I run happy.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Runners With Big Hearts and Tremendous Spirit

I had the Boston Marathon playing on my projector this morning when the kids got to school.  They had so many questions about the African runners,  the clothing the runners wore,  the crowds cheering.  It was fun way to start the day.  As the morning progressed, however,  I started receiving texts and updates on how my buddies were doing on the course.

It must have been tough.
It must have been grueling.
They must have had to dig so deep that it rocked their core.  Brought tears to their eyes.  Caused some to crumble.

As the morning progressed,  my mood changed from upbeat, excited and hopeful,  to worried, dismayed and upset.  I KNOW what it feels like to put in months and months of training and then have to back down,  accept the  injury/weather/course/ or whatever the day might bring.  Move outside of my hopes and dreams and rely on my body to just survive.  It usually isn't very pretty.  It takes your mind and your body to a different place.  It is often a cliche but at times like this,  very true,  EXPERIENCES like this take you to a different place as a runner and as an individual.  A very noble place.

Although I wasn't there(regretfully)to cheer on my very best running friends,  I am in awe of their strength, determination and bravery.  They headed into the worst of conditions and hung in their with their heads held high and they gave it their very, very best.

These are the heroes of the day.  They have the biggest hearts.  They slowed down to run with others and extended a spirit that isn't often seen at races like BOSTON.  The went outside of themselves and embraced the bigger picture.

I'm grateful that all of you SURVIVED.  I'm SO fortunate to call you my friends.  I don't mind if you had to stop and save it for another race.  I don't mind if you had to walk.  I don't mind if you had to jog or hold a stranger's hand while they sat along the sidelines.

I love you guys, you are all heroes in my eyes...all of you!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

5k Cross Country Race Report!!


All the makings of a great race.

The more I run on trails and in the hills,  the more I realize my place in this running world.  I just feel at HOME.
The long grasses,  the crunchy gravel under my feet,  the mud puddles and wallowing messes.  I love them all- best.

The race was on base at the Camp Pendleton Marine Corp. Base in Oceanside, CA.  We headed up early and it gave me time to get chilled to the bone despite my four layers of clothing plus gloves.  You would have thought that WE were in Boston or something this weekend.  

I warmed up for 20 minutes exactly, following my new 5k warm up guide which really DID help.  I usually do a sporadic warm up without much thought and wind up sucking wind BIG TIME and since there was actually SO MUCH REAL WIND today,  that would have been a double wind disaster.  The time I took to just jog for 20 mins. and then keep moving,  helped me start the race warm and ready.

Basically,  I was going to try for my ILLUSIVE sub-20 5k today even though I was going to toss the Garmin and go by feel.  That said,  I also knew that there was a long, long hill smack dab in the middle of the race AND once we turned around,  we were hit with a slamming headwind.  It wasn't a disappointment to have those elements affect my race *dream* goal,  I had  a focused run and just staying in my own head and race today was more than enough.  

During the last half mile of the race,  I saw three tri-girls pushing to finish their first part of the dualthon.  The third girl was right in front of me during the whole race.  Since I'm not one to leave too much gas in the tank at the end of ANY race,  I wasn't "planning" on passing her.  See how non-competitive I can be?  I think she did slow down at the end of the race or at least was planning on how she was going to head on into the transition area for her bike.  At that point,  I did give it a push to pass her and I did!  The joke is probably on me(as it often is)because she did head to the transition area and I finished the 5k....first female!  

I laugh as I write this...because who would have thought I would be doing this at my age?  Who would have thought that I would find something just for me and also for my BS that would bring us so much joy, amusement, challenge,  fun and good times?  

Who would have thought that I would be posing with two darling Marines(at my request)just 1 month shy of my 47 birthday?
Thanks HONEY BS for the fun today...it's too bad you didn't take up the race director's offer to take these nice guys home with us.  They could have helped us a lot around the house!!  Now that we're basically running every weekend, we don't get much housework done anymore...
Love you!

**ATTA GIRLS** to all of the BOSTON runners who will be trying to stay cool and run fast races on Monday!  We are following you all and hope you are having FUN this weekend!

Have a LEMONCELLO for me :) !

Friday, April 13, 2012

Suffering for Your Sport

Here are a few things that have kept me busy during the last two weeks:

 Watching friends race The Carlsbad 5000!  It was a windy day but we had lots of fun spectating.

