Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Summer Fun

It's been a long time since I've written in the blog, and even longer since I wore a race number. But, it's summer!!! And with the long days and great weather comes opportunities to race.

About a week ago, I ran the Missoula half-marathon with my friend, Deb, and and new friend, Lanelle. We had a great time on a beautiful day. It was great to be out there with lots of other runners and just enjoying the run. We ran a pretty mellow pace, but it was great to finish with gas in the tank and feeling like I could keep going.

So, half-marathons are a great distance. Enough to be challenging and pretty hard. But, the training doesn't take too long.

Marathons --- now that's another story. It's getting to the time when we need to get serious about the long runs. When it comes to the 15 to 18 mile runs, it really starts to get hard.

But, it's summer.... Time for some (serious) training fun. That's what we're all about.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Break in California

Spring break in California. A chance to reconnect with old friends and do some favorite runs along the beach and trails in San Clemente.

We are lucky with the weather. We arrive to perfect 70 degrees and sunshine, ocean breezes and all the flowers in full bloom. Even though it's been five years since we moved to Montana, it feels like we never left. I always forget how hilly the runs are around San Clemente -- but my legs soon remember.

We easily slip into the routine of morning runs and afternoon tennis. Of course, it's great because we're on vacation and we can avoid the crowds and the rush hour traffic.

It's a great way to get back into regular running. There are no excuses --- perfect temperature, lots of time (we're on vacation!), and a willing running buddy. My friend, Kris, is the world's most consistent runner. 36 years of daily runs, multiple marathons and half-marathons. The original iron-woman. We were training partners for my first marathon. She's been my source of advice for training, hydrating, stretching, and all other running questions.

I end the week feeling like I've been to running / tennis boot camp (24 miles on the rolling streets and trails) and multiple hours of tennis.

Time to head home --- but what a rejuvenating week!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Season re-cap

My racing "season" is over, for the most part. I have two more 5K's penciled on my calendar (Miami Corporate run and a Memorial Day 5K), but that's basically it. It's just too darned hot to race down here in the summer time!

In a word, my season was awesome! Between October and March, I ran five half-marathons, two 10K's, and two 5 K's. I ran almost every race faster than the year before, setting personal records in every distance and winning two first place age group awards (10K's). That's 5 finisher medals, 1 age group medal, 1 age group trophy and 9 t-shirts! Sweet.

I believe the primary success factor was maintaining a higher mileage base during the off season. My running group kept at a 12 mile long run base all summer. They were very SLOW and sweaty miles during mid-summer, but we kept 'em going. Ramping up in Fall's cooler weather was a snap in comparison to previous years when our long run distance dropped to 6-9 miles.

So the plan this year is - do the same thing! Keep up the mileage, keep cross training, stay strong, stay healthy (hopefully) and have fun. It won't be long before I start ramping up again for the Salmon Marathon in September!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Beach party!

I have to admit, the 131 Miami half marathon does have its appeal.

The weather yesterday was absolutely perfect - mid-50's temperatures, light breeze, clear skies - beautiful! I was a little unsure of the parking situation, so arrived near the South Beach start area around 4:40 am to find plenty of spaces available at one of the recommended parking garages. The late night partiers were weaving their way back to the same garage to drive home and crash for the morning. A couple of short-skirted, but pleasant, girls asked me about the event, and marveled at the distance (13 miles!!!?). It's a juxtaposition that never ceases to amuse me: bleary-eyed, scantily-clad party-goers crossing paths with bleary-eyed, scantily-clad runners in the pre-dawn hours.

The race had a nice-size field of around 2000 runners. The race took us up Miami beach and over a causeway and back in a loop to the start. The organizers really did try to have entertainment on the course. One of the nice things about running along the causeway is that you could hear the entertainment (drum line, DJ or band) from both sides. There wasn't a lot of crowd support, but the onlookers that were there were vocal and enthusiastic. All of the runners were very friendly, and everyone really seemed to be having a great time. There are several fairly stiff bridges on the course, but the view from the highest bridge was spectacular - you could see miles of bay and the Port, and skylines of both Miami and Miami Beach. And did I say that the weather was perfect?

