Tuesday, October 30, 2007


+ wine and cheese
+ pizza
+ art supplies
Kickass IMFL Posters!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


My friend Alison told me about this awesome race that she has participated in the past few years - the Nike Women's Marathon and Half Marathon. Registration day comes and before I can log on - within hours the half marathon is sold out! Nuts! There is still room in the full marathon, though. What the heck - I'll sign up. And although rumor is that you can sign up for the full, but only run the half - no way - I am doing the full.

Fast forward about 9 months.
After months of elliptical training - due to knee issues and stitiches. I knew this race was the end of my 2007 season. Should I do it on the knee? I have to. The disappointment would be too great not to. So here goes.

Days before...
packing and re packing. stretching. eating. hydrating. iPod drama (see previous post). look slike I am all ready.

Katharine and I head up to DC to fly Virgin America to San Francisco. VA is such a new airline that when we booked our flight they were still waiting for FAA confirmation to fly. We walked on teh plane and it was like a party - pink and purple mood lighting, all "leather" seats (first class are massagers), and the best part part were thes little screens on the back of he seat in front of you. Although they came by with the normal beverage service, you can order food and drinks by the touch screen throughout the flight. need more water? touch water and voila! there they are with your water. now these did more than just order your food. you could watch movies of your choise (some pay through the handy credit card swiper) and some free, you could watch direct tv (unfortunatel they did not get abc do we missed grey's) and you can also play games. there wasn't much sleeping on he way there b/c we were so entertained playing games, watching tv movies and doing crosswords. oh and the staff - SO nice. And there we are - in San Francisco. We get a cab and head off to meet the girls at the Hotel to get some much needed sleep.

We are on east coast time - we are up awfully early. after a short 15-20 minute jog around town to acclimate ourselves to the weather and altitude, etc, we put on our walking shoes and headed off to catch the trolley, cable car, whatever they're called! we venture to Coit Tower and pier 39 to see the sea lions - man they are smeeeellllyyyyy! In the distance you can see Golden Gate and "The Rock". Then it's time to hit the expotique. Pick up our packets and check it all out. At one station we made buttons to wear during the race in support/honor/memory, etc. The race was to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - the race raised over 18.5 million dollars!!! I made a button in memory of my dad to wear on race day (he passed away 15 years ago from non-Hodgkins Lymphoma). There were all kinds of goodies - Ghiradelli was constantly passing out chocolate. Clif/Luna was passing out Luna Moons. Massages. Manicures. Nike+ testing stations. iPod engraving. The backdrop to the stage was a screen of dedications. We sat there for awhile waiting for the dedication I sent in and we all just let the tears flow as we read the amazing stories of loss and of survival to the different diseases that were being played. After composing ourselves we headed off to Nike Town!!!! on the outside window wall was a list of every name of all the participants - all 23,000! We walked in and the place was bumping. A woman DJ had the place dancing and singing as we shopped the 3 floors of workout heaven. On the 2nd floor there was a station where you could have your newly purchased shirts custom screen printed. A few hours later we are all done. 7 women in nike town and man you can get your shop on! Next thing we know it is time for dinner. We headed off to Little Italy for a nice carbo filled feast. Even though our waitress was a bit of a stinker - we enjoyed getting to know each other (2 groups of friends coming together). And the public transportation was great - confusing at first - but entertaining none the less.

the day before the race. holy running shorts, batman - time is nearing. Go get a pre race back massage. walk around expotique a little more. I signed up to run with a pace group to hit my 5 hour goal - an 11:27/min pace. I am hesitant that this is being a little overambitious with the knee issues, btu go for it anyways. they told me i can always drop back if i need to. i get my protein smoothie courtesy of jamba juice and a new running top (orginially 45 got it for 23!!) thanks to the wonderful discounts from macy's (ps all of this was within 2 blocks of the hotel). I spent the afternoon with my 1.5 liter bottle of water, large protein smoothie, and turkey and avocado sandwich. yup you guessed it - nap time. stay off the legs and watch chick flicks. then we go eat more pasts at a much closer restaurant with a very nice server. I have my traditional pre-race glass of wine with my pasta. and off to bed very early.

