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Events WishList for 2011

Calendar

Okay, so I must be feeling better. I’m making up my wish list of active events for the coming year. And: I would LOVE COMPANY at any of these!!!!!! Tell me if you want to join in! Remember, the “company” is for before/after shmoozing. I go at my own pace which may be much slower or faster (<<ha ha unlikely!) than another person. But I love sharing events with people and especially reading race or event recaps where I shared the same experience.

  • January 29: Dam Run 5k (I downgraded from a 10k just because of my shaky health and that I still have not run a mile this year!!) — COMPLETED! YAY!

  • January 30: My Healthaversary! TWO YEARS of health and fitness, yahoo! A ritual hike to the labyrinth at Sibley Volcanic Park, followed by awesome lunch at my house. Email me if you want to attend.
  • March 27: Fight For Air Stair Climb – sign up for our team!! East Bay Fit Club! I am about to post about the amazing fundraiser I’m doing to raise some $$ for the American Lung Assocation.
  • March 28: Oakland Running Festival – not sure yet if I’m going to do a Team Relay or go for the Half-Marathon. It all depends on how my running goes in Jan/Feb.
  • May 15: Bay to Breakers! My first! Yahooo!
  • May 20: Fitbloggin! Including the Fitbloggin’ 5k! Yay!
  • September 4: Disneyland Half Marathon
  • December 4: Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon!

Team Penguin is Ready

Words cannot even describe how excited I am. No matter what happens tomorrow, I think it’s gonna be a beautiful day.

10K and BEYOND!


Lake Merritt stroll

Originally uploaded by TomLog

Yesterday was a big day! I decided to check out my entire marathon relay leg. I wanted to feel it from beginning to end. I had no expectations I would run the whole thing, in fact I was hoping for 60-40% at best. Normally I have to start at the beginning, then run for a period and then turn around to get to my car. But yesterday was a Saturday, and Mr. McBody was available to pick me up at the “finish line” so I could go all in one direction. I was psyched!

I was all in a quandary about how to pace myself for this run. I thought about possibly using one of the couch-to-K programs on my phone, so I could interval. But then I decided (big brave move!) to just interval intuitively; ie to run as long as I felt like it, then walk as long as I wanted to, etc. and just SEE what happened.

Previously, the longest I had run was 5 min run/2 min walk and that felt strenuous enough last week. But I wanted to see what I would do without that dinging in my ear.

So I took off. I walked fast for 2-3 minutes and then started running. I was about half a mile down the road, and jogging in place at a stop light, when this guy comes out of NOWHERE and leaps out at me. I was so freaked! And scared!

Guess what he was holding in his hand? My car keys. My only set of car keys in the world. They had flown out of my pocket while I was running, and I hadn’t heard (due to music in my ears) or felt a thing. He had seen this happen, had stopped his car in the middle of the road, and charged over to me before the light turned! After being totally scared of my wits, I was quickly thrilled by the kindness of humans.

I kept running. I ran for about 12 minutes, or the first mile, according to my Runkeeper app. That was pretty shocking and exciting for me – and more than double what I’d run consecutively, since last summer. So that was great. I only needed to walk for a minute before starting up again. So I decided that I’d try to run to each mile and then walk if I needed to. Which could also come in handy during the event itself since I am assuming there will be mile markers posted.

I got to the point where I normally turn around. I continued on to the lake and that was very exciting, because I’d never made it that far before. I’ve done so many runs on that lake and I love it – it makes me so happy to be out there in the community, and to see other people walking and running, from really old people to elite athletes. So I’m super psyched that my relay leg includes the lake.

I was running with a sheet of paper in my hand, with the road directions for the marathon. (but no map) I looked down at real quickly and saw “right on Grand Avenue.” So I turned right and started circling the lake counter-clockwise. So far so good. I was at about 3.5 miles then (5k!) and feeling okay.

When I was about halfway around the lake, I thought I’d take a peek at my directions. They didn’t make any sense to me. 14th St.? 19th St.? Lakeside? Suddenly I felt completely turned around and disoriented. And I realized I had run way past my last intersection.

Suddenly I was exhausted. What if I had run way beyond and I had just added like a mile to my 10K? I couldn’t bear the idea. I turned around and headed back to 14th St. I was so confused. I searched for my location on my phone’s GPS, and kept staring at the paper, and nothing made any sense to me. Finally I stood at the corner of 14th and Lakeside and burst into tears. “I don’t know where to go!!!!!!!!!!!!” The idea of going further away from the real path just seemed unacceptable. I knew I was close to the end but didn’t know which way to go. I was losing it BIG time.

Finally I backed up and studied it all again. I realized I had made a mistake when I got to the lake. The FIRST direction said “Turn left on Grand,” but I’d skipped down on the paper and read the wrong one. I had gone counterclockwise when I should have gone clockwise.
But there was NO WAY I was going to do it all over again so I got a grip and kept running. I found my way to 14th, then Lakeside, 19th, etc., until I was in the home stretch. Then I got a text-message ding from one of my relay partners from Team Penguin. She was just a few blocks away! At every intersection I jogged in place and texted, “I’m at Harrison now! Broadway! Telegraph!” until finally I was running the last 3 blocks to the finish. I was so elated. I imagined the finish line and the thousands of people and I was beside myself.

