Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Turning the Page

I'm finding it difficult to post on CoyoteGirl. This was a blog dedicated to my trail adventures and they are few and far between now. Between caring for the kids and the dog there just really isn't any time left for lonely jaunts in the woods. All adventures include canines and kidlets now.

And I'm sure that is pretty boring for those looking for trail posts.

I'm starting a new blog - The 4 Musketeers. It's of course, about our adventures and my new hopes and dreams. Please come by and join me if you'd like.

I'll leave this blog up for a while and then probably lock it down.

As far as my running is concerned - I've been following the three day a week rule in the FIRST program, albeit less seriously than laid out. I haven't been running barefoot because I bruised my left foot a few weeks ago...but I feel I really need to go back to my VFFs since my hip is tightening up again. So I'll be hitting the streets in my VFFs again. It will be easier to do so since I no longer have any plans or aspirations to race so I can take my time building up my strength running barefoot and just having fun with it. I've been swimming a few times a week too and I'll be adding to that and swimming more in the future.

I've started writing a novel and will be working diligently on that project too. Fiction is new to me since I've been a copywriter for 15 years and really just always thought of myself as a good writing technition, but not terribly creative. I don't think I was giving myself much of a chance. We'll see what gels.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

At the dog park yesterday morning I was calmly having a nice conversation with other dog people when we were rudely interupted by a blood curdling scream.

The four year old in the bushes.

I could tell that this wasn't an "I'm hurt scream" so I wasn't worried. No rattlesnake bites or twisted ankles. This was an I'm terrified scream. I was pretty sure this was due to a spider of some sort.

"MOM! Nadya has a spider in her hair!!!"

Now, I ain't brave when it comes to spiders. They give me the eebie jeebies. I'm not proud of that fact.

I thought, it's probably just a little one, like the size of my fingernail, no problem. When I get over there....well, it's a LARGE garden spider in a radioactive looking green/yellow shade marching down my goldilocks head. Just in range of her sight. It was heading for her shoulder.

I bravely handed a stick to her sister to have her wipe it off. My excuse is that they were behind a pointy bush and I couldn't get to it. Maya did the honors without fear.

Too bad I didn't have my camera. Nadya screamed for another ten minutes. My ears are still ringing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It really feels like we're heading towards fall.

It has been dry and warm...very fall around here. And there's much talk at the dog park about all the kids going back to school. Divine Miss M will be taking her place in her first grade class two weeks from now. I wish the other one were going too -she gets so jealous of her big sis.

I've been swimming more than running...Getting back into it takes time and hell, it's just darn enjoyable. I don't seem to have lost much technique-wise as I'm back in the lane that I left two years ago.

I can pretend that I'm having a tropical vacation while swimming. This fantasy has ballooned in my mind since I ran into a lovely couple at the dog park with their Anatolian shepherd. They were taking him for a final walk before crating him up and flying back to Costa Rica where they own and run a B & B. I've been googling "moving to Costa Rica" all morning.

Apparently it's no problem moving to Costa Rica with your dog. And people there are very kid and dog friendly. I find that out here I'm the most hated person because I have kids AND a dog. I annoy those who hate kids (there lots of them around here) and those who hate dogs (plenty of those too). 'Tis sad. They are missing out by closing themselves off to nature (dogs) and people (kids).

I've always wanted to take up surfing....there's lots of surfing in Costa Rica....

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

The pup weighs 63 lbs! Big girl!


I'm about 2-1/2 weeks into my FIRST -style program. I haven't been rigid with figuring out the correct pace for the tempo run so I'll call it a FIRST-style program until I get it all knocked out. But so far, I feel better. I have more energy AND my track intervals are getting faster! My times have been steadily decending by about 3 seconds per 400m per week. And I feel more like my old self out there on the track.

For my crosstraining I'll be adding swimming in. I miss swimming. I think it's the best complement to running since it's completely unlike it. I'll be able to better rest my running muscles.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My life is full of ironies.

I got this dog with the idea that -

a. I'd be running with her a lot

b. She'd probably be annoyingly hyper for a while and that I'd just have to deal with it by taking her for lots of runs.

I in fact sought out a large dog that was annoying it's owners by being too hyper in hopes of finding the ideal running partner.

She is the mellowest puppy I have ever encountered. Oh she has her underwear-stealing, shoe snatching, puppy-nibbles moments, especially before we go to the dog park in the mornings. But other than that she lays around practically all day.

And she hates going running with me.

She'll drag ass on the way out for our runs...walking behind me. She magically knows when we are turning around to go home. Then she runs beautifully! Smooth and powerful back to the barn.

Things seem to never turn out as expected or hoped. There's always a great irony in the outcomes of most of my plans. She may not be a great running partner, but she's a fabulous babysitter. She follows the girls around wherever they go and is extremely gentle with them and endlessly, rock-solid tolerant of all of their antics. She's very easy to have around because she is so mellow and thus has become more of a joy than she probable would have been if she had been that hyper dog I expected.

As with many ironies I'll take this as a gift. Maybe the Almighty knows what I need rather than what I want. And I'm thankful for what I have.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

I heard about this book and training method from one of my running mates on the Tahoe-Reno Relay. After following this training method he's set some pretty impressive PRs in the marathon, has been injury free and feels really good. I've been noticing that I run faster when I run less, so I'm going to study up on this method and give it a whirl. I definitely feel more rested, stronger and more energetic when I don't run everyday.

Yesterday's track workout was 11 400's. I did them all in the 1:40's, which wasn't half bad. I'm aiming to get 'em down to at least the 1:30's. This morning I could feel them, but it wasn't bad. As I take the day off I can feel the training effect. I'll do some core and arm work later, but keep it mellow otherwise to recover completely.

Props to Catra for her 131 mile JMT adventure and good luck for the Headlands 100! There's a gal who THRIVES on mileage!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Okay, so I'm much better now.

Went for a hike with all of the girls at Pulgas Ridge and everyone had a fab time. Went for a run with the pooch yesterday morning which was so/so. She putzed out on the way home because it was starting to get too sunny for her. She really, really hates even a hint of heat. So runs with her will have to be after sunset/before daybreak. My vampire pooch.

I am so very much looking forward to school getting back into session again. Maya is getting quite bored. Camp really helped but I know that the boredom is about to return again shortly. At least we'll have some swimming lessons coming up. And the dog is playing quite well with the girls now - so they are all keeping each other occupied.

I'm also eagerly awaiting the arrival of my new dog books. I've ordered a few guides about places to go with your pooch. I'm totally in to finding spots that we can eat out with her so that we can all go out together. I hate leaving her at home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I have a case of the blahs and wanderlust. They seem to go together - no travel = blah.

I don't care if I go running or not. I'm not particularly interested. I guess I feel overall bored by just about everything.

I wish we could go on a vacation. The hubster and I actually have NEVER been on a real vacation together. That includes no honeymoon. Too poor and too busy working at the time for that. Sure we've done the family visit trip to AZ on Thanksgiving every year for years now, but that's not really a real vacation.

I'd just love to go camping even. Actually, I'd REALLY love to go camping. With the dawg. I want to get outside and hike with the kids and pooch and get dirty and run around. The area hikes are no longer satisfying my craving. I'm jones'in for some reall outdoorsy action!

I even fantasize about getting a job - like an outside rep for a running/outdoors sports company. I'd love to travel around and visit clients and work for a biz that I really dig. No more office jobs. I can't do it again.

I'd also love to be a ranger - but yes, those jobs are few and far between. And I have a BA in an unrelated field. Harumph.

I need to do a new thing now. Soon. And I'd love to move somewhere else. I've been here too long and no longer fit in around here. I'm open to change Universe....bring it on!

