Tag Archives: San Francisco

Life Lately…

Despite my good intentions I have yet to resume any sort of blogging consistency. It’s always my intention to do so, but whether it happens is always a crap shoot.

Anyhow, here’s quick rundown of what’s been going on lately:

Running

There hasn’t been a whole lot of running going on lately. I had planned to run the See Jane Run 5K two weeks ago, as well as the Golden Gate 10K today. But my right knee has been acting up so I skipped both.

The knee has actually bothered me for months. When I straighten it after its been bent it hurts like a mother. But it never hurt when running or working out – that is until about two and a half weeks ago. I was at the gym on the rowing machine and started it feel it. At first I tried to ignore it, but I continued to feel it even when taking Coco out for a walk.

I don’t feel like its injured enough to warrant a trip to the doctor but I’ve still taken a conservative approach taking LOTS of rest days.

In fact, I’ve only run once in the past 16 days. And it still bothered me on that test run so I had my chiro look at during my last appointment.

She advised taking a week off of running and doing lots of plyo exercises (like jumps). If it continued to hurt or get worse then we’d know its an impact issue vs gait issue.

So over the past week. I’ve jumped rope, found short plyo workouts and did lots of knee strengthening exercises at the gym. The level of DOMS I felt after each workout was severe. It was a big wakeup call that I need to pay more attention to strengthening these little muscles that make a huge difference.

As for the knee, it’s starting to feel better. I guess this means its possibly a gait issue which is what I need to work on next. Anyhow, I’m gonna give running another try this week.

Whole 30Whole 27

My second attempt at the Whole 30 ended at Day 27 when I went to Audrey’s tea party bridal shower.

I’m starting round 3 today and am determined to make it a full 30 days with no cheating this time.

4th of July

I ended up having a 5-day holiday weekend that was just the right balance of fun and productivity.

I finally put together my new BBQ. It had been sitting on my patio for a month and took three hours for me to assemble. I did not use it this past weekend, as I need to have a lesson on how to use a gas grill, but I foresee many grilled dinners in the immediate future…

go_grill

***

I had intended to have lunch in Sausalito with family but it turned out that no one else could go. I wasn’t about to let that stop me so I took a solo drive up to Marin County anyway. Everyone else had the same intention because Sausalito was unbearably crowded. So I continued on to Mill Valley and dropped in to the San Francisco Running Company to check out their new gear.

go_sfrunco

Its embarrassing when you realize you already own most of the merchandise they have in stock. So instead, I picked up this shirt just in time for the 4th.

***

I also got to visit with my friend Deb and her two pups who were visiting from So Cal. She has been a HUGE resource for me, giving me lots of advice about raising a new puppy. I could not have survived the past six months without her. So when she came home for the long weekend to visit her Mom we made a point to schedule time so our pups could meet.

go_deb

We went on a long walk at the Los Gatos Creek Trail. It was so much fun to see them and the walk also wiped Coco Pop out for the rest of the day!

***

Yesterday Coco and I met a friend in the Sea Cliff neighborhood of San Francisco to hike the Lands End Trail. It’s just over a mile and a half, yet is kinda strenuous with lots of stairs. I had done a plyos workout that morning and felt it with every step.

After the hike we had lunch on the back patio of the Beach Chalet. They have a pet-friendly area on the back lawn so Coco was able to run around while we had lunch.

***

The rest of the weekend was spent doing house projects, experimenting with recipes (future post?) and lots of naps.

That’s all that’s going on lately. Maybe when I start doing more running, I’ll be inspired to do more blogging…

But as always, thanks for reading!

Weekly Recap: Aug 4 – 11

I was humbled this past week by some really tough times during workouts that shouldn’t have felt that hard.

During my last swim lesson I couldn’t finish two laps without imploding. I came up gasping for air yelling, “I just ran a marathon six weeks ago, why can’t I finish this lap!”

Then I ran 12 miles yesterday. It started off great but the last few miles were pretty ugly.

Last week I also missed some miles and workouts and I’m fearful of it becoming a habit. I need to start holding myself accountable again so I’m going to do so by resuming these weekly workout recap posts.

Here’s last week’s recap.

Sun, 8/4:

Giants Race – 10K

Probably the least unfortunate race photo taken of me yet

Probably the least unfortunate race photo taken of me yet

Mon, 8/5:

Rest

Except I had my 30-min swim lesson which was no joke, physically or mentally. It took lots of concentration and effort to learn new things.