I really didn't care about my time, I was just running for fun! Is it just me, or does 13 miles just not seem as far as it used to? The miles passed quickly. The last mile was on a winding bike path by the beach and almost before I knew it, the race was over. I finished in 2:05, a VERY respectable time for me considering all of the bridges, and totally blowing away last year's time of 2:16!

The best part of the race, IMO, is the finish line party right on the beach. There were the usual post-race bagels, fruit, cookies, muffins, etc. But there was also a beer tent - Sam Adams, some GOOD stuff! And arroz con pollo (chicken and rice), and all sorts of vendor samples, salsa music and beach cabanas. I have never seen a race with beach cabanas and lounge chairs at the finish. It was very cool! Unfortunately, duty called and I had to scoot off to make it to church on time. But for those who had time to hang around, it was shaping up to be quite a party!

So, will I do it next year? Maybe .... I have a lot planned already and it will depend on how I feel. Just two suggestions for the organizers - a Broward County packet pick up option and negotiated parking rates! I paid $18 for less than 4 hours in a City parking garage, ouch!

But, it was fun .....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Last Half

Well, the last for this season anyway!

Coming up this Sunday is the 131 Miami, part of a half-marathon-only series brought to you by the same folks who produce the Miami Marathon. The first 131 race was run in Ft. Lauderdale in November 2008 (which I did) and the second was the 131 Miami in March 2009 (which I ran). The series has since expanded to a number of cities all over the country (Atlanta, LA, Chicago, etc).

There are a couple of things I'm not crazy about with this race. The course spends a lot of time on the Julia Tuttle causeway which not only has fairly sizeable bridges on either end (which you have to run twice each!), but you are also sucking exhaust fumes from the causeway traffic which is still running alongside you. Also, the packet pick up is very inconvenient - either go WAY down to South Miami to a FootWorks store, or to Miami Beach the day before. If there was a big expo, it would be worth the trip, but driving an hour for a 5 minute pickup isn't very palatable. Fortunately, a friend already had to make the trip herself and picked up mine for me, what a gal! Also, March can be very warm (last year was pushing 80), but this year is promising to be quite cool, maybe even in the 40's! Brrr!

So I'll run the race one more time, but the jury is out for next year unless they really blow me away with the revised race course and amenities .....

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ren-fest and Running

Ahh, February. Sunny, warm and beautiful. Just another South Florida winter weekend!

The Florida Renaissance Festival is currently in full swing at Quiet Waters Park. It's an absolute must-do in my book, so the boys and I headed up there Saturday for a day of Celtic music, sword fighting, and renaissance fare. Yes, I am one of those dress-up geeks. Sean and Nathan elected not to go "in garb" this year, but at least they didn't pretend not to know me. Jeff was out of town, attending a homeowners association meeting for our cabin in Gatlinburg, so it was just the 3 of us.

Running around all day in the heat in heavy garb and eating street food probably isn't the best taper strategy, but it IS fun.

After a lovely day in the 16th century, I was rudely awakened by my alarm Sunday at 3 am for the Ft Lauderdale A1A marathon / half. It's a scenic run, starting downtown Ft. Lauderdale, to the beach, through a park, and finishing up and down A1A. The weather promised to be cool, clear and calm - perfect!

Ever have one of those days where you're just not feelin' it? I dragged myself slowly and a bit reluctantly through my pre-race routine and headed downtown. The A1A a nice middle-size race, with a field of around 5000. Enough to be exciting, but not overwhelming. As we assembled in the corrals, I booted up my new Garmin 305 GPS watch and figured this would be a good test run for the device. I wasn't expecting too much from myself, though; feeling sluggish and a little acid stomach-y from yesterday's faire fare.

