Monday, May 30, 2011

Ready to ROCK San Diego!

Woooooo hoooooo!!!!! Rock 'n Roll San Diego is less than a week away!  The miles are run (although not as many as I would like, but moving on....), the arrangements are made. Now comes one of my most fave parts: making a new playlist!

I love music.  Any kind of music.  I'm not a music snob.  I'll listening to pretty much anything....a good song is a good song.  But I do have my preferences, which I wrote about a little bit here.  I like to change up my playlist frequently, so it doesn't get stale.  I usually rotate in new stuff, while keeping some of my faves from previous playlists.

So without further Rock 'n Roll San Diego playlist (which will be on shuffle, so who knows what order!):

Bridge Burning -  Foo Fighters

Bang, Bang K'naan & Adam Levine (fun, great beat, and Adam Levine...sigh....)

F**k You! - Cee Lo Green

Tonight Tonight - Hot Chelle Ray (my kids are OBSESSED with this song.)

Monkey Wrench - Foo Fighters 

What the Hell - Avril Lavigne (can't help myself, it's catchy!)

Little Lion Man - Mumford &  Sons

Kiss With a Fist - Florence + The Machine (she just rocks....)

White Limo - Foo Fighters (fits my "loud and slightly angry" preference to a tee)

Love Don't Wait - Michael Franti & Spearhead (fun, fun, fun!)

The Distance - Cake  (no running playlist is complete with Cake....)

Henrietta - The Fratellis

Welcome to the Black Parade - My Chemical Romance

When They Come for Me - Linkin Park (I like this song when I'm suffering....about mile 10, I'm sure)

Animal - Neon Trees (great beat)

Times Like These - Foo Fighters

The Sound of Sunshine - Michael Franti & Spearhead (happiness in song form)

Best of You - Foo Fighters (if I was going to do karaoke, it would be to this song)

Let Me Go - Cake

Back & Forth - Foo Fighters (everytime I hear this song, I have to resist the urge to sing)

Billionaire - Travie McCoy

Horseshoes and Handgrenades - Green Day (again, loud and slightly angry)

Everlong - Foo Fighters  (musical genius)

Dog Days are Over - Florence + The Machine

Lisztomania - Phoenix (again, I love the beat of this one)

Walk - Foo Fighters (I LOVE the lyrics in this song....)

Never There - Cake  (another one that makes me want to me, you don't want me to sing)

Teenagers - My Chemical Romance

We'll Be Alright - Travie McCoy

Rope - Foo Fighters (Maybe my fave off the new album....)

Wretches and Kings - Linkin Park 

What's the Attitude - Cut Chemist (guilty pleasure!)

Price Tag - Jessie J and B.O.B.  (another guilty pleasure)

Headwires - Foo Fighters

Creepin' Up the Back Stairs - The Fratellis

Holiday - Vampire Weekend  (just love them!)

Friday, May 27, 2011

Going the Distance...

So I have a decision to make over the several days.

Registration for Rock n' Roll Las Vegas opens on May 31st.  I'm definitely doing it.  My friend Monika and I had so much fun last year that we knew before we even finished the race that we'd be back to do it again.

What I need to decide is:  half.....or, dare I say it, full.  Yes, I'm contemplating signing up for the full.  It would be my first marathon.  Monika is talking about doing it, and I have a feeling that she is going to use peer pressure kindly ask me to do it with her.

I would have a training partner in Monika.  I have plenty of time (according to the calendar, anyway) to prepare.

But I'm scared.  Can my body (mainly my hip and back) make it through the additional miles?  Can I fit all the extra training that a full would require into my already busy life?

I'm just so undecided.  If I do it, I have to fully commit to it.  I cannot be wishy-washy about it.

And so I will continue to think about it.  But not too long...registration is right around the corner.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Curse of the Long Run

Today's run was supposed to be 9 miles.  It was 7.15.  And that took me one hour and 20 minutes.  It SUCKED.  It ROYALLY SUCKED.  Where do I start?

