Tuesday, March 26, 2013

I don't get them or they don't get me...

I am 42 years old and although I am not perfect, I love the gifts that God has bestowed. I can run and jump with my track athletes even though it may take a few days to recover. I often wonder why or how I find running, sprinting and jumping so much fun. And then I ask, doesn't everyone think it is fun? This is what I don't get. How can a person not find human movement so intriguing? Have you ever seen a picture of a long or triple jumper in mid-flight? It is incredibly beautiful. Or the feeling of running effortlessly? No time or distance goal, just the thrill of running. How can someone not love this feeling? Human power defined, no tools or gimmicks. It's beauty in motion. I'm not talking world record motion, just your personal best motion. I think in those times of motion and fluidity, God speaks to us in the silence of repetition, foot placement after foot placement. For me, it's peaceful and fierce altogether. Creating power to the ground with each foot strike is artistry. I'm not sure why I feel this way, but I love that I do and thank God each time I strap on my shoes. IF you are the least bit intrigued by this, then I'm glad that I can share it with you. If you are not, you don't know what you are missing and I encourage you to take one step at a time and listen to what God says to you in-between your stride. You'll connect with yourself, the earth and Spirit like never before. Amen!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hey Hey Hey!

Been living the life this summer and getting into swimming and biking and running of course. My body loves not feeling so beat up since my running mileage has decreased. However, my fitness level is still the same, so I think.

Still loving my new C-dale bike. I love it when I'm pressed for time and I can just go hammer some nice hill repeats on my bike and feel no residual aches and pains afterward. My longest swim is only 1.2 miles but I'm very happy with that especially since I have the ugliest and most inefficient swim stroke around. The only reason I can even swim that far is because of my fitness level. I'll keep working on it. At times I'll do a duathlon for my workout. The last one was a 15.6 mile ride in just over 50 minutes and a 5k run in just over 23 minutes. Burned a lot of calories and had some fun! Kendra and I are actually signed up for our first tri which happens Sept. 5th! We're excited and it is nothing major at all. It's a .6 mile swim, 15 mile ride and 5k run...or something like that.

We also bought a new to us boat so we've been spending some time on the water this summer.

Anyway, wish us luck on our first tri and I'll report back:)

In health!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Running and biking!

Lately my running has been beating me up. Not during the run, just after. Regardless of how much I foam roll and stretch, the next few days are brutal. It doesn't matter whether I go 5 miles or 15...the body is just wrecked afterward.

That being said I just purchased a great new road bike. It's a Cannondale 6 Carbon 5. I researched for a straight month, lost many, many auctions on Ebay; and realized that the best thing for me to do was to buy new. If anyone reads this and is also considering a new bike, just know that I looked very heavily at Specialized, Trek, Look, Felt, and Cannondale. You can not go wrong with any of their all-carbon bikes. I only went with Cannondale because I was able to get the best deal.

I rode it today at lunch time and crammed in about 15-20 miles. With a carbon frame, this bike is primed for climbing and just plain GO-ing! It's a blast, and I don't feel beat up, but feel like I got a good workout. Here are some pics of the new ride. Hope you're all healthy!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Shamrockin' Half Marathon - Sactown, CA.

This was the first time running this race. I wasn't so sure about the course because it looked a little "crazy." It was, but I'll get to that later.

First off, thank God that I am healthy! I was able to stay in relative running shape after the CIM, so that I didn't really train much for this run. I got in only two 10+ mile runs, maybe a handful of single digit runs and one speed workout since the New Year. However, I've been hitting my gym workouts (legs in particular) pretty hard and that has definitely helped me.

The funny thing is that I kind of forgot about this run...I actually made plans to go to a friend's house on Sunday and pick up a bunch of keystone block for a retaining wall. Thursday before the run is when I realized that I couldn't go over there because I was running. It's not that I truly forgot about the run, I guess my anxiety level was non-existent...this is an example of when the mental aspect of running can definitely do wonders for your psyche. I was running with only one goal...finish below 1:40 so that I could then have a humongous burger afterward! On this day, it was as simple and as fun as that!

We left the house at 6:40am with our core group of runners/friends. We knew we were cutting it close. As we got close to Raley Field, the traffic was crazy. Kendra and I actually jumped out of the car to try to get a light warm-up and make a bathroom run. I got to the 1:30 pace group two minutes before the gun. Talk about close.

The first mile was whacked! The pacer took the group out at 6:32! Which is WAY too fast! I was slightly annoyed and verbally asked, "Are we banking time?" I dropped my pace and fell behind the group. Mile two was at 7:07, a little better.

