I run happy.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sparkle Pants Has Some Big Guns!

Watch grandma babysit Sparkle Pants.
Watch her dress him up in the dog's Halloween Princess Dress(he asked).
Watch grandma settle on cutting up her old socks and making arm warmers for Sparkle Pants(yes, he asked).
Watch Sparkle Pants take off his shirt for running(yes, that's how we run and roll here in San Diego on December 27)and step into Grandpa's WONDER shoes.  Actually,  Gpa is often  HASSLED when he wears these...the running dudes call them his CHARGER shoes.  That's NOT a compliment around here anymore.
Watch grandma take two dozen pictures of Sparkle Pants acting cute and kiss him  a zillion times in between photo  shots.
Grandma needs to go back to school to entertain herself.

Several days ago I announced that my marathon training was almost ready to be declared OVER and that TAPERING would be my next project.  There were so many OTHER things I wanted to say about training and some of you commented on sharing my similar training philosophy this time around...

Develop a base for training hard by going slower on your
long runs!

Let your body rest from the two to three hard workouts a week by doing your light days very, very SLOWLY!

Eat an apple or other carb and a little protein right after your hard workouts, it will help with recovery!

Finally,  using a heart rate monitor will help you keep these runs slow which  will definitely help you recover quicker and stay injury free.

I still have two more hard workouts before my tapering but I had to let the cat out of the bag.... 


It's a miracle really.  Then again, no.  It's just running smarter and not going crazy with speed and trusting the training.  

** I do have ONE secret weapon that SANTA brought BS and I for Christmas and it has also helped us recover from the usual aches and pains.  More on this $$WEAPON of CHOICE$$ soon .

Run for fun!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Hello Marathon, Hello Whales, Hello Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Southern California finally feels like Christmas! The Santa Ana winds are blowing a colder wind at odd times of the day(like during my speed workouts along the coast)and the California Gray Whales are making their way to Scammon's Lagoon in Mexico.  BS, my trusty running partner/husband and I,  received a WHALE SPOUTING show at sunset on Wednesday night and I was jumping up and down along the cliffs as I spotted the water sprays over six times!
I love whales.
I love sunsets.
I love running.
I love my running partner.
Enough said about that.

Only 3 weeks and some odd days until the Carlsbad Marathon! 
This training has been a mix of the ooh's and aah's...
**a long, long base phase of slow, slow long runs
**a lot of hills run at various paces that have both killed me and made me stronger.
Have you tried running up hill for 60 mins?
In Southern California?  On the coast?
(witch cackle inserted here...bahhhhaaaahaaaa)
More hill sprints, bounds and 1 min. repeats.
**a lot of marathon pace long runs which I've only just started so I hope they kick in and stick for the race!

OOOh and ahhh all I want,  it's RACE DAY that counts and I'm feeling like I can keep myself happy and feeling confident if I keep up with the rest of the workouts for the next two weeks and then sigh that ultimate ahhhh...for taper.  I'm ready for that.

To start and finish injury free!
Be strong!
Be happy!

I can do that...

Finally,  I wish all of you a Merry Christmas and my thoughts and hugs go out to each one of you this season.

The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.
The Dali Lama

Monday, December 5, 2011

Periodization and Other "New" Discoveries...

This picture of Matthew reminds me that life is too short to sit around and stew, fret and wallow in the way the winds blow.  Sadly, friends,  I've been in this state of CHAOS for a few weeks.  CHANGE has a way of doing that to us.  However, one can't fight the winds forever.  I need to settle in.

So, like the little piggy who's house was FLATTENED by the Big Bad Wolf,  I'm fleeing to another house and starting out all over.  JUST KIDDING.  Well, I have made the mental leap to move into a better place and keep moving forward, because that's WHAT WE STRONG WOMEN DO!  **Please read my past blog posts if you have NO idea what I"m talking about!*

Sparkle Pants(our  2.5 year old grandson-now-house-mate) amuses us with his dances with flashlights and the way he wears the headlamp around his tummy and struts his stuff during power outages and HEY...there's nothing like having a TWO and a half year old around again!  His mommy continues to move forward as she starts over with us as well.  BOYSCOUT and I have realized that we aren't parenting anymore.  We can't!  We're co-living.  There's a sweetness in this somewhere, I feel it.  It's the "processing" that is taking some time!  Thanks for your AWESOME EMAILS and comments.  I feel like I'm back to following YOUR running, your experiences and your expertise in this area.  I've missed YOU!!

I guess I've celebrate enough and with the XC Championships over,   I've moved into the THRONGS of marathon training.   The short stuff was so easy to maintain...just speed work and resting but...
Marathon training is baaaaccckkk!

I've stumbled on to something called PERIODIZATION in marathon training.
My last 11 marathons were run according to the average marathon plan with my mileage hitting about 70 miles at the peak.  I would  run the usual weeks of training that included:  track/speed work,  a tempo run with progressively more mileage each week and then the major long run that gets longer each week and usually tops out at 24 miles.   What I've found is that my 46 year old body usually handles everything until about that last week of tough training, right before taper.  SUDDENLY, at that point, hell breaks loose.  I fall a part.  The plantar facitis kicks in and I end up tapering with a hobble and a strict habit of PRAYING 10 times a day that a miracle with happen.  I also end up visiting my physio twice a week.  I'm usually a mess by the time I hit the starting line and then,  of course my goals and plans are less than what I hope for.

