's and 30's who don't move at all...SIT on their asses and eat too much, don't work out and partake in their own pity parties! It makes my VOMIT!

There are a couple of rules I live by! The most important one is to work hard and play hard! I LOVE life! I try to do all the right things...and I do some things wrong! BUT I also believe moderation is the key. Surround yourself with people like YOU! EAT from the earth...processed food is SO not OK! H2O is important...GET hydrated! OH...enjoy your beer...I do. Most importantly...I do something to make myself SMILE everyday...I laugh at myself...I don't take myself too seriously. I jump off cliffs and I do flips on my trampoline! Don't be a hater..It makes you bitter = OLD. There are NO secrets about staying young...YOU just have to WANT TO! MoVE your A$$!

KEEP MOVING means training for me! Doing something better each time I try...pushing my body to work like a 20 year old (haha..I mean that!)...recovering fast and doing it better! Challenge is good...never surrender. My goal for 2009 is to complete 20 marathons by December 31...a marathon or maybe 2 a month...I made the GOAL and I never QUIT.

So... I promise to never GET OLD...2010 I challenge myself to be an Ironman, Boston Marathon and to get in better shape then I am this year! This is NO New Years Resolution...this is my LIFE!

Getting OLD is an OPTION! What's keeping YOU young?

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I am a RUNNER. That's what I do...I swim. I bike...BUT by nature I'm a RUNNER. I love it the MOST...So when a nagging pain strikes my body out of nowhere it sort of freaks me out. A LOT!

Over the last few months since the San Diego Rock n Roll Marathon MY body has not recovered as fast as it normally does. Come on! I did 3 marathons in 13 days and PR'd the 3rd! I'm not sure what happened in San Diego BUT I know my body hasn't been the same since I finished that marathon!

The first issue post race was an IT Band issue...I'm fairly certain it was caused by all of the crowning of the streets and the constant downhill of the SD course. I didn't notice the pain until the following week when I started to increase my miles. Anything over 10 was so painful...SO I iced, stretched, rolled and took ibuprofen...1 week of this and it seemed to be OK! Started the miles again and the pain was back...grrrrrrrrr.

Second issue hit me out of nowhere. Sorta...SI joint...started up again after I got the Quintana Roo TT bike and started out maybe a little to aggressive. OR it might have been the cliff jumping I did while on my road trip! Iced...stretched..you know the normal crap! 3 days and I was running again...This one is with me forever...I need to be good to these joints because mine happen to be defective..YEP, my SI joints are deformed. SO the orthopedic surgeon tells me....

The problem I have is listening to my body...When is it OK for me to get back out there and run!? I know cross training is just as good for me BUT I love pounding the pavement...sorta is the thing that takes me away. This week I did the unthinkable...I QUIT in the middle of a 20 mile run..The pain in the IT band was so bad I almost puked...Called for a ride and that was it. For the first time I am listening to my body talk to me...I tend to think I am made of steel most the time so a little pain to me means nothing...BUT I have many races coming up and I don't want to blow it...CROSS training this week has been my escape...BUT today I am feeling a run coming on....the ITB pain is gone and NO SI joint pain...I'd like to keep it that way! The question now; should I run or not run? Wait it out? I have a sprint tri in a week! I have a marathon in 1 and half weeks...WHAT to do???

Here are a couple reads that come in handy for me!

HAPPY Training! injury FREE of course!

Monday, August 3, 2009

My New Love AFFAIR!

It was LOVE at first sight...the color, the size....everything about it was PERFECT! Didn't even need to try anything else...I knew the second that I saw the bike it would be mine!

Got to http://www.fitnfanatics.com/ at 10AM...right when the shop opened! My sisters friend owns the place SO I knew I would get the best hook up ever! Robin greeted us immediately....the match making underway! (If you live in the Spokane area this is a great shop..the service was awesome! NOT just for me BUT everyone who walked in there!)

I scoped out the line up of beautiful tri bikes..Cervelo, Felt, Quintana Roo... walking back and forth trying to decide if I should get a P2 or the new P3...Hot hot BIKES! I wanted the Cervelo and was pretty certain I was getting it...BUT the Quintana Roo kept calling my name....so I gave in and on the trainer it went...

