15 miles in 2 days

Yesterday, after my almost 4 mile run, we fit in about as much urban walking as I’ve ever done in my life (guess: 6 miles). We took the ferry to pikes place market, then ran up the giant hill to watch the cupping at Stumptown, only to find out it was the wrong Stumptown…then ran to the right place, and met up with an old college friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years. After the cupping, she guided us through volunteer park, the arboretum, islands and finally, margaritas. That was a lot of unplanned miles logged…and today’s 4 mile hike at Mt Walker was not for the faint of heart. We have not wasted any time, and I most certainly crave an ice bath. The water that surrounds us is looking mighty appealing!

Finished Hike: Apr 29, 2012 3:18:28 PM
Hike Time: 2:15:09
Stopped Time: 4:04
Distance: 4.22 miles
Average: 32:01 /mile
Fastest Pace: 11:59 /mile
Ascent: 1832 feet
Descent: 1897 feet

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The hills of West Seattle

Finished Run: Apr 28, 2012 9:15:42 AM
Run Time: 49:47
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 3.45 miles
Average: 14:27 /mile
Fastest Pace: 11:23 /mile
Ascent: 298 feet
Descent: 263 feet

“Break the plan!”

“Break the plan!”

I woke up at 8 am to L&R’s chanting. L&R did not want to go running. Luckily, they also had to make decisions about the day’s activities, so I was able to sneak out while they were discussing. Glad I did! It was a bit hilly, but very beautiful, and just what my jetlagged body needed.

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The Birds (Training Day 12)

Run Time: 44:57
Stopped Time: 1:10
Distance: 3.01 miles
Average: 14:55 /mile
Fastest Pace: 11:46 /mile
Ascent: 214 feet
Descent: 164 feet

Once you go running in Golden Gate Park, I think you are spoiled for life. It has all of the good qualities of a good running space: dirt paths, nature, other runners (but not too many), convenience (just blocks away from my home), and something different every run.

Today’s “something different” was definitely the birds. After a nice rain last night, they were out in full force. It sounded much like my chiropractor’s office (he streams bird recordings so you can feel relaxed when he’s cracking your spine). I really should have recorded the whole thing so that I could sell it to my chiropractor, or at least add it to this blog so you can enjoy it, too. Ah, I guess it will have to happen another day.

Running when you really don’t feel like it (training day 11)

Run Time: 42:58
Stopped Time: 0:00
Distance: 3.03 miles
Average: 14:11 /mile
Fastest Pace: 7:58 /mile
Ascent: 161 feet
Descent: 130 feet

I admit, I did not want to leave the comfort of my bed this morning. Last night, I struggled with sleeping through the night and I was still recovering from stubborn trapezius muscles this morning. But, I pulled myself out, took some pain killers for the headache I had, and started coffee while I placed a warming pad on my shoulders. 20 minutes later, I left the house, telling myself about all the positives of my run today (variety, soft surface, being in the park) — and, like clockwork, about a mile in, I was a happy runner.

I doubt there really is a trick to conquer the urge not to run, but it’s probably like most things you don’t want to do: half the battle is just showing up, and the rest just follows.

I have a confession…

…Sometimes I look at people with perfectly healthy trapezius muscles and I feel a little envy. Today was definitely a green-with-the-desire-for-painfree-trapezius-muscles kind of day. In case you don’t know about trapezius muscles, they are the ones that hold up your neck. They get aggravated when you do things like play the cello, climb, ride a road bike, RUN, and sit in front of a computer every day. Basically, this is my existence.

So, I was sporting this today…and feeling generally miserable about my pain-inducing hobbies.

 

Source: thermacare.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

I just want to trade my trapezius muscles with yours, you healthy trapezius-muscle-sporting person. Yes, you know who you are.

Planning Training Day 10…and throwing out the plans

Run Time: 43:15
Stopped Time: 0:36
Distance: 3.01 miles
Average: 14:21 /mile
Fastest Pace: 10:21 /mile
Ascent: 282 feet
Descent: 292 feet

Here’s how I usually plan a run:

  1. Mapmyrun.com – this tool has been with me since I did my first half marathon. I will sometimes look at runs others have done, and sometimes I’ll just pick a park, then map it out to hit the exact mileage I want.
  2. I’ll pull out a post-it note and write out the turn-by-turn directions.
  3. I’ll stare at the map for a few minutes to get a sense of what it looks like.
  4. I’ll change my mind one or two times.