Anyone else feelin' this way?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

It's been so odd.

But since I'd knocked down the mileage I've lost about 10 lbs and it still feels like I'm loosing more.

It's all good. I think it may have to do with less stress, short intense workouts instead of long slow distance ones. And the weights. Maybe the short instense stuff is just better suited to me?

I'm still running in my vibrams. Minimalist runs are required by my bod now - my hip absolutely HATES it when I run in shoes. It tightens up right away. So I'm stuck barefoot now. I don't believe it either at times and I've wanted to "give myself a break with some cushy trainers" only to find that I get the opposite effect from my trainers and get all messed up. I'll just go with what works from now on and stay barefoot/vff.

The doggie is settling in. We're still working on the puppy nibbles - but it seems to be getting better. She's in love with my husband and completely melts into a submissive puddle if he yells at her. She doesn't take me as seriously.

Tonight is Tuesday Nite Track...check out the workout on my site listed to the right.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Today I'll be adding in some Crossfit workout into the mix. I'll do some 10x20 sec tabatas tonight on my run in my VFFs. I cant' wait! I'm actually totally looking forward to the workout.

Sometime before or during I'll do some core work and upper body work. And I'll probably do a double run - do my workout and then take Zoe for a cool down run with me.

This morning we hit the dog park and played with the usual suspects inlcuding The Other Zoe, Otter, Rocky, Momo, Simba, Hoops and two new boarder collies who's names I didn't get (but they were oh so awesome like boarder collies are).

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Took a short run today in the VFFs with the hound. She has a habit of sniffing at stuff excessively as we head out and then magically knowing the approximate turn around point on any run, even if she's never done it before, and barreling back home like she smells the barn. She's pretty good though, she does heel nicely for me now.

The VFF run was fantastic. Felt great. I have put in crappy mileage the last few weeks, but that's okay. Life sometimes hands that to you. So I'm workin' on getting fast now. Yesterday's speed workout was very successful with 1:35 quarters. Gettin' there.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

It's 105 F on my back deck. 'nuff said. We don't have air conditioning in these parts.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Much Doggie Stuff

It has been a busy two weeks adapting to our new puppy and her to us. It's starting to feel more normal now. At the moment she's napping on the kitchen floor behind me.

My new life has been lived largely at the dog park and the kid park since it's summer vacation. The Pacifica 50k came and went. I was not in attendance. I haven't done any serious mileage in weeks! But I seem to have lost weight again. All this dog and kid walking.

I think I'll add Crossfit and Crossfit Endurance back into the training schedule again. It'll probably be my best bet to keep and get fit during this busy time.

Tomorrow morning I'll take the dog out for a nice long run. Gotta get it in somehow!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Pulgas Ridge

Me and and the four-footed and two-footed girls went for a hike at this open space preserve down by San Carlos/Redwood City. Quite fabulous. We'll be back there soon. I didn't take my camera along and I should have. I will next time to document all the exploring.

There's a great central open space area criss-crossed by dirt trails that you are allowed to let your dog run free in. The girls and I did a little exploring in there, but it was getting hot so I decided to cut it short and just survey our new hang out. Next time I'll bring the water with me and we'll get started earlier.

This is a super great spot for pooches and their people.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

New Running Partner

She's barefoot too.

Her name is Zoe and she's a purebred German Shepherd. Her first family couldn't take care of her anymore so we swooped in and scooped her up. She's smart cookie and a total sweetheart. Not to mention a knockout. We get comments on her beauty all of the time.

She weighs about 50 lbs and is 5 months old. Yikes! She hasn't had any I'm seeing to that. I've started her off on some basic obedience stuff and heeling and all that. Next Sunday we'll be going to an official training class that is just for German Shepherds! She's so willing to please and learn, it will be great.

She's a great running partner so far, she's even heeling at a run. She hates any kind of heat tho - so we have to get out there early, which is great motivation for me. She is mouthy when she gets excited or bored - I'm working diligently with her to not use us as chew toys - that needs to stop. She sleeps very well through the night in her crate.

There is no way on God's green earth that I'll be able to run the Pacifica 50k next weekend. Oh well. Life is just getting in the way. I have too much going on for me to be able to put in the mileage to do ultras right now. I'm going to take a break and re-evaluate my goals and what I can do happily, without stressing myself out needlessly.

I am thinking of taking my running to a different level, to do it for a purpose. I've always been interested in search and rescue and part of my thinking in getting Zoe was to go out for volunteer search and rescue with her. Our obedience trainer has ties to the local groups - so we'll see where this goes.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A New Barefoot Running Partner

This morning may have been my last run alone on my neighborhood trail. This afternoon I'm going to visit a possible new doggie running partner and buddy. I don't want to jinx it, so I'm not going to go into details about him...but it does look promising.

It has been far too long since I've had a doggie running partner/buddy. If we end up getting this boy I'll sign up for the local Mutt Strutt in August. He's reported to be an excellent running parner! I promise to post pictures of him ASAP if this ends up being an adoption.

My run this morning was up in the local canyon on the trails in my Vibrams. It went well and I feel great right now. It was about 5-6 miler. I still go through a little bit of an ajustment period on the first 10 minutes out before I really hit my stride. My left forefoot was a little sore from where I stepped on a big rock over the weekend (in shoes btw). I was a little bit worried about that. But the soreness went away 1/2 way through the run and now post-run it's all gone. Guess I just needed to work it out.

Have a lovely sunny day!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Vibrams at the Track

I can now report that VFF's work just fine at the track too. I ran my intervals faster than usual in them, a full ten seconds faster for my last 400 than any other I've run this season. And my hammie is behaving fully, even acting normal!

I think my new running style is workin' some scar tissue where my leg was operated on. It just feels "funny" there, almost itchy. No pain in the knee joint or anything, just wierd pulling under the skin, very shallow. I only feel when I'm not running. I'll keep my eye on it but I'm not too worried.

I've starting making my hurrache sandals from a kit that I got from Barefoot Ted. I have one done, now I have to lace up the other one. I'll take 'em for a spin in a day or two. Pictures to come!

Monday, June 08, 2009

Longest Vibram Run Yet

I did about 11 hilly miles.
And it felt really great. One thing that continues to astonish and amaze me is that I have NO muscle soreness. If I run in shoes, and run hard and long...I'll get the usual stiffness afterwards. Especially after I get up out of the car after I've driven home from the trail. But yesterday and today...nothing! I haven't read anything about this barefoot phenomenon anywhere else...but in this experiment of one there is no muscle soreness. Infact, they feel better than just not sore...but almost massaged by the run.

The only "problem" I've encountered is a little bit of fluid accumulation above my right knee. No pain whatsoever though. And the puffyness went away overnight. I'm thinking it's a protective reaction to the change in stride and hopefully not a problem at all. My right leg is definitely my weaker leg, I broke my tibia a few years ago so I think that its relative weakness may be causing this. I'll keep an eye on it and if anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment!

Saturday, June 06, 2009

The Point of No Return

Running in shoes has become completely uncomfortable. It seems that all of the restrictive, controlling fixtures in running shoes just throws off my stride too much, and that big heel in the back gets in the way!

Whenever I run in shoes now my hip tightens, my hamstring tightens and I feel little twinges in my ITB. When I run unshod I feel springy and loose afterwards. Imagine that! Feeling looser and better AFTER a run! I'm also faster barefoot. I can't explain why and I don't want to imply that you would be faster barefoot, but it's happening for me. I think it may be the more efficient form and faster leg turnover.

I finally broke the news to my hubby that I've been running barefoot. I thought he might flip out, thinking I was nuts or something...but he's totally intrigued and supportive. That makes things easier.

