28 August 2011


I had to run 11 miles this morning. It felt a lot harder than it should have.

I have narrowed it down to a few problems:
  1. Not drinking enough water during the day.
  2. Not eating enough to fuel my runs during the week. And not eating the right stuff.
  3. Running my long run too damned fast.
Since I am back at work, I am reluctant to drink water the way that I should because I can't just go to the bathroom any time I want.

I need to eat more calories--running shouldn't feel this labored--especially a mere 11.

I have no idea how to slow down.

Last time I trained for a marathon, I noticed a pattern. I would have a tough long run and then the next week went smoothly. I wonder if I am falling into that pattern again. If so, next weekend should go smoothly.

Four weeks down; fourteen weeks to go!

24 August 2011

"Good for you!"

Someone I know asked me how far I ran this morning. Considering the fact that I left my house a little before 5 am for a run, I was shocked that anyone saw me. I asked him if he had seen me; he said no. I guess he was just hypothesizing.

I told him that I ran 5.5 miles. He seems shocked, impressed, and maybe a little jealous.

And he said, "Good for you!" I wish that I could figure out a way to convey the tone of voice. He was kind--not malicious--not sarcastic. Maybe just a little enthusiastic.

And maybe--to my ears--a little condescending. Those three words were like tiny little pats on the top of my head.

How cute! You ran 5.5 miles. Isn't that darling? Can you do a cartwheel? Does your mom leave you home alone?

Do men hear this? I doubt it. I will not move into a feminist tirade. I'm taking another route here.

I am a little saddened that running a mere 5.5 miles is so applauded. Why is running such a short distance seen as amazing? Why do people believe that they can't do it? So many excuses.

I'm not fast, but I chase improvement.

I've been to many races. Runners come in all shapes and sizes and carry their own motivation.

I believe that with few exception most everyone can run, but that most chose not to. By ascribing some sort of Herculean effort to a five mile run, people err.

Five miles isn't hard. I should have run more today. Running the five miles was SO MUCH easier than getting out of bed at 4:30 am. That is what takes the Herculean effort.

Good for me!

20 August 2011


This ad was in Running Times.

I have no words, but I want to write a top ten list of everything wrong with this ad.

14 August 2011

I like numbers.

I really like numbers when they reveal some sort of improvement. Observe:

Summer Vacation 2010: 72.09 miles.

Summer Vacation 2011: 222.23 miles.

2010 Overall Mileage: 753.93 miles.

2011 Projected Mileage: 1100ish miles.

13 August 2011


If I want to get my run in on Saturdays that my husband works, I have two options. Finishing the run by 6 am when he has to leave for work, or running after he returns from work around 6 pm.

I choose cool empty mornings over hot crowded evenings.

This morning I was up by 4:30 am and out the door by 5 am. The moon was still up and it was dark. I saw few cars and no people out walking their dogs or running.

It was as if the morning was mine.


I'm a convert. Morning runs are amazing--especially since they produce amazing naps later.

10 August 2011

Cross-Training: Vernal Falls Hike

This past Monday we headed out to Yosemite for a day trip. Hal Higdon said that I should cross-train that day, so I elected to hike to the top of Vernal Falls. The entire hike round trip is about three miles with an elevation gain of 1,000 feet on the way up.

Things I Wish I Would Have Done While Hiking to Top of Vernal Falls
  1. Snapped photos of the surprising footwear. I was surprised by the number of people wearing flip flops up the trail.
  2. Counted people I passed. (It feels amazing to be in shape!)
  3. Taken more snack food. We didn't really plan on doing the whole hike. We sort of decided to do it at the last minute.
They say that there are 600 granite steps up to the top of Vernal Falls. That is a lot of steps. I just googled the number of step up to the top of Peterskirche in Munich--306. I remember how laborious getting to the top of Peterskirche was when I visited in 2007. Conquering Peterskirche was one of the things that motivated me to start running. It is nice to know that 600 uneven granite steps was easier for me than 306 uniform stair steps.

I expected more pain in my quads because downhill hurts more than uphill, but it was my calves that were angered. So to be on the safe side, I took yesterday off from running. Today I was out an ran my scheduled five easily with only minor soreness at the beginning of my run.

To conclude: Hiking these three miles was harder on my body than running 13.1 in SF a week ago.

04 August 2011

How did this "happen"?

Surely, if you are remotely near my age (give or take ten years), you've seen Say Anything.... I'm somewhat Diane Courtish (I'm a bit of a brain, but I'm not trapped in the body of a game show hostess), but then again I'm also Lloyd Doblerish (looking for a dare to be great situation). I digress.

During Lloyd and Diane's first date at a graduation party, one of Diane Court's academic rivals thanks Diane for the competition which helped get her into Cornell (whoa!) and then asks a question about Diane's choice in Lloyd Dobler.

I'm not sure I have it exactly, but she says, "How did that 'happen'?" And the woman did the air quotes. THE AIR QUOTES.

I can hear the cadence of her voice and see the slight contraction of the first two fingers of each hand in the air. I hear her asking me the same question, but I'm not dating Lloyd Dobbler.

Instead I'm planning on courting marathon number 2. How did this "happen"?

I would never have admitted any of this in my twenties because your twenties blow, but now that I am firmly in my thirties, I can say that I am pretty good at a few things. I'm fairly intelligent, intensely curious, and generously analytical. I am a decent writer (if my piece I'm submitting for publication gets published, I'll upgrade "decent" to a better adjective). I'm excellent in my profession if you look at that data (but I'll never get a ________ of the Year nod/nom because I'm too independent, informed, and opinionated).

I am not, however, good at running. In fact, I'm pretty bad at it. I'm just stubborn and convinced that I can do better. So I plan on doing better than my first marathon showing back in May. This time I'm running the California International Marathon because after Big Sur and San Francisco, I'm quitting hills.

This will be a long courtship. I'm starting late. I should have started two days ago. Eighteen weeks of dates with running five to six times a week. It is going to be pricey. I'll need another pair of shoes, if my calculations are correct.


How did I become the girl who will have run two marathon and two half marathons by the end of this year? This is not how I envisioned myself.

I'm so glad that I push myself beyond my conception of myself. More people should.