Monday, March 30, 2009

Nike Shirt on Sale :)

OK, I'm gonna pretend to be Chic Runner here...

A lot of you commented that you liked my shirt from the Mermaid Run. Well I just looked and it's now on sale at - woohoo! It's from the 2008 Nike Women's Marathon... I like it a lot. Maybe I'll pick one up in a different color!

Originally priced at $40, now on sale for $27.99. I have the Berry color, also comes in Powder Blue and White. Order yours here.

There's actually a ton on sale on the Nike site so you should check it out.

Happy Shopping!

Pictures from Mermaid 10K

Happy Monday!

Here are the official race pics from the Mermaid 10K:

My typical race pose (waving to the photographer)

Here I am doing my race pose again but instead I look like I'm sashaying or some other dancey dorky thing.

Next up... race report from the Big Sur Mud Run where the Dirty Divas definitely got down and dirty on Saturday. :)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Race Report: Mermaid 10K Run

Can you believe it's been five months since my last race? Yep, I've been taking my sweet ole time in building up my running base again but I finally made my 2009 race debut at the Mermaid Run on Sunday. They offered a 5K, a 10K, and a half marathon so I picked the 10K.

It was fun getting back into the race spirit again with things like picking up my goody bag and race bib, getting my race outfit ready, lining up at the start with other anxious runners, seeing the finish line and racing toward it... then again, you also have to deal with waking up early, becoming acquainted with the dreaded port-o-potty, getting annoyed when my Garmin splits don't match the course markings, etc. Luckily, the good outweighs the bad because I really do love running races!

I had three goals:
1. Finish with a sub-10:00 pace (1:01:53, 9:59 pace)
2. Finish under an hour (59:59, 9:40 pace)
3. Secure a new PR (59:17, 9:33 pace or better)

(I love how my race goals are kind of arbitrary because they're just random numbers after all.)

Officially, I only met goal 1. Unofficially, I may have met all three but since it's unofficial, it doesn't really count in my book. But I'll get to that later.

The race was held at Shoreline park and this was my third time running a 10K there. It's nice and flat so it's a good location.

Waking up was rough as I had been out with my friends the night before to celebrate my friend's birthday. I was planning to just stop in and give her my birthday present, but I was having so much fun that I ended dancing with them way past my curfew. I may have also ended the night with a blinking tiara on my head (that did not come from my circle of friends) but whatever. I ended up setting three alarms that night - thank goodness because I may have slept through it!

As of the night before, it was suppose to rain throughout the race. Not my favorite weather condition, but I figured I could deal with it for the hour or so it would take for me to finish. Well, luckily there was no rain that morning... but it was crraaaaazzzzyyyyy windy!

The race started out fine and we had great weather - sunny but chilly. But then as we got close to the water - WIND!!! I was excited to see that my first Garmin split matched the mile 1 course marking - that would be the only time that would happen.

The wind was crazy and was present through most of the race - even though it was an out and back. A couple of times, I was worried my hat would fly off or my ear buds would come out. On the way back, there were some brief moments where the wind was in our favor and I let it push me along, but not much.

I ran strong and really pushed myself. I only stopped once for a quick water/walk break which is pretty good because lately I've been pretty generous with myself during my runs when it came to walk breaks. Anytime I felt I was slowing down, I would turn on the "mental coach" and push myself to keep up the pace (which I kept checking to make sure I was under 10:00 min/mi).

I never saw any mile markers after mile 2 but I saw the mile 11 and 12 markers for the half. Since we had the same finish, I knew the course was going to be longer than a 10K (because I belong to the church of Garmin and it only speaks the truth) which meant it would be even more tough to meet my goals.

Finally, I was coming to the final stretch - I turned a corner and far out in the distance (maybe 1/3 mile away) was the finish line. You know what else I found around the corner? The strongest winds of them all - it was like a wall of resistance blocking me from the finish! It sucked... I kept trying to push through it but based on my splits, I didn't do as well as I wished. I finished with one hour on the clock...

