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!!!

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Holy Crap! I forgot to post!

I also forgot to run for 2 weeks! But they were the final weeks before the Academy Awards, and I had movies to see! Lots of them! And a party to plan, which turned out to be really great. We had a Mexican theme complete with Oscar-shaped pinata and Mark's most excellent chili verde, Mexican chocolate ice cream, and many other goodies. This is not an excuse and it's probably not even a reason. But anyway, that's what happened.

Also, I lost my iPod. In a taxicab. Of which I don't know the name. And for which I paid cash, so I have no way to find out the name to call the company. So there you go. I had to buy another one. And another pair of headphones. And then my Nike+ sensor stopped sensing so I had to send it back to Apple for a replacement. And how can a girl run these days without all the proper technology? (More bad excuses.)

Anyway, I did start running and working out again after the Oscars. And speaking of technology, Michael found an article in The New York Times (Really? Michael found an article in the NY Times?) about a new software product called The Repacer. It will take any mp3 song file and change the speed to the Beats Per Minute (BPM) you specify so that you can maintain a regular rhythm while running. And it does it without making the song sound like either the Chipmunks or a weird character from a David Lynch film. It helps me stick to my goal of 88 BPM, especially when I get tired and feel like slowing down.

And in other product news, I've gotten back into my deep water running in response to problems I've been having with my LEFT shin and have been using a pair of AQx Sports Aquatic Training Shoes in combination with my Aqua Jogger to better mimic the feel of road running while in the pool. The shoes add resistence but also have "fins" that add stability while "running." It's kind of fun.

A week ago, I was at the King Pool in Berkeley all my myself in their deep pool and felt like I was in a David Hockney painting. The patterns on the water were just like that.

Day Pool With 3 Blues, David Hockney

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Fran ate all my #$@%&*!%#$ cupcakes!

This morning, there are big chunky crumbs all over th carpet, making it sticky again, and a hole in the box the size of her big mouth! It's to be expected, as we were all raised by the wolves who are currently partying hard with a bunch of Micronesians on their floor in Hawaii.

Yeah, we were up until 5am. It was the war of the iPods. Who had the best, weirdest, or just plain wrongest (yes, that's a word today) music.

Of course, the lightbulb burned out as soon as they got here, and since this room is a FREAKING CAVE, it was just like any club in San Francisco. Except for the mosquitoes and humidity.

Fran gave us Restoril to calm us down, but none of us could get sleepy. So Ellen took more, and I took a couple of Valium, and finally, we fell asleep and slept until 2:30pm. It was an awesome nights, I mean morning's, sleep except for the housekeeper who knocked on the door every 1/2 hour to ask if we needed cleaning. Naturally, this place has no "Do Not Disturb" sign to put on the door, and we were too drugged to get up and make one.

Okay, gotta go. We are finally dressed and ready to leave for "Cirque du Soleil" at 6pm.


(Fran's a brick house.)

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Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Song Request

So, I'm putting together a playlist on my iPod for the Disney Marathon, and I'd love your suggestions!

What is the best music to run or workout to?

What motivates you on a rainy day?

What song can make you smile even if you've missed BART again, squirted ketchup all over your white pants, and suddenly realize you still have shampoo in your hair because you were in such a hurry to miss the train that you forgot to rinse it out or even look at yourself in the mirror before leaving the house?

What makes you shake your hips while vacuuming or doing the dishes or cleaning out the gutters?

These are the kinds of songs I need in my iPod during the marathon!

Please click the comments link to leave me your suggestions. Or e-mail me. Or call. Or stop by my house with your music and play me something. Let's dance! (Hmmm... David Bowie? I'll have to try that.)

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Sunday, December 17, 2006

And I am telling you, I'm not... stopping!

No no no no way
I'm not running without you
I'm not running without you
I don't want to be free (of my iPod!)

I did my 20 miles today with the "Dreamgirls" soundtrack on my iPod and Jennifer Hudson in particular spurring me on. Something about her Effie White that is so stubborn, so insistent, and just so freaking MOVING!

Ironically, watching her performance in the movie Saturday night left me absolutely stricken in my seat, snot and tears and probably other bodily fluids pouring out, me unable to move or even breathe, the whole audience, in fact, draped over their seats like wrung out rags. AND THAT MEANS WE LIKED IT!!!

Today, in my ears, her determination and absolute commitment to the character, and especially that particular performance, lit a fire under my feet when they were already on fire! I intended to walk the entire 20 miles to save my legs since my knee and quad were still sore from the run 2 weeks ago. But by Mile 13, I was so tired of walking that I started running every 1/2 mile, and by the final mile, there was no no no no way I could slow down!

By the way, this is one song I will NEVER attempt in a karaoke bar. You have my word on it.

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Sunday, November 05, 2006

14 Miles today! (But I'll miss my boyfriends.)

For each of the last 50 days, Dean Karnazes has sent me a text message with the results of his daily marathon run. Today, at the New York City Marathon, he successfully completed his North Face Endurance 50, during which he ran 50 marathons in 50 days in all 50 states. His finish time was 3:00:30, which is pretty darned fast, but not fast enough to beat first-timer Lance Armstrong's finish of 2:59:36. Then again, Lance hadn't already run 1,283.8 miles in the previous 49 days, plus he takes steroids, so his time shouldn't count anyway. (Just kidding, Michael!)

So, no more phone messages for me from my boyfriend, Dean. And after Tuesday, no more phone messages from my boyfriends Bill and Al (Clinton and Gore, that is.) Until the next election.

