Thursday, May 27, 2010

Half-Marathon in the Wine Country

i was sick for the half marathon.

... but i ran anyway. And it was amazing!

We wore chips on our shoes, and I was the only one wearing it backwards. I worried. "Will this still work?" I pointed down at the top of my shoe.

I asked nearly everybody. And everyone reassured me it would, since it's a chip... but i only half- believed them, because otherwise why did everyone but me have their chip facing away from them and mine was facing me, if it indeed didn't matter?

I was feeling low energy and didn't feel that adrenaline that usually hits me just before a race and I sorta prepared myself by shrugging the whole thing off, "well, if the chip doesn't work, it doesn't work... I'll know how long it took me to run it and that's all that really matters...."

But that wasn't the only thing that I was worried about. I was sick with a nasty chest cold. The chills-feeling fever, shortness of breath, wheezing, coughing up mucus, kind of cold. I swallowed a cough suppressant over-the-counter medicine 10 minutes before the race to help curb my cough and then the gun sounded.

"Here goes...." I whispered to myself and I took a deep breath, turned on my music, and off I went...... slowly at first, weaving in and around the slower runners ahead of me and as soon as I found an opening, I found myself running a good solid pace. Seven miles later, I was still running the same solid pace. Look at mee! I sang to myself. "Looook at meeeee! i'm running strong!"

It was by far my best race yet. I was amazed at my stamina. I ran past Mile 8 and I was running just as solid as I did when I first began. By Mile 10, I began to feel it in my legs... my I.T. Band started acting up again. I worried it would affect my running like it did during the Annadel Half Marathon up in the higher elevations. It did somewhat, but it didn't drastically affect my running.

The route was beautiful. Up and down small winding wine country roads. The weather was perfect and I felt terrific!

I loved that I didn't let anything stand in my way. I pushed past my fears of "should I run or should I not run?" because I knew my body would tell me what I could and could not do.

All I knew what I needed to do, was to lean down, lace up my shoes, and hit the pavement running... and then open myself up to the possibilities my body could or could not do.

I finished my race in 2 hours, 13 minutes.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Race Day is tomorrow

Race Day is tomorrow. And I am sick.

I've been sick for nearly a week now. Pounding headache. Fever. Aching body. Lost voice and a coughing so intense, so deep, I need to hold onto my ribs to soften the pain I feel each time I cough.

I haven't ran for a week. I've barely moved my feet. I look like the older folks you see shuffling down the street all wrapped up and shivering in the cold.

But yesterday morning, I woke up and felt a shift in my body. Was it my hopeful imagination?

Did I really feel improvement?

Today I have a worse cough, but no longer feel achy and the fever has been gone for two days now. Though I slept for more than twelve hours last night, I feel my energy returning.

It is no longer my imagination.

I'm going to go out there early tomorrow morning and run that race. My goal is to simply finish the Half Marathon. My other goal is not to get sicker after I finish the race... but to feel better and more empowered.

HA! Well, that is something only time will tell.

You know the saying, what doesn't kill you, makes you stronger... so I'm putting my trust into the alternative....

Friday, May 14, 2010

Running across the Golden Gate Bridge and along the Embarcadero in San Francisco

This video says it all. It was amazing!

I was born in San Francisco and have spent a lot of time in this lovely City, but there were places I ran that I had never experienced before.

I had to hack off 13 minutes of this video but it will still give you a good sense of our 12-mile practice run.

We started off a the north end of the Golden Gate Bridge in the pouring rain and ran across the bridge and circled around to the bottom of the hill along the Golden Gate Promenade and ran to Ft. Point, stopping momentarily to touch the wall, and then back along the Promenade to Crissy Field while we got caught in the middle of a race... and then ran along Marina Blvd, past the Safeway toward Fort Mason, up to Prospect Park and down along the waterfront toward Fisherman's Wharf ... past the boat house and Aquatic Park and we turned around at the Hyde Street Pier (corner of Hyde and Jefferson, kitty-corner from the Cannery Building). The cable car turnaround/Buena Vista Cafe/Ghirardeli Square are all a tantalizing block up on the hill on Beach Street.

We then turned around and headed back the same way we had come.

It felt a lot like we were on the tv show: the amazing race.

I am so grateful for this wonderful experience. It was so fun, I barely noticed I was running. The plus side of running in such a beautiful place.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Running in the Wine Country

This past Sunday, I ran 11-1/2 miles in the Wine Country.

After experiencing a long week of feeling lousy about myself... for feeling weak and lame and wanting to throw in the towel ... I watched another episode of The Biggest Loser on TV and I was so inspired watching these folks fight through their physical and mental barriers, I decided i needed to do that, too.

If they can do that, then by golly, I can do that! 
I woke up extra early on Sunday morning, nervous and excited and thought this: "If I can run this, then I can run the half-marathon!.."

It was a gorgeous morning outside and it was so breath-taking (in more ways than one!) to run through such beautiful scenery!

I started off running at a slower pace, reminding myself that it's just a practice run and if my ham strings act up on me, I can walk as much as I need to ... but within the first mile, I had passed everyone but a couple of runners who started off at the front of the pack and i never saw them. Ever! Even on long stretches of roads, but that was okay, as I had forgotten they were even ahead of me.  

As far as I knew, I was leading the group and I felt strong. I felt empowered! And that felt GOOOD! 

I finished the training run in 2 hours and 5 minutes and burned nearly 1200 calories. I pushed myself a little, but not like I was racing. Just enough to help me over my previous hump. I finished without even breathing deeply.

I live in such a beautiful area. I kept looking up and seeing my surroundings of the rolling hills and the vineyards and the beauty of it all kept pushing me to keep on running.

I just signed up for the Half-Marathon to take place on May 22nd.  I haven't trained like I should, (there were some weeks I only ran one day) but I guess there's no better time than the present. (And I think I'm better trained than I had previously believed).

This coming Sunday morning we're running over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco along the Embarcadero and back across the bridge. I'm really looking forward to it. I plan to videotape my experience and will post it early next week.

(coach marc's bike)

Hey, by the way: Here's the route I ran! Impressive, huh?  :O)