THIS TIME, it's different.

Since I started training for the XC Championships,  my training has consisted of one workout of mile repeats/strides and hills,  a long run but a VERY slow one and a moderate run.  I take two days off and do one other day of very easy running.

My training calendar was broken up into three distinct cycles: base, hills and marathon specific training. 

Sunday, I ran 60 mins. up hill and the rest moderately for a total of 16 miles.  Next week I have one more long run with hills and then I start my marathon pace work.  

I'm feeling strong, not broken.  Usually, by now,  my body is aching from the tempo runs and they would  get tougher for me.  NOW,  each and every run ends with me feeling stronger.  It's the STRANGEST THING!  My body has been preparing itself for the hardest and most demanding part of my training and it's ready.  

6 weeks until The Carlsbad Marathon.  So far so good.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

XC Championships in San Diego!

So happy and so sad!  The XC Championships in San Diego were today and it marks the end of my XC season.  On the one hand,  I'm happy to be freeing up my mind for things that don't start with 5 and end with k or 4 and miler.  The short stuff, all 8 races practically every weekend, have been great for my "racing brain."  I tend to run short races like a fun run...high fiving, smiling, just out for a piece of candy.  Race candy.  As the last few races played out,  I found myself focusing more on the run.  The speed, the flow, the end.  And then I smiled.  Once I realized that the courses were never flat, never smooth and usually had about three hills and lots of turns, lumpy grass and today, some soggy mud, I relaxed and found my "happy place" with XC racing.
Seriously, bliss.

I think my favorite thing about this series has been running with my BSK Teammates.  So many fast ladies but also, so smart and so supportive.  Once you start traveling around every weekend together you also get to know the other masters ladies and it becomes one big family.  We cheer for one another, celebrate and give lots of hugs.  This is what a racing team is all about.  I love you, Girls!!

BIG THANK YOUS to the RUNNING SKIRT GIRLS here in town for sponsoring us and the OPEN Elites with such cute skirts!
Jessica won first woman OPEN!  Awesome, Jessica! Great job, Morgan, Joey and Melissa!

Tomorrow, my focus turns to my marathon training for the Carlsbad Marathon in January! My base is strong, my focus is good, I think I'm off to a good start.

Thanks BSK girls, Coach David, Nicole, and Steve for making today possible!  I love you all!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Is it corny and trite to say that I've always imagined that I would live in a community that reflected the WORLD?  Different types of people, different colors, personalities, unique qualities and talents?

That we could all live our lives but somehow contribute to the lives of others in meaningful, kind and constructive and helpful ways?  I guess that's why I blog...and why I shared that story about our daughter coming home...I haven't felt the blog community to be anything other than CARING AND HELPFUL.  HOPEFUL.  I'm grateful.  Thank you all so much!

Do I sound like MARY SUNSHINE?  Are you opposed to reading what else I have to say because this is just TOO PIE IN THE SKY, too ROSEY, too idealistic?

Idealistic, realistic, optimistic?

I am entirely optimistic for my daughter and Sparkle Pants.  I know it's not going to be easy for them but we've re calibrated, , set up some new house hold boundaries for all of us and now, moving forward.  Let me thank the author of this book for some insight!

I'm finding that just remaining in the present and staying mindful is helping me in EVERY are of my life.

 I also need to thank those people in my COMMUNITY/FAMILY/WORLD for their unending LOVE and confidence in all of us.  THANK YOU BLOGGERS for your supportive comments and know that it was important to share this information with people who are in my WORLD because this is life.  Hiding or putting on the "RUNNER BLOGGER MASK" just isn't my thing.  I'm many different things but a runner is only one of them...thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Our 7th and FINAL Cross Country Race!

I might have neglected  to mention that besides everything else going on in my life,  I am now training for the Carlsbad Marathon in January!  This week had no room for tapering for today's 6k but it's all good.  I managed 42 miles this week and definitely felt the fatigue in my legs during the last mile of the xc race.  Last Saturday was a 15 miler on hills with 4:30 spurts at marathon pace.  I felt sturdy and strong and felt totally recovered by track night on Tuesday.  That night I did 10 miles and didn't feel great by Thursday but did pull off the workout.  Yesterday, my recovery miles were slow and few but I did wake up HAPPY and ready to race.

Starting line!

There was a STACK OF fast masters women today, everyone is  gearing up for the XC Championships in San Diego in two weeks.  I managed to stick to my 6:45 pace goal for the first two miles and then slowed down to about 6:51 for the remainder of the race.
The terrain was mostly rolling, grassy hills and trails with some flat trails, lined with honking geese.  I have DEFINITELY learned to stick with a pace effort  over the terrain rather than aiming for a set finishing time at a XC race.  There are just too many variables with the terrain and other runners.   Again, I had the time of my life today and ended the race slightly sad because this was our last one of the season.  Our team has become so close and supportive of one another but we'll move on to the Championships at Mission Bay shortly! It's not quite the END!
Again, the marathon training is first so I'll also   keep on with the longer training.

THANK you, THANK you, THANK you once again for your thoughtful comments and support. I am grateful for each and every one of you.