Official Results
Chip Time: 1:00:23
Avg pace: 9:43 min/mi
Overall rank: 86/327
Age group rank: 18/72

And here's what the Garmin reported:

6.39 mi
Avg pace: 9:27 min/mi
Avg hr: 178bpm

1: 9:30
2: 9:34
3: 9:34
4: 9:40 (water/walk break)
5: 9:18
6: 9:10
0.39: 3:39 (9:23 pace)

I was kind of bummed because I really wanted to finish in under an hour which I've only done once. But then when I took a closer look at my times (the Garmin times, that is) - I did really well! To run over 6 miles at a 9:27 pace, which includes my walk/water break, is pretty awesome and beats my 10K PR pace (unofficially).

Afterward, I got in line for the free pancake breakfast - yum yum. I was also able to cheer on Tara and Julianne as they finished the half marathon - great job girls! They had a much harder course than the 10K... besides the extra distance, they had to deal with running in mud and the rain that started after I finished. I also got to catch up with an old TNT buddy.

By the way, to give you an idea of how windy it was... the scaffolding at the finish line that has the clock and the finish banner literally was blown to the ground! It was right around the 1:50 mark. Craziness. I don't think anyone was hurt, thank goodness.

Here are some pics of our race goodies...

Race shirt:

Cute text on the front:

They actually gave out womens cut shirts which were cute but a little too snug for me so I opted for the unisex style so that I could work out in it. The fitted cut was cute but I personally feel a little weird wearing fitted T's with print across my chest, especially that go top to bottom. Some words are more prominent than others, some are kinda hidden... do you see where I'm going with this?

Like Nike, we got cute pendants for our medals:

Front of our "medal":

Back of "medal":

I think this is cuter (and a little bigger) than the charm we got last year.

Next up? Big Sur Mud Run on Saturday and OMG, it's going to be so crazy! It's a five mile run with mud pits, obstacles, drill instructors, push-ups and just general craziness. I am running with a really fun team. My one concern is my race pace is their easy pace so I have a feeling that this race will be *ROUGH* for me and I'm praying I don't get left in one of the mud pits. Also, I don't know how fast I can run if I'm laughing my *ss off :)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Itchy McItcherson

Guess what today is? REST DAY! And so far it's been going very well...

But first, I did my long bike ride yesterday after work on the nearby trail - 40 miles, DONE!

Avg pace: 14.3mph
Avg hr: 141bpm

The ride was OK. I definitely am getting hints of what to expect for my upcoming 65 mile bike ride. Besides the expected discomfort you-know-where, I started feeling more soreness/achiness in my arms and my back so I played around with different hand positions during my ride. I also noticed that I might be developing some tiny callouses on the inside of my thumbs - nothing major though. (I wear gloves so it's not that bad.)

The ride was kind of boring because I had biked there before and I had to bike some portions multiple times to get to 40 miles as the trail itself is about 15 miles long. I was pretty tired by the halfway point so I wasn't thrilled that I faced a lot of headwind on the way back - that definitely added some challenge to the ride. At least there weren't any hills as well.

The really annoying part was that I got a bunch of bug bites during the ride! There were definitely a lot of bugs swarming around me for parts of the ride and I think a butterfly smacked me right in the face as well. But I thought they were just a nuisance and that was all. But on my way home, I realized that I had a bunch of itchy spots - argh... Also, I now have a slight tan line on my thighs from my bike shorts even though I wore lots of sunblock before I left. I guess I have to reapply during the ride? Today I got a new sunblock with insect repellent so I'll make sure to wear that if I'm out there again... it doesn't appear to be sweatproof as well although I don't think I sweat as much biking compared to running so I should be OK.

Here's a pic I took on my iPhone of my ride (while stopped of course). I don't think the pic actually does the scenery justice, but I still kinda like it.

