This morning I ran my fastest half marathon at the Tiburon Half! I finished in 2:10:33 which is a 9:58 pace. For a long time, before I started training for CIM, running a half in under a 10-minute mile was my goal. I thought I hit it during the San Francisco Half Marathon several years ago (and did according to my Nike+ app!) but the official results had me at over the 10-minute mark. So I'm really happy with this time and let me tell you why...
I woke up at 5am after getting an amazing night of sleep thanks to my husband who did kid duty last night. I had already laid out my clothes the night before so it didn't take me long to get ready. My favorite thing to do every morning is make my coffee and read my favorite running blogs. They motivate me to get out and log some miles. Today, I added my new favorite motivational video to the mix so it would get me pumped up for the race!
I knew they would have Clif bloks at the stations but I wasn't sure which ones and I'm pretty used to fueling every 4 miles so I packed my own. I tried the salted watermelon flavor which was pretty good! For some reason it was really hard to get breakfast down which is common for race morning, but today I truly had to force the bites in my mouth.
I found a parking spot right near the finish line which made me really happy. Then I had a moment of panic because I thought I'd left my running belt at home, but then I saw it hiding on the floor. Another racer parked in front of me and we helped each other find the starting line. He was from Sacramento and works for Whole Foods, which was sponsoring the race. I'm assuming he was a faster runner than me because his car was already gone by the time I got to mine!
They had all kinds of snacks and drinks at the start, and I will say I think this was a very well run race. The volunteers were friendly and there were plenty of fuel stations and cute signage that played on it being sponsored by Whole Foods. "You can't tuna round now!" "This is just a wok in the park!" Corny as they were, they made me smile at every mile marker.
We all lined up in this alley to wait for the start. The sun was just coming up as the star spangled banner played and it made me a little weepy. It gets me every time. I saw the 2:10 pacer just ahead of me and thought if I can keep him in my sight the whole time, then maybe I'll have a chance at achieving this old goal floating around in my head.
I felt really strong out of the gate and the whole first three miles were pretty flat so I had a nice even pace and didn't feel like I was overexerting or wasting energy. Miles 3-6 had short, spiky hills which I was able to run, but then we got to Strawberry Hill which was quite the slope. The woman running next to me caught my eye after we both saw the hill and we sort of laughed over the absurdity of it. I did stop to walk for maybe 15 seconds to catch my breath and get my mind back in the right place.
I tried to make up speed on the downhills but some were so steep it was hard to do anything but jog. At mile eight, we hit another really big one. There was a pleasant seeming sign that read, "Welcome to China Hill" and I smiled at the friendly greeting up against a very UNfriendly looking hill!
It's funny that I felt so great the whole run everywhere except my stomach. I knew I should have eaten more breakfast but my tummy was really giving me trouble, and I had to pee really bad but I knew if I stopped that I'd never make my goal. At mile 10, all I wanted to do was get to the finish line to use the bathroom so that was my motivation :) I saw the pacer move ahead of me and I didn't think I could catch up but at least I had him in my sight! I wanted to take photos because the scenery was really pretty against the water, but I was afraid if I fumbled with my phone that I'd miss the time goal!
I finally saw the finish line up ahead, in the heart of downtown Tiburon, and saw 2:10 something on the clock and knew I had hit or was really close to my goal! I saw the pacer who I was following and thanked him for keeping me motivated :)
There were lots of booths giving out freebies but I was ready to head home and shower so I skipped it. I'd told the boys not to come for this race since it's supposed to be a training run but I had to capture a selfie with my shit eating grin at the finish line. It was a good day!
When I came home I pretty much rested or napped the rest of the day away. Jon took the boys to the park where they met up with some friends.
Then I laid down with Croc to get him to nap, something that all of a sudden is hard to do unless he's at school! I love to watch him sleep. Such a beautiful face. Man he is CONKED OUT here!
And I'll leave you with this quote that I can totally relate to right now...
Do you remember "Mr. Ridiculously Photogenic Guy" who became famous for having the PERFECT race photo?
Well, I don't know folks, but I think I might be in contention for MRS Ridiculously Photogenic Woman of Jog in the Fog 2017.
I'll post the whole series. That's me in the orange, yellow, and purple. I like color...so sue me. It's the final stretch here. Right before the finish line.
This woman - #275 - was ahead of me the end of the race and I almost caught up with her but then we hit the steep steps and I fell back again.
And now I'm picking up some speed! Pumping those arms. My feet are at LEAST a half inch off the ground. Look at me go!
OMG this picture is going to be amazing. My hair was just the right combination of dry and coated with sweat so it wasn't sticking out at all. Plus this boy who is outrunning me is giving me some extra motivation. Here I come!