So it's cold turkey. I've run 10 miles in the past two days unshod (except for my vibrams!). I'll be doing a trail run tomorrow - I'll see how that goes. As the mantra goes with the barefooters - listen to your body and follow its lead. I won't run into pain I'll just run as it feels good.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Our team, The Venetian Skunks, ROCKED the relay!

We won 1st place in our division by 4 hours and we were 7th overall out of 105 teams.

I did not wear my Vibrams. I ended up wearing my Nike Frees. I didn't want anything crappy that I might do like totally bonk, fall off the shoulder of the road, trip on a rock, etc to be blamed on my VFFs. I want to ease my friends into my more barefooted self, ya know?

But I'm headed out for a run right now in my VFFs. Can't wait. I did a little run on Sunday in shoes and it sucked. I was still sore of course but it sucked nonetheless. We'll see how this one goes.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'll be heading up to do the Reno-Tahoe Oddessey Relay in a few hours. It'll be a weekend sans kids...first time ever for me!

I'm taking the Vibrams with me and will run at least one leg in them. Maybe all of them since it seems that everytime I wear shoes now I get aches and pains.

I did my track workout in my asics landreths. I felt horrible in them. I wanted to take off my shoes and run barefoot but I couldn't because there were a bunch of bees on the track. I didn't think that risking a bee sting before the Oddessey would be so very cool. So I left on the shoes and felt like I was running on vibrating marshmallows. It sucked.

On Wednesday I did a 4.5 mile recovery run in Vibrams. Felt great. It sorted out the pereoneal tendon irritation and lower back soreness that I got from the Landreths.

I'll post pictures of the race and my runs in the Vibrams for y'all.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Today I did 6 miles in my VFF's, half on a rugged trail near my house. I ran this route 3 minutes faster than I did last time in my shoes.

I feel great right now! No real soreness in my calves. My legs definitely feel like they've had a workout, but in that nice kind of way. Running barefoot actually feels like it's releasing the tension I've felt lately in my lower back and hamstring. I actually feel "loose" there.

So what do I do with my shoes now???

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Yep, there they are. My Vibram Five-Fingers KSOs.
I ran 4.5 miles in them on their maiden voyage. I had my running shoes and socks stowed in the baby jogger just incase things got painful. But they never did. This was a short recovery run.
I didn't even get the famous sore calves of the new barefoot runner. Maybe because I have been easing into this.
This run gave me a new spring in my step. I could really tell that my right foot hasn't been carrying the same load as my left. (I broke my right leg a few years ago and I know that I favor it unconsiously.) BF running "wakes-up" my right foot and balances out my body. I actually felt less achy after my BF run than after my shod run this morning. I guess I'll have to switch over to the VFFs more!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

This morning was cool and sunny, perfect running weather at 6am. I went out for a little 5 miler. In the middle of my run I slipped off my running shoes and socks and did about 1 mile barefoot. It didn't feel all that odd to me because I walk around barefoot most of the day anyway. I've also been running as if I were barefoot for a while now, thinking about skimming the ground and running lightly.

I loved the sensation of the ground on my feet, and I did notice that I did have to adjust a bit more to reduce impact. I noticed that I use more of my leg and feel the springy cushioning in my muscles that I have to employ while running barefoot all the way up my body. But not in a bad way. I don't feel any jarring, I just feel that my entire body is controlling the landing and absorbing of impact in the proper manner. I could've run further but I felt that the bottoms of my feet were getting roughed up a bit; they aren't tough enough yet. I don't want to get big 'ole blisters on the bottoms of my feet right before the Reno-Tahoe Odessey. I didn't get sore calves either, maybe because I've been running softly already.


I'm almost done with Born to Run. I'll be sad when it's finished! It's an excellent read for all you runners out there, I highly recommend it. I love that the book starts out with the question - "Why does my foot hurt?" I think that it's symbolic of a bigger question - "Why does my life hurt?" Because in getting rid of the shoes that are hindering us we have to ask what are the other modern things that are hindering us? Too much car driving? Excess "stuff" in our lives? It's freeing to find out that we are just fine, even better, without a lot of this stuff that we thought we couldn't live without.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The day before yesterday I walked around barefoot at my daughter's school during lunch hour when I pick her up from Kindergarten. The other parents didn't seem to notice but one little girl was nearly apopleptic over it.

"But where are your shoes? Why aren't you wearing shoes?" She kept asking me the same things over and over. I kept telling her it was because I didn't feel like it. And if it would help at all my flip flops were over there by the tree. I can only imagine what barefoot running is going to to do to the populace around here when they see me doing it.

And heck, this is California BTW. I'm certainly not the strangest thing out there. Is lack of footware really that subversive?


In other news I ran in my Nike Frees to the track and at the track last night. I figured that was fairly close to barefoot. (I'm easing my way into it around here) The workout was a lovely pyramid of 400, 800, 1200, 800, 400 meters. I concentrated on good barefoot style form. Surprisingly my times were about 6 seconds per lap faster than I anticipated them being. I was pretty stoked. And there was no hint of hamstring issues or piriformis problems. Maybe my postural and barefoot work is starting to pay off.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I was hoping for an epic trail run on Mother's Day. But the virus was still lingering in the background. Less than a mile in I knew that it wasn't going to be my day for 15+ miles flying through the woods. But sometimes epic comes in small, almost imperceptible doses. I've learned that every day on the trail is soothing to the soul and if you learn how to listen, it teaches you many lessons.

So I took it in stride.

I had considered running in my Teva sandals instead of my usual trail runners. My feet felt hot and sweaty and I want to start transition to barefoot running. But I chickened out because I thought that I'd go long. I have run trails in sport sandals before, a long time ago when I forgot my running shoes and I was running with my dog and a few others that I was doggy sitting. This was long before the present barefootin' movement, so I thought that I couldn't continue doing that for all the usual lame reasons.

Anyway, back to this Sunday. I was kind of bummed out that I didn't just use my Tevas now that I could tell I was going to have to cut this run down to about 7-8 miles. But I just went ahead and ran with "barefoot" technique. I concentrated on erect posture (without sucking in the stomach and tucking the tailbone - just thinking of pulling up on the crown of the head) and landing lightly on the mid/ball of the foot, not crashing on the heels. I concentrated on being relaxed. Fairly quickly I was getting in the "zone" - just gliding along through the woods softly. This was pretty good considering that the rest of me felt a little feverish and sniffly. I considered going to the top and back down, which would make a comfortable 11 miles.

But then there was a gurgling in the gut. The other side of viruses....gastro problems. The length of my run was now beyond my control. I'd have to turn back down when I hit the Dean Trail crossing. I couldn't risk an "accident" on Mother's Day when there were more hikers than usual out. Getting caught by a hiking family while taking care of business would not be my idea of a good day.

So I concentrated on keeping my nice gliding form and being relaxed while holding in my "problem". I won't lie, I had to stop and walk a few times to keep it all together. But I did make it back to the trailhead bathroom without incident. (Whew!) It ended up being somewhere between 7-8 miles in about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Not bad considering the terrain and the inner conditions!


A word on form - I've been reading the McCall Body Balance Method. It's about how we are moving our bodies and holding our postures in unnatural manners that are causing lots of problems. I got this book because I suspected that I was out of whack. In the few days that I've been practicing the methods my piriformis problem has dissappeared. It's going to take a while for me to change the way I've been moving and holding my posture but I'm hoping that it becomes second nature (again) soon.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

No cool trail posts from this weekend, and no post on the latest track workout.

Casa de Coyote is innundated with the Spring Sniffles.

The Older Pup and Mama Coyote has the cold, the Younger One and Dada do not.

