Four Corners

3.1 Hilly Miles
Putzy Strides

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.  Apparently hills make me insane.   I keep running them hoping I’ll eventually like them, but I don’t.  And lately, my workouts are mostly hills.

Small sample of today’s run

We runners really are a crazy bunch.  If you’re a runner you get this, and if you’re not – YOU REALLY KNOW THIS.   My insanity with hills only proves this to myself.  But for the general running population, the craziness was verified on my way to summer camp drop off a few weeks ago.

I stumbled across a major intersection with what can only be recorded as possibly the world’s longest light, giving time for ample people watching.  Seriously this light makes me want to shout four letter words about 10 times a week.

Corner 1:  Back It Up  In corner #1 I saw a man jog across the street and upon arriving to the opposite side of the street he proceeded to turn around, and run.  Backwards.  Down the street.

I have no idea how he did it.  There is not a graceful bone in my body.  I fall on a regular basis running and walking forward, so I won’t chance it going backwards.

Corner 2:  Stretchy Sue  In Corner 2, Stretchy Sue put on quite the show doing yoga.  And I’m not talking sissy stretchy poses like a lunge.  I’m talking arm balance poses like dolphin & firefly.

Maybe I’m missing something (like yes, Sheila, you do need to stretch more) but I just can’t imagine taking 3 minutes to bust into fancy schmancy yoga poses amidst morning rush hour.  I save that embarrassment for my kids (and apparently my mother).

Corner 3:  Fast Foot McGee  Dude was doing high knees, butt kicks and jogging circles around the corner.

I know the running world is split on this one.  I get it, 80% of the time I stand there looking pissed like this photo declares.  But….(there’s always a but) if I’ve run more than 14 miles and I have to actually physically stop, I. won’t. start. again.

So if you see me doing this, rest assured I’m near the end of a long run and that’s my only excuse.

Corner 4:  Push Up Dude  This jogger decided he didn’t want to be lumped with Fast Foot McGee doing the jogger shuffle on the street, but apparently couldn’t handle the 3 minute break so he just dropped to the sidewalk and gave all passerby spectators 20.

20 pushups that is.

When I hang out on street corners I’m most likely to be staring wistfully at people in their cars crabbily at my watch, clutching at my iPhone to stop my iMapMyRun app, or stretching my calves (not doing fancy schmancy yoga moves).  But mostly, when possible, I just avoid streetlights when running.

How do you handle the street corners?

Let me hear your tricks!  (Bah dum pah…pun totally and completely intended!)

Get Ready For The Bumps

True rest day….nothing…nada…zilch

I pause from this mostly running blog to delve into the mostly parenting world (with a little running) today.  This is a story I don’t always like to share, but I think it’s important for adoptive parents to share their stories -good, bad, and sometimes, even worse.  Not because everyone adopts, but likely each of you know someone who has been touched by the process.  And they often sit quietly wresting through issues most non-adoptive parents ever have to face.  And sometimes, it just helps to know what “trench” your friends are in….

I finished typing the race recap from the iTryathlon in the surprising stillness of a quiet morning in the house.  I was caught in the reflection and excitement of not only a fun race, but a great day which was much needed after an incredibly long week.

I quietly smiled, anxiously awaiting the fun Sunday I had planned.  A little church, a few errands and a lot of Olympics with the boys.  As soon as the “publish” button was hit and the laptop closed, I heard quiet whimpers coming from the boys’ room.

Get ready for the bumps.  The lyrics from a song from one of the boys’ favorite kids song echoed in the back of my mind.

A random pic from my VERY brief high school track career. Kids, please note you cannot make good decisions at 15. Period.

While I might have used questionable means to get through Physics in high school (so what if we all did ONE problem and met before first period to copy each other’s work on the remaining questions to save some time…sorry if this ever gets back to you Ms. Mytyc…but if you read this you’ll see I went from cross-country dropout to avid runner…forgiveness?), but I do understand one thing – what goes up, must come down.