In the first few miles.....

Barely around the corner, and my shoes aren't tied correctly.  I'm picky about this.  Not too tight, not too loose.  I've been known to tie and re-tie my shoes several times before I run because they have to be just right.  So I have to stop and fix them.

That extra 45 minutes of sleep is going to bite me in the ass.  It's already warmer than I like it.

Uh....guess I need to actually push "start" on the Garmin.

I don't think I put enough SPF 10 million on my shoulders.  I can feel my freckle collection growing.

Why do I already feel like crap?  I'm not even running that hard. Yikes! My heart rate is in the mid-170s.  That is not good territory for me.  Oh wait.  Decongestants + cough syrup + antibiotics....yep, that'll do it!

In the next couple of miles.....

Must stop for a minute and cough up a lung....damn sinus infection.

Why is the safest side of the street never the shadiest side of the street?  Murphy's Law....

Why does it feel like there is something in my right shoe?  It's bothering me.

It's gone beyond bothering me...something is hurting my foot.  I have to stop and figure it out.  Great, it's my new socks.  They are just a little bit big, even though they are smalls (I have tiny feet), and the "extra" sock has worked it's way under my foot.  While I'm stopped, I have another little coughing fit.

In the last couple of miles.....

Ok, I'm now sweating and sunscreen is running in my right eye.  It burns.  Maybe I can run with one eye closed???

Have to stop and fix the damn sock on my right foot two more times.  And to add to the drama, the seam of the left sock is now rubbing a blister on the top of one of my toes.  Epic fail on the new socks.

I check the time.  I have to cut this run short and head home.  Husband is waiting to go mountain biking and was supposed to leave 10 minutes ago.

Grade for today's run:    D-

Yeah, that was terrible.  I think I have a long run curse.  This will be my 4th 1/2 marathon and every time I get to the point of needing to pull 8 or more miles for my long run I have "issues."  For the first one, the first time I did 9 miles I had to call my husband at mile 6 to pick me up because I was dry heaving on the side of the road (of course, I ended up with the stomach flu).  For the next two, I was dealing with hip flexor issues the whole last month leading up to the race, which really hampered my long runs.  This time, this nasty sinus infection has knocked my for a loop the last couple of weeks.  And today's run was just a hodge podge of random issues.

Ugh!  I was feeling good about San Diego.  Now that I'm three weeks out, I'm not where I would like to be.  Sigh....

Friday, May 13, 2011

Fitting It All In....

[I started writing this post the other day, then I read this post up at  'another mother runner’ about Whitney, who has 9 (NINE!) kids, and still manages to be an avid runner.  Now I just feel like a whiner…..]

want to be a better runner.  I really do.  I have the motivation. What I'm lacking is the time.  I know I'm not alone in this.  Here's a snapshot of my life:

I teach high school math.  Only part time this year, but next school year I will be full-time. Oh, and the school I teach at starts at 7:15 in the am. (Cruel and unusual for teenagers, I know).

I'm taking classes.  Yes, I'm in school myself.  Teaching is a career change for me, so I'm actually adding a teaching credential to my Bachelor’s.

I have two kids, ages 9 and 6.  Between the two of them, every evening of the week has some extra-curricular activity (they each only have two, but one is swimming which is multiple evenings per week).

And I have a husband who likes to spend time with his wife (I think).  

And then there's all the rest of the junk:  a house to clean, groceries to buy, laundry to do, etc. etc.  

Oh, and did I mention I play softball two nights a week?  

Sound familiar?  I'm not complaining, just laying it all out.  I'm busier than some people, less busy than others.  These aren’t excuses not to run; these are just the things that cut into my running time. 

I should also mention that I am a "7 hours of sleep" kind of girl.  I would prefer 8, but I can function just fine on 7.  Any less than that and I'm just not my usual chipper self.  I have to get up between 5 and 5:30 just to get myself and the kids up, ready, and out the door on time.  So morning runs during the school year are pretty much out.  Sure, I could get up at 4 am.  But then I'd have to be in bed and asleep by 9pm.  My kids go to bed at 8:30. Sometimes that time between 8:30 and 10:00 is the only time during the day I have to get things sit and have "quiet time."  

