15 things about me

Happy Holidays, blog world. I hope your celebration with family and/or friends was great. If you don't celebrate any of the holidays we're having now, I hope you enjoyed the time off.

In keeping with a Facebook note theme, I thought I'd share 15 things about me, the athlete edition. But before we get to that, here's a week in review:

Tuesday, ran 2 miles instead of 4. Packed up and left to drive to Stockton around 10 am. Got to Stockton about 4:30 and went straight to work making tamales.

Wednesday, went for a walk with my mom, then did some last minute shopping/errands with Mom. Celebrated Christmas eve with my side of the fam.

Thursday, waited until a break in the rain (about 9:30, 10am) and ran 4 miles. Took off to the MIL's to "open" presents in WOW, then left to celebrate Christmas IRL (in real life) with Jeremy's mom's fam.

Friday, walked with my mom. Went over to celebrate Christmas with Jeremy's dad's family. We played Wii. I was great at the ski jump on Wii Fit. I lost at Wii Boxing, but did manage to strain my right bicep.

Saturday, ran 4 miles in 34 degree weather. I never once wished I wore short sleeves. Celebrated our anniversary (6 years) and went to Myra's NorCal baby shower. We then drove home to Southern Cali.
Sunday, rested. I pretty much did nothing but watch tv. (We invited a friend over to watch the first season of Pushing Daisies).

On to my list:

1. It takes me ~2 miles/20 minutes to get into a groove while running.

2. I can go 2, maybe 2.5 days without running/cycling/generating endorphins. Any more than that and the bitch is back.

3. I'm on a quest to find tart (read not sugary sweet) fluid replacement drinks. When I'm working hard and I take a sip of something sweet, it makes me want to puke. So far I've tried (and like) GU2O, Vitalite,

4. I use Kool 'n Fit for every run and ride, when I remember. It really helps my IT band loosen up.

5. I run with my cellphone and inhaler. I never forget my cellphone, but I routinely forget my inhaler.

6. Chocolate milk is my recovery drink of choice.

7. I want to race a 1/2 Ironman, marathon and Ironman, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it will have to wait until I have kids. (My marathon can be the run leg of my Ironman, but I'd rather it be the Nike Women's marathon. I'm not picky.

8. Cross training (cycling and, I guess, swimming) has made me a faster runner.

9. The hardest part of running with out my iPod is the negative self talk. For some reason, when left to my own devices I start breaking myself down. A 10-11:30 minute mile may not be fast to some people, but it's my pace and I'm going to own it until I pass it.

10. Triathlons have made me want a new car. I want a wagon so I don't have to take my front wheel off anymore.

11. I don't care what I look like when I'm running. Me in compression shorts, a tight tank and my utility belt (aka my fuel belt) is quite a sight to see, but it's me running.

12. I do care about what I look like cycling. I love buying new cycling jerseys. I'm hoping a love a riding comes with it.

13. I'm addicted to my Garmin. I've been able to be a "Zen runner" (running without a watch, garmin or iPod) a few times. Those times have usually been when I'm running less than 3 miles.

14. My nose always runs on the bike. I have tissues in my bento box because of this.

15. I love running. I know it's a love/hate thing, but most of the time I love it. I love it for giving me goals to work towards, so I don't get bored. I love it for making me get into the gym (which I need to get back to) so I can work on getting myself in shape to support running. I love that I get to buy new shoes every 4 or so months, because who doesn't like buying new shoes!


This Week...

Not a very snappy title, but descriptive.

I took Monday and Tuesday off. Monday is my scheduled DOR, read scheduled get carp done day. Tuesday I walked into the gym to get ready for the spin class and my nose started running. It had been running on and off since Sunday. I walked right back out. I wasn't going to blow my nose all through spin class.

Wednesday I loaded up on allergy meds and went to another spin class. No nose problems, yay! Thursday was 6 miles around the neighborhood. I got to see snow on the mountains (see below) near my house. Also, I saw Santa. Didn't take a picture of (or with) him. All this meant was I had an audience for both my laps. Great.

Friday was another spin class. I didn't work very hard in this class, because I knew I had an 8 miler on tap for Saturday, but I was still disappointed with the calorie burn. Barely over 400. Also she started late but ended on time due to a class that was scheduled after us. I remember this happening before.

Saturday was the crown jewel. 8 miles outside. My plan was to park at a fairly empty business parking lot and run to the lake, around the lake twice, then back to the car. I chickened out. It had one of those "unauthorized cars will be towed at owner's expense" sign. I found a neighborhood closer to the lake and parked there.

I ran to the lake and instead of running around the lake, I decided to keep going straight, thinking it wouldn't be as hilly. I was wrong. It was hilly, but I couldn't have planned a better run. The first four miles were pretty and easy, with some downward slopes. After the lake I started to see a pattern. Down ~1/2 mile flat or a bit uphill 1/2 mile, downhill 1/2 mile and then I chose my path to be flat or a bit uphill for the last 1/2 mile.

