Beth Runs!

After sitting on my butt all winter, knitting and watching Craig Ferguson into the wee hours, it's time to get up, get out, and move!!!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

The REAL Training Begins!

I've finished the preliminary training program! This in itself is an accomplishment for me! I've completed the entire 7 weeks without missing a day. The next phase begins the Half Marathon training program... and the miles start to add up.

(See the Half Marathon Training Chart link on the sidebar.)

I'm feeling a little giddy and nervous at the same time.


Thursday, May 25, 2006

The aftermath...

NEW: Link to the Sport Photo Bay to Breakers photos of Me and Michael are here for a limited time:

Not sure which ones, if any, I should order. They're pretty expensive, and I'm not sure any of them are as good as the one Michael took on the run with the disposable camera.

Wow. My quadriceps have been, as we say in Oakland, HELLA SORE since the race. I went ahead and did my 30-minute run on the treadmill on Tuesday after training with Tuelo. It might have been too soon, but I wanted to stick to my schedule.

Another 30-minute run coming up this morning. Gack! I hate the treadmill. Tuesday, I tried closing my eyes on it and nearly fell off. Do you think my subconscious gets confused about running so hard to get nowhere? It is easier on the legs, though.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Beth comes in 8,632nd Place!

8,632 sounds pretty awful, until you consider that there were 40,000 registered participants and an estimated 62,000 total. I was worried I wouldn't come in under 2 hours. Look at my time! 1:35! Better than I thought!

I didn't run for 30 full minutes at any point during the race. I think the longest I ran was about 18 minutes in the very beginning. Then, I thought I ought to pace myself. I ran and walked and ran and walked the whole way.

I had planned to run the entire length of Golden Gate Park, but by the time I was there, my shoe was rubbing a painful blister onto the back of my ankle. It was a real mental fight. It didn't hurt as much when I walked, but it would take longer to finish. Running made my ankle hurt more, but the pain would be over sooner. Man, was I happy to cross the Finish Line and head for the Red Cross tent for a bandaid.

So one thing I learned from this race was that I ought to put bandaids on the vulnerable parts of my feet ahead of time, knowing that I am prone to blisters in those areas.

Another thing I learned is that oatmeal is a good thing for me to eat before a race. I had a cup of oatmeal and a mug of tea at 6:30am, and I never felt sluggish or nauseated or hungry during the race.

I think I'll make a list of these things that I learn as I go, and post a link to it on the sidebar.

Here's another thing: a new mantra. "Pain is just weakness leaving your body." Don't think about it too much or over-analyze it. It sounds good. I'm going to add it to, "I know I can do this!" and "Quit whining, Beth. You know you're not going to stop." Maybe I'll make a list of these as well.

What else about the Bay to Breakers? The rain held off for us. The weather was cool and slightly muggy. Michael ran ahead of me for most of the race but would stop and wait for me to catch up. He took a lot of pictures with a disposable camera. I'll post the rest of the photos, as well as the Official Bay to Breakers photo when I get it in a few days.

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Night before the first race...

Tomorrow (actually today) is the SF Bay to Breakers. After all this nice weather, it's supposed to rain! I went to Any Mountain today and spent a small fortune on super lightweight, breathable rainwear. The jacket and pants are so compressible, I can fit them into a pocket of my new butt pack. The fabric is some scary post-space-age concoction that keeps the rain from getting in while allowing the sweat to evaporate and escape. How do they do it?

We have to get up at 6am this morning, and it's already 1am. I've been up all night working on this running blog. Yes, I wrote all of it tonight and dated the entries in the past. But from here on out, the entries will be current, as they happen, real time baby! You'll feel the adrenaline! Taste the sweat! Smell the stinky gym clothes that have been in my backpack all day. It doesn't get any more exciting than this, people.

Okay, so the plan tomorrow is to run for the first 10 or 15 minutes. Then walk until Golden Gate Park, and then run for 30 minutes. I'm only supposed to run 30 minutes, according to my training program, but the problem is that if I don't want to be stuck in the back of the pack, I have to start out running to begin with. We'll see how it goes. I didn't run today or yesterday because I wanted to give my legs and knees a chance to really recuperate before trying this longer bit of running/walking today.

Okay, to bed. How am I going to run on no sleep? Oh, the way I always do. I MUST start getting more sleep and eating better! Okay, I'll worry about that tomorrow. Good night.


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Last day at Santa Sabina...

Day 19 (Week 5): Once again, I get up at 6am and head out to run. 30 minutes this time. Yes! This has been the goal of the preliminary program. To run 30 minutes continuously! I've done it! I still have to do it 7 more times before I can begin the official marathon training program. 2 weeks of 30 minute runs 4 days/week.

Whether I make it to the marathon or not, this is an accomplishment! I may not save the world, but I can run 30 minutes without stopping! Woo hoo!


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Climb every mountain...

No running today, but a fast a furious hike up the dirt paths in the hills of San Rafael. After lunch, I headed out. I've done this hike twice before at previous retreats. It's great, but in order to make it back in time for the next sitting at 3pm, you have to move fast. Going up, I push and push until my legs are on fire. I know I have to do this because coming down will be very steep, and I will have to slow way, way down to avoid slipping on dirt and loose rocks.

Usually, I hate coming down. It wasn't great this time, but I told myself that it was good strength training for the muscles around my knees. I arrived back at Santa Sabina with the first sunburn of the season and 30 minutes to spare.

Tonight, one of the retreatants, Mary, came to my room with aloe vera gel to run on my burned shoulders. Mmmmmm...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Running meditation...

Day 18 (Week 5): Even at a silent meditation retreat, my training must go on. The retreat at Santa Sabina goes from Thursday, May 11 to Sunday, May 14. I'll have 2 days of running during the retreat. Today (Friday morning) and then Sunday morning.

I managed to get up and get out by 6:30am. A few other people were up doing yoga or stretching, but I was the only one heading out in my shorts and tank top to run.

I ran up and down hills. Not slight inclines like in Oakland/Berkely, but REAL HILLS. Hills that made my heart feel like it would leap out of my chest. But I did it. I did not stop and walk. I did my 25 minutes today and then will do 30 on Sunday.

Did I meditate while I ran? Maybe. Maybe not. Who can tell? When I'm running, everything else flies out of my head. No deep thoughts. No great brainstorming. All I have room for is counting my breaths (inhale 3 steps; exhale 2 steps) and telling my body to keep moving.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Food and running...

Day 14 (Week 4): Man, did I learn a hard lesson tonight. I was at the office working and also pigging out until very late. I got to the gym on a full stomach. Running on the treadmill, I started feeling nauseated. I completed the first 20 minutes of running, and was so relieved to get to the 5 minutes of walking. But during the next 10 minutes of running, I actually had to stop and walk for a minute and a half in the middle. This is the first time I have had to slow down and walk when I should have been running. But I really felt like I might be sick.

No more running on a full stomach! I have learned my lesson!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Could I become a morning person?

Day 11 (Week 4): This morning I got up at 6:30am and ran to Berkeley and back before going to the gym to work out with Tuelo. The air was very chilly, and all I wore were shorts and a tank top. Once I started running, the cool air felt great! This, from a person who is always cold. The morning was beautiful. Spring is here, and after all the rain, the flowers around Oakland and Berkeley are profuse. I breathed fully.

I passed some people smoking and had a momentary feeling of superiority. Ooh. That's dangerous. I have my own bad habits that refuse to die. Yes, I'm doing all this running and exercising, but I still haven't gotten my eating under control. Believe it or not, in all this time, I have not lost a single pound. I must be eating even more than I was before I started working out.