Mama coyote is taking it in stride. I'm looking at this as a good opportunity to get rid of my tight piriformis situation. I'm also waiting for a book that I ordered on Amazon...I wish it would get here already, before I'm better so that I can get some good readin' in.

I found out about this book on Barefoot Ted's site. It looks like a fascinating read on the Tarahumara and natural we can run without all of those fancy shoes and how we'd probably be better off for it. It's something that I've always thought about. It just doesn't make sense that after millions of years of evolution somehow this animal that has traveled to the far corners of the globe on foot now needs squishy constrictive shoes to run.
Part of the problem now is that we need to ween ourselves of these shoes if we wish to run barefoot. Throughout our lives we've been wearing them and they've changed our stride and coddled our feet into mush. I've done a little bit of barefoot running. You can really tell after a few strides that your shoes have changed the way you would normally run. It makes me wonder if my piriformis and hamstring situation has anything to do with that changed stride and if I'd go barefoot would it fix it? Dunno, but either way it's probably a good idea to put at least a little bit of barefootin' into the training regimen.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Wonders of Sports Massage!
I finally found a new masseuse! It's Jason at Hands-On Wellness. If you are in the area and are in need of some de-knotting - I highly recommend them! Jason knows athletes and what you need. My lower back and hamstring are finally free of knots and tension for the first time in months. I wish I'd gone much sooner. I'm now going to go monthly for tune-ups, the expense is worth it to stay healthy and running.
My Saturday massage allowed me to have a good run at Wunderlich. Aerobically I didn't feel up to snuff, but my muscles and legs felt good. There's much work to be done, but the journey is part of the fun, right?

Monday, April 20, 2009

Sunday Trail Bliss
I rolled up to Zweirlein trail head in Huddart Park a little later than I wanted too, but it didn't matter because I had all the time in the world to get in a good trail run. My water pack was topped off with PowerAide, and I was ready to go. The weather, well it was finally perfect - no horrendous winds or unseasonably cold weather. I should just give up and move to Arizona already.
I was kind of surprised that there weren't that many cars in the parking lot, being that it was Sunday and one of the nicest days we've had in months.

The trail quickly dips off into the redwood forest. And the trail is beautiful, soft and loamy from decomposing redwood needles. A few squirrels chattered at me as I ran by. A fairly large lizard sunned himself on a rock and did his little up and down display dance.

It takes me a long while to get warmed up. So I did a little bit of walking running, which I'm not happy with myself for doing. It seems whimpy and lazy to me in hindsight. I need to bump it up hard again.

I passed by a few small groups of hikers heading back to the parking lot. And only one runner, surprisingly. The Zweirlein trailhead opens up to the Crystal Springs Trail, a long trail that connects through several open space areas. I was taking CPT to the top of the ridgeline. Down in the lower regions it switchbacks through lovely, dense redwood forests and then gradually transitions to an oak forest. The oak forest is thicker in undergrowth and at times a little creepier as larger critters can easily hide out there. It didn't feel creepy in the slightest today though.

I wound past the Toyon camp ground area and came to a great natural rock bench. Sitting on the cool rock feels great on the hamstrings!

It seems that the CST was resurfaced in parts since I was there last. It had pressed gravel in some sections that are pretty remote, kinda surprising. I suppose they did this for the equestrians, since the horses tear up the trail in the wet weather.

After winding up through the oak and chapparal for a while the CST plunges back into redwood forest again. This is when I know that I'ms nearing the top because at about this time I'm trying to remember where the heck the top is. It's a constant climb up with almost no break. And you think that you've hit the top when you make the connection with the Skyline Ridge Trail, but nope, it's the insult to injury part. There's a 0.7 mile section to the very top from here that has several bumps that are super steep, pretty much too steep to run at any real speed but I'm sure that some of the speedy local trail racers just fly up them. At times I have to kind of march them sideways, foot over foot.

When you crest that last hill and reach the very top you're still shrouded in beautiful redwoods as you are for most of this run. I stopped here to snap a few pictures and have a Gu. Then I kept running on the Skyline Ridge trail until I hit the Chincaupin trail. I love this trail. It's like a rollercoaster going back down again. Chincaupin rolls down through the redwoods and sometimes clings to some very steep cliffs, getting narrow to a point just before being nervewracking.

The further I descended, the warmer it felt. Quite by accident I happened upon a great way to keep cool. When filling up my backpack bladder I must have accidently sprayed some water inside my backpack. It started to slowly leak out during my run and onto my back....refreshing! At first I was afraid that my bladder had a leak in it (okay, not THAT bladder) but the leak didn't taste or look like PowerAide. I think maybe next time I'll stick some ice into my backpack and see how that works.

As I neared the trailhead I could smell barbecues cooking. And when I came out into the parking/camp area it was packed with people who weren't there only an hour and a half before. I guess folks were getting a late start on their Sunday fun. When I drove out of Huddart there was a steady line of cars coming in.

So for Sunday, it was about 11 miles in the coastal mountains.

Monday = day off

Tuesday = 3.5 miles easy, feeling a little sore.

Wednesday - 5 miles with the babyjogger.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wind Aided (Addled) Workout or
Running Against the Wind and Myself

So I did my speed (not) workout in the hurricane force winds that we had last night. It was both better and worse than expected. I dressed like a ninja in all black for the occasion (because all of my white and colored shirts are in the wash basket getting moldy).

It was better than expected because it wasn't as frickin' cold as I thought it was going to be. I managed to layer enough to keep those wet cold ocean winds outta my clothes and off my skin.

It was worse because on the backside of the track the wind was so strong that it blew me into the other lanes and almost brought me to a complete stand-still several times. Running for time was not really an option. I can blame it entirely on the wind but hell, I've lost fitness these past two weeks AGAIN, (two steps forward one step back) so I can't blame it on the weather, even if I want to.

I did two mediocre 800s and was depressed about them. It was all I could do to keep times under 8 minute miles. So I switched it up to 400s, looking for some leg speed. That was a bit better. It's cheating though. But heck, at least I did something and maybe this half a$$ed speed workout helped pushed my fitness a tiny bit forward.

I could blame the hurricane force winds for my crappy speed training times last night but that wouldn't be the full, true story. Truth is, I haven't been as dedicated as I need to be and the irony is that as my times get worse, the harder it is for me to face the track. Does anyone else do this? I'm a little worried about speed work due to the hamstring issue that I recenly had...but I need to get over it. So in interest of keeping me on the straight and narrow I'll post details of my workouts here to keep track of them.

I've been getting rid of the things in my life that get in the way of my improvement. That little drink in the evenings to relax...gone and not missed. Trying to get to bed early? Done (when sick little ones don't interfere). Lightening up my eating habits to loose weight...done (still waiting for results though).

I'm going to add a little improvements gadgets at the side of my blog to keep track of all of this stuff and to keep me honest.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Duty Calls

This is day two of the 3-year-old's flu. I probably don't need to say anymore about that for you to have a full image in your mind of what is going on here. Mountains of barfy laundry. A whimpering, impish patient. And not much time for anything else. Luckily we did get a pretty good night's sleep. And the barf frequency has greatly dropped from about once every 1/2 hour to only once so far this morning. I'm tentatively crossing fingers that we are on the upswing and NOT headed for the doctor's office.

Today is Track Tuesday. We have 800's scheduled. There are horrendous winds outside today. Ugh. We may have up to 50 mph gusts by track time. WTF? Not only do I have to suffer through 800's but in my "favorite" weather condition, cold wind. The upside is that this is supposed to go away after tomorrow and we'll have HOT weather up through the weekend at least. Finally! I've been finding too many excuses to hide out inside.