My first tri bike...Quintana Roo, Dulce...I'm in LOVE! I picked it for all the wrong reasons..color, cute, name...I'm a complete DORK...BUT when I tested it...It was actually meant to be!
Now I need to put the swim, bike and run together so I can be fast...WORKING on the damn swim..constant struggle. I hate the water...BUT with my new QR..I'm feeling LOTS more confident that I can get some race MOJO...I know I can run fast and I know I can bike fast...thank GOD...something needs to make up for my lame ass swim!
PS: The shop also hooked me up with this wet suit http://www.trisports.com/zootfuzion.html

Anyone want to be my swim coach...?? let me know..

Thursday, July 30, 2009

TO infiniti and beyond..RAGNAR!

If there is a chance..the slightest chance...do The Ragnar Relay! Never will you have so much fun...for me that isn't hard..BUT Ragnar was a blast!

A week ago I was heading to a van NOT knowing anyone (except Christine) I was going to be hanging with for the next 30+ hours...unsuspecting of anything that was about to happen!

You know how the relay went for me.. I ran my fastest, yadda yadda, had fun...drank beer, ate nachos, nothing unusual... WHAT you don't know is how damn funny that VAN ride was for 370 miles!

Our relay took 29 hours to finish the 187 miles of the Pacific Northwest Passage...I lacked patience and really missed the point during my waiting... I'm competitive. What can I say? What I didn't miss was the camaraderie...BECAUSE that really is what running a relay is all about.

The name of our relay team was SLOW and STEADY..I should have known from the name it was not about the speed! AND like our teams name we were just that...What I learned from Ragnar is that first impressions aren't always right and that friendships just happen! I also learned that 187 miles ISN'T that far...

SOME RAGNAR memories:
**Running in the dark requires a head lamp, a reflective vest and an ASS flasher...I used the head lamp to look for bear, cheetah and often times monkeys!
** Christine blowing chunks after her first leg...AWESOME!
**I taught the team that BEER and nachos make you faster..AND it does! CARB load...
**Reflective vests are super cool...especially when they have lots of flashing lights! AND when they look like Buzzlight year BUT turn out to be Nancy...
**YOU have to be a team player...When D allegedly sprained his ankle Kathy picked up his final mile of his 2.9 mile run..Please! Christine of course said "OMG! I sprained my ankle and kept running 15 more miles!" I of course told D to get his out of the van and keep running...OH and pick up your pace!
** Yelling out the window of the VAN to every RUNNER on the COURSE! Looking good, finish STRONG..or whatever...
**Annie yelling at Christine.. "QUIT twittering and help!!"
**Annie renaming our team Vest Molesters! Yes..the flashing lights made for some HOT vests!
** Sleeping in a VAN isn't so bad...especially with a sweaty beach towel.
** making Stacy WAIT 7 minutes in the exchange at 4:30 AM...NOT my fault your VAN lost you!
** You can set the bar high...and you can make people WANT to push a little harder!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ragnar Relay...Team SLOW and Steady! First 24 hours!

I had no idea how much fun the Ragnar Relays were going to be...not any idea at all! I just knew that I was supposed to be at the VAN in West Seattle NO later then 6AM on Friday morning..AND that is where the fun began!

The alarm clock didn't need to go off..My dad was yelling up the stairs at 4:30AM for me to get up! Man oh man...4:30AM came fast! I packed all my crap the night before so I was ready to roll. GOOD thing I talked to Christine about what to pack or it could have been a disaster! The backpack consisted of 3+ outfits to run in, flip flops, 2 pairs of running shoes, a change of dry clothes for the end and my Boston jacket of course! I threw on my first running outfit and headed OFF to the VAN with my coffee! (yes I put on lip gloss and mascara...hello, that's a given!)

Made one stop before getting to the VAN at Starbucks! Ordered a triple skinny vanilla latte, oatmeal and banana loaf.. I apparently thought I would be running ALL 185 miles of the RAGNAR RELAY!

Finally at the VAN! Huge van...10 seater. 2 rows removed...you know, so you have more room to stretch... :/ The VAN mates started to arrive and pretty soon our VAN team was there..My first impression... Can't say. A arrived last with her foam roller and a bunch of stuff. Hmmm...the first thing she said "why the hell is there only 1 bench in the van...we need to put one back"... Little BOSSY I thought.... And just like that the bench was back in the van. Wasn't sure how A and I were gonna hit it off! In our van 5 chicks and one dude!