The field started off slowly, and I did too, figuring I'd just take the race as it came. But as the race went on, I started feeling better. As the sun came up, and we hit the beach with its cheering crowds and rock bands, I perked up and started hitting my stride. How great is this - running along the beach, seeing the sunshine and beautiful ocean, everyone happy and smiling around me. It's a "great to be alive" moment. There's nothing like going out for a long run to pep you right up! Since I ran most of the race not paying attention to any possible finishing time (not caring really), I was surprised and pleased to finish at 2:04, quite a respectable time for me!

Maybe tapering in the 16th century isn't so bad after all.

My new toy performed beautifully (except for pairing up properly with the heart rate monitor, I should have done that before I left home, too many interfering signals!). It was nice to be able to check my pace and the distance as I went along. The REALLY cool thing was hooking it up to my computer afterward and downloading all of the data. I can see the course on the map, look at cool graphs, ooohhh, ahhhh. I'm such a geek.

Another weekend of fun in the South Florida winter sun ....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

All's quiet

I haven't blogged for a while, but I'm still running!

I ran a 5K on Feb 6, a Rotary 5K event for which Motorola was one of the sponsors and our Wellness center staff did the warm up. A small-ish group (about 10-12 people) from work participated in the event. I ran a so-so 27 minutes, legs still tired from the previous week's half-marathon. Still, it was definitely fun, especially when my Wellness friends were there cheering us on at the finish! I just love that.

It's that time of year when you can literally run races every weekend, Saturday AND Sunday if you want. Between the three counties, there's always something happening, usually multiple happenings. My running group friends participated in another event last weekend - a 5K run followed by a 100K bike ride for a charity event benefitting a local pediatric hospital. I contemplated running the 5K, but felt I needed a week off from hard racing. I'm glad, because it turned out to be a VERY chilly morning - upper 30's to low 40's. (I'm such a wimp) THEY totally rocked it out. I did a couple of medium-long runs on my own (10 miler on Saturday and 7.5 miler on Sunday) instead. Running from my house is warmer, no standing around for events to begin!

One more thing to mention - I got a new toy: a Garmin 305 GPS unit! I'm still figuring it out, but it looks to be one cool gizmo. (Justification: All of my friends had one ....) It will come in very handy when I start ramping up my long runs in the spring -- no more trying to calculate mileage in my head. After 18 miles or so, my calculating ability goes right out the window - I can't even add 2 and 2. Something about all of the glucose in my brain draining down to fuel my legs .... I get really stupid. Fortunately, we have technology!

Next up: Ft. Lauderdale A1A half marathon this Sunday .... 6 am sharp!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Nature Trail

Our Saturday run - Bigfork Nature Trail. Two runners, 3 dogs. That's just about the right ratio. Perfect snow cover, just enough for the Yaktraks to dig into. Crazy dogs taking bites of snow as they run, and rolling on their backs to make snow angels. Something about snow brings out the puppy in all dogs.

The falling snow outlines the trees and shrubs. It's a comfortable 32 degrees. (Compared to running at 15 degrees with wind, 32 feels just fine.) We see a bald eagle, ducks swimming on the river, and our friends with their dogs. A Nature Trail run requires stopping for chats with fellow dog-owners. Some days, the chats add an extra five or ten minutes to the run, but that's part of the fun.

We've passed Ground Hog Day, but it's clear that we've got at least 6 more weeks of winter. Running in the snow. Running for fun.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Just another day at the beach!

Ah, South Florida in January. Gotta love it!

My Sunday started rather early (2:30 am!) - I met my friends at 3:50 am to carpool down to the race start. We made it downtown in ample time, early enough to see late-night partiers stagger back to their cars as we pulled into the dim parking garage. We had plenty of time to make necessary potty stops and chat before dispersing to our designated corrals for the race start.

This year's Miami marathon was the biggest ever, with over 18000 registered participants. The weather was rather hot and sticky at the 6:15 am start, but a cold front blew in during the race bringing cooler breezes and a sprinkle or two. It meant that it wasn't a typically-sunny winter day, but the cooler temperatures were much appreciated.