So today is starting out to be a nice day. If you follow my other blog, you know that I am a Twilight FREAK. But I'm too old and lazy to attend any of the midnight release parties, so I went to Target first thing this morning to get the DVD. I don't know what I was worried about - there was no chaos, they had tons everywhere, no line, etc. I saw a twitpic last night of someone that was waiting in line at Walmart with about 100 other people to get their copy. NONSENSE, I tell ya!

Since I was up early, I did something that I love but hardly get to do - get McDonald's breakfast:

OK, the eggs look kinda scary but I don't care - I love me some Mickey D breakfast platters :) I barely ate half of this so I'll probably be picking at this for the rest of the day.

Also on the agenda for today is packet pick-up for my Mermaid 10K tomorrow. I could get my bib tomorrow but the packet pick-up is being held at my beloved Sports Basement with a 20% off discount for all runners, so I want to pick up some new stuff while I'm there. I definitely need some new bike jerseys so hopefully I find some cute ones today.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Photo Friday

No running talk today... just pics.

Did anyone else's company participate in Daffodil Days for the American Cancer Sociey? Our daffodils came in this week... I never owned any before so I didn't know what to expect. I basically was given a bunch of stalks and I was totally confused. I was expecting to get fully bloomed flowers! But no biggie, it was kind of fun seeing them develop.




At work, I have a little Kermit the Frog that I think I won at Dave and Buster's a long time ago. My co-worker and I have been having fun with it this week by displaying him in different ways every day. I came up with the first two but my co-worker has been surprising me with changing up his pose on my monitor for the last couple of days.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

TIART: Spring Training Tips

This week's theme for Take It and Run Thursday at the Runner's Lounge is Spring Training Tips.

First of all, I was excited to see that the concept of "off months" is actually common and not just something I do. Granted, "off months" for some people might mean cutting back on mileage while for me, it means cutting back on exercise completely, but whatever.

So... I'll be honest - I don't have any tips for spring training other than just do it. I actually could use some good tips.

As I mentioned before, I'm not on any formal training plan but I do consider myself "in training" since I now have a bunch of fun events on my calendar.

Last week, I started being more disciplined with my workouts. So far, I'm doing pretty good this week as well but let me tell you, I am so tired! How do you guys do it??? I wish I could just workout every other day and have plenty of rest days :D

My body is still sore from the strength training class I took two days ago. I went spinning last night followed by some arm weights. Then this morning I went for a 4 mile run and I think my legs were telling me "agh... leave me alone!" And it's not like I'm doing anything strenuous. How am I going to deal with Goofy training later this year?

Oh well, I know my body is just getting used to the active exercise again so I will continue to power through. I'm already thinking about another event after the Cinderella Classic that will help keep me motivated with my workouts.

This morning's run...

4.0 miles
Avg pace: 10:06 min/mi
Avg hr: 163bpm

1: 10:09
2: 10:08
3: 10:23
4: 9:46

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Biking PSA: Always Wear Your Helmet

So some responses to comments on my last post:

- Message received. I will not mess with wild pigs (not that I was planning to) as running with a shotgun is definitely not a viable option for me. (To Cindy - I saw one alongside a running trail near work during a run last week. Totally freaked me out.)
- I don't have any duathlons planned (yet) but I have a 10K this weekend and a 65 mi bike ride (or as I learned this past weekend, "metric century" - planned for early April. I don't really have any kind of formal training plan in place - I'm just attempting to log some running and biking miles whenever I can (ofentimes in a haphazard manner).
- Thanks Kirby for the encouragement! I'm working on the hills... I'll get there! (Someday!)
- Speaking of hills... to TFH, yes, I totally agree about biking up hills - holy crap is it hard! There were some hills were running Audrey could easily beat biking Audrey - no joke.


No green beer for me, yesterday I went running and did some weights. I wanted to run first but it was still kind of sunny and warm for me after work so I decided to take this one hour, full body strength training class first. Then I went for a run on the trail (away from the wild pig spotting location) and oy, I could feel those lunges, squats, and whatnot. I was only able to get three in before the sun started to set.

