Monday, August 25, 2008

Mills Canyon Run

Here's some pictures of the Mills Canyon section of my neighborhood runs. Enjoy!
There's more that I'll post later. It seems that Blogger only lets me post a few at a time.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Long Runs and my Aching Butt

Yesterday I wanted to go running at Edgewood Park but ending up just running around the neighborhood because I ran out of time. And wouldn't it just figure that I missed out on seeing some kitties. Apparently there were two mountain lions spotted moseying into the park from the west (so from Canada Road side). I bet they were young siblings. I hope that they don't get into any trouble and that people leave them alone.


I ran outta time yesterday because I had a chiro appointment to fix my twisted sacroiliac joints. Apparently my butt is too tight. (Okay, yeah, tight ass jokes). Alright, so I'm no supermodel but I guess that I at least have to pay a bit more attention to my glute stretches. Along with the usual cracking and popping I endured some Graston Technique treatments. This involves deep massage with medieval torture device-like metal implements. All my bones are back in their proper alignments now, but now I have bruises all over my talibone. And my glutes were definitely still tight for my long run today. I got that not so terrific tight/tingly feeling in my butt muscles, and I just generally feel too tight back there to really get my legs swinging effectively. Ah well, this too shall pass with proper stretching...which I admit I have not been doing. Idiot.

My run was otherwise good...I crossed Skyline Blvd. at the top and tooled around for a bit in Corte de Madera too. I have to check my maps for that place to get a good additional route mapped out to extend my run. I also went up and down Skyline Trail towards Huddart for a bit. It was quite warm out, but not miserable. What's so nice is that the woods keep the hot sun from beating down on you keeping you cool even during the heat of the day.
What I want to know is what is up with the squirrels out there? There is much unneccessary spazzing when I run past them on the trails. They've got to be used to humans, somewhat. Are people hunting and eating them? I had one panic so badly when I came around a blind turn up near the top that he nearly ran under my feet trying to get away. It's some good comic relief, but I hope I don't fall into a ravine from tripping over one of those hairballs.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

One Month to Go

Sans make-up, growing my hair out.
Well it's now about 1 month to go 'till the Skyline to the Sea 50k. Am I on track? I dunno. I think I'll only know when I cross that line a month from now.

The Tuesday Track workout was 1600, 1200, 800, 600, 400 and a 200. Pretty much just what I needed, I think. I got some good leg speed going at the end. I may have been too careful and slow for the 1600 and 1200 though at about an 8min pace for those. I had a lot of gas left after them, so I hit it really hard for the 600 on down.

I took Wednesday off and today I'll do a five miler on the trails, probably Wunderlich. I'm waiting to get in touch with my chiropractor because my sacroiliac joint feels a outta whack. No one is in their office today until 1pm, so I have to wait around.

Tomorrow I'll do a long run. Trails of course!

That contract gig came lookin' for me again. This time no overtime. So I decided to give it a little whirl and make a few extra $$$s for a few weeks at least. So I'll have to push my runs to the very early morning (ugh, yawn!). At least for a little while. I'll start next Tuesday, same day as my oldest starts kindergarten. But I'll start late, after I bring her in and get her settled.

At the very least the extra $$$s will pay for the Halloween costumes that I've already ordered for the kids. Ariel and Snow White. Disney owns our asses.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Monday's Run

I did a little 5k of my own. Not fast, but not slow either. I think I'm speeding up! The weekly track sessions are helping put some spring in my step again.

This run was orchestrated to get the lactic acid out of my muscles and relieve the soreness from my long run on the roads. It worked! I felt much looser and soreness-free after my run and shower.

Today....track workout.

Not All Opportunities Should be Taken....

Well, my interview went really well but what I found out about the job made it a no-go. They expect the person in that job to work from 8am to 8pm at least. I am not kidding! Seriously. They have a crazy deadline to meet and it would all fall on me. So, someone else's lack of planning would become my torture. No thank you. Plus, it wasn't enough money either. And where's my training and mommy time? Ridiculous. If you want a machine, hire a computer...oh wait, you can't hire a machine to do a person's creative work? Hmmmm. Then you need to treat people like people and not machines. Oh, and plan better. I'm sure that you've known for quite a while when you needed the work done by.