race day. 4:30 alarm clock. as expected, none of us slept very well. to keep tradition going i grinded my teeth all night. we got our outfits on and snapped a few pictures (what do you expect from a bunch of chicks - we take pictures!) Alison and Courtney were running with Club Nike; Katharine and Karen joined me with the 5 hour pace group. Our fearless leader - Geo - my marathon heroine. After an amazing star spangled banner was sung, the gun went off. the race was here. Group hug! We went across the start line waving to our #1 cheerleader, Mrs. Sizer - watching her 2 daughters and 3 adopted daughters for the weekend. Katharine was runnign with the assistance of "Robert" her podcast hunk, so after 5 minutes he had her do a short walk and we waved as Karen and I trucked on forward. Geo was great - she was giving us hints on how to best run up the hills and our gait/form. Around mile 4 we lost Karen to some knee problems. I don't know how I did it, but with the help of the group I ran up ALL the hills!!! Geo had us tell where we were from, our stories of inspiration (i pointed out the button i made on my race belt), jokes, etc. She reminded me to keep my chin down and that I was a little hard on my right foot. We kept right on track. We headed up a hill and around a curve and bam! the cliffs! the waves crashing! breathaking. At mile 17 I slightly tripped over my foot as it skidded across the ground - calf cramp. nooooo. Luckily a water stop was ahead and i could take one of my ecaps. man i love thsoe things. Then came mile 18. Brakes. Although I had water and gatorade at every water stop I got a little dehydrated and had to hit the ole port-o-jon. Geo told me not to sprint back to the group afterwards, but to take my time with a slightly increased pace and after a mile or 2 I would be back in the group. I did that and it worked - within about 1/2 mile I was back in the groove. Then it hit again...worse...the stomach. this time I was unable to kick it up enough to find the 5:00 pace group again. I was sad that I didn't have my group, but i turned up the iPod and kept trucking. Then I realized that no, I didn't have the pace group, but I had friends with me through the songs...
Shake That Ass For me - you should see my roomie and I dance around the living room to this one.
Shoebox - Karen G/R
Dont'cha - the brother - the one song he told me not to get in my head.
Pour Some Sugar on Me - my Missy - shall we sunchronize dance?
Save a Horse - cousin....we love bob.
Stagger Lee - a favorite of me and mom's
Footloose - makes me think of my Greg.
and more...
I found it ironic that all of these played on the new iPod that had a playlist made without much thought. and after skipping through the holiday songs and the slow tunes, these are some of the ones i heard. and every time i heard one i thought of someone and smiled and knew i had to run for them. So i would pick it up.
Next thing I knew I only had a 5k left to go. Eyes fill with water.
Mile 24 - 2 miles left. man this water keeps getting in my eyes.
Mile 25 - only a mile left. really? it's almost over? am i really doing this?
man there are a lot of spectators aorund all of a sudden.
OH MY GOD!!!!!!! I am in the finisher's chute. There's the finish line.
A few tears.
Then cramp - aaaahhhhh!!!
take a literally 2 second wak to kick that calf cramp. I wouldn't let it ruin my finish.
Then I looked ahead as I gave it everything i had left - I heard my name - it was my friends: Katharine, Karen, courtney, Brenda - all cheering me in. More tears. I heard the beep of the timing mat and I finished. I walked on through as the men in tuxedos handed me one the the blue boxes with a white ribbon off their silver platter. He looked at my teary eyes and told me it was ok - that I finished. I walked through and held on to the pole as they cut my chip off. handed me the bag for my new necklace and picked up my finisher's tee.

I walked around and just looked around taking it all in. As the girls and I found each other - we all did it...together.

Sunday evening...
shower. cheeseburger and fries. beer. (sounds good at least)

Katharine and I don our new finisher's tees and necklaces proud as we head off to the airport. Thank goodness she was with me. helping me carry my luggage, etc. I never realized standing, sitting, and walking would be so hard. I found a new respect for the grab bars in the bathrooms! We walked around the terminal waiting for our flight. We got to pre-board thanks to my slowness. This time I did not play too many games and such - much more sleeping with the new pillow i got in the airport! Landed smoothly in DC and drove back to the RIC and back to the norm...as a marathon finisher.

Nike Women's Marathon entry fee - $95.00
airfare to/fro San Francisco - $270.00
Hotel in Union Square - $200.00
Finishing my first full marathon with friends - Priceless.

Final Time - 5:13:38 (pace 0:11:58)
5k - 0:35:36 (11:27)
10k - 1:09:40 (11:12)
15k - 1:47:24 (11:31)
half - 2:29:37 (11:24)
25k - 2:56:48 (11:22)
30k - 3:32:15 (11:23)
35k - 4:12:17 (11:36)
40k - 4:56:21 (11:55)

Me, Katharine, and Karen at the finish line.

The San Francisco Treat - by Katharine H.