Avg pace: 10:20 min/mi
Avg hr: 162bpm

1: 10:23
2: 10:24
3: 10:12


OK, onto Sunday's bike ride. We debated whether or not to do it because there was a chance of rain but we decided to go for it anyway. It actually was pretty nice for the first half of the ride. We met at Sports Basement (near Crissy Field) and then headed to the Golden Gate bridge which was surprisingly empty! I think this had to do with it being closed that morning for the Across the Bay 12K plus the fact that the weather probably scared some people off.

We had a good group - two experienced bikers and two novice bikers (guess where I fit in!). It was definitely fun riding with these guys as I do believe in safety in numbers. Anyway, we headed to Sausalito where we had awesome views of the bay and then onto Tiburon where I had not biked yet. (To Roadbunner - no, sadly we did not stop at Sam's but I do love that place. Better for a sunny day, though.)

Everything was going great but during the ride around Tiburon, it started raining. A lot. So now it's not so fun anymore. I could barely see out of my glasses - they needed windshield wipers. Plus I was getting nervous about my iPhone (my baby!) that was not fully covered. Anyway, now we're in Sausalito on this long stretch of a trail headed home. I think we were pretty much single file at this point because we were headed toward a break in the trail where we needed to cross a street. At the end of the trail, they had these little posts at the entrance - I'm assuming to block out vehicles from using the trail. So basically you had three different slots that you could use to enter/exit the trail.

Now the next part happened very quickly. I was at the tail end of our group and I was following the others out the exit. Four of us were exiting the trail and there was an oncoming biker that wanted to enter the trail. He didn't quite make it. Maybe we didn't see him, maybe he didn't see all of us but what I think happened is that the oncoming biker tried to weave around us but instead ended up colliding with one of the posts - the bike got stuck behind the post and I swear it looked like he somehow got unclipped from his bike and literally flipped overhead and fell onto his back. One of his shoes came off in the process.

So we all stopped to help him and amazingly, he was OK! And the bike was OK! I think my friends had to make some adjustments to his bike but he was able to get back on it and continue on his ride. Incredible. And scary because I think that could have easily been any of us. I said a little prayer during the ride afterward.

The one good thing is that it stopped raining at that point so the rest of the ride was a bit more pleasant. But my friend Kirby warned me that the worst part is the uphill part in Sausalito right before you get to the Golden Gate bridge entrance. Any uphill is tough for me, but an uphill after biking 30 miles? Yikes. And yes, it sucked. I don't mind hills because I do like a challenge and it does help get my heart rate up for a better workout but man, it is so hard.

I had to go into my absolutely easiest gear and then work my way up but I feel I must look silly because I'm still pedaling hard but I am barely getting anywhere! It reminds me of the scene in The Goonies when Josh Brolin's character has to go rescue his brother, Mikey, but he only has access to the little girl's bike and he's pedaling like crazy but still going slow - that's how I feel.

But the view heading back to the city after crossing the bridge is absolutely beautiful! And a nice ending to the ride.

Overall, it was a lot of fun! And I definitely feel like I'm getting more comfortable with the bike. I don't stress as much about the stopping and unclipping part as much. I'm still clumsy at times and almost fell off my bike while clipped in and kinda ran into a post, but nothing major.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

So. Flippin. Tired.

First things first - I talked to my old boss about my encounter on the nearby trail close to work and he confirmed that yes, wild pigs are known to hang out in that area. In fact, one time he saw 10-12 of them at once! Even better, apparently they *can* run fast - as fast as humans.


He said they won't bother you but even so, I don't plan to run near that area again.

Anyway, overall this has been a great workout week for me. Now that I have some events coming up, I've been a bit more disciplined with my training.

Here's a recap:




Avg pace: 9:44 min/mi

+ weights

Note: This was a treadmill run and amazingly, it wasn't that bad! I only meant to do 1.5-2 miles as a warm up to weights but I was feeling pretty good that I cranked out 3 instead.