Monday, October 24, 2011

"While we try to teach our children about life,
Our children teach us what life is all about."

Guess what I did?  I got complacent.  I started getting used to being an empty nester. Making dinner and eating when we felt like it.  Running at any hour of the day.  Cleaning the house ONLY when we knew it was absolutely necessary(like when spider webs were dangling from the corners of our living room), and finally,  putting out breakables, using fancier glasses, REALLY living life like adults.  You get the picture and I'm sure you know where I'm going.

BAM!  BAM!  BAM!    

It started raining confetti and it wasn't my birthday.  "Surprise!"  Someone shouted(and even though it was only in my brain,   I braced myself."

Sparkle Pants and His Mommy came home.  Moved home.  Grandparents,   meet living- with- daughter- in college/working/mommying and precious two year old plus a few months.

The surprise party died down and reality took over..

The kind of reality that wakes you up,  tests your unconditional love and everything you ever said about being there for your kids NO MATTER WHAT.  Because, yes,  we said that to both of our kids.  All the time.

So now, we're living it.  Trying anyway.  We're trying to NOT parent a 22 year old woman who is scared, working way too hard at school and has two jobs.  We are grand parenting a football-running-baseball-soccer-loving 2.5 year old who asks questions all day long and loves books, snuggling and tortilla chips and hummus.

And you wonder why I'm still blogging?  Still running?  Still looking for wisdom and inspiration with faith and hope?

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Moving forward as always; xc running, training for a January marathon, hugging my husband, digging in some dirt and playing with some rad five and six year olds because they call it "my job."

Suddenly,  my life sounds pretty good.  I am blessed and very non-complacent at this moment.

Thanks for reading this.   Can you believe how fast things can change?!

Monday, October 17, 2011

XC Race # 6

6 races down, every weekend, only two more to go.  This was supposed to be the fastest course, the course with the least hills and the course that many gals PR'd on last year.  Alas, this wasn't to be my day for the sub 20 min. PR at the 5k.  I knew it the minute I woke up.  That's not to say that I woke up with a negative attitude.  Nope.  I love this fun stuff too much.  I just have been DEALING with real LIFE this week and it pretty much pooped me out.  On Saturday morning,  I wanted to wake up, put on the team jersey and run my heart out.  Actually, I was just hoping to survive this race.

Basically this is how it went down>>>
Our masters women team started off with the OPEN team in a "team box."  What?  Suddenly, at this race, we're mushed in with about 15 women and two other teams on either side of us.
"Expect elbowing."  was sort of mentioned at this point.  Women elbowing?  College girls or the old ladies like me?  Couldn't see myself using "the elbows" as running tools.  Of course, that changed as we started to the firing of a gun.  I felt myself listening to the words of a porta potty coach who told her girls NOT to run by feel.  Heck no, make up your mind in the first few strides whether you're going to go for it at mile 1, 2 or 3. Oh, by the way, she wasn't coaching the porta potty users, she was actually coaching her team girls while they waited in line for the potty.  
*free coaching*
Suffice to say,  my mental focus wasn't on for this race and I spent the 3 + miles waiting for my poop cramps to go away, grabbing my side, rolling my eyes at BS and taking the turns wide enough that if I "decided" to quit the race, I'd be in the right spot.

People told me they thought I would quit the race several times.  I must have looked radiant and thrilled.

But I didn't quit.  Close to the hill near the finish, I sucked it up.  Once I hit the track for the finish lap,  I realized the clock read 18 something and if I tried to run the track in one minute, I'd PR.
Ha, ha, ha.
I must have been delirious or on crack at that time.

I just kept running and crossed the finish at 21:01.

Well, I didn't quit.

I am new to xc racing this year so everything I've learned has come from MAKING STUPID mistakes right down to eavesdropping on a coach and her college students while we were in line at the porta potty.
I didn't race xc in high school.  Heck,  I just started racing 6 years ago.  SOMEONE should have told me the rules before I got started. There is strategy, there are rules, you just can't run and run and hang on.
But, it's worked for me so far.
AND, I'm loving it.

Great women ran today.  Some fast, some took their time, most gave it their all.  That's all that matters.
Did I tell you I'm just grateful to be a member of this awesome group of girls...I mean, women?
Happy Running,

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Race Candy...

Our team raced again last Saturday and as we approach one of our final three races,  I'm left to reflect on how this XC season as gone.  Of course, it's no surprise,


A friend from the team told me that these races are like CANDY.  She's right.  Once you get started, you can't stop.  It's almost addictive...no, it IS addictive.  This is being said by the woman who despised 5k's two months ago and is on a quest to finally break her 20 min. goal for the 5k.


I would say that biggest challenge has been running these hilly and varied-terrain races as if they were a road race.  Thus, expecting that my time will be close to my road 5k time.  It just "isn't" so and it's almost a relief some days.  Going out to hang on and push for the team and for my personal goal is more fun knowing that the occasional soft and sandy spot will be there to test my forward movement.  Maybe it will be a muddy spot or a lumpy grassy hill, perhaps, even a KILLER hill.  Whatever.  It's fun to see what new adventures will be encountered during these races.

New flavors.  New textures.  Less calories, NO cavities.

I like this candy.  Too bad it's almost devoured but I've appreciated every minute!