And boy reality slapped me in the face.  Chocolate had a dream about his birth parents (whom he doesn’t remember, nor do we know much) which led us right to a street that any adoptive parent knows:  grief.

I spent an exhausting morning asking and answering questions.  We talked, we asked questions of one another, we cried, we grieved, we prayed, we lamented, and we even laughed at tiny parts throughout.

But boy, oh boy, it was exhausting.  We don’t get to this place often, but I know the importance of just staying there with him when we are there and engaging in the process together.

So typical of Chocolate: sweet, sassy and exudes personality.

Get ready for the bumps.

I think one of the things I like about training is to a certain degree I can control it:  plans, schedules, goals, focus, keep me pointed like a laser to something I can actually manage.  But once in awhile, my body has it’s own plans.

I’ve spent the last few months battling an adductor insertion issue.  In April, I didn’t even know what an adductor was or if it needed to insert somewhere other than a light socket.

So I lost control.

And the high of reaching some goals brought me back down to reality.

Hands down one of my fave pics of Chocolate ever. Could it be any more real?  Even at 3 he could stage a humorous photo without even thinking…We titled this “Too much Easter”

There’s plenty of road ahead, I just gotta be ready for the bumps.

Do you have a plan when you hit the “bumps”?
Who gets in the trenches with you?
Any bumps in your life lately?

I Came, I Tried, I Won – Huh?

Saturday 3 generations hit the OC Roads to dabble with our first triathlon!  The iTryathlon in Irvine was actually a pretty fun, small local race.  There were about 500 people who participated and the mix was women and youth.  It made for an interesting dynamic, but the race was super organized (as most Renegade Races are), incredibly family friendly and a wee bit hot at the end!   Even with all my nerves and “where to go when?” jitters, it was seamless thanks to the Renegade staff.

Myself, Strawberry and Mumsie Poo all post-race

And a special shoutout to them because they made accommodations to help me meet my mumsie to finish her out.  The transition area manager saw me come through for my swim and was waiting by my bike when I returned and got me set on my way to find her.  Monster bonus points for that unique accommodation!

Showing off the goods!

And I’d say it was mostly a success!  I posted Saturday morning about my concerns (wedgies, falls, etc.) it turned out that none of my fears came true.  And for the record I forewent the garbage bag & duct tape swimwear.

5k:  21:16
Transition 1:  55 seconds
Bike (9 miles): 34:23
Transition 2 & Swim – Not recorded :( Boo!
Total Time:  1:03:35
1st place in Division, 8th woman overall

5K was okay – got a positive split so I went out too fast :(  It’s also very humbling in a women & youth race when you’re getting your behind kicked by 13 year-old prepubescent boys and watching 15  & 17 year old girls hang out front.  Man, I felt old.
Mile 1- 6:30
Mile 2- 7:46 (all uphill)
Mile 3- 7

Bike:  I have no idea on my bike splits, but I was a hurting puppy on the mile 2 & 5.5 respectively uphill stint.

Swim:  I have no idea what happened…I pulled a Michael Phelps and ended up with one lens of my goggles full of water and the other half full.  I’d take a peak out of my right eye every 30 seconds or so to see where I was.  Rumor has it I passed one person.  I have no clue though!

Highlights

1:  Dashing out of the pool, running back to my bike and meeting up with my mom for the last 2 miles of the bike and then swimming her to the finish.

Mumsie poo & I!

2:  Watching Strawberry kill it in his race (3rd place Division finish).  The half mile race was half uphill.  I may or may not have stood there yelling, “Hills make men!” to him repeatedly.

Hills make men. I may have said that to a running group of all men recently too.  I’m shocked they invited me back to run with them again.

3:  Literally biking next of groups of women singing, “I want to ride my bicycle…let’s hear it ladies…I want to ride my – ____” and made them fill in bike.  If they wouldn’t I’d tell them that yelling or singing bike would make them go faster.  That said, I just might have done a wee bit better if I didn’t spend 2 miles uphill trying to get people to sing.  Whoops.

