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  1. greetings runners! Caitlin, its good to see you're into trail running too! Awesome job at your race! I ran 3.5 miles the day after Thanksgiving out on dirt roads near my Mom's place in rural Texas. Then Saturday she and I went to a movie in San Antonio, and afterwards, we resisted the shopping bug and checked out a park in northern SA. I was tickled because I got to run on trails, and there were deer everywhere (it was twilight). It was much colder in Texas than I'm used to here (~40), and my runs felt great in the crisp air. I flew back to California Sunday and not more than 10 minutes after coming in my door I was out for a "chase the sun" bike ride. In 35 minutes I had ridden up to the top of the berkeley hills for a spectacular view of the sun setting and the Golden Gate Bridge, and back down on the fastest loop ride in ages. happy running! Sarah
  2. I haven't been doing my usual running mileage post-marathon. Monday I did 4.5 miles on the trail, which felt great. I think it is important for me to have a running off-season, so I'm only running 2 days/week, and no long runs or races for now. I've increased my cycling and yoga and added swimming and rock climbing (at a climbing gym) to the mix to keep things interesting.
  3. Liz, I absolutely LOVE that you ran to your weigh-in! I bet you inspired everyone there, and they were probably even more impressed when you continued your run after! I typically bicycle to ww. How far do you runners live from your ww meeting? Maybe we could have a virtual run together where we run to our meetings one week. If you live too far from your meeting, you could drive part of the way, park, and then run there and back. How about the week after Thanksgiving? Last night I went on a ~5-6 mile "Halloweenies" run with 25 runners, most dressed in costume. We ran a special route, filled with hidden urban staircases and narrow trails in Claremont canyon (we carried flashlights). The run planner even got some friends to hide out in the woods and scare us. It was a ton of fun, and also the first time I've run in hot pants. This morning I visited the doctor about my nagging foot pain (still hurts 1.5 weeks after the marathon). He set me up with some orthotics (non-custom), and ordered xrays just to be sure I don't have any fractures. hoping for the best!
  4. Congratulations Blake! You are amazing!
  5. hi all, I know I haven't been on here in ages....I gave up internet at home, but have kept plugging away at running! Good to see some familiar faces, my best to you all. I thought you would enjoy my report from the Nike Women's Marathon 2007, which I completed on Sunday. ---------------------------------------- I am DONE with my first road marathon. What a whirlwind experience! Short story: I finished the Nike Women's Marathon in 4:00:21 Sunday, after deciding to run just 5 days before the race. Pre-Race Tuesday: I get the news that LUNA does not need my LUNA Chix team to volunteer for the Nike Women's Marathon Sunday, and the surprise that if we want to run the race instead, they have free entries for us. The Marathon sold out months ago, just 3 days after it opened. I always thought my first road marathon would be a destination race, like Paris, or at least Avenue of the Giants or Big Sur closer to home. I'm a trail gal at heart, and I'm fond of saying things like "the only way I would voluntarily run 26.2 miles on the road is if its a stunning course in unexplored territory" or "My body isn't meant to run more than 3 hrs on the road, so I'll only do a marathon the day I can finish in 3 hrs" (aka never)! I always thought my first would be a targeted race that I trained for specifically, and I'd long ranked SF as one of the last places I would ever run, in part for its hills, but more so because of its familiarity. In the end, I still couldn't resist the pull to spontaneously run the Women's Marathon. My reasons: (1) Training for and racing the TransRockies Run in September was a great accomplishment, but hard to translate to runner's speak. I really had no idea of how far I had