TOO much, way TOO much, to be discussed on the home front and the school front.  One little tidbit is that BS has been out of running commission since the summer due to his Achilles and he's had an MRI, etc.  He's out until December.

I miss my favorite running partner.

*he's a good listener
*he has something GOOD and wonderful to say about EVERYONE(yes, really)
*he's funny
*he's inspiring
*he's the real deal

Love that man.

Happy Running!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

This is real life, guys...

Painting "The Box."
So far it is The Rainbow House.
It has twinkling lights and orange Halloween lights.
It's still a work in progress.
Pretend Napping Inside the Box 

I'm all about being real today.  Today. Last week,   I had a week of parent-teacher conferences that were enlightening, inspiring and also, sad and frustrating.  Be real.  Life isn't easy for some of us right now.  We have our home.  We have jobs.  We have healthy kids.  Not everyone does.  About 4 or 5 of my Pretzels out of 22 are in homes and families that are in some kind of crisis.  These little guys are shutting down at the ages of 4-6.  Their families are struggling financially and it trickles down on the eeny-meenies of our        
society. These EENY-MEENIES are innocent.  One child was afraid to go to the nurse because he thought his mom would have to pay.  The fears are deep, they've been planted and fed over the past two or three years.  These Pretzels have been raised in crisis. It's their "normal."  We need to remember this when we fuss about test scores, PUBLIC schools, and "those" kids.  They really are OUR kids.  They will always be a part of OUR WORLD, our community, our neighborhoods. Be mindful.  Be hopeful.  Reach out.

REALITY number TWO:  Be grateful.

We have so much.  All the way down to the running...what we LOVE to do.  What we "get" to do!

 I had my cross country race on Sunday,  Race NUMBER 4!  It was a hilly 8k which was down in San Diego, very close to the border of Tijuana and San Diego.  The terrain was all trail and dirt with some dry grass and a golf course for much of the course.  All of the courses have been hilly and it has been interesting to see how my body/fitness has changed with the racing every week.  I barely run during the week really.  I do one big track workout which consists of 4 downhill repeats, then 4 1 min. up hill sprints, and ends with 4 uphill repeats.  It is usually about 8 miles of work and a good warm up and small cool down.  The rest of the week consists of a rest day and two short run days at a slow pace.  Friday I gear up mentally with a two mile run and 6 strides at 5k pace.  I am seeing a lot of progress on race day, not just  with my times but with how strong I feel.

Here's where I get real with you...

Pace and time have always been HUGE for me.  I love the numbers.  Not for comparing with anyone else, just to compare how I've been and where I am.  It's almost a game for me.  It's fun.  Suddenly though,  I started to realize with racing every week,  it can't be about numbers.  You have HILLS in cross country.  You have rocks.  Bumpy, wet grass.  Mud.  Dogs. Runners.  Slippery slopes covered with leaves.

It's all about how you feel.  Am I feeling strong?

Now when I'm racing, my mind isn't wondering about the numbers.  This is what goes on and I can be pretty exact with this since I've done it for four Saturdays in a row.

My mind talking to me:

The start:
"How relaxed do I feel right now?  Relax!"

Mile 1:
"How relaxed am I right now?  How settled am I feeling?  What am I noticing around me?  How much fun am I having right now?"

Mile 2-3:
"Hills!  Use your arms.  Relax!  Smile, you love hills.  Ah, down hills.  No, this is what you love, down hills.  Keep it controlled.  Yes, it feels so good!"

Mile 4:
"Flat?  Yikes, this feels weird.  Where's my 64 year old friend who is usually here at this time?  There he is." At this point, he joins me or I join him and we have a friendly, unspoken game of can Meg slow down her breathing to match his.  He's won every time.  Today he spoke to me at mile 4.something,  "See that girl in the red?  Go get her."  Because I'm in a zone and listen to anything anyone tells me at this point, ,  I followed his instructions but never really caught up to her.  His words were like CRACK though, it shot me out of my comfort zone of RELAXATION and zen...and I made an honest attempt to catch up with her though the sandy final mile.

Each and every one of these races has had me crossing the finish line with a smile.  I'd shout and cart wheel if it didn't look SO "NFL" football player-bragger-like.  My smiles and shouts are for me.  I'm just grateful.  My body kept itself healthy and in one piece for another race.  Thank you for that, body.

Numbers can be good. Being strong can be even better, it carries you farther, lasts longer.

Have a great week!  Be grateful.  Reach out to a child who looks like they just need a smile. Work towards being STRONG, inside and out.

 Our Class Marble Jar Party...
Donuts on a string, hands behind backs.
Thanks to Clifford's Halloween for this idea!


Sunday, September 18, 2011


Lots and lots of recovery going on around here.  First off, from ORANGE DAY.  My last post explains the whole fiasco.  Moving on to purple tomorrow, I'm sure I'll be able to keep it off the floor, the faces and the clothing...NOT!
One of you requested a photograph of the whole ordeal.  Uh, no.  Can you imagine the parents watching me cackle as I took a picture of the poor innocents with paint dripping off their noses?  They'd have me shipped off to one of those "teacher" places where old teachers give themselves paint facials and sniff Elmer's.  I know.  I've seen it.  Anyhoo, I did get this picture for you on Friday. See?  Still caked into the rug.  Sorry Emmanuel.  This is YOUR spot.  Sit here.  Right on the orange paint your teacher threw at you.  

