Sunday, September 30, 2007

Let the Taper Begin and Marathon Chris Saves the Day!

I found out early in the week that I would not be participating in the Team in Training group run on Saturday. My son was scheduled to play in a tennis tournament. It's so important to be there for him (He won 3rd place - Yay!), I thought maybe there would be a way to make up that long run on Sunday.

I knew it was going to be tough. I also knew I would struggle through it if I were on my own. How was I ever going to get my 20 miler in?

On Monday, I told my friend Cheryl that I was not able to make to group run. She said that she wasn't either. Cheryl is running the half in San Francisco, so her mileage requirements are less than mine. I think she had ten on her schedule.

Over the course of some emails with Marathon Chris I discovered that she was running Miracle Miles 15k on Saturday but wanted to get her miles in for the weekend. At one point the Seminole Wekiva trail was brought up.

I was on to something!

From the meeting spot on Lake Mary Boulevard one direction is supposed to be an 11 mile out and back route. I asked Cheryl if she would be interested in going that distance. She said she would.

Chris was thinking 7 or 8 miles. I was thinking it would be close enough.

I had a plan in place! I met Cheryl at 6:00 AM or so. We hit the road at about 6:15 and we were back at the meeting spot at about 8:25 AM. My iPod says that 11 mile out and back was actually 12. I was a little later than I thought, but I found Chris patiently waiting for the second leg of the journey.

What a great run. We talked the entire time and kept a really nice pace. It was great to get to know her some more. It was really comfortable and I found the camaraderie amazingly helpful as I approached my 19th mile.

When we reached the cars, my iPod was reporting 22.73 miles total in 4:11:45. I never stopped my iPod so the time included a bathroom break at mile six, refilling my new fuel belt - that I love, by the way...

I'm a little sore right now and I'm a little tired, but it was an awesome, awesome run.

Look out San Francisco! Here I come!


News to note:

The Orlando Sentinel published an article about my trip to San Francisco to race for Casey. Click Here to check it out!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Better than Nothing...

Last Saturday, I was supposed to meet the Team in Training crew for another hill run in Clermont. I started out with plenty of time to make the 5:30 AM meet up. A few miles down the road I realized that I had not grabbed my arm band for my iPod. I thought, momentarily, about running sans iPod, but I desperately needed credit for those miles for the current iPod Challenge with Petra, Charlie, Robert and Greg. I returned home, grabbed the arm band and I was on my way. The closer I got to the turnpike, the more I realized I was never going to make it. At 5:25 AM I was still two miles from the turnpike, I knew that if I would be left behind and that particular trail is really, really dark.

It was not meant to be. I headed home (again) and went back to bed for a few hours. It was Darrell's birthday and he had planned to ride his motorcycle with some of his buddies and then we were headed to his parent's house for a birthday party.

A little while after Darrell and the boys headed out on their motorcycles, I jumped on the treadmill. I was able to get in a little more than 7 miles when Darrell returned. We needed to be at his parents earlier than I thought. So I cut my run short.

Seven miles, better than nothing...

Sunday, I bought my marathon shoes. Nothing new. The trusty Nike Air Structure Trix 10+. I thought about ordering them online, but I wanted to be sure I had them for my upcoming long run this weekend. I looked at RoadRunner Sports and was dismayed to find that the shoe I love is now "endangered".

Nike is going to discontinue them. Boo Nike! I hope I like the replacement as much as I like the current model.

So far this week my runs have been good and really nothing special. It's turning into a great week.

I am running my final twenty miler this Sunday. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Red Eye + Jet Lag = Not Good

Thursday night I was sure I would bounce back quickly.

Not so much.

I had high hopes, even knowing that the one hour time difference from my past frequent trips to the Midwest left me feeling out of sorts for at least a day.

When you combine my inability to quickly adjust to a rapid time change, with a red eye flight - I left San Diego Wednesday night at 10:30 PM PST and arrived at the airport in Orlando at 9:30 AM EST on Thursday morning, my 20 mile run planned for Saturday just did not happen.

This weekend calls for 15 and we are back in Clermont for hills. It will probably be about 13 miles instead. The following week I have one last 20 mile run before the taper begins.

I would like to be getting more miles in than I currently am. I still feel like I am / will be ready for San Francisco, but as Susan says, sometimes life happens.

I am staying positive and working hard to get my runs in. There is a certain amount of adjusting going on. With the new job, I am working through what works best for me. Is it lunchtime that is the best time? Early morning (used to be my only option) or after the work day is complete?