come, and wanted a road marathon time to mark my current fitness level. (2) The free factor. yep, I'm a cheap date. I have spent several hundred dollars on race fees in a little over a year of racing, and the comp entry was a huge bonus. (3) A friend invited me to a really nice dinner Sunday night, and I thought it would be good to work up an appetite. (4) On a more personal note, this weekend was my one year anniversary of being at my goal weight, and I could not imagine a better way to celebrate! The race website had a great tool that calculates unique splits for your goal time based on the elevation change. I remembered that I ran the SF Half Marathon in 1:51 at the end of July, and that I didn't go all out. So I guesstimated that 3:40-4:15 was a likely window for my full marathon time. Race Day: After 6 hrs sleep, I had breakfast of cereal and enjoyed the 5 minute walk to the starting line from my friend's apartment near Union Square. My mood was energetic, although I was still feeling sore from the new boxing class I took Friday night, which used muscles I didn't know I had. silly girl! I dropped my drop bag with warm clothes and taped the splits for 3:40 (dream) and 4:00 (actual goal) around my wrist. I couldn't find my LUNA teammate who was running the 1/2, so I started alone in the middle of the 6:30-8:59 min/mile group. At 7:00AM sharp, we poured out of Union Square on Post Street, out Montgomery past the TransAmerica Building and then onto the Embarcadero. The start was a bit of a pain in the neck. I added an extra .3 mile in the first few miles weaving to pass slow runners who had lined up up front. The waterfront was flat and fast, and I quickly settled into a comfortable rhythm as I enjoyed the familiar terrain (identical here to the SF Half I ran in July). A Gospel Choir greeted us with jubilant voices, the first of many cheerleaders who gave runners an extra boost at many a mile. Running past Crissy Field we viewed the Golden Gate in its full glory, basking in the first rays of sun on a gorgeous, crystal clear day. I was mentally prepared for the hill through the Presidio between mile 6 and 7, and powered up, feeling full of energy. There was an Oxygen bar at the top, and several women were sucking it up. I decided in an instant that if I didn't need oxygen running at 12,000 feet in CO a month ago, surely I don't need it at 295' in San Francisco. I was on pace for 3:40, carefully matching the terrain-adjusted mile splits for miles 1-8 (8:01-8:28, then 9:54 for mile 7), enjoying the sweet downhill of mile 8. Mile 9 was a moment of truth. The longish hills here were tough, and I fell 30 seconds off pace on mile 9, while my heart rate remained the same (mid-170s). Mile 10 (again just over 9 minutes) confirmed that the dream goal of 3:40 was unattainable, so I eased off and let my heart rate drop to the mid-160s. I consoled myself at the slow down, thinking "hey you are a mortal, not a super hero, and that's ok. You didn't train for this race, and even though you put in the mileage, you haven't done speedwork or long runs at any pace near this in months. Hardly anyone qualifies for Boston on their first marathon, you didn't honestly think you could run a 3:40, and anyone who is serious about qualifying chooses a fast, flat course, unlike this one. Think about how much cooler it will be to train with your girlfriends to run Boston another year. If you aren't over this whole running thing by then, anyway." My positive mood restored, I casually thought the race would be a breeze from here. Dropping down to the Great Highway, seeing the waves rolling in from the spectacular vista point of the curving downhill was my favorite stretch of the race. Next we headed east into Golden Gate Park, for a 5 mile loop with some gradual inclines. I took a 2 min. bathroom break at mile 12. Thankfully this would be my only bathroom stop the whole race. On the out-and-back section through Golden Gate Park I was thrilled to notice that I was ~1/2 to 3/4 mile ahead of the 3:55 and 4:00 pace groups at mile 13.5. I passed several runners with 3:40 goal signs on their backs thinking "thank goodness I wasn't foolish enough to put one of those on! This is your first road marathon, don't kill yourself out here." I stopped briefly at a medic table for vaseline at Mile 15. I had forgotten my pre-race body glide and my legs were burning and sports bra chafing my skin. Next I paired up with a young woman from SLO shooting for 4:00 and we ran together for a mile or so until she needed to use the restroom. I knocked off miles 11-16 in 8:28, 10:24 (incl. break), 9:29, 9:06, 9:01, and 9:01, respectively. I knew I needed to run ~9:09 min/miles to finish in 4 hrs, but also knew I had a pretty decent safety net from my fast early miles. That cushion evaporated rapidly from miles 17 through 24, as the day continued to warm up, and my feet began to hurt badly. Here I was running 9:19-10:00 min/miles. Lake Merced felt uphill all the way around and the sun was hitting us strong by now. I kept imagining that waves of runners in the 3:55 and 4:00 pace groups would wash over me, and that I would be motivated to stick with the 4:00 group-- but puzzingly, I was never overtaken by these groups. Finally I saw one woman around mile 21 wearing a 3:55 pace group participant sign and I asked her if she was ahead of her group, and she said, no, she was behind. I studied my watch and realized that I now needed to run 9:09 miles until the end, but I couldn't muster the energy to go much faster than 9:20 through here. I finally realized that my heart rate was fine (mid 160s still) and that it didn't hurt much more to run a little faster. Mentally it was tough though as the field was very sparse and many runners were cramping, walking, etc. When we got back onto the Great Highway, I could see the sea of humanity reaching miles 18 and 19 as I neared mile 24. It became easier to motivate here, as I felt like a front runner (weird!) when I saw how many many thousands were behind. The final stretch was brutal. I had to run sub-9 minute miles from mile 24 on to finish in 4 hrs. I tossed my handheld into the median strip and picked up the pace. By that point, 8:50 miles felt like an all-out sprint, especially since there was a pretty good headwind blowing from the north. For the last 0.20 miles I was running at a 7 minute mile pace. I finished in 4:00:21, and the final distance on my GPS read 26.52 miles. Just across the finish line, dashing men in suits were handing out tiny Tiffany's boxes. Was it a ring? Oh no, even better, it was necklace, with no strings attached! The marathon winner, Lauri Thompson of Boise, finished in 3:01:26. Not to knock Laurie-- she looked very strong and fit, but I am guessing the challenging course means most of the really fast women stick this one out because you won't PR here. Well, you could easily PR at SF, if your first marathon was run between 8-12,000 feet on trails in the Colorado Rockies. I'm glad I'll always be able to say that I shaved over 2 hrs off my first marathon time with only a month of training. ; ) Post Race Thoughts: I checked the "official results" today and was astonished to see that I finished 240th out of 4,689 runners. That sure feels good! Given the difficulty of the course and my lack of training for the specific event I am quite delighted with my time. I only began running in April 2006, so it is pretty exciting how far I have come in just a year and a half. I could hardly walk after I crossed the finish line, and stumbled in a daze to the shuttle bus. I could have run a little smarter between 20-24, had I realized earlier that my feet didn't hurt much more going faster. I am very sore today. My feet are the worst part-- bruised and very tender, but thankfully only one small blister. The rest of my body is a-ok, just a bit of stiffness in my quads and tightness through my calves. It was definitely harder on my body than any day or the cumulative mileage at TransRockies. I previously said the 11/3 trail race at Stinson Beach/Pantoll would be the end of my racing season, but I'm feeling pretty ecstatic and done today! I've got a free entry to that race too, so we'll see if I can resist the tug of one of my favorite trails.