Here’s how the run went today:

  1. Repeat steps 1-4.
  2. Ask Tom what he wants to do.
  3. Attempt to stick with the plan, then follow Tom as he gets us a little lost.
  4. Recognize a landmark, and then realize that’s the way to go.

It worked out pretty well, actually. I saw a section of the Bay Area Ridge Trail I would not have seen otherwise. Tom learned the value of landmarks. We finished the run in good time, and even had a couple of blocks to spare.

Saturday’s Burpees

Source: someecards.com via Sarah on Pinterest

 

A burpee is a cross between a plank, a pushup and a hop. The exercise sounds harmless enough (with “burp” as the first syllable, it just sounds cute and giggle-worthy)… but it is nothing to be messed around with. Sure, you may giggle the first time someone says, “Do 10 burpees,” but by the fifth time around, you’ll learn to dread respect the word.

I usually do these once a week, only because someone tells me to. Without this reason, I don’t think I’d even know they existed (even though they’ve apparently been around since the 1930s).

I have yet to realize the benefits of them, but they are getting easier (or I’m getting more adept at figuring out the tricks around doing them properly). Perhaps one day, I will even do them on my own. Until that day, I have bootcamp.

The Music Debate

To run with music, or without…it’s a hot debate for some runners. Check out this Runner’s World article to see what I mean.

Some say you should run without music. You can, and should, pay attention to your foot strike (personally, I’m guilty of a poor running foot strike, so this resonates with me). Music can keep you from doing this. If you run without music, you will also pay more attention to your surroundings.

Before training for this half marathon, I would always take the side of music. Music is such an essential part of my life, and running is no exception. I also really don’t like that the race folks tell you not to listen to music, so that makes me want to.

Lately, however, I’ve noticed that, when I run without music, I do pay attention to where my foot is striking, and how heavy I place it on the ground. I pay attention to my breathing, posture, and I hold a conversation (it usually helps that I’ve been running more with people than not). On one of my runs last week, when it was raining in Golden Gate Park, I even noticed the sounds of nature, a rare kind of treat for my urban life.

I’m not going to throw away my iPod, and I will definitely be sporting this thing soon (below), but I’ll probably only listen to music on my easy run days.

Source: amazon.com via Sarah on Pinterest

Dear P-Town 2 Miles (Training Day 9)

Run Time: 29:13
Distance: 2.02 miles
Average: 14:26 /mile
Fastest Pace: 11:37 /mile
Ascent: 100 feet
Descent: 82 feet

Dear P-Town 2 Mile Route,

I appreciate you for your regularity. Your predictable, car-free, traffic-light-free roads give me ample space and a softer paved surface where I can run. You boast other friendly exercisers who will sometimes just say “hello” but frequently will fit in as much chit-chat as possible. Case in point? Today’s friendly walking gentleman, who not only said “hello”, but also made eye contact and talked about the weather in the amount of time it would normally take a SF jogger to avert his/her eyes. You give me a sense of community in a place where I don’t even live, and for that, you are special.

However, you really could use some adventure. I don’t know what that means for you. For me, it means the ability to get lost a little. Perhaps a cloud or two in the sky. A road construction sign. A homeless person. I don’t know! Anything! Be creative, please?

Sincerely,

Me

The Crow Pose…or why I sometimes have bruises above my elbows

Wednesdays are yoga days. You can tell it’s a yoga day because I will walk confidently into the office, smile plastered on my face at 9:50am, which is a little later than my normal eta. My colleague will probably ask me how the gym was (we go to the same gym, but she’s not a morning person). I’ll say “FANTASTIC!” or “I LOVE YOGA!”, at which point she will say, “I’m glad you love yoga.” There will be a hint of sarcasm in her voice, as she prefers climbing or working out independently over any ol’ yoga class (to her credit, she did try it once).

Today, we worked on crow. Crow looks like this when it is done properly:

 

When I do it, my head is precariously placed on a block and only rarely do both of my feet come off the ground. I’m usually not a huge fan, though the block helps. Today, I could only do one set of toes at a time, but I did feel like they say you should feel — like I was making progress and growing in my practice. One of these days, I’ll put myself into crow without a block and that seems like a manageable yoga goal (side note: on my list of “manageable yoga goals,” you will never see “headstand”).