Posts tagged grateful
Posts tagged grateful
Me with my mom, taken a month ago at Roy’s Waikiki. Happy Mother’s Day Mom!!!!
Current View, Manhattan Beach Pier. Skipped spin class this morning and chose to instead take a spin outside and enjoy this beautiful day.
As the sun sets on the year, let’s count the blessings of 2012.
Sunset in my new hood, November 2012
- started a new job that I love.
- moved into a new home at the beach.
- got my first passport!
- completed my first 70.3.
- completed marathons 15 and 16.
- completed 3 half marathons
- Ran So Cal Ragnar with some awesome tumblrs
- started lifting weights/working out with a trainer!
- traveled to Hawaii twice, Seattle, Vancouver, Washington DC. Countless trips around California
- Ran 30 days in a row! Run November!!!!
Sunset, Kona, HI April 2012
I am excited about what 2013 will bring!!!! I wish all of you a very happy new year!
Thanksgiving Day 22 - Run November - 10.54 tough trail miles. It was supposed to be 12 but had to turn around early to make it down the mountain in 2 hours. Amazing morning! Many thanksgiving blessings to everyone.
First off, thank you to everyone who sent me notes of support. The tumblr community is something else! You have encouraged and inspired me! I am so appreciative.
I still cannot believe I pulled off this race. It is no secret I was nervous. I trained on my own, doing my own thing. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS METHOD! I will definitely do things differently next time around but more on that later.
Right before the start, all smiles ready to go!
Race morning I awoke at 3:50AM. My husband and I packed the car and headed to Starbucks to meet the rest of my crew, our dear friends Kim and Kevin who came up from LA to be my sherpas. I could not have made it to the start without Kim. I am so thankful. Kim helped me with all of my gear while my husband parked the car and I was able to hand off the tri bag to her so all that went in the T1 bag was the swim gear.
The ladies of my age group - 35-39 - were so supportive and sweet. We were all cheers at the start of the swim.
The start of the swim - I am in there somewhere
The water was amazing, almost bathtub like. I read many blogs leading up to Vineman and all of them were true. The water of the Russian River is SHALLOW, 2 feet in some spots. I saw several people stand up and walk (water at their calves). I avoided that and swam carefully in the shallowest parts. Unfortunately, I did hit my right foot on the bottom at the turn around, ripping off part of my toenail. Ouch. My biggest error on the swim was wearing an old wetsuit that was too big (purchased when I weighed 30lbs heavier). It filled with water by the end. My arms were heavy with water and I cursed myself for not renting a smaller wetsuit. Wetsuits are meant to be hard to put on and skin tight. The wetsuit issue aside, I took the swim easy, knowing that I had a long day ahead of me.
SO THANKFUL to be getting out of that wetsuit!
T1. I took my time to get my gear set and headed out on the bike.
Walking up the hill out of T1.
The Bike - AKA Where I learned that bike fit is EXTREMELY important
The bike started off great. I made it through the hairy turn at mile 5 (hard right and hard left, miss the left and you can run into a large wall of blackberry bush which apparently happened last year). The course is beautiful, weaving through 56 miles of vineyards. The roads are not so great. Lots of potholes, rocks, etc. (basically no smooth road). Going into the race I knew my bike fit was off. I thought needed to raise the handlebars slightly but I really did not know. Since I was riding a borrowed bike, I decided not to spend the money before the race to get it fixed. This was a big mistake. For the first 15 or so miles I felt good. After that, the rough road exacerbated the strain in my shoulder blade from the bad bike fit. I stretched my shoulders as often as I could. Around mile 25/30ish, I started to feel a strange pain in the inside of my left knee. It was something I had never felt before. Fast forward to the infamous Chalk Hill at mile 45 and things were not pretty. Every downstroke on the left side felt extremely painful. I wondered how I was going to make it to T2 and if I would be able to run. For the entire bike ride, I had repeated the mantra “God is good”. I prayed the entire 56 miles and knew that I was meant to cross that finish line, come what may! I did not want to risk my running career but thought at the very least I would walk the half marathon.
T2 - SO THANKFUL TO HAVE MADE IT!
The look on my face is “Will I be able to run?”
I racked the bike, laced up my shoes, and told my sherpas that it could be a while before I finished. I was determined to finish.
The Run - AKA My favorite part!
I started the run very slowly. I do not know how slowly because I decided to do this race GARMIN FREE! I did not want to worry about my stats and instead went completely by feel. The only issue with this is that there were no mile markers on the course (with the exception of the miles through the La Crema Vineyard,thank you La Crema!). By the time I started running, it was hot and the run course offers little shade. At every water station I drank one water and dumped one over my head. Several stations had ice so I put the ice down the front and the back of my shirt. My knee loosened up and actually felt okay after a couple of miles.
I met several great people on the run. My friend and coworker Mike came up behind me around mile 6. He was running what felt like my normal 8:30 pace. I ran with him for a couple of miles but let him go when my knee told me that an easier pace was the way to get to the finish. At that point, Kumar, a man that I had met earlier in the run, pulled up aside me and told me that he would run me to the finish. He was a godsend. Thank you Kumar!!!! My mental state was off the charts happy. I felt like I could have run a marathon, slow and steady. At mile 12, I could not believe it was almost over. I savored every moment. As I wound my way through the finishing chute, I let out several screams. The crowd cheered back. I saw my whole family - husband, mom, sister, in-laws, niece and nephew. It was amazing! I crossed the finish line beyond thrilled. I completed 70.3!!!!