I was getting into groove and the course seemed to be straight forward. The course map looked as though the course zig-zagged over each other...which it did but thankfully I was close enough to the beginning that I wasn't within a large group of people.

My splits were pretty tame as was this part of the run:
Mile 3 - 7:06
Mile 4 - 7
Mile 5 - 7:13

I told myself to hold a low 7s pace at least through 10 miles and then give all I could for the last 5k. However at mile 6 is when I started to feel the 1.5 inch wide x 2 inch long blisters on the outside bottom of both feet. I then cursed myself for not wearing the socks I should have worn. I guess this would be a negative aspect of "kind of forgetting" about the run! ;).

I was able to stay relatively focused and pushed hard through the mid-point.

Mile 6 - 6:58
Mile 7 - 6:56

It was also at this point when I formally decided that anything near 1:30 would not happen...I was totally ok with it too! I just wanted to hold as close to that 7 minute per mark...

Mile 8 - 7:10

I started to have fun with the crowd because I was beginning to get tired. They were great! I loved how my name was on my race bib! I heard, "GO LEE!" on several occasions and it helped me.

Mile 9 - 7:40
Mile 10 - 7:44 (Splits speak for themselves!)

As I made the turn heading into mile 10, on the top of the river bank, I got kicked in the face by a nice headwind...considering I was already feeling tired, I had to really concentrate and grind for for the next two miles. I told myself, "Just get to mile 12 and you'll be home...1.1 after that and you'll be golden." After getting passed and then nearly spit upon, I decided to mark the guy that inadvertently spit in my direction. I got on his right shoulder and drafted behind him for about 1/4 mile. I think I annoyed him but he should have spit in front of him and not to the side of him...headwind or not. He darted hard left so as to expose me to the wind again. I didn't care...as I was able to hit a good rhythm...until...

Mile 11 - 7:29

Heading into M12, I'm feeling good...but I sense the course getting a little tight and I see an increase in cross-traffic, human and cars. As I am heading toward a slight uphill, this elderly lady and her walking shopping cart attempt to cross from my right to my left. I'm thinking, "Oh no she is not trying to walk across the course without an escort!" (which there was one only about 30 feet down the road from where she was). After playing "Frogger" with the first lane of runners heading in the opposite direction of me, she now ventures onto my side of the course. She doesn't even look...and mind you I am at full gate (or as full as one can be at M12) with a nice rhythm. I yell, "Come on! Damn!" Which I now feel bad about yelling. However at that time I was not going to alter my line. I end up hitting her shopping cart with both of my hands so as to push it/explode it of the way. I am not sure what happened to her or the cart as I couldn't even turn around because I was too darn tired and too focused on finishing. I hope she is ok, I'm sure she was because no one who finished behind me said anything to me about it. So "Frogger" didn't make it across my side... or at least not with me:)

Mile 12 - 7:22 (not bad after sidestepping said cart and little old lady:))

Mentally, I am done! I am just telling myself to hold on for the last 1.1 miles...which is pretty much what I did. I managed to find a kick in the last .1 - .2 miles and passed some people. I was going to do my Usain Bolt finish but realized that there were way too many people around and I didn't want them to feel like I was trivializing their finish. I crossed the line....DONE!

Mile 13.1 - 8:31 (told you I was hanging on!!)

I loved the finish inside of Raley Field. For that alone, I would consider running this race again. But I definitely didn't like the cross-traffic in the last 5k.

Total time: 1:34.57
Splits: 7:15 per

I was nowhere near my PR but I am very happy to have finished just under 1:35.

I'll finish as I started...Thank you God for my health and for allowing me to finish in a relatively good time without as much training as in the past. I'm looking forward to my next race! And by the way, the big burger was awesome! and so was the cheesecake:)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

It's 2009...

And I've only run sparingly:) I was tinkering with the fact that I would run the Napa Valley Marathon in March, but after a handful of runs in December, my body was telling me to take it easy.

My pace was fine but my body felt as if I ran more than double the mileage I truly did. Not so good:). I've been hitting my gym workouts pretty hard to re-stoke the competitive fire within and I am sure I'll be raring to hit the road shortly. I do plan on running the Shamrock Half in March. Besides, I'm a wimp when it comes to cold weather...and it has been cold! Or maybe that is just an excuse?!?!

Hope you are all feeling healthy and happy! One step at a time...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CIM 2008 Race Report

The 2008 California International Marathon has come and gone. It was definitely a great race. The weather really couldn't have been any better, maybe just a little warmer, but really it was a perfect day for a run.