  6. Happy Summer Solstice everyone! Hope you're out enjoying the longest day of the year. thanks for the visceral fat visualization Mrs S! Darci, your sweet birthday note is lovely! I hope you make it through this tough time at school. Take the time you need to be sure you are taking care of yourself. Suzie, nice work making it through Week 4! Sounds like you're getting hooked again! Last night I did 6 miles with my trail run group, Tuesday night I did I fast 3 at the track. SS
  7. hi runners, I had a wonderful birthday race, in the Santa Cruz Mountains, organized by Pacific Coast Trail Runs. At the last minute I upgraded from the 21K to the 29K. I figured it would be good training for the TransRockies, plus my carpool buddy was doing the 50K, so I had time to spare. I felt great during the run. I was cautious with my pace, as I was nervous about 18 miles (I'd never gone farther than 14!). It included 5 long, challenging hills and 2 river crossings through thigh high water. One climb ended with a staircase to an observation deck with a sign "I made it" at the top. A runner was there with his camera, and snapped a birthday picture of me that hopefully I'll have soon to share. The course wound through tall redwood trees, which provided nice shade, and beautiful surroundings. Portions of the course were covered with white sand, which made running particularly tough. I finished full of energy and feeling like I could keep running for ever, which was very positive. I came in a few minutes under my goal time of 3 hr 30 min (my other somewhat serious goal was to not let the 50K winner, my friend Jasper, beat me!). The only bummer was after I crossed the river the second time, my shoe lace snapped and my right shoe fell off my foot. I sat on the side of the trail for 5 minutes trying to repair the lace to keep my shoe on, sadly watching all these folks I'd passed run on by. I thought I was going to have to run barefoot or hike the last 4 miles, but then 2 mtn bikers came to my rescue. I jokingly asked "have a spare shoelace?" as they approached, and they stopped and helped me fix my "runner's flat tire" as they called it, with 2 zip ties they had. I threaded the ties through the lace holes, cinched them down, and was off running again in no time! While I was pleased with my finish time, I felt even better knowing it would have been ~10 minutes faster without the shoe incident. I hung out for a couple of hours (!) with Jasper and his friends after I finished, stretching, soaking up the sun, and cheering on 50K finishers as they came in. Jasper and his two guy friends placed 1, 2, and 3 in the 50K, with Jasper finishing in a blistering 4:02, which best the course record by 36 minutes. #2 and 3 both came in 25+ minutes behind J, but still very strong. Hanging in the sun after really zapped my energy, and I had a very chill afternoon after the long drive home, (literally chilly, if you include my ice bath!), enjoying lots of birthday phone calls, and a nice nap on the couch. I realized around 9pm that I hadn't eaten anything all day but a light breakfast, race food (most of which I skipped out on), and ice cream (homemade by my friend Neil). So I went out with a friend in search of the best burger in town at a posh restaurant (grass fed, organic, yum). Sunday I went on a fabulous bike ride with a few friends in the berkeley/oakland hills. My legs felt surprisingly fresh, we did a little over 30 miles. I would have liked to go further, but had lots of cooking and cleaning to do in preparation for the evening festivities. Around 20 friends came by for my dinner party last night! The food was excellent, and it was the perfect mix of folks. I felt completely enveloped by love and support all weekend-- it was really life-affirming. Having friends like you all is a big part of it. Thanks for all the birthday wishes and kind words, it was such a nice thing to log on and read this morning! 26 was the best year of my life so far, and I can't help think that 27 is going to be even better.
  8. hope everyone has a great running weekend! I had a good trail run Wednesday, just 5 miles, hillier than usual though. I am off to Santa Cruz for a 21K trail race in the Santa Cruz Mountains. How fun it will be to race on my birthday! I *might* upgrade to the 29K distance, can't decide yet. The race includes a river crossing that I will cross twice. I'm a little nervous about running in wet shoes, but hopefully it will be ok. Tonight my LUNA team is driving down to stay at a little cottage in Santa Cruz together so we'll be well-rested before the race.