I don't wish them anything bad, it's just that it seems to be the same old story that I endlessly run into. Treat people terribly, work the hell out of them and then spit them out. The interviewer basically admitted to me that they needed to do things fast because they are planning on laying off some of the workers that they are working to death right now. Right after the deadline hits. So again, no thank you.

It's a great learning experience. In the past I'd do too much, bend too much for my work. It really was a confidence problem. And whenever I'd do this things would turn out to be a disaster. I'd be unhappy, and then my work would suffer. Or I'd really lay it all out on the line, do a great job, killing myself in the process and NEVER get repaid. Someone else would get the promotion, or I wouldn't even get thanked for my efforts. As a friend of mine said, "I'm learning to own my seniority and defend my boundaries." She's right. It's hard to me to stick to my guns, but I will. The agency has called me back TWICE now trying to renegotiate something. But it's like a break-up with a boyfriend/girlfriend; sometimes when it's over it's just over. I'm just not interested anymore.

I think I need more time off, at the very least and maybe permanent time off the corp ladder in reality. I'm mulling over some writing projects that I've had in mind that might lead to a book. What better time than now to explore this option? All in all, going back to work for someone else right now just doesn't feel right, and I'm going to follow my intuition for a change.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Long Runs are Good

....sometimes, not always. But this time, this Sunday my run was muy bueno. It was not a traditional long run on wooded trails like I ususally do. This time I ran on the roads and streets. I had mapped out a route that I wanted to do that involves running past Sawyer Camp Trail head. I just wanted to see if I could pull this thing off....and I did! It was about 13 miles long.

I left later in the morning than I had originally wanted to. I wanted to leave pretty early so that I didn't take a big chunk out of our weekend time. But I woke up feeling really tired and I needed some coffee to jump start myself. The street run was orchestrated so that I would take less time out of family time by not driving off somewhere to run. As long as I'm unemployed I can run trails during the week, and then do some local stuff on the weekends close to home. Anyway, the late start made the return trip home hot and annoying for me. But really only the last three miles were miserable. All of the uphill section was in some lovely fog bank, keeping me cool.

One really cool section was the long gradual downhill of Highway 35 from Crystal Springs Golf course to the Sawyer Camp Trail Head. It's a beautiful area of rolling hills right next to the Crystal Springs reservoir. They really need to carve an actual trail next to the road. It was kind of empowering to run all the way to Sawyer Camp. As I ran past the trail I felt a little superior to all the people who drove there...hahah not really. I was just sweatier and hotter because by then the fog had burned off.

I turned left and ran down Crystal Springs Road to El Cerrito Road. The Crystal Springs section seemed longer than I remembered, but I've never run it before, so no wonder. It was a bit narrow in sections, but okay. I did notice a trail on the other side of the creek that is next to the road. It's water district property...but I might sneak in and run on it anyway because the road is too f**ing narrow and that peaceful trail looks so lovely. I'm sick and tired of all that fabulous natural land being off limits and only for the water district use. Phooey. I so wish that there was less concrete and more dirt around here.

I saw a rattlesnake on the side of the road and two deer up on the hill. The rattlesnake was a nice reminder to not forget to keep my eye out for them! I haven't thought much about them lately since I've been off in the the cool redwoods most of the time.

Once I hit El Cerrito I felt like I was almost home, and I almost was. There were only about 3 to 4 miles left on my run at the most and I cruised it on in. I ran out of fluids about 1.5 miles from home, but I was okay. I did stop and walk for a bit but reminded myself that it only made my run longer and if I'd just step it up I'd be home in a few minutes. And really, when I started to run again I felt so much better.

One thing I've noticed after this run is that road running makes you so much more sore! I bounce back after the trails so much faster! Hills are easier on the roads because you can only encounter an incline of so much, while the trails can dish out just about anything.

So today there will be lots of stretching and only a short easy run. Tomorrow will be intervals!

In other news...