Off we went to Blaine, Washington...Which is right on the border of Canada! It took us a few hours to get there...all along my stomach in knots. YES I get like that before every race...AND I was the first runner so I had to set the bar high. In those 2 hours...I have never laughed so hard and learned that first impressions are wrong...I also learned that A and I are more alike then I could have ever imagined. C and I spent much of our time interacting with the group while tweeting and facebooking...JEEZE..that was ridiculous!

We arrived in Blaine..quaint little town on the Ocean! Is the Ocean the same as the bay? Anyway... K picked up our race stuff while we decorated the VAN! We ended up with number #17! All the other teams were doing the same...COOL Ragnar Relay VIBE going on...

I got ready to race...because that is what I do... I race.

START time...At the start line with the 9AM start wave there were 20 teams going out.. In total all day from 8AM 170 teams of 12 (some Ultra) were going in waves! 9 AM start consisted of 6 dudes (about) and the rest chicks...OH and Wonder Woman. RAGNAR RELAY about to start...the 10 second countdown was now underway!

Off we went...My first leg was a 10k.. Still trying to figure out my race strategy I worked my way in behind a chick who started with a fake ass on. She had a decent pace going and was right behind the boys. I had no idea who was behind me at this point..didn't look back, just trying to figure out how fast I could run the leg! I stayed with fake ass girl for awhile...and was pacing around a 8 min mile, I thought... I knew I had a little more in me so I picked up and passed the chick. The miles aren't marked in RAGNAR on the course, ONLY directions..SO pacing wasn't even an option because I forgot my Garmin in CA. I could see the dudes ahead of me...so I just pushed a little harder! My VAN was on the course in NO time cheering and supporting my run! At the 4 mile mark I asked the team how far back that chick was and Christine yelled..DON'T let her pass you! Which implied the chick was getting close to me..So naturally I needed to speed up. I pushed a little harder and there it was... the ONE MILE TO GO sign! All the other VANS of the other teams were on the course cheering, cow belling and being supportive of ALL the runners! I jammed in my last mile to make the exchange to Christine who was runner 2! Leg time 45:17 or so, pacing a 7:17! First chick in...right behind the boys!

NOW everyone GET your ass in the VAN! On the course we go! That's how it works! Ragnar! Run, drive, repeat! Sleep...we shall see! Our VAN drives the course to support our runner's race..water, cytomax, Gu...anything our runners need the TEAM is there to give our runner! Couple of cheer stops along the way and POOF! we are at the next exchange! RUNNER 3 is off..D, our only VAN's dude is on the course!

All the chicks in the VAN.. N resting up for her leg in the back...K driving the VAN and A navigating...C and ME... hanging in row one of the VAN! AND the day continues RUN, DRIVE, REPEAT until we make the our 6th runner exchange to VAN 2...

LUNCH time... Boundary Bay Brewery! Where the hell are we? We have about 6 hours until we get to our next VAN exchange...Everyone in their next running outfits...fresh and ready to run..we head to the next exchange town...Bellingham! My PRE race lunch is 2 beers and chicken nachos! HELL ya! That's how this chick rolls! Next exchange in Bellingham..4.4 miles for me...That's easy...Off we go to the exchange are to rest for our next races!
Waiting, waiting, waiting....I have no patience... In touch with VAN 2 trying to figure out when to expect the next exchange...It's hot out! Sweating just sitting and waiting...Anxious. WANT to go...Finally we get the call! Ready to run..In purple... Almost 8PM.. (Ragnar rules say I have to wear a reflective vest if running after 8PM)...Here comes RUNNER 12...The exchange is made...

I blow out of the exchange at a 6:30 PACE...why? I have no idea.. I was alone..on the RAGNAR course.. I knew there was a chick a mile or so ahead...GOAL, catch her! I turn up the Ipod and power on! Working on my form, lowering the arms and relaxing the shoulders. I see the chick...and keep my pace...round the corner and pass her! My VAN on the course! C is waiting with water..the chick tries to sprint with me..not sure why...I say to her "if you can hold that pace YOU are my HERO!" I grab some Nuun and keep going... NO-ONE told me about the effing hill that I'm looking at... I am ahead of the chick still...BUT I know I need to power up that hill...SO...I use the arms and push a little...then I decide to Galloway it! 60 on...30 walk...The hill levels out..I look at my watch...OMG! I can still sub 32 mins this 4.4 miles.. I kick at the ONE MORE MILE TO GO sign and push thru to the exchange....31:27! Yep...a 7:08 AP! HOLY crap...C takes the exchange and she is off!