  9. hi Tamara, I do a lot of strength training and yoga which helps build lean muscle mass. I can't put my finger on any one thing though, I think its just an integration of nutrition obsession and high activity levels...and the fact that I have no social life, so a lot of time to focus on these things! ; ) One quick tip: I take frequent push-up and abs breaks during the work day. It keeps me from getting bored, and even just a couple of minutes of push-ups adds up when you do it a few times/day. I have read that body fat scales almost often overestimate body fat. Here's one article that compared 7 different scales for accuracy, interesting results: http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/health/products/body-fat-scales-jan03 [/url] You might want to invest once a year in a more accurate form of testing, such as hydrostatic weighing. Body fat is not something that is useful to track on a daily or weekly basis-- it changes much slower. Hmm...here's another article that says the tanita scale is as accurate as hydrostatic weighing-- so looks like the jury is out! http://www.womens-health-fitness.com/body-fat-analyzers.html
  10. welcome Hanna! I had a great run on my own yesterday, 12.5 hilly miles on my favorite "out the door" trail, Strawberry Canyon. I recently started a 16 week training plan for the TransRockies race. The biggest changes will be increasing the distance of my long run, and running 2 long runs on consecutive days for the first few weeks. Then the program ramps up to 3 long runs on fri, sat, sun. This is critical for race preparation, as the race is 6 days long at 20+ miles/day. I guess I'll be dropping my biking mileage down to accomodate so much running. Today I took the subway to work for a rest day, taking a break from my bike commute. I can't decide if I should reduce my other cross-training too. The last couple of months I have finally gotten settled in a routine of 2x/week weights/abs (45 min each session) and 2x/week yoga (75 min each class). My body really enjoys these activities, but they take up a lot of time, and I'd like more time to devote to finishing my degree program (which I utterly failed to finish in May ). I do weights/abs during lunch 2 days/week, and I wonder if I would really spend that time productively if I wasn't going to the gym. But maybe my body would benefit more from true rest days. Today, my supposed rest day, includes a gym workout at lunch. Even though its just weights/abs, maybe I really should take the word "rest" more to heart, considering my plans to ramp up my running mileage significantly. any thoughts? Mrss, thanks for correcting me on the fat v. muscle thing. I reread what I wrote, and thought duh, a pound is a pound! A pound of muscle takes up less space in the body is what I think I was thinking. So if you are more muscular, you'll get comments of disbelief that you weigh as much as you do. For example, I am a size 4-6, even though I weigh 142, which seems absurdly high for my 5'3" frame, but makes sense given my low body fat (18%).
  11. MOJO-- sounds like you are doing everything right, perhaps you are gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat. The number on the scale is not always the best way to measure progress for us active folks. I like my tape measure and the feel of my clothes. Welcome Susie! Its wonderful to have you, of course you are a "real" runner, and your depth of BCB experience is a real asset. We are a small community here, and are always recruiting! A funny run story: Yesterday I decided to run to yoga from my office, its about 5 miles away. I had missed the wednesday night run because of a commission meeting, and was just desperate to fit a run in. I got trapped at work, and couldn't leave until 4:50pm. Yoga starts at 5:30, so that would require an 8:00min/mile pace the whole way...ever so slightly uphill. I started fast. I recently found my shuffle, so my tunes were motivating me and bringing the dreary landscape to life. I had movie night with cycling friends planned for after yoga, so I had a dvd to carry, plus my heavy cell phone. I know I looked ridiculous! After a few miles, I realized that because of the traffic lights, I was significantly off-pace. I just hate being late for yoga, I think its so disruptive. I saw the bus a few blocks back. So at mile 3, I dashed into a liquor store, bought gatorade, so I'd have change, and then ran up a few more blocks until the bus caught me. I rode the bus up for 1 mile, chugging my gatorade, then when it got to a congested area, I hopped off, and ran on. The bus driver looked at me like I was crazy, when I passed her at the next intersection. I hit 3.5 miles steps from my class, and arrived just a minute before class started. perfect! Somehow after yoga I managed to bike up the hill for movie night. I was soo beat. Hope this story made you smile a little. My friend says it sounds like a running commercial! This weekend I'm saving my long run for Sunday, with a hilly bike ride planned for tomorrow.
  12. Mrs S.- I can't say what you should do, but I would probably wait for another 1/2 marathon, or run it as a training run, with no goals for speed and no shame in walking. The potential pain and injury from running a race that your feet aren't ready for could cost more than the race reg fee that you've already paid. I personally would not start a race with a plan to maybe drop out. Because of my whole ego, DNF would be hard for me to accept. I've chosen to skip out on two of the 8 races I registered for in the last year (for weather reasons both times) and never regretted the decision for a minute. I ran my first half marathon solo 2 weeks after the half marathon I skipped, on a training run (on the same course the race covered), and felt like it was a unique, and wonderful first half marathon experience. guess we should start a June thread soon!