4:  Super fun awards ceremony afterward.  They had one pro participate who was there signing medals for the kids (and some adults!) and they gave out tons of awards for small age groups which is rare in a small race.  Since it was targeted at newbies in the tri-world this was a GREAT way to get people motivated.  Showed Renegade’s commitment to encouraging people in the sport.  Monster kudos to you!

Kiddos spent the rest of the day at the pool and I literally sat in my swimsuit from the race with compression socks on (it’s a super awesome look, OC approved) until it was time to take Grandma Honey back to the airport.

I found this driving home:

Apparently being a cheerleader is VERY exhausting!

Just In Time

4 lolly gagging shakeout miles
4.5 biking miles

Foolish Day Before Race Strides

As this posts, I’m likely in the middle of the iTryathlon.  This means I’ve finally succumbed to the difficult decision:

  • Wear one piece training suit that poorly fits my freakishly long, awkward, gangly torso for the entire race.  I mean do I really want a 10.1 mile wedgie?
  • Wear training two piece that no one wants to cross the finish line in.  Two words: baby skin.
  • Or I opted to wear a plastic garbage bag tied down with duct tape to keep it in place as a viable swimming option.  As I type this, that seems like the most viable option.

Straight from my mother’s FB wall – “How did I raise such a dork?” She got lots of replies.  It seems it’s entirely possible I’m her progeny.

Let it also be noted that not one, not two, but THREE generations are doing their first triathlon (even if it is a sprint) in the same morning together.

My concerns

  • My legs are tired and ridiculously fatigued the last few days.  I don’t know why.  Let’s hope a good night’s sleep gets them back on track.
  • Gravity and I aren’t friends.  I’m known to fall on a flat surface while running on a regularly basis, so I can only imagine what biking with lots of  people on two thin wheels will result in.
  • The lifeguard will mistake my spectacular freestyle for someone drowning and will stop the race to “rescue” me and I’ll get DQ’ed.

    Shock and Horror

    Stay tuned.  It’s almost a certainty something monstrously embarrassing will happen.  Full report soon!

Back to Reality

A few weeks ago  I highlighted my “Dream Team” list of races to reach my 2012-2013 goal of a half a month.  And while it was fun to hang out in La La Land for a bit, I also need to snap back to reality and remember that I have to buy groceries for my kids and put money into savings.  Psht.  Real life.

So the “This is what’s likely going to happen” list.

September - SheRuns San Diego.  It’s a hilly, mostly trail half marathon and I’ll just be getting my mileage up so my goal is to do this nice local-ish race slow and steady.

Long Beach 2011 – I’m dying and the punk behind me is casually checking if it’s 9:30 yet.

October – Long Beach It’s my fave in So Cal.  It’s a big race, but I love, love, love the course and I *heart* Long Beach.

November – Toss Up.  Malibu, Silver Strand or Anaheim Halves.  Likely it will be Anaheim.  It’s teeny tiny, it’s inaugural and involves the least amount of travel.

December – Las Vegas Rock n Roll or Santa to Sea in Ventura.  These are two entirely different races, but I’ll have to see which fits into the calendar since I have not one, but 2 kids’ birthdays to celebrate in early December.  I suppose I should plan around them.  Priorities.

January – Tinkerbell Half.  Registered and set.  I’m not a huge fan of such an expensive race, but as a person who visits Disney about 15-20 times a year, and who saw the race last year, I figure I gotta do it once.  Plus I’m lucky enough to not have to worry about travel or ridiculous gas costs for this one.

2012 Surf City Start- This was before my flu kicked in at mile 10

February – Surf City or San Diego Women’s.  I did Surf City and really thought the course blew.  There are a few perks to the race A: My family was there and B: I shaved 4 minutes off my PR, C:  I didn’t feel as guilty eating all the Super Bowl crap later that day and D: People watched my kids so I could watch football because I looked “tired”.  (Thanks Mom!)  That said, the course was so boring I don’t know if I want to do it again.  *yawns*

March – ????  I can’t find a decent local-ish race to do.  Any ideas??