So then there's evenings and nights.  I do most of my short runs at the gym on the treadmill while my kids are out in the pool at practice. But anything more than 4 or 5 miles and I want to bang my head on the treadmill out of sheer boredom.   

Longer runs are obviously saved for the weekends.  

So my question for all you "runner moms" out there who have kids, households, husbands/significant others, and jobs.  How do you do it? 

I know it can be done.  I know it will involve setting priorities, scheduling, and sacrificing.  Sometimes when you’re in the middle of the problem, you don’t see the solution.  What I’m hoping to get is sage advice from moms who have made it work. 

What works for you?  How do you fit in all those miles, without sacrificing the important things (like sleep)?  

Sunday, May 1, 2011

'"A Goal Without a Plan is Just a Wish"

This past weekend we drove up to Prescott AZ to watch my husband and and a group of his friends ride in Epic Ride's Whiskey Off-Road mountain biking event.  This is the second year that they've ridden in this 28-mile event, and they all had the same race goal:  finish faster than last year.

And they were all able to do that....except my husband.

We were waiting at the finish line, hoping to see them all cross.  Two of his friends had already come in around the 3 1/2 hour mark.  My husband was shooting for 4 hrs 15 min, about 30 mins faster than last year.  When that time came and went, I started to get nervous.  I knew how badly he wanted that time.  And then my phone rang.

He was on the trail with a woman who was part of a bad crash and had a broken collar bone.  He had me run over to the medical tent and relay messages back and forth to work out where they were on the trail.  And then he hung up.  And I knew that not only was he not going to get his 4:15, but he was going to stay with her until the medics got there and probably add a good hour or more to his time.  And that's what happened.

When he finally crossed the finish line (he said starting again after sitting for almost an hour was BRUTAL), he checked his actual "pedal time" on his Garmin:  4 hours and 15 minutes.  So he would have met his goal.

I was sad for him.  I knew how badly he wanted to beat his previous time.  But he was perfectly OK with it.  He said there wasn't any second-thoughts about staying with her, that if it was his wife (or mother....the lady was 63) on the trail, he'd want someone to stay with her until she had help.   Plus he's just that kind of guy.

So this got me to thinking about my own goals.  I'm running Rock 'n Roll San Diego in a little over a month.  This will be my fourth 1/2 marathon.  The first time the goal was easy:  finish, preferably without having to walk.  And I 2:34:54. [I know my times are kind of slow to some of you "real" runners out there, but remember: I'm the "wannabe" runner!]

Not too shabby for someone who tried running in college and couldn't go two miles without puffing on an inhaler.  So the next race, which was almost a year later, I wanted to finish in 2:15:00.  Then about 6 weeks out, I started having trouble with my hip flexor any time I ran over 6 miles.  The goal had to change to "just finish."  Somehow I managed 2:18:30...just 3-1/2 minutes shy of my goal.

After Las Vegas, the plan was to back off for a while and figure out what was up with my hip.  But dammit if I didn't want the Double Down medal for running RnR Las Vegas and RnR Arizona back to back (because it's all about the medal, right?)  So I figured I'd just do it, even if I had to walk, limp, or crawl pass the finish line (stupid, I know).  Time for race #3:  2:22:38.  I know I was injured, but I couldn't help but be disappointed that I added time.

So here I am, a month out from San Diego.  Even though my training hasn't gone exactly as planned (darn "real life" keeps getting in the way), I feel faster than I ever have and better prepared.  I think I've got my hip issues situated, and I'm just mentally in a better place.

So I'm setting my goal again:  2:15:00 or better.  I'm throwing it out there in the Universe.  And I'm going to try really hard to run a good race and be happy with my time, even if I don't meet that goal.

Now I have to make a decision....pace group or no pace group.  Thoughts?????