I know now that I can do this. When I got home I mapped my route, lost turns and all, and found that I’d run 6.69 miles. Which was MORE than a 10k! (a 10.6k, in fact) This idea in itself has been overwhelming to me. I ran almost 7 miles, with only a couple of walk breaks and a few stops for traffic lights. I can’t believe it.

It also woke me up to the sobering realization that the relay itself is going to be 12K! Yowzers. But I can do it. Yes I can.

Look at the Fun We Have

My dad used to have a favorite saying regarding his work, which was: “We don’t make any money, but look at the fun we have.” Which was not completely true (the money part). He worked really hard as a traveling salesman. But he did have fun, and he did love his work, and he worked every day until the day he died, from his hospital bed, at the age of 81. It did make me so happy that he said that though, and I knew the fun part was true. I remember being so stunned when I read “Death of a Salesman” because I couldn’t imagine a salesman that wasn’t happy. It took me a while to figure out that this was all about my dad’s way of looking at life.

Anyway, I felt that way today in the 5k race that I did with my friend on her birthday. My phrase of the day would be: “We didn’t break any records, but look at the fun we had.”

I picked her up in the wee dark hours and she was wearing this lovely princess hat, and also had a collection of big red helium balloons, the better to be found in a crowd. She had a bunch of relatives who were joining her and cheering her on.

We drove into San Francisco and as the sky began to lighten up it was just the most beautiful day ever. Yesterday it POURED and tomorrow it is supposed to rain again, so it was like this magical window of loveliness that we were treated to for the race.

There were allegedly over 10,000 people there. I believe that. It was really exciting. People all lined up for the half-marathon and the 5k. I didn’t feel a second of regret over changing my goal to the 5k, although I did make a vow to complete a half-marathon at SOME point this year. I’m kind of eyeing one in October, which is probably a reasonable goal.

I felt so relaxed. People were saying “Happy Birthday!” to my friend and she was just so giddy and happy. We inched up to the starting line and then crossed it and… started walking fast. Then I got into a conversation with one of her family members and I got sorta distracted and before I knew it the race monitors were saying “less than a mile!” and I thought, oops, maybe I better get some running in! So I took off running and finished it up. It was … err.. the longest time I think I’ve ever taken for a 5k. But I didn’t care. It was fun.

Something was sorta off with my ankle brace and my newish running shoes. I’m gonna have to get that fixed before the marathon relay at the end of March. Now I feel like I can really FOCUS on getting trained for that one. It was kinda hard trying to prepare for these two very different events.

Yesterday we had an Open House event at WW, and we had a guest running coach from a local running club. I got to spend some time talking to her. She did say that if I’m training for an event that is longer than what I’m used to/comfortable with, I need to be RUNNING a minimum of 3-4x a week, even if they are short runs (she recommended 3 short, 1 long per week). I think she is probably right. Although I feel generally fit, I am not feeling like a super runner at this moment. So I’m gonna step that up, no pun intended, so that I am all ready for the marathon relay.

I got very excited because the Oakland Marathon had a booth, and they displayed the hefty medals for the relay teams. It was pretty thrilling. One of these big blue babies is going to be OURS! Woot!

2010: A Marathon year

I’ve signed up for two marathons in the next couple of months! Woot! Before you get all awed and excited, let me be clear. I am NOT GOING TO RUN A FULL MARATHON. My body is not ready for that, my mind is not ready, and my schedule does not have the time to train for such an endeavor. However, I plan to:

* Complete (in some combination of locomotion, but mostly walking) a half-marathon in San Francisco on February 7th.
* RUN as part of a 4-person relay team for the Oakland Marathon (historical event! first marathon in Oaktown in 25 yrs!!!) on March 28th. I just signed us up. Go, Team Penguin! We’ll waddle our way to the finish!!

I am excited about these events. Really excited. This morning I took a beautiful mini-run (2 miles) on the beach where we are staying. I felt so exhilarated and happy. Those two miles were slow, but easy, loping. I probably averaged about a 12 minute mile. Which is quite penguinesque. But I wasn’t trying to run fast or anything, I just wanted to see if I could run. I am hoping I can triple that for the relay in a few months.

One thing I am a little nervous about is that they state that no “musical devices” are allowed. Um. I am not sure I can run without one. In fact I am pretty sure I don’t even want to try. I am already scheming how I can put a little iPod shuffle in my hair and hide it. I NEED MY MUSIC: to keep my pace, and to keep the sound of my own heavy breathing out of my ears. There’s nothing that freaks me out more than the sound of my own labored breath.

I DID complete a full marathon back in 2000, the Country Music Marathon in Nashville Tennessee. I trained with Team in Training and had great fun. What I remember back then, though, is that I was almost 20 lbs heavier than I am now, and how I thought that in order to train, I need to EAT A LOT. Of pasta (carbo loading anyone) and Steak. Ha ha ha ha. I have photos of myself in my hotel room, porking out on creme brulee, spare ribs, Krispy Kreme donuts. Wow. I probably put on 5 lbs during the months I was training. Interesting, huh? I trained as a walker and did pretty well, but I never did anything BUT walk. Not any weight training or anything, except… lots of walking.

Things feel so different now! I’m excited for these marathons. I have to talk myself down from feeling somehow “less than” because I haven’t committed to running the full length. It’s just not in the cards for me right now, or rather, I’m not CHOOSING those cards. I don’t think I have anything to prove. I am just excited to participate in these two events in ways that feel healthy and good for me.

Ah, the wisdom of the aged. (snicker)

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