Spin class + weights


Avg pace: 9:52 min/mi
Avg hr: 172bpm

1: 9:48
2: 9:46
3: 9:40
4: 9:39
5: 10:08
6: 9:57
7: 10:06
8: 9:48

I don't want to toot my own horn, but these are awesome splits for me! I'm thrilled anytime I score a sub-10:00 split. Now to be honest, I pause my watch during water/walk breaks. BUT I didn't take my first break until mile 4 so I'm really pleased with the first half of that run. But I did poop out a bit for the second half...


Avg pace: 11.6mph
Avg hr: 135bpm

I'll do a separate post on this bike ride later on because it was quite the adventure. I joined my friend KB and two of her friends for a 3 hour bike ride through the Golden Gate bridge, Sausalito, and Tiburon. I definitely need to do more hill work as I feel bad when people have to wait for me at the top.

Anyway, I am now completely beat. Hope you all had a good week!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Do boars hang out in Silicon Valley?

I had a great run tonight! No, really, I'm not being sarcastic this time. I also had an unexpected encounter but I'll get to that later.


Last week was a bit crazy so I was only able to make it to the gym once for a body conditioning class. It was a good class although I wasn't really digging the teacher's music which included KC and the Sunshine band and The Weather Girls.

As I had suspected in my last post, I woke up Saturday morning with a cold. Nothing major - just achy with the sneezy, runny nose nonsense. I did what I do best which is to lounge around all day long. I took some cold medicine, drank lots of fluids, napped here and there - it was pretty awesome. The next morning I felt a lot better and I was itching to get outside because we had beautiful weather this weekend which I totally wasted on Saturday.

I have a couple of races this month so I knew I needed to get a long run in BUT I also just discovered that I'm registered for the Cinderella Classic - a 65 mile bike ride in less than a month. (They do things the old fashioned way: They snail mailed me an application. I snail mailed them a check. I had to check and see if my check was cashed to find out if I'm in.) I've never biked more than 30 miles and my last bike ride was in January. Oops.

By the way, I learned about the Cinderella Classic from my friend KB. Listen to how cool this sounds:
This unique 100-kilometer (65-mile) bicycle tour for women of all ages winds through Amador, Livermore, Diablo, and San Ramon Valleys. It is mostly flat with a few moderate hills... Charming Princes will be at three rest/food stops along the way, with a cold lunch at the second. Our SAG service patrols the entire route to provide rider assistance if required. A Cinderella Classic ride patch is awarded to every rider.
The nice thing is that this is not a race. I love the idea of being able to snack and have lunch during a ride. Definitely would not be having lunch in the middle of a marathon! I am, however, a little worried about being in a saddle for that long.

Anyway, I decided to do a short run and a long bike ride on Sunday. But I have to mention a random small victory first. That morning, I was reading on someone's blog that the Coach outlets were having a 50% off sale and she showed pics of her super cute loot and the crazy low prices she bought them at. And yes, I was so tempted to make a run for the Gilroy outlet and push out the whole run/bike idea. But logic prevailed! (That and the blogger had also mentioned that her Coach store had a line out the door and I wasn't in the mood to deal with that.)

So onto the run...

Avg pace: 9:59 min/mi
Avg hr: 174bpm

1: 10:31
2: 10:01
3: 9:23

I then took an extended break to watch a marathon of Millionaire Matchmaker. Thank goodness for the time change. I didn't like losing that hour in the morning but I really liked having an extra hour of daylight to squeeze in my bike ride. I headed up to Canada Road again which is very biker friendly. But my goodness, the sunshine was totally misleading because it was freezing and super windy! I swear I thought I was going to get knocked off my bike at times. But I got it done. (And I will need to continue logging longer bike rides every weekend until the event - nothing like training at the last minute!)