And there is sad news in blogland - Marcy has announced her retirement from blogging....say it isn't so!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Sunday After

I was feeling a bit outta sorts yesterday morning. Achy and a little sniffly. I just chalked it up to allergies. So I went for a run to shake it out. Same route as the morning before. I was a little slower and I didn't have any snap in my legs. But my head cleared up a little during the run so I hoped that I had either alleviated my allergies a bit or burned an impending cold out of my body.

Soon after coming back home I was feeling achier and stuffier. And it just got worse. I had a fever. So I headed off to bed.

But at least I got my run in for the day. Funny how runners think that way. I'd earned my rest because I had gotten my run in and was that much closer to getting faster, leaner and stronger. Even if I'd sent myself back to the sheets.

I was worried about loosing training time and being sick for days with another stupid cold. So I bundled up and started to pound down the fluids. I've found that for me at least drinking amazing amounts of fluid coupled with sleeping really turns things around.

On Easter morning I woke up with a suprisingly clear head. A very good sign since I get really crappy congested colds. My voice was a bit horse but as the morning is wearing on it's clearing up nicely.

I'm even considering a morning run tomorrow if I continue to improve at this pace. It will definitely be a shorter "clean out" run, but I think that this time it really will do the trick. :)

Friday, April 10, 2009

Full Moon Morning

I woke up at about 4:30 this morning with a cat on my head. As much as I try to hide it, she instantly knows when I wake up and starts purring with the utmost pleasure. She then commenced kneeding my head and pillow with her paws and grooming my cheek with a rough tongue. It's all about love, so I just endured it until she decided to visit her bowl of kibbles.

Four-thirty seemed to early to get up so I hung in there for an hour, trying to catch a few z's but none were had. That was okay, I was totally awake. I got up and fumbled through my armoire for some running shorts, a long sleeved tee, bra, socks and my shoes. The older girl shuffled into our room and took my spot in bed, cuddled up next to her dada.

It was still dark when I stepped out onto the front porch at about 5:50 am. I was greeted by an indigo sky, calm, still air and an enormous moon that appeared to be nesting on a cushion of clouds.

A perfect beginning to the day.

I love running into the morning. It's great to start in the dark and come home in the light. I love the peacefulness, lack of cars and rushing people. I run faster and further in the mornings for some reason.

About five minutes out I noticed that the birds started singing. A chorus of finches, California towhees and some unidentifiable bird that carried on a rolling conversation with itself. Other than the birds all was still. I did not encounter another runner the entire run, which I found to be quite surprising. I only passed by one cyclist with a cyclops eye of a headlamp coming towards me in the half dark.

I returned home before 7 am refreshed and already well started into my day. One of the best things about a morning run is that you start out your day with an accomplishment. It's not so much getting that run out of the way, because, hopefully you enjoy it, it's making sure that you get that run in before the other parts of life get in the way.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Beautiful Weekend, Virtually No Running Though....

Well, sometimes it just happens that way when you have friends and relatives out to visit. And that's okay, I'll roll with it.

We celebrated an Auntie's birthday with a surprise party. The MIL came out to stay with us and we all had a blast. Today, the last day of the adventure we went on a great trail hike at the Edgewood Preserve.

Unfortunately the Hubby was laid out with a bad cold, that I'm hoping to avoid. So he missed the hike.

We saw a big rattlesnake on the trail. I trail volunteer warned us about it before we came up to it. So I walked up to it for a closer look. I thought I had the zoom on, but I guess not...I'll clean up the shot for a better look. She was a little perturbed about the trail clean-up guy...but ya know, it's her home.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Hurts so Good

It was a track Tuesday and again, nothing blew up, tore or siezed. Yesterday's workout was 4 x 600m & 300M. I even went hog wild on the last 300 and did it in 1:14, which isn't bad for little old ultrarunning, pulled hamstring me. I've figured that that works out to a 6:53 mile. Which means there's hope.

When I got home I pulled out the foam roller again. I'm using it several times a day, whenever I feel my glutes, lower back, ITB, and/or hamstring tighten up. There were some brutal spots I found on my glutes that made me swear like a sailor and almost cry. This morning I work up feeling the least creaky and stiff than I've felt in months! I highly recommend this form of torture. You won't be smiling like the chic in this picture though while you're doing it.

I wrote a check for my part of the Reno-Tahoe Relay and now I'll sign up for a room with some of the gals on the team. Our team is called The Venetian Skunks. I'll let you wonder about that for while before I 'xplain.

So it's official - I get to escape from the rugrats for a weekend. That weekend will involve running at all hours of the night and being carted around by a van. I'll do anything to get away for awhile.

Today's Obligatory Workout Report - Easy run of about 3 miles or so. Crossfit type weight workout. And stretching and foam roller stuff.

Monday, March 30, 2009

On the Trails

So after a looong time away I finally made it back on the trails. And so did everyone else apparently. When I got to Wunderlich I immediately started kicking myself for being so lazy and getting up late on a Sunday. The lot was packed. The Trail Gods did smile on me though and a kindly Prius left soon after I arrived.

Since the trail was crawling with humans it was pretty unlikely that I'd see any rare wildlife. The critter sightings were largely restricted to sparrows and a few Stellar's jays. But it was kind of nice to see other people out enjoying nature. Especially since trails tend to be asshole filters - you meet mostly nice people out there.

Subspecies of humans sighted -

Oldmanus Backpackus -

Usually seen toting a backpack and/or walking poles. Wears floppy fishing hat or old trucker cap. Always similing. Clearly enjoying retirement by getting out on the trails frequently. Often hikes over 10 miles a day. Nine times out of ten asks me if I'm coming back from or heading up to Skyline (top of the park).

Lovebirds -

Couples clearly on their first date. Totally interested in each other. Often wearing inappropriate footwear, like pointy heals. Clearly didn't plan on coming up here. They don't notice me or the mud on their shoes.

Other Couples -

Anywhere from youthful to middle aged. Guy walking in front. He says a happy hello to me. Woman glares at me like she thinks I'm out for her man. Really lady, I have my own at home and he's way hotter than yours. I'm really, just running. I saw at least three groups of these on Sunday, and it's always the same thing - first the hello and then the glare. Facinating.

Packs of Twenty-Somethings -

Often wearing unneccessary high-tech alpine gear. Large heavy hiking boots, poles and daypacks. The group is usually exchanging nervous glances with each other since they've realized too late that they are way over prepared and schlepping pounds more gear than they need. The guys give me the same look that men gave me when they walked their wives miniature poodles and I was running with my doberman. Utter embarrassment. But they are still happy and having fun and that's what counts.

Two Ladies Together -

All ages. Chatting happily. Don't even notice that I was there at all. Which makes me worried about them. What if I were a cougar?

Headphonus Oblivious -

Lone hiker with headphones. Freaks out when you come up on them. Either seems miffed or is embarrased. Why do you wear those out here? Don't you want to hear nature...or the approaching puma?

Anyway, it was a successful run. Only about 7 miles but good nonetheless. It's a pretty rugged up and down so I didn't want to overdo it the first time out and so soon after the hamstring/IT band fiasco. Nothing was injured and I felt good. Next time all the way to the top and back!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Feelin' Frickin' Productive

I went to the track last night. It was cold as a witches t*t. That's one of my 78 year old dad's favorite sayings, and one of the only ones I could use without extensive editing. It was about 55 degrees, which I KNOW isn't THAT cold. (I did live in Minneapolis for 3.5 years). But around here it's the freakin' wind, people. It's wet from the ocean/bay, icy and it cuts right through your clothes. I swear I'm colder here than I ever was in the Midwest.