This week, after the abc's, the 123's, the please and thank you's,  we'll be decorating this refrigerator box which literally touches the ceiling in my classroom. 

 We DO refrigerators BIG here in California.  Vaulted ceilings, remember?  All the NEW houses have them, even mine.  However, I have a normal refrigerator...I'm only teacher but hey, I AM GRATEFUL for my job!!! That's what our principal says we should tell ourselves every morning and I DO!  I know I sound sarcastic right now but I AM thankful for my job.  Anyhoo...I have a vague idea of how we'll "use" this box in my classroom. ONe parent suggested I put the bad kids in the box.  NO WAY, I don't have any bad kids this year.  All angels.  Next idea?   Any creative ideas on your part?  I'm going to plan with the kids tomorrow and I'll keep you posted.  Any random ideas are welcome!

Now that I've tricked you into thinking I'm a balanced woman,  I'll hit you with the real reason I write this BLOG...running!
Yes, still an obsession interest of mine.
Besides my job, which by the way,  did I tell you I'm grateful for?
I am.

My third race in a row was yesterday, our fourth in a series for the Dirt Dog Cross County series.  It was a 10k, the longest in the series.  I was not planning on racing it all out as I am still recovering from the last three races...that's what you do when you're 46 and racing every weekend.   You recover.  That means that I am taking more days off, doing less mileage than I should and doing a speed workout with hills and a little tempo run once a week.  I wish I could do more but I truly feel like the racing week after week is enough.  We'll be going into late October with this kind of schedule so I'm conserving energy and muscle fibers as we speak.  
I won a pair of these awesome recovery socks yesterday, the orange ones!  They are so tight and really felt great on my feet, ankles and calves.  I think I'm going to buy the calf sleeves!  
I used to be a ZOOT girl, I still love their stuff, however, these CEP compression socks are even better!

Interestingly,  I'm going to start training for my January marathon in October...we'll see how that cuts into the recovery schedule AND the November Cross Country Championships in November.
It's all about recovery.

Finally, here's the recent video of my SUPER SANDY POCKETS playing football...
If you are still reading this,  you have a minute to see the cutest boy in the WORLD.
Humor me!!!

Have a great week!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A CRISIS in ROOM 105!!

I got to school early, dressed all in ORANGE, since today was ORANGE DAY in the kindergarten.


I was setting up a painting table so that my Chili Peppers could express themselves through all things ORANGE....
and I accidently left the cap off the paint bottle.  Later, distracted by the Chili Pepps,  I placed the top ON the bottle, neglecting to twist it.


20 minutes later with 23 little Peppers surrounding me,  we hunted for orange things around the class, I picked up the bottle of paint on a tray,
it fell
and fell
and fell,
hit a tree stump bench
and imploded.
Pegging the legs of about 12 Peppers.
Other parts too.

Orange pants.
Speckeled faces.
Streaks of orange hair.
Spotted orange shoes.

The carpet.
The rugs.
The teacher.

Parent helpers just looked at me.
Kids cheered.

It was offically ORANGE day, let the fun begin.

The true test in being called a patient person is being able to laugh, brush your shoulders off(or wipe them off, in this case), and move on with your day...despite the 2 foot wide pool of orange paint sitting in the middle of your circle/carpet area.  

Have I arrived?  Only slightly.  I'm still stewing about it obviously.   However,  it didn't ruin my day.  Now I'm off to RUN TRACK and be a normal person.  That's the beauty of my life!

What's really important?


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Starting Fall Afresh...

It's already mid September???  

August 6, was my last post.  Where did the summer go?

23 kindergartners marched into my classroom a month ago and continue to stay, and stay and stay!  After many poop problems(the kids, not me), I can officially say, we're ready to start having SOME FUN!  Bring on the juice boxes, the baggies of milk from the cafeteria!  Bring on the ABC's, the people colored crayons, the GLITTER, LOTS OF GLITTER(I love that commercial)and the sniffles, lice and wobbly teeth.  KINDERGARTEN has begun!

My healthiest vice/respite/escape/drug has been my 5k/10k cross country training.  I'm mixing it up with some **FUN** 40+ masters runners and have found that their speed and inspiration only fuels me to work harder!  I've never been a part of a running team, it was actually a little scary to try something new like this.  I shy away from too much competition in this sport.  Would this group of women have the maturity, strength, compassion, fortitude and WILL to put others above themselves?  I've seen groups of women in other competitive situations and it wasn't pretty.  It gets petty.  It can get ugly.  I didn't want to commit to something that would be DRAMA with a capital DDDDDD.  That being said, I know these athletes and they are all STELLAR women.  Big hearts, enthusiastic 40+ women who are out for speed, FUN and the chance to be there for one another.  

Our first three races have NOT been a disappointment but rather, a privilege.  It's going to be a NEW season for me for running, a new adventure.

I feel like a high school runner again!!!  Even though I didn't run in high school.