I have a phone interview today with a possible contract gig. I'm kind of ambivalent about it. I'm dreading loosing my freedom again. I know this is negative thinking. I'm trying to tell myself to just take things as they come and be relaxed about it. I'll definitely have to have next Monday off to watch my oldest, as she ends preschool on Friday and starts kindergarten on Tuesday so she has Monday off. And then I'll definitely be coming in late on Tuesday to see my girl off to school. I dread dealing with telling any work situations about things I have to do with the kids because they treat me like a criminal about it. Like I did something wrong by having a family or that it's something so wierd and out of the ordinary. It really angers me. Makes me wish I lived in a country that doesn't just give bullshit lip service to "family values" but actually protects them. I do think that it may be a function of where we live here in the Bay Area - I don't find it to be a family-friendly place anymore. It seems that companies here expect you to not have a real life outside of work. I wish I could do this contract gig from home. I hate corporate politics and I DON'T want to be involved with them again. So I'm hoping to just stay contract, for good!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Old Weezer

Gah, I guess I'm going to believe my doctor and finally admit to myself that I have asthma. My otherwise lovely five mile run was halted at times by the weezin' and squeezin' in my lungs. I've given in and renewed my Advair prescription. Tomorrow, with Advair, should be a better run. No more coughing and weezing. I realized that I could not overcome it and it was holding me back in my runs. I don't want that, no no no.

I went to my interview at the agency in Berkeley. It all went fine, I think that they just wanted to make sure that I wasn't a wacko. Now the client just has to decide if they want me or whomever else they are looking at for the gig. Either way I don't care. I've got plenty to do if I don't get it. And if I get it, well, it's just some more money for a while, new stuff for my portfolio and maybe new friends to meet. it's all good.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do tomorrow running-wise. I may go for a big long run....or I may save it for the weekend. I'll see how I feel when I wake up. : )

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Runs and Other Stuff

My internet is up and down lately, thanks to a possessed router that blips in out in no discernable pattern. It clearly is possessed by a demon computer spirit. And I'm too hardware illiterate to figure it out. If it keeps it up it'll be exorcised by way of the trash bin!

I had a really nice 2:15 run on Monday out at Wunderlich. And then I had a good and steady track workout on Tuesday. Not blistering fast by any account but good and steady 1200m repeats at just under 8 min pace. Next week I hope that some shorter intervals are scheduled, I think I need something fast and short to shock my legs into a higher turnover. I've really turned into a LSD runner and I'm feeling a bit sluggish. This is from a gal who's best quarter ever was 55 seconds. Really, I probably should have been a sprinter. Shoulda, woulda, coulda....who cares? I'm happy where I'm at now but still, I know I have faster leg speed and I wanna get it back.

Today I did a moderate 4.5 miles. I was planning on a 3.5 hour long run tomorrow but I'm going to postpone that because I have an interview with an agency at 1:30pm. This just came up out of the blue. I've spoken with them before, but they didn't get back to me so I thought that that was the end of it. The interview is all the way over in Bezerkley, which is quite a drive, but I'll only have to do it once. The job that they want me for is in Hayward, which is across a bridge for me, but not too bad. It sounds like a fun gig, and all I'd really want right now is a no strings attached contract job which is what this is. They say that it's temp to hire but I don't care about that, I'm thinking of it being just a few weeks gig and then back to freedom again. If it ends up being unbelievably great...well then I'd have to cross that bridge when I get there. I'm still wanting to do the trainer thing, and I really think that's where I'm headed ultimately. I just want to put a few more $$$s in the bank and add something else to my resume. And I always meet new friends at work, so there's that too. It's always good to expand your circle whenver you can. One thing always leads to another!

So tomorrow will probably be 1.5 hours or so. Not sure where I'll do it, maybe I'll go to Edgewood and run, I haven't been there for a while. Or Sawyer Camp. I'll get out in the morning after I drop the kids off and get it done before I head out to Bezerkely.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Full Circle

Although my times were miserably slow, running at the track again felt like coming home! Many of the old timers were there from when I started running with this little group years and years ago. And they are all still fast, fit and committed!