Avg pace: 14.2mph
Avg hr: 152bpm


On to Monday... Today totally flew by - I was surprised when it was 5PM because it was still so sunny out. I realized the extended daylight may actually help motivate me to workout. When it's getting dark, I just want to go home and chill but if it's still sunny, it seems silly to just go home.

So I got out of work early and headed to the gym which is right off the Coyote Creek trail. I wanted to do at least three miles but knowing I have a 10K coming up, I really wanted to get a 6 mile run under my belt. When I started running, I initially thought it would be a 3 mile day because I felt really sluggish. The nice thing is that the weather was perfect - high 40's / low 50's maybe. Cold but not too bad as I was still able to run in a sleeveless T and capri tights. Eventually, I found my rhythm (which hasn't happened in awhile) and was confident I could bust out all six miles tonight.

Now here's the weird part... halfway through my run, I swear I saw a boar alongside the trail about 25 ft ahead of me. Does this sound weird? I don't run in the boonies... actually this trail runs along a major highway and is surrounded by tech parks. Granted, there are signs on the trail warning of mountain lions and I know I've seen wild turkey from time to time but I was definitely thrown off by this creature. I stopped, looked at him, he looked at me, and then I decided that it was a perfect time to turn around and head back home. Of course, I kept turning around to see if he followed which of course he didn't and I'm pretty sure I could outrun him if he did. I was still freaked out.

Anyway, I was really pleased with my splits! I think it was the combination of perfect running weather, the fear of a wild boar chase, and the fact that the sun was setting and I'm a scaredy cat that does not like to run in the dark ever.

Avg pace: 9:49 min/mi
Avg hr: 175bpm

1: 10:16
2: 10:06
3: 9:48
4: 9:38
5: 9:48
6: 9:31
0.2: 1:41 (8:29 pace)

I went ahead and tagged on the extra 0.2 miles at the end. So yay, I am officially ready for the Mermaid 10K in two weeks.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Getting dirty with the ladies...

** sorry, this post has been in my drafts folder all week... should've posted earlier, but it's been a weird week at work **

I finally hit 10 miles for the week last week! I know this is very wimpy for most of you hardcore runners out there but trust me, it's an accomplishment for me. It's the first time I've hit double digits in weekly mileage this year and considering I ran three total the week before and four total the week before that, it's a pat on the back for me! :)

I seem to like to procrastinate and get my runs in during the weekend. I started my Friday off right with a 3 miler.

Avg pace: 9:54 min/mi
Avg hr: 177bpm

1: 10:11
2: 9:57
3: 9:33

After work, I did weights, too. I had a two-a-day! (Did anyone else watch that show on MTV?)

Then on Saturday, I told myself that I *had* to step up the mileage so I went for five miles. If I felt good, I would make it six. Well, I didn't feel good - those five miles were tough! So sad how quickly I lose my fitness level considering I was a half marathon loving machine not too long ago...

Avg pace: 10:24 min/mi
Avg hr: 176bpm

1: 10:15
2: 10:10
3: 10:17
4: 10:53
5: 10:28

On Sunday, I was feeling pooped but I really liked the idea of hitting ten miles for the week so I did a quick two in the rain that morning.

2.0 mi
Avg pace: 10:10 min/mi
Avg hr: 162bpm

1: 10:36
2: 9:43

In other exciting news, I have two new race announcements for this month. I have (or will soon) signed up for the following two races:

March 22nd: Mermaid Run

I did a Mermaid event last fall with my first duathlon and loved it! An old TNT buddy told me about it so I decided to sign up for the 10K.

And now for the CRAZEEEEE one...

March 28: Big Sur Mud Run

Yes, it's *exactly* what you think. I think it will be a riot!!! The best part is that I am running it as part of a team with some of the girls from your favorite crew and mine, the ROHOs ;)

And I also entered the lottery for the Nike Women's Half, my favorite race ever! This is the race that I think every woman should run at least once.

I feel a cold coming on... glad it's the weekend so that I can catch up on some sleep!
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