AND just like that we are back in the VAN..on course! Cheering, supporting, having fun! The SUN is setting and the sky is a little grey..yikes! RAIN? Lightening...RAGNAR rules..If lightening strikes CLOSE by the runner must get in the VAN... apparently the lightening wasn't close enough..C keeps on running...makes the exchange to D..and runner 3 is off! INTO the dark...

Run. Drive. Repeat. Sleep....nah! BEER time...stop in at a cute little store in Mt Vernon, Wa. Couple 6'ers of beer and some sunflower seeds.. I'm not hungry...but man did I need salt! On the course supporting the team again...drinking beer out of my water bottle.. RAGNAR rules..what happens on the course stays on the course! We make our from Bellingham to La Connor, Wa. NEXT exchange to VAN 2....11PM...need food now...we try every place in that little town..NOTHING open. We find a bar...have a beer, some popcorn and decide to head to Deception Pass our next VAN exchange...SLEEP? Yes...sleep is a must!

Pull into the Deception Pass park..about 1AM...A, D and N sleep in bags on the grass and K, C and I in the VAN. Nothing like sleeping in the front seat of the VAN with a beach towel. My next leg should be at 5AM based on the text messages and tweets we are getting from VAN 2! Alarm is set for 4AM...I actually slept..miracle....
FINAL VAN exchange...awake at 4AM, a little chilly out...dark. Get a text at 4:20AM that RUNNER 12 should be at the exchange in 30 mins... I'm ready.. head light on, ass blinker on, reflective vest...layered up, ready to go... PHONE rings...VAN 2 wants to know where we are...4:39...They lost RUNNER 12 and underestimated her speed...SHE was waiting for me...7 minutes...DAMN! I now had to make that up...

I hurry to the exchange take the bracelet and head up the hill...wait I mean hills...OMG! Did someone forget to tell me about this HILLY course...I start climbing...I can see 2 blinking lights in front of me...I'm alone in the dark...The blinking lights are getting closer....I push a little harder...I round a corner...pass one blinker...pass another blinker and start heading up another hill...VAN meets me at mile 2 with H2O...Can't take it...too early, might barf! I tell them to meet me at 3...They are there waiting...I say not yet...mile 4! I am busting it on a down hill and don't want to slow down...passing a few more people..I round another corner and start another climb...a cool chick catches me and we run awhile together! My VAN drives along me and I hand them my head light. The sun is rising...I tell them to meet me at the exchange.. Miles 4.5 until 5.5 was all down hill. The friend I made on the course started cruising and my IT band starting to hurt a bit! I pick up speed and try to ignore the annoying pain...hit the bottom of the hill and start my sunrise run along the ocean, harbor, whatever the hell you call it. It was an awesome morning to do my final leg!

Final push of my last last was 2 miles UP hill...what the heck!!!?? UGHH...definitely not the speed I had day 1...BUT I'm still moving. I start climbing the hill...slowly...I see a few people in front of me...passing 1 of them was my goal..so I keep pushing thru...ONE MILE TO GO sign shows up just in time..yeh 1 more mile on the hill! I pass Wonder Woman...AND finish my final leg! 7.9 Miles in 1:04:20...pass off to C... AND we get back in the VAN!

On the course we go! RUN, DRIVE, REPEAT! About 30 miles until we hit Coupeville...OUR VAN's LAST exchange...

A lot of fun on the COURSE....laughs, new friendships and challenges!!

PART 2, THE Finish! Coming soon....WITH funny as hell highlights and so much more..

PS: if you want in on Ragnar next year let me know... we are looking for 2010 teams NOW!


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting it IN...on the Road

Day one of the road trip complete..getting to Portland! Thank GOD yesterday was a rest day...no run, swim or bike. MANY miles on the road...almost 600 to be exact! Just me and the kids! That was a workout enough! Made it to Portland alive with only one mishap...the 9 yro peed on my foot! Besides that mostly uneventful...just a lot of complaining by the 13 yro. UGH!

Arrived in Portland to be greeted by my niece at the door with a ICE cold beer...IT was the best beer ever! Nice dinner party with 20! They too will do anything for a party...and our arrival was a perfect reason! haha...