April – Hollywood Half or Boston.  I mean, come on, those are so clearly alike.  If by some freakish reason my 1 minute 18 second sub-qualifying time allows me in, I’ll be be in Bah-stin running a wicked fun race.  If not, hello Hollywood Half.  It had mixed reviews last year, but I have family right near the starting line and it makes it uber convenient to run.  Plus you never know what celebrities you’ll bump into when you arrive at 5 am for the race start and they’re heading home from the bars.

Laguna Hills 2011. The guy behind me and I chased each other the entire time.

May – Laguna Hills Peeps, this one is on my radar since it’s literally in my neighborhood.  I will place at this.  I don’t care what happens.  2012 goal transfers due to my DNS due to injury.

June & July – I need to see what races come out of the wood work to decide.

So the list isn’t nearly complete, but whatever it’s a start.  I am sure there will be slight changes but I’m excited to check out all sorts of races in the area the next year!

For my race plan gaps- anyone have any suggestions??

True Confession Thursday: 2 Generations of Yoga

4.1 Miles
7:26 average
Breezy Strides

Before I get into my True Confession, I want to point out that my “Aha Moment” is on the Fit Approach website so check it out :)

Apparently I decided to torture my poor mother yesterday.  She’s in town visiting and I whipped up a nice dinner for her and dropped it off at the pool where she was watching the kids….for hours….

Mango salad w/ homemade cilantro lime dressing in a jar. Shake, toss & eat

After a great run, I would love to tell you I had a fabulous yoga sesh with mi madre.  I could say we were focused, intense and making every second count.

This is what we thought we should have looked like.

Instead we pretty much worried about who was going to be the first one to fart.

We had a good moment (ignore the mess behind us…lots of people in small quarters this week

And then it went all downhill from there….

Fading fast…

And then she completely lost it.

She collapsed and I’m trying to take a picture

And it continued to plummet to Nogoodland

Then I lost it…

And finally, we just quit.

So if you think ever think my all of my workouts are extremely productive…you’re wrong.  Some are, some aren’t…and this one certainly wasn’t.  But we did get a nice dynamic core workout from the laughing.  Winning!

I Ate Hills For Breakfast

4.36 Miles
36:00 Minutes
Jillian Michaels Workout
Hill Shredding Strides

I’m not sure what you had for breakfast yesterday, but I had a bowl of shredded hills with a side of Nuun and some cashews.  The final (luckily mostly downhill) mile was a 6:40 which left this mama very, very happy during the wee hours of the morning run.

Who’s the tired crabby one? Should be me, but no, it’s this little babe who was too tired to even swim on Sunday

As I mentioned on Monday, we had a family wedding this weekend which left me VERY unrested.  After hitting the sack around 2am I woke up at 3:30 to find Vanilla sleepwalking around my aunt’s house, then at 5 am he announced he couldn’t sleep, and at 6am Strawberry woke up and brought me into the hot mess of his restlessness.

So needless to say I took Sunday off, since the day was sponsored by a short nap and copious amounts of caffeine.

And then yesterday the hours slipped by me and aside from a late afternoon 45 minute paddleboard jaunt with my mom (it was on her bucketlist and it was her birthday) I never even got so much as a drop of sweat on…which didn’t leave me very happy.

Which is precisely why this morning I needed to get up early and take advantage of the other adults in the house with the kids so I could get my sweat on.

And sweat I did!

And boy did I sweat.  It was all sorts of ridiculous wonderfulness and made me feel human again and helped to wash some of the stress in my life away.

I’m still banned from speed work (boo Dr. Scott!), so I decided to just do my normal short kid-loop and did each of the hills 3-5 times.   If you need to just add a little extra oomph to your workouts I highly suggest this method of mixing it up without breaking out of the normal routine.

And yes, I realize cranking out the last mile fast was likely speed work but I’ll justify it as one mile and consider it as a gift to myself to remind my legs that they can, indeed, go that fast still.

Are you a sweataholic?  For me, a workout just doesn’t feel like a workout unless I see sweat dripping off my body….

What’s your favorite cross training?  I need new ones since mine are starting to bore me.