This set me up for a great back 4. Half mile recovery, half mile uphill, half mile recovery, half mile uphill, half mile recovery, quarter mile uphill, cool down to the car. Yay!

I think I'm going to do this route again. After I put my "oh shit what did I set myself up for" thoughts behind me, it worked out well and I beat my pace time.

Tomorrow is a ride out to Camp Pendleton. 2 hours, maybe 20+ miles. Wish me luck!


Make Room for Santa 10K Race Report

It's cold here. And yes, I count anything under 55 degrees as cold. Who am I kidding, anything under 60 degrees is cold with anything 65 and under being nippy. On to the wonderful race.

I woke up at 5am, I needed to get to the venue by 6am to pick up my packet. I should have picked it up on Saturday, but we played Rock Band with friends instead. I am still happy with that decision. Jumped into my clothes, layers of course, but I was running in my new Skirt Sport tank and pants. I know you might think I'm crazy for running in a sleeveless shirt when it's 52 degrees outside, but I knew I'd get hot and the temperature would rise as the race went on, so I braved bare shoulders.

The race only started about 5 minutes late. We were off! The first few miles were gradually uphill. I didn't really realize it, although I wanted to stop running a few times during the first 2.5 miles, I didn't. Well I did. I stopped to stretch out my right IT band.

Around mile 1 I shot a Gu. Yes I know this is only a 6 mile race, but I had 8 on my schedule and I was just going to add those on to my race, so eat it. Around mile 2.5-3 I started to get into a groove. In fact, that exact thought popped into my head. "Hey, Yas, you're starting to get into a groove. Maybe you are really a middle distance/endurance athlete." I almost stopped dead in my tracks at that. But I kept going as I was trying to make out the graphic on the back of someone's shirt. (it was the Orange County Crime Lab running team. They had a chalk outline of a guy breaking the "Police Line Do Not Cross" tape. Hilarious).

I don't know what made the back half of the 10K go so well. I did get into a groove and was able to ignore my IT band, ankle, and all other signs of exertion. I'm not sure if this was me being in great mental and physical condition or the course that gradually sloped downward from mile 3 to the finish or just the caffiene from the GU starting to kick in. At mile 3 or 4 or maybe 3.43 I shot my second Gu (remember people I'm running 8 miles).

It was still nippy, but I wasn't feeling any of it. In fact, I was thinking maybe I should have worn shorts or a skirt, but I wasn't uncomfortable. I was very happy with my apparel choice. The Skirtsports cleavage alley pocket was awesome. No fumbling in my nutrition (read glorified fanny) pack.

I did end up having a kick to sprint down the chute, but I kept it in check, I still had 2 more miles left! I stopped my watch, tore off the bottom of my number, grabbed a water bottle, and headed back down the outside of the chute and back on the trail. The 2 miles (or 1.8 really, who wants to be an overachiever?) were me back tracking a mile up the race course and turning around. They were my slowest, as they were more a cool down than an extension of the race.

I had a great time at this race. A real sense of accomplishment and finding myself as a runner. I came to terms with the fact that I might run a marathon one day, I might do a 1/2 and full Ironman one day. But being a middle distancer isn't anything to sniff at. In fact my runner's world issue tells me it's okay!

Also, check out my kick ass 10K time: 66:31. It's an ave pace of ~10:44/mile. I was hoping to run this race at an 11:00 pace. Most of the fast miles came on the last 3-4 miles, given that the course sloped downward, it was made for negative splits.

I'm pretty sure I'll make room for Santa every year.


Intervals and the Dread

I know I'm lucky to live where I live and be a runner. I realize that in some places in the country, not to mention the world, there is snow and rain, even hail. People have to wear all the nifty running apparel that I want to buy, until I realize after running in it for 20 minutes in 45-50 degree weather I will be A) hot and B) the temperature will be closer to 65 without the added layers.

I try not to complain too much about my lack of running outside, but it really does irk me. I like it tons better than the dreadmill. Today I blame my lack of communing with the outdoors on having to take the cat to the vet, but really, who am I kidding. I wouldn't be able to get in 7 miles before it got dark when I was starting at 4 pm anyway. I'm still blaming it on the cat. She just looks shifty.

I thought about putting it off until tomorrow, but tomorrow night is Jeremy's Holiday Party which is very fun and starts at 6pm. Once again there is no way I'd get in 7 miles if I started at 4 and had to be all prettied up and at the party by 6, well 6:30, when do I get to a company function on time?

Plan B was made. (Please don't comment on the lack of Plan A. Plan A is always run outside, preferably before it gets dark or as it's getting light.) Plan B was to do my speed intervals on the treadmill, at the gym, after a light dinner. I left my house at 7:15 to get started.

First of all, I don't like running this late. I'll be up until midnight and I need to get into work early tomorrow. Boo early. Yay Peet's, which is the only thing that will help me through those first few hours.