We started in the dark, but the sky began to brighten in the east as we ran over the McArthur causeway toward Miami Beach. As always, the brightly-lit cruise ships fascinated me as we ran by the Port. All of those people onboard, sleepily packing up to disembark, likely not even noticing the thousands of runners streaming by. It was daylight by the time we hit South Beach, certainly light enough to see the two, ah, gentlemen on the sidelines cheering us on while dressed in ladies lingerie. I probably wouldn't have minded, but I think one of them looked better in a bikini than I do.

In such a large race, I was always surrounded by crowds of runners. There was always something to see - entertainment, onlookers, support crew, the scenery, or just other runners. I passed several Multiple-Sclerosis team runners pushing wheelchairs carrying MS patients. Both runners and riders had big smiles on their faces as we cheered them on with "great job"! It made me humbly grateful once again for the blessings of robust good health and the ability to move under my own power.

Almost before I realized, we were on the Venetian causeway and heading back toward downtown Miami. An enormous cheering section was assembled just as we re-entered downtown, which always gives me a surge of adrenaline and a little more kick to my stride. A couple of miles farther and the full marathoners split off, we rounded the bend and crossed the finish line. I posted a 2:09, not a great time for me, but the best I've managed at this particular event.

I shuffled through the crowded finisher chute, accepted my medal graciously, and picked up a few food items, then headed over the Motorola tent to say hello. A few finishers were there, and after chatting a few minutes, I headed back to the car to change and re-group. Not too long after, we were our way out to IHOP for some serious refueling.

Ahh, nothing better than a long run followed by pancakes! Life is good.
(thanks to Bobo for the photo!)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Next up - Miami!

This Sunday morning I will spend a little quality time on Miami Beach with about 18000 of my closest friends. The Miami marathon is the "big" event around these parts - just about everyone I know runs it.

It's become a destination marathon for many with participants from all over the place. And why not? It starts in downtown Miami, crosses the causeway to Miami Beach (passing a beautiful view of cruise ships at port), along South Beach hot spots, over another causeway (ocean views, Miami skyline) back to downtown - and that's just for the half! The full marathon continues south to Coconut Grove, through historic Miami (architecture and gorgeous landscape) and back. It's scenic, flat, and the weather is usually quite lovely. No wonder it's grown so in popularity since it's inception in 2003.

Most of my friends are running the half (as am I) with a few doing the full. Usually I go solo, but this year am planning to carpool down and hang out with the gang afterward for brunch. Yes, I'm am playing hooky from church this week ... they can get along without me!

Palm trees, sunshine, ocean breezes, a scenic run with great friends followed by pancakes -- it just doesn't get any better than that!

Monday, January 18, 2010

I'm committed now!

Or maybe - I should be committed. I took the plunge this morning and registered for the 2011 Goofy "race and a half" challenge. 39.3 miles in two days.

Am I nuts? Or just -- Goofy?

Happy running!

Another weekend - another 10K

What a difference a week makes, indeed! Last Saturday, I ran a 10K in weather that was 40-something and rainy. For this Saturday's 10K it was mid-70's and sunny. And I thought Indiana weather was changeable. It was almost ... dare I say ... too warm? Nope, not going to say that!! I'll take hot over freezing ANY day!

I've run the Miramar 10K several times before. It's a small-ish neighborhood race, just 15 minutes west of our home. It was the first 10K I ever ran, back in 2001. I had been running for just a few months and it was my longest race to date. I remember the effort it demanded, and how delighted I was to NOT be last (there was one person behind me!). I placed second in my age group because, well, there were only two IN my age group. I finished in around 1:12, thrilled to make a 12 min per mile pace, and only dreaming of some day achieving a blazing speed of, maybe, 10 minute miles. Breaking one hour in a 10K was my ultimate goal. Good times.