Tues, 8/6:

PM: 7-mile run 3-mile run

Except I had to go into the office and my new office is now at least a 25-min commute going 80 mph on the freeway (if I’m lucky). I cannot stand to be in traffic so on days that I do have to go into the office I try to leave the house by 6 am. This means I have to run after work and I am not an afternoon runner. I could only muster up 3-miles because I knew I still had a tough swim lesson later that evening and felt like I had to conserve every bit of energy I had left in me.

PM: 30-min swim lesson

Wed, 8/7:

AM: 45-min swim on my own to practice stuff learned during lessons.

Lunch: 1-hour strength training with Dave which these days consists of lots of time of the rowing machine and TRX circuits.

PM: 30-min swim lesson – the one where I faced my fear and learned how to do somersaults (then flip turns !!!) in the pool.

Thurs, 8/8:

AM: I had a track workout that didn’t happen because I was so sore from Wednesday’s workouts and my stomach was being upset again.

PM: 30-min swim lesson – the last one in which my instructor had me do sprint sets that I could barely finish.

Fri, 8/9:

Complete Rest Day

Sat, 8/10:

A 12-mile run in the City along the Embarcadero to the Marina Green and back. It started off well and then went downhill real fast during the last few miles. I don’t think I fueled properly which is disturbing since I should have known better after SFM.

As soon as I finished running my legs were overcome with a pain that I’ve felt only after running 26.2. I laid down immediately, which was probably the worst thing I could have done but it needed to happen. My quads hurt the most which is also disturbing since the route I had just ran was mostly flat.

Sun, 8/11:

AM: Brick – 30-min on the Spin bike, 30-min on the treadmill

AM: 75-min Restorative / Yin Yoga class

I came thisclose to bailing on each of these workouts but I finished them and afterwards was glad that I did. Its a shame though as it took me a full 25 minutes to feel comfortable on the treadmill.

Workout Highlights of the Week:

+ Learning how to somersaults in the pool

+ Finishing 30-min on the dreadmill

+ And seeing this:

a peek at the GGB

a peek at the GGB

Although my 12-mile run was garbage, I still got butterflies in my belly (as I always do) at my first glimpse of the day of the Golden Gate Bridge. It doesn’t matter how many times I run by or across it, I am always in awe of it’s majestic beauty.

This past week marked 15 years of Bay Area living for me.

After all this time I still have to pinch myself because I still can’t believe how lucky I am to live here. #ilovesfforever

The Giant Race 2013 – 10K Edition

Today I ran my third SF Giants Race (the 10K this time) after taking last year off. (In case you’re interested, here’s my 2010 and 2011 race reports.) I must say, the race has really grown since that first year, but I guess like everything else, when the team wins suddenly everyone is a fan.

The Expo

I went to the expo on Saturday to pick up my race bib. It was held in the areas behind center field and Triples Alley.

I thought I could be in and out of there in a flash but it took about 20-25 min to enter the ballpark through the Marina gate. Then it was another 15 minutes or so of waiting in line to get my bib. There was a lot of inexperience with the “picking up the bib” process both by volunteers and participants.

When I finally got my bib I was also received a band to which I asked what it was for (since there was no instructions accompanying it). I was told it was a “pace band.” To me, a pace band is something a runner wears with pace times listed on it for the purpose of running for a specific time. Apparently the purpose for this “pace” band was to indicate which corrals to be in at the Start Line.

With my bib I also got my race shirt. When I registered I requested a Medium, which turned out to be the equivalent of a Small. *Sigh*, yet another too small race shirt that I will never wear…

However I did get my Sergio Romo bobble head which is very cool.

On my out I stopped to take a photo with my favorite Giant of all time…

Oh, and one last thing on the expo – parking was available in Lot A, which is right behind the ballpark… for $4.

The Race

Apparently I missed the memo on pre-paid parking for race morning, so I figured I would park at my gym which is a mile from the ballpark. But then last night I realized that it would be dark on race morning and the area is sketchy. So I opted to park in Lot D for $10. Being my father’s daughter I was paranoid that the lot was going to fill up early so I was parked by 5:15 am, just 15-minutes after it opened. (And just so you know, I wasn’t the only Type A’ers there at that hour…)

I sat in my car for a while, then made my way over to Gear Check which was at McCovey Park behind the ballpark. After checking a bag I ran a lap around the ballpark in search of a real bathroom. My stomach was acting up and I needed the real thing, not a port-a-potty.