If I'd known Dean was going to finish in 3 hours, I would have tried just a little harder today to complete my 14 mile walk/run in under that. I ran down to Lake Merritt (3.18 miles,) did 3 laps around the lake (3.15 miles each,) and then an additional 1.43 miles to the Lake Merritt BART station. I allowed myself 3.5 hours and finished in 3:02:08. I think the January 7 Disney World Marathon will be doable if I can just maintain my slow but steady pace walking and running and not injure myself again!

So what was it like running around the lake 3 times? After the first time, my legs were tired and I couldn't imagine doing it 2 more times. But I kept going and realized that while my legs never got less tired, they also didn't really get much worse. Also, I had some new kick-ass music on my iPod (Calexico, Okkervil River, KT Tunstall), so I focused on enjoying that and the great weather and ducks and people (a couple of whom I fantasized throwing into the lake, but that's another story) and just kept on moving.

I stretched all the way home on BART. I'll be curious to see if I'm as sore tomorrow as I was after the 1/2 marathon. I'm betting not.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006


Remember the last time I blogged about running? I hardly remember myself. Shin splints, knee problems, foot problems, attitude problems... Who wants to hear about all that crap? It's no fun to write either.

I wasn't writing and I was barely training. I tried a few times, and the shin said, "NO!" So for 3 weeks before the Nike Women's Half Marathon, I'd pretty much given up.

I had no business doing it. I wasn't prepared. I only got 2 hours of sleep the night before, and only 4 hours of sleep the night before that. I planned to just walk the damned thing since I'd paid for it, collect my T-shirt and jewelry, hang my head and go home.

But something inside me woke up when I got to Union Square at 7 A.M. and joined the other 16,000 women lined up in the dark and ready to go. Michael got up with me at that ungodly hour to see me off.

I planted myself in the back of the line with the other walkers and slowly inched toward the starting line (behind the thousands of "real" runners). It took 14 minutes to get up to the start. By the time my feet hit the mat, they were itching to go!

I ran!

I ran and ran and ran! For 2 miles, I was passing the walkers and passing the slower runners. I darted up on the sidewalk to get around people and practically muscled my way through. I told myself, "Beth, this is stupid. You're going to pay for it. You're going to burn out early." But I just could not stop! I HAD TO PEE REALLY BAD!!!

It sucks that I didn't have time to pee before the race started. At Mile 2, I stood in line for 10 minutes for a porta-potty and could tell that it would be 10 minutes longer. I took off running again, determined to hold it until I could find a shorter line. At this point, I also calmed down and forced myself to Run 3/Walk 2, which is still way more running than I had planned.

For the next 2 miles, I checked the porta-potty line at each rest station, but they all looked too long. No time to waste! I was moving and just didn't want to stop. The weather was perfect, foggy and cool, and the city was magical at that hour.

Finally, just before Mile 5, I waited in another line and relieved myself. A total of 15 minutes down the tubes just because I left the house 30 minutes later than I'd planned. Blech!

Well, I thought, why am I worred about time? It's only a race, right? So I turned on my iPod and took off to the BEST RUNNING MUSIC IN THE WORLD. It was fate or good karma or just the best luck that the day before I discovered my new favorite band: Tilly And The Wall.

Imagine running to: Rainbows In The Dark or Bad Education.

What's that interesting percussion instrument, you're wondering. Why, it's a tap dancer! That's right! I said a tap dancer. This group is so exuberant! Just thinking about them makes me smile!

Then, just past the Golden Gate Bridge, we start up the long hill to the cliffs.

My feet slow down.

The music slows down (Love Song)

The air is so clean it hurts.

And I weep. Just a little. This moment is just too perfect to exist.

Okay, but then the music pumps up again and my feet get going again, and we're at Mile 8 already and I can't believe I'm doing this!

This is it! The running is the prize! I can't believe it's possible to be so happy! And that the happiness has nothing to do with winning or beating anyone, although it is certainly nice that the mile markers are appearing so much faster than I expect them to!

Nearing Mile 10, my feet are beginning to lose the feeling of being feet. They kind of feel like stumps right now, stumps of non-specific pain. I'm running and walking on stumps of pain, and I don't care. Michael is going to meet me at the Cliff House and run/walk the last couple of miles with me.

Moving through Golden Gate Park, I switch to Walk 3/Run 2, and when I say run, I mean staggering shuffle. But look! They're giving out Ghirardelli chocolate, so how can anything be bad in a world like this?

Only about a half mile more, and I can hear the finish line calling me! It wants me! It wants me to come in under 3 hours. It wants me to get there fast! So I really start running again. I'm moving fast on my stump feet and the cameras are there and someone announces my name as I run over the pad and cross the finish line!

At the finish line, men in tuxedos hand me jewelry. Someone else gives me a T-shirt. Hands come at me from all directions with water and Jamba Juice and Luna Bars and even salad and rice! There's a massage tent and music and big crowds of people. Mark and Red are there to greet me and Michael, and we all get on a bus and go home.

Full Marathon, watch out because I'm coming for you next!!!

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Monday, April 17, 2006

Break Away!

Day 4: Running on the treadmill at the Berkeley 24-Hour Fitness. The first day running 10 minute intervals. I began with trepidation. But I had Kelly Clarkson on my iPod and Wife Swap on the TV monitor and the first 15 minutes were over before I knew it! Looking out the big glass windows, I felt like I was flying!

Plus, earlier today, I went back to See Jane Run and bought another pair of running shoes. This time: Asics Gel Revolution II for Women. So I wasted money on the first pair of shoes and can't return them because I already wore them outside. But these just fit so much better and feel great so far. They are the same size: 8-1/2, but for some reason my feet don't slide in them like they did in the Saucony shoes.

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