So I wasn't THAT slow considering my time off of intervals. I managed to eek below the 8 min mile barrier. Intervals were 1200's and 600's. Some ugly distances, I think. But I persevered and finished all of them, even running my last 600 the fastest. Not due to any awesome fitness but because I held back on all the others somewhat. I had my left hamstring and IT band taped from my ART session earlier in the day, so I looked the part of the walking wounded. I felt that hey, this chick's bandaged so you can't make fun of her slowness, at least she's out here. My pride gets outta whack on the track, I keep living in my faster days.

So I've decided. I'm going to sign up for the Pacifica 50k. It's far enough out for me to get back in ultra shape for it and it's far enough away from the relay so that I don't mess that up for everyone. This weekend - I'll hit the trails for some nice distance running.

So not only have I decided on a race today, but I turned in an article already this morning. I can now go out for a run with a clear conscience, since I'm ahead of the game on my assignments. And it's sunny and not windy for a change. It's of course a baby jogger morning with the youngest one. Right now she's looking for rolly polly bugs in the yard...her new obsession.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring = New Beginnings

The IT band was bruised all week, it still is. But although it looks craptacular it feels much better. I've added my crossfit strength training back into my routine again and it's made all the difference in the world. After only one weightlifting session I was already starting to feel more balanced in my hips. So my advice to all of you - never stop strength training! I'm now the poster child for squats. Seriously.

And so suddenly I have a bunch of freelance work and new avenues for future work. Whatup! I wasn't even looking, it found me. And it feels so right. Now I needs to find me a laptop (which I will write off on my taxes). And amazingly I get to write about one of my true loves...trail running! Following your bliss is the key to happiness and happiness in your employment. Looking back now I see how miserable I was in the corporate world. I was totally unsuited to be trapped in the 9 to 5. I'd rather work harder but be free. By taking the time off to be with me and the kiddos I hit the reset button. Then things started to fall into place. As soon as I stopped fighting things and going with the flow it all fell into place.

Today? We have intervals in the evening. I had an ART session in the morning, so I'll run what I feel. My Reno-Tahoe Team is all registered on Now I'll have to figure out my next trail ultra for later in the summer.

Oh and the picture in my header is from just beyond Berry Creek Falls during the Skyline to the Sea 50K. Pretty, huh?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

You Paid Someone for That!?!

That's what Irish Frank said to me yesterday at the track when he took a gander at my bruised leg and saw the aftermath of the Graston treatment on my IT band. It looks like someone laid a two-by-four across my thigh. But I know in a day or two the results will be evident in a much looser IT. And yes, yes, yes, I'm continuing the yoga and adding the foam roller into the routine, religiously. It'll be the only way to keep my running "career" on track.

My chitlins had their performance dance class yesterday. I'm so proud that they weren't the worst behaved kids in the class. I was really thinking that we were going to be that family but surprisingly the honors went to two other little girls. One blond chubby girl who pouted and stomped off when she found out she didn't have a wand to twirl with. The other was a spunky little Asian girl who upon starting the dance routine eyeballed her brother, stomped off the stage to beat up on him in the audience.
I was so glad it wasn't my kids, for a change.

It's supposed to be a nice sunny day today. Here's an early spring picture from Maya's school yard where the bees are buzzing and the flowers are blooming.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Runnin' on....

It rained all weekend so I decided to postpone the trails. I don't need to slip and sprain my ankle before I even get restarted here. So it was misty, rainy, neighborhood runs (with one small trail section) for the weekend.

On Sunday I ran into one of my track people (figuratively, not literally). It was obviously meant to be. I'd just been thinking about what I should do in the next few months runningwise. He needed one more woman on his Reno to Tahoe Relay Team. Well, you know what happened next!

A long while back I did the Hood to Coast Relay. It was one of the mose fun things I've done. I can't wait to do another relay and especially one that is in Tahoe. It's going to be gorgeous and fun. I miss the cameraderie of other runners, this will be a way to experience all that again.

So in preparation I'm making sure that the left leg/hip thing gets fixed totally. I saw my chiro/phys therapist this morning for a Chiro/ART treatment. Just as I suspected there's some ITB problems and a general imbalance over there. But it's being taken care of. I'll dutifully do my excercises and get some treatments. so there are no problems.

So tonight is track night. I'll be gentle on myself, again. In a week or two I'll ramp it all back up again.

I'm still waiting on one of my possible freelance gigs. But I'm not waiting around because of it...I'm going to look into more new work possibilities, and maybe opening a business in the future. I feel ready to move forward.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Back to the Trails

Since I'm itchin' for some more ultra action...I'm also itchin' for the trails again. There will probably be a new trail post (with pics!) this weekend sometime. Am I emerging from my long winter's nap? Methinks so.

On other good news after months of SAHM action and no gainful employment I was approached by two different companies out of the blue on the same day this week. It looks like I'll be writing for one for sure and hopefully (puhlleezzzee pray/think good thoughts for me!) the other too. It will totally help out the financial situation at Casa de Coyote.

Refreshing Evening

I got out for a pleasant evening run last night. I even worked on my technique, reverting back to some POSE method stuff that I had thrown out the window a while back. I'm rethinking my decision on that since maybe my hamstring problem stems from over striding. I have a habit of running with huge loping strides. It really does feel more natural to me....but maybe it's not so good for me afterall.

I concentrated on all of the usual pose stuff - forefoot landing (got that down) fast turnover, (harder for me), free falling (feels so neat when you get it) and lifting your foot right underneath you. I think I ended up running faster than usual, but I can't be sure because I did a new loop and I didn't time my run. It doesn't matter anyway. I can check it out on the track next Tuesday or on another run.

And yes, I'm still doing yoga and stretching religiously. I won't stop doing that now, ever.

It was chilly again out there last night. I ran in long sleeves and capris, kind of feeling like a wimp since fer godsakes this is California. But it wasn't my imagination, that wind was cutting and it continued to blow right through my old Hind running top (maybe the age of that weather beaten thing had something to do with it! Hind doesn't even exist anymore.) I started out in the light and arrived back home in the dark. A nice way to end the day.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I'm starting to feel like doing an ultra again. Hmmmm.

Tuesday Track

There was no scheduled track workout due to a lacrosse game on the grassy area, so a bunch of us went for a run around the 'hood.

I know it's Cali here, but dang is the wind cold and damp. Hate that. Makes me want to move to the tropics. I was afraid that I'd never warm up, but I managed to get the body temp up to comfortable as long as I kept moving. Chatting with the others was great - I don't get to talk with other people much when I'm running anymore since I run alone except for Tuesdays. Sadly, one of our bunch just got laid off and I fear that she'll be unemployed for a while in this climate. Luckily her husband is still working and I think that they have enough money saved up to last them for a while. She just got her road bikes tuned up so I don't even have to wonder at what she'll be up to in the next few weeks. I just hope that she (and others in her predicament) take the opportunity to actually enjoy the time off. That's been my downfall in the past when I was unemployed. The new job does eventually show up, and then if you have been fretting over not working that whole time that you were off you're not even rested up for your new adventure. Such is the dilemma.

I still haven't been able to get up early for my runs. The Hubby messed with the alarm last night and we woke up late this morning. So now I have to run this evening. Tomorrow that damn alarm is going to go off ON TIME and I WILL be out that door 6ish.

I've been having a nagging irritation of tightness in my left lower back, hip and side and back of my left leg. Anyone else have this problem? Yoga seems to help for a while but in a few hours it comes back. I think it may be due to my SI joint, but I can't keep going back to the chiropractor over and over again (too expensive). Does anyone have any miracle cures? Ideas to the cause? Let me know.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Sunday Musings

Sunday's run was good. A little under an hour long and on a nice loop that I improvised as I went. I planned on running all the way up through the canyon but opted instead for just the lower part through the Mercy grounds. I was pretty sure that up by the creek crossing it would be very muddy and slippery. It requires a bit of climbing to get down to the creek and up the other side. Later this week it should be more passable.