My allergies were awful though. My lungs were so congested that the coughing literally started to make my chest hurt. I declined a two-mile cool down around town because of it. I had a fitful nights sleep because of it too. I woke up at about 3am and never went back to sleep again. I'm feeling a bit better now and will go out for an afternoon 4 miler in a few minutes. I can truthfully blame some of my slow times on my congested lungs!

Before the track session I stopped in at Runner's Feet across the street from the track and bought a few things for old times sake. All of the shoes in the most common sizes were long gone, so I opted for a cute running skirt and a running shoe bag with the store logo and locale on it. This way I can look at it and remember the good old times. At least the group is still here and I'll be a part of it again, even if the store that started it is gone. I know that the only thing that is permanent is change, but I sometimes you just want a few things to stay the same so that you have something to hold on to.

We'll have the store there for a few more weeks. There are some rumors that another running store will move in there. That would be nice.

My cute skirt.....and a completely unrelated lazy cat Simba picture.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Serendipitous Run

I went on a late afternoon run as kind of one of those errand runs. I was going to stop by the local running shop to see the owner and say hi and unfortunately bye for now. She's closing shop after many years at this location. I'd buy everything from her (and I used to) but I get stuff from my hubby who works in the runnin' biz. I feel a little bad about that, but it's just personal circumstances.

The Store -
Runner's Feet

As I was running to the store I ran into (almost literally) one of my old running pals. It looks like he's coaching the local high school kids, which is awesome. I then ran into the store's owner a few blocks away from the store as she was waiting to cross the street.

We walked to the store together as Frank the Coach went to the high school across the street to continue his coaching duties. We caught up on our lives, talked about our kids and how we manage to juggle everything. She now lives out in Turlock where she has another store and she loves it there. The commute has become too crazy for her to do the several times a week she's been doing it (about 4 hours one way!).

And with the closing of Runners' Feet there will be no more local running stores in the area AT ALL. The closest, non-chain stores are in Menlo Park or in SF. Running stores can be such the backbone of a running community, a wonderful gathering spot, the place to meet old and new friends. There's one less piece of community here in my hometown of Burlingame, no more touchstone for us runners. The feeling of community has long been eroding here though, really since the late 80's when mall-style stores started moving into the downtown area and housing prices started to skyrocket. I really can't say that things have improved with the gentrification, it's more like a whole new group of people moved in that I don't have anything in common with, so I feel like someone took my hometown in the middle of the night and replaced it with something else.

But with my visit at the store I found out that there still is a group that meets at the track on Tuesday evenings and at least one of my old friends will be there tomorrow night. So Hubby gets to pick up the kids tomorrow and I'll get to do some reconnecting and maybe some planning of great group trail runs!

So after my short little visit at the store I continued on my run. I'd planned a short run in lieu of a very long run tomorrow but I ended up doing an hour because I felt so good! I felt a little more at home, more at home than I've felt in my neighborhood in a while.

Tomorrow I think I'll do a trail run in the morning at Edgewood and then the track workout in the evening. I will go easy on the track workout since I haven't done a really speedy speed workout in forever and I'll have worked out in the morning already. But there is method to my madness - First - I'm working up to an ultra so I'm in need of miles, miles, miles. Secondly - I've found that running cures my allergies and Zyrtec is just not cuttin' it anymore. So I'll run in the morning for some relief and then more in the evening for more relief. Strange but true. It's a great excuse to bug out for a run. :)

It's ON!

Okay, so here I go again. I've signed up for the Skyline to the Sea 50k. I could just NOT stay away. Actually it makes me feel all giddy and happy inside and I KNOW I'll make it. And this is why -

  • The hubby is super suportive of it....well he always is!
  • I have a great new UD water backpack so there will be no dehydration issues! ( I command it!)
  • I am not going to expect fantastic things of this race... no blistering fast times. To finish in the alloted time will be a WIN
  • I've learned from my missteps and "failures" and will apply them to this race
  • I also know the course and I have run it before with friends, not as a race but just as a fun run Birthday celebration. So I've been there and done that.

So, here we go again! I'm back on the track ...and trail. I've had some really good 2.5+ hour runs that make me feel very confident. And some new Superfeet orthotics seem to have solved my tendon issues in my feet. Let me know if you're running this one too and maybe we can meet up!