Fast forward to 2010. After many more years of running and thousands of miles under my belt, er, feet, I am now reasonably confident that I won't finish last. The race has grown somewhat, but it still is relatively small. I had a great run, pushed at the end, and finished with a new 10K PR at 55:26! And it was good enough for first in my age group! (and yes, there was more than one in my age group) :-)

Two weeks, two 10Ks, two first place age group finishes. Hmm, I could get used to this! Call me shallow, but I really do like getting those shiny medals and trophies. I just hit a new age group in September, and I'm likin' it! You don't have to get faster necessarily, you just have to out-last everyone else .....

Our peak running season continues. Miami is in two weeks, a 5 K right after that, then another half in mid-February.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

From Butterflies to Snow Geese

What a difference a week makes. Last week I ran on the trails in Maui, surrounded by hundreds of butterflies. This week it's back to the roads in Northwest Montana, trying to find ice-free running. We're running along Lower Valley Road --- and my friend, Deb says, "Look up. Snow geese." A group of sleek white bodies glide through the winter sky. This is warm country for them. I guess it's all relative.

Happy (ice-free) running!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Should I ... or not?

Peer pressure. That's what it is.

Several of my running friends haven't even recovered from the brutal Disney conditions (freezing temps, gusty winds, and sleet - in Florida!!), but they are already talking about registering for the Jan 2011 Goofy. Dear hubby Jeff absolutely thinks I should go for it - he wants those medals! (My usual reply: then YOU run it! - spoken lovingly, of course)

But ... after having trained similarly to my friends this year, just not quite as long, I think I COULD do it, if I wanted to. The question is, how bad do I want to? Running the Salmon marathon in September would set me up nicely to continue Goofy training for January. Yet - I bailed out of my Sunday 14 miler half way because it was 45 degrees and gusty-windy COLD. Wimp. Should I commit to 39.3 miles?

I'll let you know!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

For die-hards only ....

I decided to run a 10K this morning. Although many don't, I happen to like the 10K race distance. It makes a nice tempo run and I think it's great speed training for half marathons. It also is a decent substitute for my regular Saturday morning run - a 5K just doesn't seem long enough. The proceeds for this particular 5K/10K race was going to FLIPANY, an organization that promotes good nutrition and exercise for youth. The race was going to be held along Hollywood beach, our normal Sunday long-run stomping ground. All good reasons to do the run, right? There was just one little thing -- the weather was forecast to be COLD and rainy.

As I arrived at the North beach park around 6 am, it was 52 degrees and drizzling rain. Since I hadn't pre-registered, I had every opportunity to turn the car around, drive back home, and go back to bed like any sane person. But, I thought of my friends at Disney at that very moment, facing 32 degrees and sleet, and decided I couldn't be a wimp. So, I queued up with a few other shivering but undaunted runners to register and wait for the race start.

I huddled in my car until shortly before the 5K start, then sought refuge in the park restroom until the 10K start, 15 minutes later. You know it's a small race, when there is no line for the restroom facilities!! Around 55 crazy, er, dedicated runners ducked outside for the 10K start (warming up was fruitless) and were off! For the first time ever, I didn't bother to start my watch. I didn't know what my time was, and frankly, I didn't care. I figured I'd start when they said go, and keep running until they said I could stop. Time wasn't important - survival was.

Once I got going, it wasn't so bad. I got warmed up after about a mile and found my stride. The rain stayed relatively light, although there was a wicked north headwind on part of the course. I was running on familiar ground and knew every turn and dip. I had absolutely no idea of pace, I just kept running. I just knew if I ran faster, I'd get done sooner ..... The really dedicated folks were the volunteers that manned the course and the water stops who helped us and cheered us on. At least we could run to keep warm. I tried to make a point to thank them; we wouldn't have races without those volunteers!

Finally, the finish line was in view and I kicked it on in. I finished in 55:51, less than 10 seconds off of my PR and good enough for first in my age group! (And yes, there was more than one person in my age group!!) The post-race area had hot coffee and at that moment, getting my hands wrapped around a steaming hot beverage was the best thing ever. The race officials didn't make us wait around for a long drawn-out awards affair either, they started handing out the medals pretty much as people came in. Less than 15 minutes after I finished, I had my age group medal in hand and was headed for the car. By that time it was 44 degrees, still raining, and the temperature still dropping. Then I went home to a long hot shower and THAT was the best thing ever!