  13. Thanks for the compliments on my race pace, you guys are too sweet. Last night I had a great 6.2 mile run with Transports/Eat&Run. We ran at one of my "regular" parks, but on trails I had never sought out, which was nice. The end was a pretty killer hill (2+ miles!), making the run feel like anything but a recovery run after the monday race. I brought a pie to the dinner, and when the hostess tried to get me to take the one slice that was left over home, I responded "no thanks, I don't eat refined sugar alone," which got big laughs. That's my new way of managing this sugar-lite life. Enjoy special homemade treats on occasion, in the company of friends and fellowship, but don't eat it alone. ever! Because that's when I have portion size problems. This saturday I'm leading a LUNA Chix training run in one of my favorite parks.
  14. Laurie: running with your dog sounds fun! I like taking short walk breaks too especially on steep hills. Mrs S: good to hear your foot is steadily improving, and that you are back to running. thanks for asking about my 10K, it was awesome! The course was fast and flat, and the weather was perfect. I finished in 47:32, a 7:39 min/mile pace. Behind my dream goal (44 min), but ahead of my realistic goal of 48:00. I was very strong the last 2 miles, when I realized I had a substantial energy reserve left, running negative splits and the last mile in less than 7 minutes. It was a very competitive field, which was quite humbling. I found myself being paced by a rockin' 65 yr old woman, and not too far ahead of the winning baby jogger. At least I could find humor in it! There was no way I was going to let a parent pushing a baby jogger pass me! Thankfully there were a few tight turns, where the jogger stroller was no match for my speed and agility ; ) I cut more than a minute/mile off my first (and only other) 10K I ran last August, where I finished in 54:05. Will I be breaking 40 minutes a year from now? That would be swell. Maybe two years until my first sub 40 minute 10K is a more realistic goal. Afterwards, I got to meet women's winner, Magdalena Lewy-Boulet who finished in 33:54! http://www.fast-women.com/athletes/interviews/magdalenalewyboulet.html She was there with her family, including Richie, who leads my Wednesday night trail runs, who finished sub 32 minutes, and their son, who toddled through a 50 yd dash for the little ones. For my next road race, I'll start a little less conservatively. And bring my own cheering section! It was kind of a bummer to see many people standing on the sidelines who were utterly silent when I went by (only cheering for folks they knew). A couple of times I yelled cheesy lines like "come on people, make some noise" but was surprised to get only silence and strange looks in response. Same thing when I tried small talk with my fellow runners, during the race. No response! I guess they were conserving their energy for the run. Richie told me afterwards that, even at my pace, people are really competitive at this race in particular. It draws out some of the elite, and best non-elite runners around.
  15. Welcome Laurie! We're excited to have you here. Your goals sounds great, a 15K this summer and Boston 2008! I did a energizing 6 miles on the trails wednesday night (we'll eventually both be there the same week Liz!), and then a little over 3 miles at sunrise Thursday morning (5:45!). It was my last run with my friend Adelyn, as she is moving to Santa Cruz, by way of Orange County, so it was worth missing sleep for! We'll still be able to run together on the occasional weekend, but we're both pretty bummed to lose another when we just found such a nice fit together. After nearly 1 month of low heart rate based training, I'm down 3.8 pounds, and back at "free" for my WW meetings, as of yesterday morning! Of course nearly eliminating refined sugar has probably played just as much of a role in my loss too. Even though I haven't run fast since 5/1, I'm planning to race a 10K on Monday. I want a good baseline so I'll know how fast I am, before I commit to 2-3 more months of low heart rate based training. So this race will be it. Its the Marin Memorial 10K, a flat, fast, road course. I'm a little nervous about it, but also curious to see what the road race scene is like. I plan to lay off the running until then, and just cross-train in the meantime.
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