The San Diego Track Club Dirt Dog Series 

Race #3 for the team was last night, the SUN DOWNER.  The CHANCE to run under the light of the moon for 3 plus miles over grass, along dirt paths, along the street and back onto the grass.  JUST LIKE HIGH SCHOOL CROSS COUNTY. Loved it.  My training has been much, much lighter this summer/fall, as I had decided NOT to run a fall marathon.  I'm following a cross country running schedule which gives me the speed work AND the flexibility to throw in hills and more farleks if I feel like it.  I'm down to a 12 mile long run on the weekends...just might skip it today though.  See?  I can be flexible like that now.  Love it.

I was determined to run this 5k all out.  My present PR is 20:18 and I knew the hills in this course were too much to even expect a personal best out of this race.  HOWEVER...I was EERILY close...somewhere in the range of 20:20 or so.  Since I ditched my GARMIN so that I could run by heart and feel,  I'm not sure how I really did but let's just say I was ECSTATIC to cross the line so close to my PR, having worked the hills as I did.  Still ecstatic.  Even today.  

The BEST part of the race though, was watching those in front cross the finish, hear the announcements from the director as I ran all over the hills in the dark and being there to see other friends cross.  Our team should STILL be in first place this week...most had terrific runs last night.  Those that couldn't run came to cheer and one, in particular, I hold in high regard.  As I crossed over the street and neared the finish, I heard these particular words...and remember,  to a 46 year old women, these words are NEVER taken lightly...

"You look awesome!  You look so strong!  You could run like this for 10 more miles!"  Oh my gosh, you are rocking it!"

We are all there for each other.  The good times and the bad. A team is like that at times, a family.  

Thanks for making this 46 year old feel like 17 again, if only for 20 minutes or so.  I think that's just enough time.  

Have a happy week, missed you all. Keep looking for new adventures...

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Masters Run/Race Report and More Summer Fun!

Drippy Drawers(AKA: Sandy Pockets)
summer fun, 2011
Yikes!  BS and I  played GRANDMA for four straight days with Drippy Drawers.  !  Drippy's Mom and Pop went to Hawaii for the paddle board race.  Drippy stayed and kept grandma Meg BUSY, BUSY, BUSY.  OMG,  how did I EVER have the energy to raise two kids, work and function?  5 days with Drippy was more difficult than the San Francisco Marathon a few years ago.  No kidding.
Today Drippy's Mom called to tell me he is potty trained!
It's been a most excellent summer!

Today the MASTERS GIRLS had some great runs at the 56th Annual Balboa Park 8 miler. Well, Sweet Alexis in the light green shirt isn't a masters runner but she was sure a great cheerleader.  THANKS ALEXIS!!  

I didn't have a stellar run, it was actually a minute slower than last year and I felt pretty tired the whole time but I ZIPPED up the MAN/WOMAN suite(Marathon TALK)and just pushed through. No negative thoughts, just pushed.  I was happy with that.  I'm feeling the affects of  
NOT running the long mileage on the weekends during these longer races, those that are longer than a 10k.  I might have more speed for the short stuff but the endurance is something I will integrate later in my training.  

Two Other major YIPPEES from the race
1.  I had no poop/potty problems thanks to Imodium
2.  My foot did not hurt during the entire race, despite the hills and terrain. It's been 5 months since my Boston episode with my foot and today,  it was confirmed that I am back to having a foot and body that is 100% healthy.
There is HOPE and HEALING for all....believe.


Finally, here's proof that the WEST COAST bloggers got together for Jill's visit from Colorado.
Chris Korn
Heffer Blog
We had a fun get together and it was GREAT to visit!
Miss you already, Jill!!!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I've written about 20 posts since my dog and I went through some "issues."  NONE of them were published, obviously.
Do you REALLY care about my...

garden growing?

my son(who ditched college) sailing the open seas, dressed as a pirate?
my genius grandson, Sandy Pockets?

my husband's achilles heel injury or is trip to Tahoe to crew for a 50k?
Yea, Brian!

my "goal" to only buy summer clothes from resale shops(and I totally HAVE found some CUTE stuff...)

is this blog
about running?

I've had more fun reading YOUR  blogs this summer and finding out what's going on in everyone else's life.  
Boy, you guys are having adventures and some of you
are just livin' it simply like us.

Simplicity is what it's about right now...
our economy
the state or our nation
our World
it seems like we're being called to refocus once again.

Are you feeling that or is it just me?

SO BACK TO RUNNING...the cheapest, most fun thing you can do to stay fit and happy!

I hope this doesn't get too long...

The Goal:  So after Boston, I took two months to recover from my planter facitis flare up which cost me a fun race and a lot of training...

I decided to cut down on mileage, tuck my Garmin in a drawer and start racing short stuff.  It wasn't about PRs, it was about feeling strong and knowing when I could push myself.  Really knowing the "state" of my body.
I've been reading a good book
and as a master's runner,  I am reminded to make sure that I have the ENERGY and LEG SPRING to carry off the mileage and speed work, as well as tempo runs, that will keep me moving forward but not DEAD after every push!
In the book, they give you a chart as part of your training log, that helps you monitor your recovery.
Girls, at 46 this is HUGE.

What I did:  So I cut down on mileage and focused on relaxed 7-8 mile runs throughout the week with one day of track and one long run. I'm spinning at home one day and racing WHEN EVER I CAN.  I do use my Garmin during track workouts and my heart rate monitor on the days off SO THAT I STAY IN RECOVERY MODE.

