Sunday, April 27, 2008

Keeping Going, The San Diego Report and a Stern Warning

The health and fitness challenge my company is having is going well. My team is in third place, hopefully our points from this week will push us even closer to top.

One thing this challenge has done has kept me moving. I am approaching a record month for mileage. I will have a full report on my miles May 1st. Stay tuned!

My flight to San Diego left Orlando at 6:30 AM EDT Wednesday morning. I had a layover in Houston and I was able to sleep most of the way to Texas. I even slept some of the way from Houston to San Diego. I arrived in San Diego at 10:30 AM PDT.

It makes for a long day because I work until 5:30 PM PDT in the office. I got checked in to my hotel by 6:00 PM and around 6:45 PM I went out for a run. For the first time ever, I set the Nike+ on my iPod to time and I selected 30 minutes. I wanted to keep it short because I had my heart set on a harbor run in the morning.

I gotta tell you, choosing the time setting really sucks. I never really think much about the time. I just do my thing. I figure most songs are about four minutes, but it doesn't really register. When the five minutes completed announcement came on, I was a little disappointed. That's it? it's only been five minutes? Are you kidding me?

I had picked my Old Town route that I have only ever run on the early mornings. I didn't think about that fact that at dinner time, the sidewalks would be packed with people headed to eat some of the best Mexican food North of the border. I weaved my way through the crowds and up and around Presido Hills golf course. It wasn't exactly an out and back course, but I was able to time it almost perfectly to get back to the hotel in 30 minutes.

I was feeling sluggish and tired from the travel, so I called it a night and I was asleep well before 9:00 PM.

My alarm was set for 5:15 AM PDT and I was out the door soon after for my harbor run. The temperature was in the mid 50's and there was no humidity. It really felt nice. I ran my usual loop past the Star of India and the U.S.S. Midway and through downtown back to my hotel. It's just about six and a half miles. Thursday I made it back two minutes faster than my first trip out this month. It was a new harbor run PR!

That day I had lunch with a co-worker and fellow runner. He asked if I had run to Harbor Island. I told him I had not. He told me how to get there and suggested I check it out.

Friday morning the alarm went off and in no time I was out the door and headed toward the harbor. I didn't know exactly how far Harbor Island was and I needed a few extra minutes to check out of the hotel so as I ran the first couple of miles I contemplated heading to Harbor Island or just sticking to my regular route.

When I got to the point where I needed to either turn right for my route or left to head to the island, I decided to be adventurous and to the island I went.

I didn't have enough time to run the whole Island but I did get a little distance. The view from this side of the harbor was breath-taking. I could see the ships that I had run past on Thursday with downtown San Diego in the background. A cruise ship was entering the harbor. It was spectacular!

I passed two male ducks next to a bush. "Quack quack quack. Quack quack quack". I said to the boys.

I kept going and almost forgot that I had seen them. On my way back the bushes were rustling. As I passed, a female duck jumped out and started chasing me, quacking her displeasure. A stern warning indeed. Did she have babies she was keeping me away from? Or was she jealous that I spoke to her men friends? I told here I was leaving and I kept moving and she dropped back. It was really funny.

This run turned out to be just over seven miles. In three days, I ran over 16 miles. It's always a great way to start the day!

Friday night I took the red-eye through LA back to Orlando. I was able to sneak three miles in last night.

And I am hoping to get a few more in tonight, but I need to get moving before it's too late!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Busy... Busy... Catching Up

I really don't like going more than a week without posting something... and here I am, working toward a week and a half.

I have been trying to keep up with the blogs and posting comments when I can.

I feel like I have been busy. I have been busy with work and this Wednesday I'm headed back to San Diego for a few days. I have also been working hard to make sure I'm getting seven hours of sleep each night for my contest points. I guess it has taken time away from other things, like writing blog posts.

Tuesday I worked in my remote remote office. Which means instead of working at home, I work from a variety of coffee shops around Orlando. I had lunch plans with my friend Colleen, so after I dropped the kids off at school, I headed to Panera in Altamonte Springs. After lunch I headed to Starbucks in Maitland at the Sheraton North because I had a few meetings.

My next stop was Track Shack for some new shoes. My hip had been bothering me. Apparently, my shoes are good for 325 miles and not much more.

I have been running for the last year or so in the Nike Air Structure Triax+ 10. The new model, the 11, was recently released. I spoke with the gentleman who was helping me about my current shoe, what size I wore, how many miles they had on them and how I was feeling.