This race photo is going to be epic. As soon as I gain momentum on this kid, I am shining my pearly whites and dominating this photo capture!
Oh yeah!! Mere yards away from my step and repeat! Once this kid is out of my way I am TOTALLY going to kick my heels in the air for this photo. I think I'll go with the SUPER package this time with all the wallets and all the things.
Oh my gosh. Wait. What happ---- Is this the last one? No more? Oh. Well.
Well that kid deserves his moment. He worked hard. He gave up the things to do it and he got the photos. All the photos. Congratulations, kid.
And there you have it. I can't complain really. I'm not looking at a photo with a reddened double chin or my shirt riding up over my belly button. So you know what, I'll take it. I like this photo. It's growing on me. I might even frame it! Maybe even SUPERSIZE package it!
Show me or tell me about your best or worst race day photo!!
Day off from running today but I am back on tomorrow with 9 miles! I'll probably have to do them in the gym. Right now it's raining weird rain outside and it's thundering and lightning which is pretty unheard of in this city. My heart goes out to everyone dealing with all of the devastation caused by hurricanes and flooding. If anyone out there is from Florida or Houston area and could use a care package, let me know what you can use in the comments.
He spent some time looking out the window and punching every time we heard thunder. A very brave boy considering he's never really seen a storm.
While Jon and The Dude were at the eye doctor after work/school, I was on my own for dinner. I felt like a massive bowl of eggs with cinnamon toast and chocolate soy milk, and then I made Croc a hot dog with chips, hummus, and watermelon. He played me for a fool. I know he only wanted that hot dog because he likes to unwrap it from the wax paper (pro tip: this is the best way to make a hot dog - cook it as usual and wrap in paper with all condiments except cold ones and let the bun steam for about three minutes). He unwraps it and then never touches it again. I was tempted to Mommy Dearest that shit :)
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BABY FOOT UPDATE 👶🏼 👣
Okay I refuse to post photos because I am NOT that person who forces readers to look at disgusting images on the front page of a blog. It's like the pest control ads that have the digital roach crawl across your screen. It only pisses me off; it doesn't make me want to use your extermination services! Anyway I digress. Let me just say that foot peeling has commenced and this is exciting. If you're disgustingly curious like my boys and me, feel free to Google Image search "Baby Foot" to see what happens. You're welcome?
One part of the Baby Foot process is to soak your feet every night for 20 minutes. This is really easy to do with kids around. Croc kept trying to soak his foot in the disgusting water. I love these boys!
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Finally, I registered for my next race!! The Tiburon Half Marathon is next on my list and fits in nicely with my CIM training plan. I like throwing these races into the mix. They hold me accountable for training and help me get used to the inevitable added adrenaline of race day.
Any Bay Area readers out there planning to run Tiburon Half?
This morning I ran a local fun run called Jog in the Fog... and with perfect timing San Francisco did not disappoint in the fog department!
Is there anything better than being able to walk to the starting line of a race? It certainly made rolling out of bed much easier! As I mentioned, we ran this race a few years ago as a family when Croc was still in my belly so it was cool doing it by myself this time sans fetus. :)
It was a 5K which is not a distance that normally gives me jitters but I definitely had them as I was lining up to start. There were a ton of kiddos out there which reminded me this was just for fun and I should give it my best but also not take it too seriously.
The course started in Mountain Lake Park, and then wound around the back of the lake to a residential street for another mile before taking you up a really steep hill toward the Lands End Trail along the coast. I busted out pretty fast for me the first mile (8:46 mile) and then got back to my normal 10ish pace to the finish.
The last little bit was up a set of steep stairs so we could all be really out of breath and sweaty for the photos at the finish!
The finish line snacks were ridiculous in a good way. Cups of dark and white chocolate covered pretzels, gummy bears, M&Ms, trail mix, and lots of other goodies. I grabbed a couple of cups for the boys because I knew they would appreciate them more than me.
The best part of the race was running alongside my neighbors. I love community races like this where you see familiar faces in the crowd everywhere you look, and no one is competitive but everyone is supportive.
Once I was done, I hydrated and checked my phone - pleasantly surprised the males were awake and offering to pick me up at the finish! Jon was able to talk them into piling in the car fast because he didn't make them put on shoes.
When we got home I was excited because our old ancient stove was being carted out of our flat and the new one going into its place. We have been dealing with a crappy oven for quite some time now (hence all the ordering out photos I've posted) so I kept making a REALLY big deal out of the event. Croc was acting like Santa Claus himself was going to deliver a golden stove filled with ice cream and snacks. "Mom! I can't WAIT!! The oven will be so GREAT!" I broke it in by cooking some scrambled eggs, salsa, and dinosaur-shaped sweet potatoes.