Ah yes, another day, another running adventure ..... but it was fun! :-)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Role reversal!

Now that's a switch -- it's January, Ruth is running in heat/humidity and it is 38 degrees here! I elected NOT to run this morning, although it is my usual running day. I am fighting a cold (picked up during my holiday travel no doubt) and chose to sleep in a little rather than brave our unusually cold temperatures. Running in freezing weather with a cold = not fun, in my book.

I'm watching the weekend weather forecast for my Disney-running friends, and it's looking to be downright frigid for the races. Stay warm, my friends!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Running in Maui

Morning run -- on the beach in Kapalua Bay, Maui. Hard to believe that I was running on ice less than 48 hrs ago.

Beautiful sunrise, whales breaching in the bay, hibiscus blooming and tropical breezes. I'm not used to running in 70 degrees with 80% humidity --- but I'm adjusting fast!

There's over 100 miles of hiking and running trails in this area. I could stay here quite a while.....

Happy running.

You know it's cold when ...

iguanas start dropping out of trees.

Our unusually-cold snap continues here in South Florida. We're accustomed to the cold fronts that blow in and out in a couple of days, quickly bouncing back to the seasonal average highs in the upper 70's. We're experiencing days of lows in the 40's (even 30's!) and highs in the 50's. While certainly nicer than the deep freeze in most of the rest of the country, it's pretty doggone chilly for us.

There is one bright spot though - it may decrease the local iguana population. The large iguanas are not native to our area, they were brought here from Central America (usually as pets) and they have greatly multiplied and prospered, to the point of becoming pests in many places. When the temps drop into the 40's, iguanas become immobilized, to the point of losing their grip and falling off their perches, out of trees, etc. Perhaps we need a new weather service alert type?[Freeze watch! Fire watch! Falling iguana Warning!] If the temps stay low enough, long enough, they can actually die. Considering it would cost millions of dollars to pay hunters to rid cities of the nuisance, maybe that's not so bad ... I like the little buggars, but don't like them pooping everywhere and eating my decorative foliage.

Oh yeah this is a running blog. No running today -- cross training! Weights and Pilates.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Why run a marathon?

I was firmly convinced I would never do another full marathon. My first experience was, let's just say, something less than positive.

It's actually Ruth's fault that I'm a runner at all. I arrived late to the party, not having started running until I was over 40. After making a few forays into running short distances, she suggested we train and run a half marathon together. In a slightly irrational moment, I agreed, and trained, and some months later we did run a half marathon together in San Diego. I was totally pumped after that and continued to train and ran several more half marathons. So, a full marathon was the next logical step, right? I set my sights on the Jan 2004 Miami marathon.

I trained on my own - and found that I am simply not interesting enough to entertain myself for 20+ mile training runs. I was very slow then, running 12-13 min miles, and those long runs were tortuous. They took forever and and I would struggle mightily for the last few miles and finish completely exhausted. Crosstraining was greatly reduced in my need to recover from the long runs. In retrospect I can see that I was simply not ready, I didn't have sufficient running base established. But, in my single-minded way, I pushed on and ran that Miami marathon - alone. I struggled through those last few miles, knees hurting, walking half of the time, just trying to finish. When I finally crossed that finish line after five and a half hours, I tried to feel that race exhiliration, but all I felt was relief that I could finally stop. I was glad that I finished, but had NO desire whatsoever to do it again.

I ran a few more shorter races after that, but the joy in running had somehow slipped away. Then came several devastating hurricane seasons, new job responsibilities with lots of travel, and busy life in general. I stopped running altogether, got out of the workout habit, ate way too much, and of course, the pounds crept on. I woke up in January of 2007 realizing that I was completely out of shape and weighed more than I did when I was 9 months pregnant! So I made the decision to get in shape and lose weight, this time for good. I started walking, then walk/jogging, and finally running. I went to the gym faithfully and watched my diet, and by the end of 2007 had lost 40 pounds and was in training for another half marathon in Ft. Lauderdale. I lucked into a wonderful small, informal running group and continued training and racing in earnest. And somewhere in there, I rediscovered the joy in running. I was content.