I can definitely feel the time off in my lungs on the hills. Wowie! I was huffin' and puffin' like a chain smoker.

On the last few blocks home I let my stride open up. I held back in the beginning to guard my hamstring. But I felt like my stride was unnaturally clipped. And it was. It felt so much better to speed it up a bit. Even better that my hammie wasn't annoyed by it.

The spouse and I spent the weekend mostly continuing the cleaning out of excess stuff. I brought a trunk load to the Goodwill and felt ten pounds lighter for being free of it. This cleaning out seems to be the running theme for a lot of folks these days. The Zeitgeist for the season. It was good, but I'd like to go back to having weekends set aside as time to enjoy with each other and the kids. The kids didn't seem to mind as they rode their bikes and played in the yard on both days. It was a productive weekend, not full of fun and games, but we accomplished some things that we needed to do.

We did Netflix Into the Wild. Very good movie. The main character reminded me of Treadwell, the grisly guy who ended up being eaten by a rogue bear. Both of these young men thought that they were leaving civilization to live a more natural life. The irony is that living by yourself in the wilderness is not a natural life for a human. We are social animals. It seems that before his tragic death Christopher from Into the Wild came to the realization that human interaction was needed for a meaningful, happy life. It's unfortunate that he didn't make it back alive.

Next movie? Juno. Yeah, I didn't see a lot of movies in the past few years.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Mourning Run

So I got out at 9:30. Not exactly the crack of dawn run I was fantasizing about, but it's a start. 43 minutes on a usual loop of mine. Not the fastest run but not the slowest either. My left hip felt a little tight, but not dangerously so and the hamstring survived. No nasty twinges there. The tightness does still concern me. I'll continue working diligently on it with yoga.

About halfway through I got a little choked up thinking about recent revelations and events. The random selection of music on my iPod didn't help any either with songs that just reminded me more of my sadness. I stopped to walk and sob for a minute. Then I decided to choose happiness. There is no way to happiness, happiness is the way. Things are as they are and I should just pick up my life as it is and move forward. Who knows what I will find tomorrow? I switched to an upbeat running playlist and carried on. The day is sunny and bright. I can run again. My kids are happy and healthy. Life is for the living, so get on with it.

The rest of the way was beautiful and good. Some muddy parts by the golf course but I managed to avoid a big messy fall. At home I did an outdoor yoga session on the nice green grass. The girls had their bubble machine going. It was something like yoga with a dash of Lawrence Welk. My utadasana is getting more bendy and my bridge is getting bridgier. It's so nice to see progress.

My life lesson for this season? Letting go and moving on. From many things. Arbitrary expectations, labels for myself, negative emotions, fear and procrastination. I found that cleaning out my closet was almost a religious experience. So much of what I was holding on to had old memories and emotions attached to it. I got rid of anything I hadn't used or worn in a year and especially if it held memories of a past job, a certain time period in my life or a relationship. Getting rid of the emotionally charged items was freeing - even if it was a good emotion. I was hanging on to some maternity wear that had some wonderful memories, but I'm not ever going to wear it again. Getting rid of this stuff clears out the way for the future and mentally enabled me to let go of all of my past, good and bad. I'm not forgetting it, I'm just cleaning out emotional space for what lies ahead. Letting go is freeing, it lightens your load and releases old grudges. It is a cornerstone of Buddhist thought and akin to the Christian idea of forgiveness. I think these two exercises come to accomplish similar spiritual release and revelation. I'm far from being totally free, but I've made a start. Spring is a great time for new beginnings.

Tomorrow? A longer morning run.

Friday, March 06, 2009

No More Lazy

I've been sleeping in way too much, and enjoying it way too much.

I really fell off the running wagon. I used to get up at 5am to get my runs in. Now I can barely peel myself outta the sack at 7am. I have to put myself back into running bootcamp. It will make me feel much better about myself and about life in general. I'm feeling rather blue. Hopefully my hammie will put up with the running.

And for those of you with kids you'll know what I'm talking about with the stress of two little tykes. I have NO time for myself, and I'm wearing really thin. Work was way easier than being a SAHM. I think that the endorphin rush from morning runs will help me cope a bit more. And all this worry about the economy is starting to gnaw at my mind too. I need to release the pressure valve.

The Meaning of Life

No, I don't have a clue what it is, I'm just really wondering about it. I've been smacked in the face by mortality. I just found out that an old friend died.

He was someone who I had a special connection with. It wouldn't matter how long we'd go with out seeing each other - we'd still be friends with that strange connection you only get with a few people in your life. Even if we didn't see each other very often it was just nice knowing that we were still sharing the same beautiful earth. Now that I know he's gone, even though I haven't seen him in a long time, it just feels like there's a hole in existence. And there's that nagging feeling of loss and a sense of no closure.

So if there's meaning...what was the meaning of our friendship? And will I see you again? Vaya con Dios my friend.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Running Lite

Wow, I'm down to two runs a week. That's really weak. It's all I can do to fit them in. And I won't be going to the track because the local high school girls have a lacrosse game there tonight. My lazy ass is happy about it actually, because I didn't want to crowbar myself out of the house for a run. It's been raining buckets and I don't want to go out there. Although I know that once I'm out there I'll love it and have fun and all that. It's just getting out there at night in the dark, those first few steps that are the worst.

The kids are cranky, restless, whiny and tired of being couped up. Ugh.

I have been working on the yoga. I almost have my heals down in downward dog...that's a major accomplishment. And in standing forward bend I'm much more forward with my fingers on the ground. There is progress. I don't feel as tight, although I still am tight. But every class I take myself through makes me feel so much better for a few hours. I still need to work on inversions...they are a little scary but they offer so many benefits.

I've been trying to keep to a yogic diet. Trying is the word. I can manage about three days of vegetarianism and then I fall off the wagon. Anyone else a vegetarian out there? Any advice? Or should I just give up already?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Back to the Track

So I did end up going to the track on Tuesday. I ran with no expectations...just jogged around the track and said hi to all of the good peeps there. My hammie didn't blow up and my mood lifted. Running actually felt relaxing and soothing to me. I need to slowly come back.

I run to and from the track. It's almost exactly a mile each way and is a great warmup/cooldown. Running home was wonderfully soothing in the dark. I love to see the glow of lights in houses and think of all the happy people cozy in their houses after work. Everyone attending to their lives. I ran past where one of our small streams plunges under the street and heads out the bay; it was rushing and tumbling like a small river after all of our rains. It was safely after commute time by the time I ran home from the track so I took to the middle of the streets and ran in virtual silence home. I startled one house cat with my headlights (a little clip contraption on my hat). I guess she thought I was a three-eyed monster.

I haven't run since. But I'm not beating myself up about it. We had another storm, and I was busy with the kids and their school functions. Maybe tomorrow I'll run again, or maybe Saturday.

I did a great yoga dvd this morning. It's an intermediate level Rodney Yee class. I've had the dvd for a while but felt a bit intimidated by the description of it. It has inversions..and I'm fairly nervous about going upside down. I didn't get to a total handstand, partly since I couldn't find a proper bare wall to hoist myself up to, but even just doing the preliminary excercises really had a positive effect on me. I also practiced inversions on a "chair" that I have that is specifically for yoga inversions. It sets you right up on your shoulders with your head hanging freely below. Inversions do seem to help the psyche...and the back! I felt wonderful after my morning session. I didn't get to finish the dvd, I ran out of time. So tomorrow I'll do it again to completion and report when I actually do that full handstand by myself. (I might ask The Mister to spot me on one tonight.)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Motivation = Zero

I have no desire to run. It's all come to a screeching halt. I find it stressful to think of going out for a run when I have so much to do at home. The housework is neverending and shuttling the kids to fro to different activities is tiring and stressful too. I've been getting many aches and pains all over in the last few weeks that just makes the thought of running, well, ugh. Yoga makes me feel better, and calm, so that's what I'm going with right now.