Maybe it's a combination of all of these, depending on the day...

It's all good my friends, all good!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I'm Home!

I haven't been the greatest about replying to my email. There have been several emails from my friends congratulating me on my job and due to the preparation for my trip, I just ran out of time to reply. So thank you all for your encouragement, support, well-wishes and thanks for being my friends!

I spent three days in San Diego with my new company and I was able to get two five mile runs in. I have yet to update my sidebar or upload my iPod info, but I'll get there.

I was staying in Old Town which is a tourist district with some historical areas, museums and restaurants. Both days I passed through there, nothing was open except the coffee shop. And a lone person mopping the outside Mexican tile.

Fred's in Old Town

The weather was beautiful. I would guess it was never more than 65 degrees while I was running. And no humidity! It was pure bliss!

Yesterday I thought I would head out to the harbor. I had a tourist advertising map that the hotel gave me when I checked in and I thought I could figure out how to get there. I couldn't find it, it was dark and I got scared. I headed back to Old Town instead. It was still a nice run!

My new company is incredible! They did an amazing job of making me feel welcome! They are truly wonderful people and I'm proud to be a part of their team.

Saturday calls for another twenty mile run. After my red eye flight I am hoping to get enough rest to be able to hammer that long run! I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Where I Run

I brought my camera with me this morning for my long run on the South Lake Trail in Clermont, Florida.

I have been thinking about this for quite a while, but two weeks ago when we were out there, I forgot it at home. Last week we were at the Seminole Wekiva Trail in Lake Mary, and while it is very pretty, it's just not very interesting.

I didn't take any pictures until we were about six miles out because we got started at 5:45 AM and it was D-A-R-K!!!

This is Skyview Drive. Big hills are an oddity in Florida, but Clermont is full of them, this might be the biggest one.

The Payoff! When we get to the top of the hill we hang a left into a cul-du-sac and get an awesome view of the sun coming up over Lake Apopka. You can see it glistening on the horizon The sun is coming up a bit later, so unfortunately we were on our way again before it was in full effect. It's still a beautiful sight!

Me, Cheryl and Yamille. Notice the condensation on my camera lens. It was heating up!

The course is filled with rolling hills. When I got to the top of a hill in the far distance, I could see hot air balloons. You probably can't see them (maybe if you click on the picture?) but trust me they're there. Pretty cool!

This was around mile ten. It's a pretty good representation of what the trail looks like. Another part of the trail follows Old Highway 50 and is now the gateway to a lot of developments. There are some new oak trees and a lot of brick walls and fences.

The hills are extremely tough for me. It wasn't my best run of all time. I chose not to finish the remaining few miles that were scheduled. We go right past our cars. And there is a water stop there. It's just too easy to be done with it. And I was struggling toward the end.

I hope you enjoy this little snapshot into my morning.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Best Week Ever

Okay, so maybe it wasn't the "Best Week Ever" But, last week would definitely make the top 10 list!

In non-running related news ::

I was offered and accepted a job! It was the #1 on my list and I am so incredibly excited about it!

My official start date is Thursday and next Sunday afternoon I will be headed to San Diego for a few days. In running related news it will be the second time this summer that a member of our running crew has been to San Diego - Although I will not have a long run scheduled while I'm there. A few five milers and an eight miler. I think it'll be awesome!

On with running news!

Because I had missed a few long runs while in my unemployed funk, the TNT running coach suggested that I back down from the intermediate plan. That put me at a 17 mile run for yesterday. And that was my plan...

We were at the Seminole Wekiva Trail again, this time headed toward Sanford for the first leg. I was running with my friend Jim, who is training for the Dublin Marathon on October 29th. He was running his scheduled twenty miles. He said he wasn't looking forward to the last half of the run which would be mostly on his own.

Jim and I have a similar pace, and honestly, I wasn't looking forward to my turn around point which would mean the last three or four miles would be on my own. I told Jim that if I was feeling good I would run the twenty with him. I was actually feeling great, we dug deep and at the end of the run my iPod said 21.09 miles.

We had some great conversation and it was a really nice run. At the end there was little talking, but there was a nice peaceful camaraderie between us.

Yesterday, by far, was my longest run ever. And it felt great!

I was having some concerns if I had it in me to complete the distance. Without a doubt, I now know that I do. I think that I may have readjust my goal. I never stopped my watch or my iPod at the water stops - those 21 miles took 4:01:00. We'll see on race day how that all shakes out.