Katharine's name on the big board of participants
The San Francisco Treat...
Well, this time it was not Rice-A-Roni, but it was the Nike Women’s Marathon and half Marathon.

I went out to San Francisco to run the half marathon with two friends and met up with three others. I flew out on Thursday night with one friend on VirginAmerica (highly recommend it!). We got to the hotel Palomar which was close to the race start in Union Square and most of the group was already there.

Friday, we spent the morning touring around the city...riding street cars and trolleys, visiting my Dad’s uncle’s old neighborhood around Coit Tower, and saw the sealions at Pier 39. In the afternoon, we went to the race expo to pick up our race packets.
This race was to benefit the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society and many of the runners had lost someone to the disease. They had a tribute screen which played peoples stories...and the tears for the weekend began.

Overall the whole theme of the race was so positive and so encouraging. After getting everything we needed for the race, we went to Niketown. Niketown was hopping, there was a DJ and the whole store just vibrated.

Saturday was a day to relax. I got a message, ate a yummy lunch and then just rested in the hotel. We went out for a tasty prerace dinner and then off to bed pretty early. I was nervous for the race in the morning and had a dream that I was late to the start of the race because I couldn’t get my sports bra on!

Sunday: Race morning...we were up at 4:30 am! After dropping off our post race clothes, we got in line around 6:30 and chatted with the other runners and then the race started at 7:00 and then we didn’t cross the start line until closer to 7:30.

The first 6 miles were great. Each time I passed another mile marker I couldn’t believe it. The race started along the bay to the Golden Gate Bridge.

Miles 6-10 for the most part were pretty much up hill and HARD. Once I got to mile 10 and started down hill the Pacific Ocean was in view and amazing, I just had to smile. The race then ended on the Great Highway right along the beach! I couldn’t believe when the race was over and I didn’t feel like I was going to die. I ended up walking more than I wanted to, but I was also happy with my finish.

So, people have asked why I run (well more run/walk).
I do it because I love it. I love being so sweaty that my skin tastes like salt. I love be so physically exhausted after a long run, but still having the most amazing sense of euphoria. I love talking about training with friends. I love the electricity of race day. Running/walking is a way to challenge myself. I am by no means fast and will never place at a race but I will always win because I will finish, even if it is hard.

So Just Do It...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Last night - the night before I leave. Final preperations. I prepared a yummy dinner and put the last things in the suitcase. (side note - i am not a light packer. not even close. i barely closed my suitcase. but then i realized that i had to take some thigns out...so i can have room for shopping!!) Sp now that the bags are packed and my belly is full, it's time to make the playlist. Yes I thought about doing this earlier but was convinced that last night was the time to do it. So...

as we sat in front of the computer for over an hour...the computer is not reading the shuffle my brother passed down to me since my mini has gone to a better place. Ok it is now 9:43 and I have no iPod. I can't have this. I need sing along songs. you know the cheesey pop and rap songs, the solid gold oldies - all the tunes that just get you going (well gets me going at least) - yeah i got nuttin. Ok - target closes in 17 minutes, come on baby we are going. and i am driving. now i am not the best driver under good conditions- add stress - yeah i am surprised i still have a handle on the passenger side door! what a trooper! but we got to target and like a light shining from the cabinet were the shuffles. and one pink one left at that. it's a sign. but before she opens the cabinet she bring sto my attention that i can get the pink shuffle for 89.99 or I can get the breast cancer pack with the shuffle and a 15.00 itunes card for 89.99. hmm tough decision there! 9:59pm and we are on the way home with a new iPod in hand. (man i am a spoiled brat! but well that goes along with being american right?!)

we get home and GASP! my computer is not reading this one either. i can behind the controls...aka the mouse. i fidget around reload the driver and poof! i have an iPod! now after figuring this out clearly this would have allowed the other shuffle to work - d'oh! but the playlist has been made. 9 hours of tunes - that oughtta do it.

midnight struck and i turned into a pumpkin.

so i guess my glitch for this race is out of the way. smooth sailing form here on.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Gearing Up

The coundown is almost over. This weekend is the Nike Women's Marathon in San Francisco. 26.2 miles of big hills and a bigger goal with 3 awesome girlfriends. I can only trust that my time on the elliptical will have benefitted me properly as I attempt for my very first full marathon...with knee problems alogn the way.

We are flying out on Thursday. Friday we can go for a 10 minute jog to acclimate to the weather conditions. Then check otu the sites and eat lots of yummy carbs! Saturday we will rest and not do much of anything. Sunday we will have an amazing day - wish me luck! I will have my iPod hopefully fully charged and loaded with sing along songs to bop down the road to while chowing down on delicious gu's (?). monday I will return home...a marathoner!