Do you see the thread here???  I'm FOCUSING MORE ON RECOVERY than the training and **DUH**,  I feel great for every run. It's simple.

The Results:  That question I posed in the spring, " CAN A MASTER'S RUNNER IMPROVE HER SHORT DISTANCE TIMES?"  " HOW? "  Has been answered.

The good news is YES.  I have been able to improve my 5k, 8k and 10k times!  The key has been toning down the LONG mileage and focusing on recovery throughout the week.

I still integrate hill work every week because I am doing a lot of cross country and HILL/trail runs this fall...but that just means I have to balance it on the other end with lighter runs and rest.  I also...

use the foam roller every night
do strength training four times a week
ice ANY and ALL sore spots
drink ULTRA FUEL during speed workouts
wear ONLY shoes that are good for my feet(all the time)

and dream about running longer distances...

yes, my heart is still in the marathon.

Carlsbad 2012!

Thanks for stopping by, stay tuned for the FULL REPORT on RUN WITH JILL'S VIsit to California!!!

Go Jill!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Dog Wants a Divorce

The tension in the Ling Home is palpable.  Daisy stands outside in her SPACE COLLAR, refusing to look at me nor enter the house.  She's done.

Let me back track...

Last week I put ADVANTAGE II on her for the first time.  I was putting Advantage 1 on her but the vet sugguested I use the tick and lice version since LICE is never far from ME(since I am a kindergarten teacher).  The liquid must have aggravated the two spots where it was applied and two hot spots were created.  I tried to treat them holistically(since dog owners around here are VERY GREEN and only feed their dogs yams and potatoes...).  You don't want to be JUDGED as a bad, bad doggy owner around here and excluded from the parks as if you had the plague. If ANYONE had found out I HADN"T tried black tea bags and cucumber paste,  I'd really be humiliated.

  ANYHOO...Daisy started to itch and itch, wearing herself and her hair patches out.  I invested in a SPACE COLLAR, well,  that's what "I" call them, obviously PET CO has other ideas...and she seemed okay.  Until yesterday...so,  $$$$215.00 later, we came home and started the "routine" of applying the five ear washes, ointments, sprays and creams.

Daisy wants NO part of it.

She wants a divorce.

Why is dog-loving so complicated?

 I thought that having our kids moving on in life would make our life less complicated, which isn't really true.  Every transition in the lives of your kids AND your dog,  bring their own changes and hence, adjustments.

 Life IS all about change and adjusting.  NEVER EVER think you're "got it down."

Even with you dog....

I may need to take her to counseling today,  I really want us to work this out....

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Poop-less Race

A gorgeous Cuyamaca morning at the starting line of trail half marathon.
Family photo, minus Pirate Man and Scabby Knee's Daddy
Loving the dirt.
The camp site stage for Scabby Knees

First off, NO POOP stops, no cramps...yea!  I owe it all to Let'srun.com(ha, ha...runs)AND all of you for your awesome advice and great comments.

I took a 4 oz dose of IMODIUM about a half an hour before the start of the race and NEVER felt the cramps, never had the URGE and the body worked it's magic.  I don't know if this "plan" would work for everyone but I'm back to my "regular" self this morning and planning on using the miracle liquid for my next race. 


This was a low key event so when I say race, I should say that it was basically a trail run for MORE than 13.2 miles with lots of other people.  I tried to keep the pace up there and push the hills.  I am NOT against walking in an ultra but since this distance was so much shorter, I decided to run the hills.  This actually ended up working out...considering I missed a turn off and avoided the steepest incline and descent in the race, uh, and I took two other people with me. One of them was Runway, my marathon partner in crime, who had stayed the night with us in our sparse little cabin.   I guess we all missed the pink plastic ribbons at one point, only to discover them a while later, taking THAT turn and coming in to the aide station ahead of the first runner.  The aide station volunteers didn't seem surprised that two skirt-wearing girls were ripping it up on the trails, with no MEN in sight.  We had no idea and didn't stop, just continued on our merry way.

At this point in the race, we were about five miles in, which should have been six miles, and we felt awesome.  We were jumping streams, running through mud and having a jolly time under the canopy of trees and gorgeous vegetation.  I felt so good, so full of zip that I took off down a rocky hill...my ankles wobbling from very little technical trail running as of late, and suddenly found myself alone with white flour arrows pointing in three different directions.  
I was suddenly a victim of an ALICE IN WONDERLAND moment.  Runway wasn't behind me.  I crossed the road and found a little sign pointing UP the hill that I had just descended that said 50k GO HERE>  So,  I just did an eeny-meeny type of decision making and took a hill with a pink ribbon by storm.  It was steep, it was rocky it was full of little sticks.  It was also empty...until I was faced head on with a down hill trail runner from the 50k who informed me I was miles off course and heading in the wrong direction.  So, I flipped around and followed him down...tripping and hobbling over the rocks, feeling STUPID and totally inexperienced.  Off in the distance, I heard a woman's voice so I headed that way.

**At this point, I must insert the thought that I had regarding ALL Colorado bloggers:

Reaching the ALICE IN WONDERLAND site was of no help, once there,  I was totally alone again, spinning in a circle, shouting Runway's real name, hoping my rotating body would send out a rotating message that would reach all four corners of the Cuyamaca Mountains(assuming there were four corners to a mountain range)..  Silence responded.  See, I really am a rookie.