The morning started early, around 3am for me...it was the anxiety I guess:). We carpooled to the start line with our friends Jeff Black and Troy Doehrer. This was Troy's and Kendra's first marathon, and Jeff was splitting the race with his wife Michelle. Troy's wife Kristy was also running the last half with him.

We got to the start line at about 6:10 a.m. and it was already packed. After a nice warm-up and requisite stop to the port-a-potty, we were ready. If you've never run a marathon before, it is pretty much a free-for-all when it comes to using the bathroom. I told Troy and Jeff don't be surprised to see many runners, men and women alike, just squat in the bushes, behind a rock, up against a tree and do what they do. Alas, I was prophetic.

I took off with the 3:10 pace group with a strategy to run in between them and the 3:15 pace group. My splits ranged from 7:22-7:29 per mile. I was exactly where I needed to be. The crowds were great at every juncture where you needed support.

At mile 18 things turned, literally, in my stomach. I wasn’t able to drink water or supplements, nor eat any Gu for fear of leaving it on the course. I’m not sure what caused it because I alternated H2O and sports drink at each interval and I ate my Gu pretty much on schedule, with the exception of missing one by 15 minutes.

At mile 21, I felt my pace become more challenging to hold. The 3:15 group hadn’t caught me yet but I knew they were close. At mile 22 is when I ran out of gas. 3:15 caught me shortly thereafter as I struggled. I walked for about 200 meters and then started to “run” again…if you call a +10 minute split running. I ran to mile 23 and then walked again for probably at least another 200 meters. I again started to run and committed to do so all the way to the finish.

Each step was increasingly difficult. The pain was shooting through my quads but I just kept praying to God to allow me to take one more step. I tried to get a Gu down somewhere between 23 and 24, but could only take one taste before making me feel worse. Getting through the next 3 miles was one of the most difficult things I have ever done. I kept thinking about the competitors I’ve seen in races where they are collapsing everywhere, losing bodily functions and still fighting to cross the line, even at a crawl. I just asked God to not let that happen to me. As I rounded the final corner headed to the finish shoot, I saw my two daughters and Kendra’s parents. Thank God, because just seeing my two little angels’ faces was enough for me to get me across the line. 3:39, a new PR.

It was over, thank God.

I was able to see Kendra and my sister finish. Kendra kicked some serious butt! She finished her first marathon in 3:59! Way to break the 4-hour mark! My sister just ran for fun since she is still nursing a major injury. She ran in costume and she finished in 3:58, which is incredible considering what she is going through. She did not suffer any additional damage which was great.

Troy finished in 4:30; and both Jeff and Michelle PRd in their half-marathon times.

Here are some pics from race day, enjoy! Thanks again for all your kind words, thoughts and prayers! Keep on running:D

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just running

The running is going very well...thank you God! I hammered out an almost 21-miler last Sunday. I averaged 8:05 splits in hills which I am happy about. My first run after the long run on Sunday was Tuesday. It was supposed to be an easy-paced run of 7 miles, no faster than 8:08. I felt great and decided to play with the gas peddle a little bit. I averaged 6:51 splits. Yowza. I was very surprised especially considering that I ran 21 miles only two days before.

I've got two more 20+ milers before the CIM and God willing I will remain healthy.

Speaking of healthy, I'm not sure how many check this blog...likely only a few, but if you do happen to stumble upon it, please say a little prayer for my sister Glorybelle. Nothing major...just a little prayer on having her ankle heal quickly so she can get back on the road. While I am at it, add a little prayer for my other sister Maxe who just moved from the house she "thought" she sold, only for the buyer to back out! Maxe, we pray for you often, just wanted you to know!!

Just for fun, a group of friends of ours asked Kendra and I to partake in a Nike+ running challenge. We both said, "Sure, why not..." knowing that we'd be ramping mileage for the CIM. Anyway...it's been fun especially seeing the reactions of the group when they see these double digit runs downloading into the challenge log. It's pretty close so far. The challenge ends on November 10th.

Also mostly everyone that ran the San Jose RnR Half with us have signed up to run the CIM. Some are splitting the marathon (relay) and others are running the full. I am very excited to see how our friends have taken to running in road races! They really enjoyed the RnR and I have no doubt that they will enjoy the CIM.

Here are some of my goofy pics from the RnR. As I finished the race I leaned at the "tape" in honor of Usain Bolt. As GB said it, I am a "Goofball!" No lying there.

Enjoy, run strong and may God give you the strength to take another step!