Today, not a day off. I need to get the training in while on the road...This usually isn't a challenge for me BUT I need to fit in the swim and the bike too. Running is cool...you can just get it done anywhere BUT the other 2 take planning.

I'm 6 weeks out from the Santa Rosa Marathon 8/30...BUT have The Ragnar relay Friday and Saturday 7/25 - 7/26! AND the Cour de'Alene Olympic Tri on 8/8. I think I will add in the the sprint tri on 8/23 when I get home...

Tomorrow we head to Seattle for a week or so...scheduling will be easier staying in one place a little longer! Weather is supposed to hold out for the week! May be able get in some open water swims in Lake Washington or Sammamish!

Must get focused and get my days coordinated...20 days on the road is a LONG time!

Check out a few training programs I use and the relay (I'm runner #1)!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Race Report...Jungle Run PR!

Alarm went off at 5:30AM, I hit snooze and fell right back to sleep! Went off again, I hit snooze, fell back to sleep! Finally I looked at my watch and realized I had 10 mins to get out of bed, get dressed and get on the road!

Put the coffee on...got into my race clothes, brushed my teeth and put on some mascara..YEH, laugh all you want! YOU know you race good when you look good..and it's all about the lashes!
Grabbed a balance bar (poor choice BTW!) and a cup of coffee, my gear and hit the road!

Heading to Los Gatos I noticed I forgot my Ipod! At that moment I wasn't sure what the race was gonna be for me...I need my MOJO and sometimes it comes from my Ipod. I scrambled around a bit and found the 13 yro's Ipod in my console. HELPFUL...to a certain degree.. If you like a lot of AC/DC (Good!) and other crap I would rather bang my head against the wall then listen to!

Arrived in Los Gatos with 17 minutes to race time! Met up at the goal posts with the Twitteratti group...Wished everyone luck and hit the bathroom lines! You know typical race stuff! Bathroom line was so long... I didn't even get into a porta potty until 7AM!! YEP, RACE TIME!

Got to the start right as the half marathon runners were heading out! CAN you say cluster of people?? OMG! I tried to maneuver my way around as many of them as I could and managed to break free around 3/4's of mile in...Happy to see my mile pace was a 7:36 when I hit mile 1!!!

As it turned out I paced pretty close to my 7:37 pace until I hit mile 10...it was hot, my quads were pissed and I had no salt or Gu on me! (MY bad race decision!) I was pacing ahead of this chick that I REALLY WANTED TO BEAT and she blew by me at mile 10.5! I wanted to walk...it was an out and back on slight gravel grade and I was a tad depleted...or maybe that was my excuse on getting passed. Once I hit the turn around I starting jamming again. Picking up my pace to around a 7:20 pace. The chick still ahead of me...BUT I was gaining on her...picking dudes off one by one..ALL I wanted to do was beat that chick. At about 12.5 miles I was shoulder to shoulder with her. RACE ON!!!

We stayed together onto the track and I decided I should probably have a conversation with her! As it turns out she is a 2 time Ironman! Awesome athlete and damn good racer! It also turns out that I beat her because I'm a pretty damn good racer too!

I got that PR, 1:41 and some change! Not what I wanted BUT I will take it! I learned a little more today about being a better racer...You need fuel pre-race NEVER skimp on that! (Balance BAR?? WTF?) ALWAYS come prepared... Saltsticks, NuuN, Gu...Carry extra! Lastly ALWAYS RACE YOUR OWN RACE!!!

Post race was a great time! We decided to celebrate at http://www.lgbrewingco.com/ with burgers and beers at 10:30AM...
Can't wait for my next run! Ragnar Relay in Seattle!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Race nerves...they never ever stop

It never fails...I always have race nerves. It doesn't matter how many races I have knocked out I still get butterflies in my tummy before every race. I can't decide if it's the excitement of the race or the excitement of it being MY race, a new PR...A new challenge! The size of the race doesn't matter...the half marathon tomorrow is going to be fast and flat BUT I'm still nervous!

The day before ANY race usually flies by...I try to do everything to NOT think about the race BUT that's all I think about. Today I was lucky to meet up with cool peeps and enjoy some lunch to talk race, all good. I had many to do's to keep my mind off of tomorrow.