Suddenly, Red Shirt came ripping down the hill, he wasn't too talkative but did tell me he was first male in the half.  Hmmmmmm.   I really WAS off course.  So, I ran back up the first hill that I had descended, looked around and decided to follow him home...at least I would find my way back to the finish without winding up a skeletal corpse, lying across the trail. 

I smelled people and suddenly,  dozens of 50k runners were walking up the LONG hill that I was running down.  "GOOD JOB!" they shouted, "Awesome!"  Uh-oh.  That only meant I wasn't far behind the first place guy...meaning that WE HAD skipped the trail up the peak and even though I had gone off course again,  we were way too close in time to the first place guy.
Oh well,  I gave the last down hill everything I had, and then some.  It was hot, it was sunny, I was running and I didn't have diarrhea.  It was a joyful time.

Crossing the finish line confirmed that we had gone off course.  Runway had arrived WAY before Red Shirt Guy and although she and I were shaking our tails on this run,  we were slower than Red Shirt's pace for sure.

The director of the race was the coolest ever.  Runway was first over all just because she crossed the finish line first.  Red Shirt asked NO questions and assumed second place...I came in second female and 6th over all....and that was that.  NO QUESTIONS ASKED.  We all left laughing...as I said, it was  a low key event.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Poop, Snakes, Sprints, and Sweat

So even on the 4th of July, BS wouldn't listen to my poop 
POOP issues plague me at every race.  Really.  Small, sharp stomach cramps that turn into me having to go to the bathroom URGENTLY.  After trailing a girl who had pooped her shorts in Boston,  I have NEVER had the desire to do the same.  Too fragrant.  I want my friends.  So this weekend, after a HOT and quick start to a 10k,  I decided NOT to evacuate "short" style but to just stop and use the port a potty.  Twice.  The cramps went away and I caught up to Chris Korn...eventually  I had a fun race but it's time to FACE THE CACA WOES head on.

I consulted a GI doctor.  A nurse.  A lot of friends.  I've decided that I'm not going to let my bowels command my races any longer.  Now that my foot is behaving and the training is going well,  I'm going to give IMMODIUM a try this weekend.  I'll be racing a tough, hot and hilly  half marathon trail race in the mountains near Julian, CA.  I'm going to pop the magical immodium and see if I can pull this race off without squatting on a snake or poking the hinny with a cactus.  Report to follow...this is my last chance!!  The "letsrun.com" forum had many success stories of those who have tried IMMODIUM.  Have you?

Summer is off to a great start.  Warm!  Best July eva' .
So far our runs have challenged us with...

6 snakes(one rattler)
25+harmless lizards
sweaty parts/sweaty clothes
3 races already, 3 more to come this month!
consumption of enough Vitalyte to fill Sandy Pocket's baby pool

I'm off to catch up on blogs this afternoon! Miss all of those reports!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sunburn Smiley Face

If you've followed my blog you know I have massive SKIN cancer issues and that SCAPE is my all time FAVORITE sunscreen.  I can run with it smeared everywhere and TRUST it 100%.  It won't run, leak into my eyes, clog my pores nor wash off in the pool or ocean.  I've used it for more than a year and it JUST WORKS.  I've tried it all too, even the sunscreen from my dermatologist and nothing beats my SCAPE.  Well, the issue is you HAVE TO ACTUALLY apply it in order for it to be affective.

Yesterday, my SECOND day of summer vacay,  I worked in my garden for a few hours and SCAPED up but *neglected* to cover my booty crack...the plumbers crack...the coin slot.  Last night my booty lover(ok, that just sounds bad)said I had smiley face sunburn that started at "the crack" and curved up at the edges of my back, right where my shirt pulled up.
Yes, I'm aware that this IS A MAN and is NOT me but you get the picture.  Just imagine a BIGGER, wider smile that curves up at the edges.  Nice.  I hope it lasts all summer and stands out when I'm wearing my bathing suit.
Actually, I hope it doesn't.  That's too much sun damage.

Wear your SCAPE people, you'll have no regrets!

Summer garden shots:
Despite the sale of our house,  I'm determined to be a backyard farmer and try to grow all of our own summer veggies.
This means mixing veggies with flowers, roses, and other crazy things.
Last summer, when I tried to do this,  we had the attack of the RATS from the brick yard(I know, don't you just want to OWN THIS HOUSE RIGHT NOW?)
This year,  this won't happen.
It just won't.

Cinco de mayo roses!
Heirloom tomatoes.
Zinnias with new squash sprouts.
Basil, green beans and gnomes.


The 10k is just a week and a few away!  The short mileage experiment (faster paces) officially ends on that day.  Then it's on to half marathon training.

Sunday: 9 miles trails, easy
Monday: 4 miles, training pace
Tuesday: track 10x 500, 300 off @ 5k pace(THIS WAS HARD)
Wed: Off
Thursday: 6 miles, training pace
Friday: 4/5 easy
Saturday: Interval workout with Kevin
Sunday:  Trails(are you in Chris?)

My heart rate is officially changing for the better so the fitness at the shorter distances is improving.
***I do miss the longer runs this week, now that I have time to do them AND sleep.*

Have a great rest of the week!!!