 Stinky Pants has a disco party in the bath tub.  These are GLOW STICKS which provide at least ONE HOUR of bath time fun(as long as your little one isn't afraid of the dark...).
Bobbing and swaying for EASTER PEEPS.  This was so fun to watch.  My kinders "earned" a marble jar party through good behavior and actually requested this activity as their "party."  It also gave me a glimpse into their mouths and I was very impressed with their clean, white teeth...which were about to be covered by sticky, purple,  PEEP!

In contrast with the low key FUN I've been having during my two weeks of SPRING BREAK,  I've also been training for a 5k which I'm running tomorrow(down low race-K)and I'm  training for a hilly trail 22k race in Malibu in a few weeks...

and thinking a lot about SUFFERING.  As in PAIN.  It came to me last week after reading an elite's blog about how she wakes up every single day with some type of pain and also runs with pain, generally, throughout most of her runs.  She isn't injured, just a fast runner who  must MANAGE her pain. Check her out here:   http://camilleherron.com/

That's me!   Well, not the FAST RUNNER/ELITE  part but as I've begun to put weeks of hill training into my running schedule and then follow that with interval training at faster paces,  I've realized that my body is SORE.  I'm not afraid of this pain anymore,  after a few marathons you begin to appreciate that the pain is a reflection of how hard your body has worked and performed.  I have, instead,  learned to welcome the pain and even ask for more, especially during races.  It's not the DEBILITATING pain that makes you want to limp, fall to the ground and reach for ice.  It's more like the eye rolling pain, the pain that sets in when you've pushed your body to it's limit and you still know you have more to GIVE.  It's just a GOOD KIND OF SUFFERING.  A "bring it on suffering."  A PUSH THROUGH-HANG ON  suffering.  

Frank Shorter once said,  "Marathons hurt up to point and then it doesn't get any worse."  I have become a seeker of that most ultimate pain and suffering just so that I can KNOW that that's where the threshold lies and it won't ever pass that point and get any worse.  So far,  I continue to seek it in every race.  It's become a new THING of mine.  Crazy, I know, but still fun in the sense that it's connected to RUNNING and moving forward as quickly as possible.  Pain is just a part of that game.

I know that we all have different reactions towards pain, running and racing.  Some have a higher threshold of pain.  Some not so much.  It's become an interest of mine as I take on more hills at a faster pace and get ready for my race in a few weeks...trying to find the threshold which is NOT the sweet spot of running but rather,  more like the SUFFERING SPOT.  Such a challenge.

How do you react to pain and that SUFFERING SPOT during a race?

Friday, April 6, 2012

Secrets and More Secrets!

So many secrets to share today on this Good Friday!  

Number 1:  I went running with a friend today.  It was one of those FABULOUS runs when you talk and talk and then BAM!  6 miles, over.
She was sharing about her teenagers.  I could relate.  Sometimes it still feels like we have teenagers around.  The one secret I shared with Super Girl was this...if you don't have anything kind, helpful nor inspiring to say then DON'T SPEAK.
Teens are sensitive.  Teens more often than not need a hug, not advice.  Sometimes they just need you to listen...
I have had  years to learn this and it still rings true...bite your tongue.  Once something leaves your mouth,  you can NEVER take it back. 
I guess this isn't really a secret, just something I was thinking today while running with Super Girl...

Number 2:  Nuun has won me back!

During my ultra running days a few years ago,  I started trying NUUN out on my long runs.  It wasn't that thrilling to me back then,  the bubbles were ticklish and I couldn't get used to the flavor.
Thankfully,  MORGAN(one of the Phat Kids)sent me some samples and I gave NUUN a second chance. SOOOO  happy I did!  So far,  I've tried all the flavors a tleast once and lemon lime is my favorite.
Definitely try out NUUN, it saved me during my HOT track workout this week...

Number 3:
BS and I have a secret weapon...
You can buy it online.
If you run and feel sore,  need to visit a massage therapist often and get tired of foam rolling...
check out
No,  they didn't send me anything to try out.  I'm not making anything off of this SHOUT OUT,  I just need to tell you that I'm running uninjured. happily and stronger because my recoveries are powered by
COMPEX.  Every night.  It's paid for itself.
**google it, and  you'll be happy too**
It's the little things that keep us going, the things that make life a little easier...talking with a friend, drinking something good for you during a run and later,  helping your body recover from a hard workout.
I'm grateful!
Have a wonderful Easter!