With Mike at the finish. We did it!
All it takes is one good workout to turn things around. I had a horrible run on Saturday. What was supposed to be 7-10 miles turned into 4 miles. This morning everything felt great. I met the woman who introduced me to the world of trail running, C, at the trails for 5 miles. C is coming back to running after a two year hiatus. The backstory of me and C: we met and ran together for six months or so before she got injured and stopped running. That was two years ago. At the time of her injury, her friends (the ultra gang I have talked about on the blog) embraced me into their group and I have run with them ever since. They are early morning folks but today we started at 8AM. It was glorious! It was great to catch up with C. After the run, I went to an hour spin class. 2 hour brick for the win! Tomorrow, 5:15AM run and evening swim.
Happy Memorial Day everyone! Take time to give thanks for those who fight for our country.
Paradise. Waikoloa HI
I now know what it feels like to push myself up and down a mountain for 20 miles after 4 months of no mountain training. My quads are trashed. I felt fine on Saturday night (although maybe that was the wine at pre-Valentine’s dinner with the husband). I woke up yesterday with serious stiffness (like I had just run a tough marathon). I went to spin with the hope of relieving the pain but was instead greeted with hill repeats. I am not one to back down from a challenge so I took on the hills in spin with the same velocity I ran with on Saturday. Today, I am having a tough time walking (rest day). Tomorrow morning 7 miles tempo (we shall see how it goes). I am looking forward to hitting the pool tomorrow night.
The good news is that my calves feel fine, GREAT even. I am so so happy that I ran 20 on Saturday without any pain/soreness/anything in my calves. SO SO GRATEFUL!
A wise running sage once told me that marathons are like novels, each is a book and the story is ever changing. Every race brings a new set of challenges to overcome. The LA Marathon is actually known for being unusually warm on race day (I can attest to running 2 LA Marathons- 2007 and 2008- in 80+ degree temps). Sunday was a completely different story. I arrived at Dodger Stadium around 5:15AM. Wind was wiping through the stadium and the temps were cold. I wore a throw away shirt and sweatshirt over my race outfit (I HIGHLY recommend this. Wear clothes to the race that you do not mind leaving at the start). As many who ran on Sunday have already noted, getting into the start corrals was not easy. There was one entrance to all three seeded corrals. Everyone rushed the gate and it was not fun. I hope that they improve this for next year.
The best thing I did for myself was to bring a throw away rain poncho (purchased for less than a dollar from Target). Shortly after the race started, the rain came and did not let up. I wore the poncho until mile 14, where I saw my family and gave it to them. BIG MISTAKE! I did not realize how insulated the poncho was until I did not have it anymore. I thought that I was getting as wet with it on but I was wrong. Note to self- NEVER take off the plastic poncho in torrential rain.
Smiling while giving the poncho to my sister at mile 14. The guy in the yellow poncho in the background was smart and kept his poncho.
I did not have a running strategy going into the race. I have been so busy lately that I did not give it much thought. My hope was to stay on pace for a 4:15 marathon. As I have noted before on this blog, for many years I ran Galloway method style (versions from 6/1 to 1/1). Over the last year, I have moved towards running straight through. I run by feel rather than by the walk break numbers. I met a woman from Colorado at the start who was also planning on a 4:15 marathon. She and I ran together for the first 6 miles or so, right on pace. My legs were tight from the cold and rain but after mile 6, I started to get into a grove. I ran straight through, only walking momentarily through a few of the water stations. I took 3 gels - one at mile 5, 10, and 20. I did not need more than that. This may have been because I was SO COLD for most of the race. I had to remind myself to drink water because honestly, with all of the rain, I did not feel thirsty. Despite the cold, my body felt great throughout the race. I never felt out of breath or over extended. I never hit the wall. I just cruised through. When the moments of negativity came, as they often do, I chose not to give into those thoughts. I chose to focus on the positive and thought of those that I was dedicating my race to that day.
High five to my family at mile 22.
I slowed down a bit on the back half of the race. I knew that 4:15 had fallen out of my grasp but 4:20 was still well within my reach. I made the last turn onto Ocean Ave and a Grateful Dead tribute band was playing “Not Fade Away”. The scene was perfect. I ran as fast as my legs would take me to the finish. I saw a coworker cheering me on a couple blocks from the finish. Seeing her made me choke up with emotion. This day was rough but my friends and family braved the elements to cheer for ME. So amazing! I was thrilled to cross the finish line in 4:22. A new PR for me and a full 41 minutes faster than last year’s LA.
I am SO THANKFUL to all of the volunteers and spectators who came out to the race on Sunday. Los Angelenos do not like the rain. I was SO GRATEFUL to everyone for withstanding the horrible conditions to be there for us.
Last night I lamented to a friend that the water was just too much at the end of the race and I had to slow down. His reply was something like “That is what she had to tell herself this time”, as in my self doubt came in the form of telling myself it was okay to slow down because of monsoonal like rain and flooded streets. I had to agree with him. I am proud of my PR performance on Sunday, no doubt about it, but at the same time, I ended the race without emptying the tank. I felt like I could have kept going. It is a fine balance, leaving it all out on the course and finishing strong. I have yet to strike the perfect balance but with each race I know that I am growing.