Until then...

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Poor Farm

This past Saturday I fianlly tried something new that I have been wanting to try. Before I starting training for triathlons, I thought I wanted to do mountain biking. But it never happened. with experts Greg, Erin, and Jenn and fellow novice Derek, I did it! My bike might not be the best - steel frame, no shock on the front fork - but it got a tune up and away we went! I can't wait to go back...nad maybe one day I will get a real bike and learn how to go over logs, too. But for now I will continue to carry my bike over!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Recovery and Training

As I wind down my body from a long first season. I have lots to think about. Now keep in mind that I still have my first marathon in 2 1/2 weeks - which I want to do NOW! I am ready for my time off. I am ready to stand at my own finish line look back and see how far I've come - what got me here and where else I will go.

This week is recovery from Naylor's - which my knee desperately needs - as well as continued training for San Fran. Hmm how do I acomplish both? With wine? Why yes, that is correct.

Sunday night - post race hummus dinner and a glass of wine. Then asleep around 7:30.
Monday night - sushi and a beer.
Tuesday night - get a phonophoresis treatment on my knee - will be doign this regularly until san fran. and then what? 2 hours on the elliptical! what? no no no. I mean I do need my new marathon outfit to train in and new sneakers. So I head off to road runner with one of my san fran running mates, katharine. and i mean 3 monkeys is right there. my as well just skip the training tonight and do it in the morning instead and have more hummus and wine. yes. that sounds good. but mmm those monkey fries sound awfully tasty! ok hummus, fries, and a glass of wine. ahhhh. now that's more like it.
Wednesday morning - 4:40am. Alarm clock goes off. um gross! why did I skip training last night? Ok ok - katharine and i meet at the gym at 5am for a 2 hour elliptical session. i sure am regretting those fries right about now!

But - I have been able to have some wine. and then today I get lunch at a new client's restaurant Osaka! ok - twist my arm! I love having all star clients like this!

See ya on the elliptical, don't mind the bottle of wine in the cup holder!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Naylor's Beach

Let's say...it was not a good day, but not a bad day. I was mentally not with it beforehand. The hour start delay due to serious foggage did not help.

Swim was alright - went slow. I knew I was participating and not racing, so I aw MArgo and popped up a minute to say hello and then the next kayak was RCAT! gave him a shout out as well.
Distance: 1.5k
Time: 45:43 (goal 40-45)
Age Group: 8/10
Overall: 42/53

The bike I wanted to quit before even getting on. I fought mentally on did I even want to do this? I just didn't feel strong mentally or physically. Then...I fell going uphill at mile 8. I got up brushed myself off and stood there wondering how close a water stop was so I could quit. After losing time putting my chain back on and giving up trying to get my brake away from my wheel which i couldn't so it rubbed the whole race, I decided I would be too disappointed in quitting (thought about you KO!) and knew I had to get my game face on and do what I set out to do. I finished the bike with minor injuries to my body and bike, but big injuries to my confidence.
Distance: 26 miles
Time: 1:38:43 (goal 1:31:00)
Pace: 15.8 (goal 17)
Age Group: 7/10
Overall: 40/53

Pushed through the run in a run/walk to save the knee. It always takes me a good 2 miles to get into my rhythm. I decided I would do a 4 min run/1 min walk to give the knee some time off in there. Around mile 2.5 some guy asked me if I was nursing an injury and I had to say yes - darn knee! This was his first triathlon and we decided to finish the run together. Unfortunately around mile 5 he was havign a real hard time and needed to do a good bit of walking and I lost him. After the second turn around I saw him and he said he was running so I didn't see him walking - haha good for him! All of a sudden I was at the finish line...didn't do my traditional final kick as early on as I would have liked, but oh well.
Distance: 10k (6.2 miles)
Time: 1:08:20 (goal 1 hour)
Pace: 10:59 (goal 9:30)
Age Group: 8/10
Overall: 44/53

Finish Time: 3:36:37 (goal 3:15-ish)
Age Group: 8/10
Overall: 42/53

So after going into the race without having my mind with me it showed and I felt it. This was the first time I walked away from a race without a smile and a sense of accomplishment. Why? because I didn't try as hard as I could have. Admittingly there were some tears at my lack of performance. But I can only take this with me. I know what I need to do for the future and I have to say as always, it was AWESOME having all the pinkies with me.