Not being successful, I made my way to the front of the ballpark on King St. where the Start Line was and met up with Alyssa (she ran – and PR’d! – the half marathon).

As soon as the race started I immediately knew that my stomach was going to be a problem. It was all I could think about during the entire race which was such a bummer because my legs and lungs have been feeling really good lately. I’ve also been in a good place mentally, something that I’ve struggled with.

While I said that I didn’t have any goals, that wasn’t completely true. Over the summer I attended a webinar series by Coach Dean Hebert (which I will elaborate more on in another post). So while I had no time goals, I did have two non-time goals that were based upon things I learned from Coach Dean’s bootcamp:

1. To stay focused: To only think about the current minute, the current mile – not how many miles are left, not what went wrong in the past miles – just the present. Certainly I could manage this for just ONE hour.

2. To learn composure: So that when I get off-task and lose focus, or if something goes wrong, I know how to reorganize, regroup and refocus.

I guess I should be careful what I wish for. Because of my stomach issues it was really, REALLY hard to stay focused on the task at hand.

With the race being such a short distance I thought I could manage the discomfort. But by the time we ran past the second water stop I was frantically looking for a port-a-potty. There wasn’t any, but across the street was one of the public bathrooms. The first one I ran into was broken so I had to run to another one on the opposite side.

When I hopped back into the race I was positive that my pace had slowed down considerably, although I didn’t wear a Garmin so I had no idea what it was to begin with! When I passed the turnaround the clock read 28:46 which was not bad at all for me!

After the bathroom stop I thought the second half of the race would be better but my stomach continued to churn. I had to make a second bathroom stop at another public bathroom just past the Ferry Building. I have never made two bathroom stops in a race before.

Once the ballpark came into view I just put my head down and kept telling myself, “Just one more mile, just one more step” until I got to the Finish Line inside the park.

When I crossed the Finish Line I was completely shocked to see that my gun time was 1:01:36-ish. I thought it would be much slower with the second bathroom stop.

After crossing the Finish Line, I stretched out in the outfield, took a couple of photos, then made my way to the exit.

Later in the morning I checked the race web site and my official time was 1:00:54. This is only 35 seconds slower than my PR. While I was bummed about narrowly missing a PR, I am pleased with my time given the challenges.

I’m also really happy that I was about to stay focused and composed. It’s not easy to do when you’re worried about crapping your pants during a race! (overshare?)

Thoughts On the Race:

* Being that this is the fourth year of the race, I thought pre-race communication could have been better. There were a lot of things that could have been explained in a simple email that could also have been posted to the web site AND included as a printout with the race bib.

* For example:

- What the “pace”/corral band was for?
- Where was the timing chip? (it was on the bib)
- Where was the Start Line? (I scoured the web site for this and did not find it anywhere)

* If you’re going to do things that different from the “norm”, over-communicate it to your audience.

I keep all the emails from the races that I register for and the only one I can find for this race was dated a month ago on July 1st. Most of the race’s emails were about fundraising (which was for a great cause!) but other important logistical details should have also been included.

Later in the morning, after the race was over, I saw that most of this information was posted to the race’s Facebook page this morning. The problem with that? – when the race starts at 7 am, who’s looking at Facebook? And, not everyone is one Facebook. So while social media is a great way to promote (and communicate) the race details, I think important details like this need to be sent in formal communications. The SF Giants do so about ticketing, promotions, game times, etc. (I get the emails), so it would be nice to see the organizers of the Giant Race do so too.

All this being said, I thought that the race was very well-executed. The best things were:

* The volunteers: they were fantastic and really cheered on runners on the last mile – I certainly appreciated it.

* The Finish Line: it was SO MUCH BETTER THAN 2011 (which is why I skipped 2012). There was room for people to move after crossing the Finish Line to cool down and stretch out. I even heard volunteers asking people to clear out of the immediate finish area to prevent congestion. Good job!

* The 5K not starting until 11 am: It wasn’t nearly as congested as it has been in previous years because of this.

I thought it was very cool to open the ballpark to the public at 7 am to allow spectators to sit in the stands and cheer. However, I don’t understand why limited sections of the park couldn’t be opened at 5 am for runners so that we could sit in a warm area, and use real bathrooms.

All things considered, I had a great time and depending on the timing of next year’s race plan will plan to run it again. I mean, it only has the best medal ever!