It's now two years and more than a half dozen half marathons later. I have friends training for marathons all around me. Although vocal in my intent never to run a FULL marathon again, I began to privately wonder - could I do it? As my friends have ramped up their long run mileage in preparation for the Disney weekend, I ramped mine up too, just to see how it felt. 16 miles, 18 miles, then 20 miles. Suprisingly, I felt - pretty darned good. Yes, the long runs are tiring, yes my legs were a little sore, but I wasn't exhausted. I'm just stronger now. So, maybe, just maybe, this full marathon thing isn't as much of stretch anymore.

So here we are, training and blogging. This year I want to stay strong, continue pushing my limits, and keep it fun. And fitting into those skinny jeans doesn't suck either ....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

I thought Florida was warm!

I've never posted in a blog before. I have to admit, this is a very cool idea, and an awesome way to stay updated on our mutual running progress! Even if she IS my big sister, I have to give Ruth credit for the idea! :-)

I kept a running log in 2009. I actually kept track of all my running mileage in a nice little Excel spreadsheet, along with my race times. A little OCD, you might think? Pshaw, I can stop any time I want to. I just don't want to .... In any case, I logged a grand total of 1257 miles in 2009. Wow. That's going to be challenging to beat this year! But, then, I do love a challenge ....

I've been trying to make up for lost mileage since returning from Indiana on Thursday. I had an easy (warm) 5 mile run on Friday morning, a chilly 5 miler on Saturday morning, and a downright cold 12 mile long run by Hollywood beach early this morning. 48 degrees just ain't normal for South Florida! The sunrise over the ocean was very beautiful though, and makes the half hour ride to the beach totally worthwhile every Sunday morning.

My running buddies are all on different race schedules. Some are training for Miami at the end of January, and several of our group is doing the Goofy next weekend. That is the Disney half marathon on Saturday followed by the Disney full marathon on Sunday. That's a marathon and a half in two days -- which sounds pretty Goofy to me! My next race is a 10K in a couple of weeks, followed by the Miami half marathon on Jan 31. Our race season here is in full swing!

Happy running ....

Sunday Run (or Slog)

Wow....had the Sunday run with the GGRR (Glacier Grizzly Road Runners) running group. We had our usual assortment of humans and canine companions. (Humans - 6; Dogs - 4).

Distance: 4 miles Time: 58 min (!)
Conditions: Temp around 36 degrees. Melting snow covered with icy slush.

Slowest and shortest run of the year. I didn't know whether I was running, or ice skating, or just slogging along....

But, the usual fun recounting our Christmas adventures, discussing the latest books (Guilty pleasures --- reading the "Twilight" series), and planning upcoming runs.

Good news: tomorrow my husband and I leave for a week in Hawaii. A week of running in shorts! No ice!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Running for fun 2010

My sister, MB, and I, had a great run this past week. Normally, our runs are separated by thousands of miles ---- she lives in Florida and I live in Montana. But, this run took place in Indiana, our birthplace, and the spot where our family converges for the holidays.

Like most runners, we started talking about races we've done, races we'd like to do, and plans for the upcoming year. And soon the conversation turned to marathon training. At one point, MB asked, "Are you going to do the Salmon marathon this year? If you are, I might do it, too."

So, we immediately start talking logistics --- training plans, travel, how to cope with Florida heat, hill training........ The birth of an idea.

And, what better way to keep us going than to do a mutual blog about our training this year. The marathon isn't until September, and we've got lots of miles to cover between now and then. So, without consulting MB, I've created this blog and thought I'd send it out to see what she'd like to contribute.

Mostly though, we're running for fun (and also the goal of fitting into our skinny jeans....)