The Dude was equally stoked to have access to a working stove and oven so he wrote me a detailed list of items to get at the grocery store.
I love how he put "Free sample 4" indicating he would like me to transport four free samples from Trader Joe's along with the bags of groceries I'd be carrying. Sure buddy. I'll get right on that.
I got into a cleaning fixation shortly after the oven delivery so I skipped the grocery and instead steamed up some pork buns. The Dude ate every single one of them.
In case you were wondering, the Garmin watch has been a game changer so far and I've only used it twice! I know now that I have a real pacing problem. Having such easy access to check my pace at any point in my run has made me realize that I speed up and slow down A LOT when I run! I fluctuate from 11:00/mile to 8:30/mile even when the elevation is steady. I really need to put some focus on this in my next long runs.
Yesterday I attempted to write my anticipated paces on my arm. And then greatly underestimated the amount I sweat when I run. Croc gave me a hug after the race today and he said, "Mom, you're WET!"
Yesterday I did 6 miles with 9:47 pace. This feels like a good length for me and as I've said before, after this marathon I'm really going to focus on 10Ks and half marathons while increasing my speed. If you have tips on ways to increase speed, please share them!
Jon shared this one with me.
The Dude had his first soccer game this weekend. Let me preface my next statement by saying every parent has their own style and I'm not telling you how to be, okay? That said, I think sometimes parents force too much crap on their kids because they think it will make them really smart and successful. There are all kinds of studies that say the opposite - down time and times of "boredom" is when kids are at their most creative and curious. So Jon and I decided a while back that we wouldn't force a bunch of formal activities on our kids. One or two activities at any time is plenty. When they get older, if they truly want more than that and can keep schoolwork top priority, then fine. But for now we try to do one sports activity and one extracurricular that the school offers (for Croc they offer cooking classes or soccer or yoga, etc).
The Dude takes tennis and plays soccer. He really loves tennis and jury is still out on soccer. Jon took him up to the game early and Croc and I decided to ride the bus and surprise them at the game. He was SO excited to ride it! At one point he looked at me with a huge smile on his face and said "This is like riding on a hot dog bus!" I have no idea but it does sound fun.
His team made a goal in the last few minutes of the game which resulted in a tie. Or as we like to call it a NON loss!
And how was your weekend?
Yesterday we covered why I think it's a good thing (said like Martha) to get outside your comfort zone. Let me preface this entry with a little story. Picture it: Pacific Grove 2007...
...I had decided to do a triathlon. It was a short (sprint) distance near Monterey. I raised money with Team in Training and the coaches helped me with my workout plan. It was definitely a "step outside your comfort zone" kind of thing. I'm pretty sure I got the wild hair when I found an old triathlon training book, Triathlon 101, at a garage sale. I was somewhat obsessed with it for awhile because it broke down the steps of a triathlon bit by bit and was very noobiesque. I was a little obsessed with it -- reading it over and over and staring at the woman on the front wondering if I could be a fraction of the badass that she appeared to be.
There were a couple of problems with the training:
So I took a leap out of my comfort zone and signed up for swim lessons. What I didn't realize was that I would be in a class with children. Now I'm not saying they were in swim diapers or anything (my husband says I have a flair for the dramatic) but I will say that I am 5'2" and I towered over all of my swim mates. I could have swiped lunch money from any one of them without batting a fin.
Even though it was borderline humiliating -- and surprisingly costly -- I showed up for class every Sunday without fail. And then I woke up early, drove to the gym, and practiced swimming before work. And then when I completely freaked out in open water during a practice swim with Team in Training (because I did NOT put in the work attending all the weekly pool sessions), my amazing husband drove me to and from Aquatic Park after work so I could get in the water and feel more comfortable. He cheered me on from the sidelines as I swam with the seals! It's a good memory.
...then I showed up to Pacific Grove with my awesome and amazing support crew (and my completely real leather handbag) and found out the triathlon gods wanted to move me a bit more outside my comfort zone. More like shove the crap out of me, actually. The day before the race there were shark attacks in the same waters I was about to swim in. I tried not to let it get in my head but it was hard. The funny thing is the real danger in the water that morning was all the algae that wrapped around you as you swam. Crazy!
But what I got out of that trip outside the zone was several things:
Have you ever been in the water when sharks were near?
How old were you when you learned to swim?
Daily blogger. Sober runner. Mental sh*t stirrer. Pro gender equality in tech. Family first.