He went in the back and came back with the new Nike Air Structure Triax+ 11, and a pair of Asics. He went into the back again and came out with a pair of Mizunos and a pair of New Balance. We went through this process several times ruling out shoes for one reason or another. Finally, we had narrowed our choices down to the orginal Nikes and the Original Asics. I tried one on each foot and then switched. I ended up with the Nikes. It was one of the best shoe buying experiences I have ever had!

My New Kicks (picture courtesy of Zappos)

And don't you just LOVE running in new shoes? It's so refreshing! And it feels so bouncy! This week I have reduced the life of my new shoes by 10% - 33+ miles on the 11's already!

My son's class went to the National Training Center on Friday to compete against six other schools in track events. Stone ran the mile in a respectable 9:09. Here's the thing, he came in fifth place, but I couldn't be prouder if he came in first. He never stopped to walk once. He paced himself and stayed strong the whole time. I was so glad to be there to cheer for him. It was really great!

The NTC Track

And finally, I ran nearly twenty miles this weekend. Yesterday I ran 9.45 on the unofficially named Tavares Trail along Hwy 441 across from Lake Eustis and all the way the Leesburg. It was a nice cool morning and I made the distance in 1:32:52. I felt pretty good about that time.

This morning, I met up with my friend Cheryl. She's running the Country Music Half Marathon next Saturday and she was looking for some support on a ten miler. I told her that I would go, but it might be slow going. I completed 10.48 miles in 1:59:18. Slow going indeed. I didn't figure our trip to EPCOT yesterday afternoon into the equation. We walked and walked and walked...

Despite the miles over the past two days, I feel pretty good. My legs are a little tired, but not awful. I felt good enough to play tennis for a few hours this afternoon.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Shoes and Shock

A few weeks ago, my company announced a contest. A Shape Up contest, in which participants can earn points daily by:

  • Eat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables

  • Seven hours of sleep

  • Relax for at least ten minutes

  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes

  • Take care of yourself - Drink water, floss teeth etc...

  • The challenge officially began on Monday - and to date I have earned all of my points!

    Sunday I ran ten miles. I would have normally taken a break on Monday, but because of me desire to get all of my points, I ran anyway. So on Tuesday, my legs were pretty tired.

    So, guess what I did?

    I ran.

    Wednesday, I also ran.


    You guessed it, I ran.

    I think I need some alternative cross-training to give myself a break for a day. But still get in some sort of exercise.

    Biking is an option.


    In January, I bought a bike, a Trek Y5,- and she needs a name, right Susan? While I have ridden it a few times, I still don't have the shoes for the clipless pedals.

    Swimming is an option.


    The pool wasn't maintained to summer standards and now, my husband says he needs to "shock the shit out of it". I'm pretty sure that's a technical term.

    My plan?

    Get some shoes and get some shock and give my legs a day of rest.

    Maybe I need a pull buoy too, huh?

    Friday, April 04, 2008

    13.1 Miles in San Diego

    No, I didn't run a half marathon, but over the course of two days I did run 13.1 glorious miles in the early California morning.

    Because my trip was a short one it was pretty easy for me to maintain East coast hours. Wednesday night I was asleep before 9:30 PM and It felt likeI was sleeping in when the alarm went off at 5:15 AM. I was out the door at 5:45 AM and headed toward the harbor.

    Disclaimer: I totally snagged this picture from

    When I was out in December, I finally found the harbor and if I remembered correctly, I thought it was somewhere between 6 1/2 and 7 miles.

    I thought I knew the way, but I missed a turn. When I got to the next block I knew I needed to backtrack. I made my turn and then it started to look familiar. I ran through a little industrial area that is a one way street and before I knew it, I was two turns away from being at the harbor.

    It's so pretty and peaceful there. I'm surprised by how few people are out, there were a handful of other runners, and a lot of homeless people still sleeping - (A friend calls it I ran past the Star of India and past the U.S.S. Midway. The path continues along or you can, as I did, breakaway to the city.

    I ran up a block and took a left. This street goes straight through the edge of downtown and through Little Italy. It then turns into another one way street. I take a right on Washington Street and then a left to head to Old Town.

    Yesterday my iPod told me 6.57 miles in 1:02:25.

    I ran the same route today - although there was no need to backtrack because I knew where I was. My iPod reported 6.56 miles in 1:04:17.

    There is a possibility I was a bit slower today. Although I did have to wait at a significantly more stoplights this morning.

    It was wonderful to get out there and get a great start on the day.

    One of the things I love about coming to San Diego is my morning run. That and looks of astonishment when my co-workers find out that I have been up so early and run what they consider a ridiculous distance.

    My employer will require me to make at least seven more trips to San Diego this year. (No complaining from me about that!)

    I am looking forward to more harbor runs!