That brings me to here...I sit. I plan. I visualize what the 1st, 2nd, 3rd miles should feel like..How I can make it to my half way point exactly where I need to pace myself. I feel strong today. I implemented a lot of speed work this week and stayed on marathon training schedule..I use Hal's advanced 1 program! http://www.halhigdon.com/ I feel pretty confident that I can PR with a sub 1:42 tomorrow.

I pick BLUE to run in. MY fasted half marathon was in this shirt! I always PR in blue and sometimes red..BUT tomorrow it's about the blue. I have packed my belt with all my needed items (no http://www.saltstick.com/ ) and have all my clothes laid out. YES, I am a dork like that ONLY because I am nervous...YOU get one chance to run your race...AND to me that means races aren't training runs..they are races. YOU do what you can...you give it all you have! YOU run your OWN race! If I stop getting nervous I need to move on...BUT today I still have nerves! I'm so glad....
Check out a couple of my favorite race things:
www.enlyten.com (electrolytes)
www.brooksrunning.com (check out my infiniti 2 shoes, SUPER HOT!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Running is about one thing...

I run because I can. I run because it makes me feel complete. I run because I would probably explode if I didn't...it makes me less anxious. The REAL reason I run is for the friendships I make along the miles. Running brings people together. The most unexpected relationships form and last. My best friends are "runners"...They don't run as fast but I always slow down so I can take in the conversation. Sometimes we don't talk for the week just to have LOTS to talk about on those Sunday long training runs!

Last nights Sunset Run was a perfect example of how a 5 mile run brings friends together! 5 people with this thing in common...running. All different paces just doing the thing we do... Always something to chat about making the run cruise by in a flash! Good times last night with Andrea, John, Maritza and Tara!

The post run celebration is always my favorite! Last night we landed here: http://www.thetipsypigsf.com/ and the food was yummy, the beer was delish.. BUT the stories and laughs were by far the best of all! Not quite sure how 3 hours went by so fast! AND by the way...MY car was locked in the marina when I went to get it...good thing for 4 wheel drive is all I'm sayin!

Here's to more Sunset runs, runs, laughs, friends! All GOOD!
My next race is Sunday! Doing a half: http://www.firstwave-events.com/jungle_run/half_marathon.html Send me good race MOJO..thinking about a PR, sub 1:40? See all my pals there! RACE ON!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Race on

Big day...big decision! Not really. My sister has these powers over me. When she suggests something I pretty much take it and go with it. I haven't done a triathlon for years. I signed up for Ironman Cour de'Alene 2010 because I needed a BIGGER challenge. With 12 marathons behind me and tattoo to show for it I knew Ironman was next! So it all starts NOW. Swim. Bike. Run. August 8th I re-enter the triathlon world with an olympic distance tri! The rest of 2009 my race schedule is booked. Lots to do...lots to accomplish. I will hit 20 marathons by Dec 31, 2009! (need one more race on my schedule!)

To date here are the marathons I have run:
  1. Silicon Valley
  2. Napa
  3. Big Sur
  4. CIM missed BQ by 53 seconds...PACE dude SUCKED!
  5. Cour de'Alene (Boston qualified 3:45)
  6. Nike Womans....HATED this race! Never the full again!
  7. Phoenix Rock and Rock (Boston qualified again 3:39)
  8. Napa AGAIN! (Boston Qualified again 3:35)
  9. BOSTON! 3:37! Every year until I die!
  10. Big Sur...6 days later 3:52
  11. Eugene 7 days after BS....PR 3:32
  12. San Diego Rock and Roll... 3:47, I walked backwards waiting for Monica for 15 mins!

I thought I had 13 down...YIKES! I seemed to have lost one in my mind! I will find it...hmmm.

Races Scheduled for the remainder of the year:

  1. Jungle Run half marathon 7/19
  2. Ragnar Relay 7/25-7/26
  3. Cour de'Alene Olympic Triathlon 8/8 http://www.cdatriathlon.com/
  4. Santa Rosa Marathon 8/30 http://thesantarosamarathon.com/home
  5. Maui Marathon 9/20 http://www.mauimarathon.com/
  6. Cowtown Marathon 10/4 http://www.sacramentocowtownmarathon.com/
  7. Long Beach Marathon 10/11 http://www.runlongbeach.com/
  8. Nike Half Marathon SF 10/18
  9. USA Half Marathon 11/1
  10. Malibu Marathon 11/15 http://www.malibuintmarathon.com/
  11. Las Vegas Marathon 12/6 http://las-vegas.competitor.com/