Secondly, I really dislike the temperature at gyms. Do they have to make it that hot? I realize if I'm coming in off the street I don't want it to be freezing inside, but really, it gets oppressively hot a few minutes into my run, no wonder I sweat so much.

Thirdly, at this time of night there aren't too many people to watch. It's basically us hardcore peeps that need to get a workout in before we hit the sack. There aren't any gym bunnies, walking around the weight machines trying to get hit on. There aren't too many guys lifting way to much and having you wonder if they're going to throw out their back on this set or the next one. It's pretty much you, your iPod, and a tv that you hope is close captioned so it will keep you busy, but is usually on something that you don't want to watch. Fun times.

Anyway, I ran my mile warm up, started my first of 3-1600 meter intervals at 9:35 (ha! I didn't quite keep that pace) with a 800 rest interval in between. This one went well, I had to lie to myself each lap, pretending I would stop each 400 meters, but I completed it. I jogged at a 12 min/mile pace for the 800, I started my second interval, but here's where it was too hard, mentally I'm sure, I ended up throttling down to a 9:50 pace to finish the last half of the mile and I walked the recovery. The last one I all but gave up on. I ran at the 9:50 pace for 1/2 a mile, walked for 1/4 of a mile then ran the last interval 1/2 mile and started in on my cool down.

The moral of the story is such, find a lit track to run on, but if that's not an option, the treadmill isn't so bad.



I could tell you about my 1.5 mile dreadmill run, or the spin class that continues to kick my ass. (I'm pretty sure the tension knob is broken on my bike. On all the bikes I chose for spin. They should really fix that.)

Instead I want to give you a movie review. It's short and sweet.

, see it.

No, it's not a video posted on You-Tube that my witnesses posted of me falling twice on my run in Long Beach, although that probably would make you laugh. It's a tongue in cheek movie about the direction our country, and world, could be going. Including lawyers named Frito and a language that has taken the best of hilly billy, valley girl, and street for communication. It may be a bunch of stupid humor, but it does have a moral, so just wait for it...

Click here for IMDB's info on it. Or just click here because I know you all just want to know what happens. You can always add it to your Netflix account, or just buy it on Amazon for 10 bucks. It's awesome.


Watch Where You Run

So I know I've been AWOL, but that's what holidays do to you. You have to find the time to make your house pretty, or at least clean, help make Thanksgiving dinner, buy Christmas presents, train for a 1/2 marathon, ride 24 miles, blog...

Yup, it was at the end of my list. But on to the post.

I had 6 on my schedule for Thursday. I also had a kick-off ladies night at a bike store in Long Beach to attend. (Fellow diva Dina is always making the trek to the OC, we decided to follow her up there.) My only requirements were directions on where to run to make my 6 miles and if I could take a quick shower at her house.

The 6 miles was reached by running from her house to a Marriott (I didn't realize I had to use the bathroom until I saw the Marriott) back to the main street and to Long Beach City college. Then I came back and ran around her neighborhood a bit.

One thing I forgot about Long Beach, from the time I lived there, was the uneven pavement. So I fell, twice, and I'm pretty sure I had an audience across the street both times. The first time I fell on grass, the second on cement. I ripped a small hole in my new Nike capris that I was wearing for the first time. I now have a huge raspberry on my left knee. A week before Jeremy's Christmas party, for which I have a pretty black dress that ends just above the knee.

I've decided to own the road rash, after all, I'm an athlete, right? These things happen, right?

It ended up being worth it. Although I didn't win the raffle for the bike, I won a pair of Shimano shoes and pedals that I need to pick up. I'm excited about that.

Yesterday I had 7 miles on tap. I had gotten home from a girls night in late and didn't wake up, read get my arse out of bed, until 8am. 8 AM!!!! This is unheard of for me. Usually I have a dog or cat who wakes me up by 7:30 like clockwork. I didn't get my run in.

I went to visit my friend who I hadn't seen since she had her baby. I got home and vegged. About 6 I lamented about how I missed my run and then devised a plan to run the 2 miles to the gym, run 3 miles on a treadmill, then run the 2 miles home. Up hill. Will I ever learn?

All things considered, the run went well. The grade going up the hill at the end was deceiving while I was running down. I know it feels steeper when I drive it, not sure why I was able to convince myself it wouldn't be so bad running up. All in all, it got done and I felt better for it.

Today we rode 2 hours on the mountains to sea trail. Started in Yorba Linda/Anaheim Hills and rode to Anaheim, a bit past the Honda Center and Angel's stadium. It was a joy ride, I don't think we went over 13 mph. I may have wanted to go faster, but I was enjoying my time talking with Laura and it was the first time I'd been on my bike since the Subaru Triathlon in October. I really need more saddle time, a possibly a new bike.

My frame is a 51 cm, the people at the bike shop think I need a 49 at the very least, probably closer to a 47. Luckily my mom has a spare 47 cm Cannondale that I get to try out at Christmas time. Maybe I'll trade her if it's a better fit!