I will force myself out for a jog at the track. No expectations and no speed work since I'm totally off the training wagon. I actually don't want to go at all...but I think I'll feel better if I get out to do it. I'm tossing my 5k goals out of the door...I think that any goals or expectations about my running at the this time are just counterproductive and too stressful for me. Running becomes a job and not an escape. I can't pile another stressor on at this time. So running with no goals and just for fun is for me now.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Chuggin' Along in the Rain

I finally got out for a run today. Nothing fell apart and my leg didn't sieze up. I'm going at this very cautiously. I'll continue the Yoga religiously from now on. I don't think that I can expect to continue to run without it. I'm just so tight and bound up. More than looking forward to running again I'm looking forward to gaining flexibility from Yoga and maybe feeling more like my younger self. From now on caution and balance in all things are the name of the game. So maybe my sub 20 min 5k won't happen this year...or maybe it will. Either way I'm not going to fixate on it or make it a priority in my life. Health and balance will be the priority.

This weekend we're enjoying a big rainstorm that is much needed. Running in it was refreshing and fun actually. It's been steady all day long and is expected to continue all night and into the morning.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

I'm Still Here

Had a running wouldn't have happened anyway. Still doing Yoga. The hip/leg are better but it is still tight. It will probably take months to loosen it up so it's a long term project fo' shore.

It's back to workin' on the house a bit too. I'll report on the hammie when I get out for a run. Probably this weekend peeps.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Cabin Fever Hamstring

I haven't run in over a week. The last time I ran my hamstring tightened up and then gave me a nasty sharp poke. I decided to take the warning seriously and just stop. Totally.

I already feel fat. I know that I'm not, but I mentally just feel the flab gathering....

So I've started doing yoga. Religiously. I got out one of my Rodney Yee DVDs and gone to town with it. I have a number of yoga DVDs from different teachers so they'll keep me busy for a while. And I'll try to get to an actual class at some point, it's just really tough with the kids. I'm ridiculously tight in the hips. Obviously this is why my hamstring revolted. I realize that I'm going to have to keep up the yoga forever now if I ever hope to function the way I want to. It's not such a bad thing really, I DO like yoga, it's just that it was easier to be lazy and not do the stretching and yoga that I need and should do.

Maybe I'll try a very, very easy run on the weekend. We shall see.


In other news, yet another good friend is moving away from the area. He's headed to Tacoma, Washington for a new job. He was laid off a month or two back and luckily landed a great gig up there. But again, one less friend/relative around here. It's getting lonelier and lonelier and there are fewer people here that we feel comfortable with. It's become very "privileged" in our hood and well, we don't measure up in the earnings department. We're only here because we've always been here. Home has picked up and left when we weren't looking. I'm ready to go look for where it went.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Recouperation and Something Really Gross

So how's that for a title?

I took the baby jogger with little N to go get Maya from school. I'm sorry to report to my East Coast friends that it was about 70 degrees and sunny yesterday here. I made a very careful foray into running and it was a good, but small success. There was some soreness and I did take it VERY easy, you could hardly call it a run. But I was out there and the leg did not seize up and stop me in my tracks. I just have to learn to be careful with my aging self.

During the day I noticed a lot of flies in the house. This did not bode well. I couldn't figure out where they were coming from. I couldn't smell anything bad....

At about 7 in the evening the stench began. Something was dead somewhere and it seemed to be emanating from the fireplace. I made the Hub check it out. There was fur sticking out from above the damper. Some poor squirrel met his untimely demise up there. There was no way that this was waiting until morning because the Creeping Death smell was slowly making it's way to the bedrooms. There was no way I was going to sleep thinking about that thing in there and how hideous the house was going to smell in the morning. So we spent the evening riding ourselves of a stinking carcass....well mostly the Hub did all the work because I did NOT want to get a good look at that thing. So much for our usual Thursday pizza night, at least The Office was a rerun so we didn't miss anything.

I'm just very thankful that there is nothing dead in the house today left for me to deal with.

I'll be heading out in the California sunshine in a few minutes for my run and Maya pickup. Wish me luck with the leg...I'm hoping that things go smoothly.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Happy B-Day to Me

And just to make me feel like I'm 40, last night at track my hammie decided to tighten on the last 400. I'll take full blame for it tho....I couldn't keep myself controlled and I probably pushed it a wittle too much. I'm 40 but I'm still dumb like 16.

It's not TOO bad. I'm being very good to it today, RICE, some heat, ibuprofen - the whole nine yards. But now I will NOT do track for at least three weeks to a month....just to make sure that it's all better. Plus I'll be doing all the stretching and strengthening rehab for it and I'll go see Angelique again. I'm keeping her in biz fo' shore.

So what's up for tonight? A little family B-day with the 'rents and rugrats, some sushi (my fav) and some nice authentic Teutonic cake. Rock on.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Track Tonight...B-Day Tomorrow

Tuesday is a day filled with running around. Maya has a science class in the afternoon and THEN they both have a dance class right afterwards. Then I go to track. Tuesday got overscheduled, unfortunately. But that was the only day that their dance class was offered. I hate running around like this, I don't dig the idea of overscheduling, it's so yuppie.

Here's the workout for tonight - check it out on the blog that I keep for our Tuesday night workout group. I'll be vewwy careful on the hammy and run these a bit slower and smoother.

Playing with the bubble factory.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Back on Track

I took the hamstring out for a spin yesterday...and all systems were go. The rest and the ART did the trick no doubt. Not even a glimmer of the problem. That's not to say that I'm not going to be extra careful (especially at track) for the next week or so. Dr. Angelique suggests continued stretching and strengthening to repair the damage and keep it from happening again.

But I'm oh so happy! The freedom of running is mine again. I was so afraid that this was going to be a nagging problem...but with care and maintanence I'm free to run again. I guess I'm extra worried about it because the big 4 OH birthday is THIS WEEK. I'm really not so worried about being forty, it doesn't really bother me, except the fear of nagging injuries and the old bod not responding to my commands as it used to. Other than that, being forty is just a number.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Art of ART

So I had an ART treatment today from Angelique at Health Logic. ART is not a nice relaxing massage but it sure works. Halfway through the treatment today I noticed that the golf ball at the back of my leg had dissappeared. Angelique believes that what had happend was that my IT band and my biceps femoris came to some dissaggreement on the curve of my last 200 and the BF solved the situation by siezing up. My IT band was probably a bit tight and there was friction between the biceps femoris and it.

So now we're trying to work things out. There will be lots of stretching, foam rollering and icing.

Maybe a little bit of running on the weekend. And then back to Angelique on Monday. HOPEFULLY, that will do it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Resting Is Okay Too. I Guess

So it's Tuesday evening and the sky hasn't fallen in and I haven't gone completely insane yet. My hamstring feels relatively normal, although I have done zero testing of it. I'll stick to the the week off plan and NOT do any running (thanks Stuart, I'm taking your advice!).

I have an appointment for an ART treatment tomorrow morning. I'm all about fixing any and all problems when they crop up. I can't just sit around and wait for it to go away. Or hope for it to go away. I have to do something about it.

I spent the day carting kids to and fro, doing dishes, cooking, some cleaning (tho definitely not enough). All to the background of the inauguaration. I love this new beginning. I have hope for our collective futures. And I'm ready to get to work. Hamstring or not!