Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another weekly recap + Lots of mountain pictures

April 23-29

: Ran 6.4 miles/5.4 at a 8:49-9:03 pace. (New tempo pace?)

AM- Ran 3.5 easy miles in the morning/10:00 avg pace
PM- 5.93 mi at the track. 6x[400m, 200m rest], 4 minutes of rest, then 4x[400m,200m rest].
Goal was to get progressively faster, about 5 seconds per lap.  First set started at 2:12 and ended at 1:42.  Second set started at 1:56 and ended at 1:38.

Thursday: Second week doing a 5am run. It’s growing on me a little bit. 2 loops, negative splits: 5.82 mi/9:31 avg pace.  Being awake before the crack of dawn allows me to see cool things like this:


: 7.5 mile hike.  We returned to the Devil’s Punchbowl, where we hiked several weeks ago.  And I was less of a scaredy-cat on the narrow parts of the trail and in walking out to the “Devil’s Chair” this time.

100_7613  100_7643       
100_7586   100_7601

: 13.54 miles in the morning/avg pace of 9:56.

Then that afternoon I volunteered at an aid station at the Leona Divide 50km/50mi race with some people from my running group.  We were at aid station 10 which was less than 4 miles from the finish line.  It was my first time volunteering at a race.  We had a crazy drive up the mountain on deeply rutted fire roads (which was also part of the race course) in the race director’s SUV, driving past people finishing the race.  We rolled the windows down and cheered people as we passed.  I’d like to think of us as the mobile cheer squad. 

We were up to the aid station before 2pm, and by that point there were a few 50km-ers passing through, but it was mostly people who had already ran 46 miles.  46!  Crazy.  I know two gals who were crazy enough to run this distance (and more) before (Kara and Alyssa).   After this aid station there was about a half mile uphill then 3 miles downhill until the finish line.

There was a nice spread of water, soda, Gatorade, Gu Brew, potato chips, boiled potatoes, animal crackers, peanut butter cookies, banana bread, chocolate-dipped strawberries, orange slices, grapes, ginger chews, gels, salt tablets and more.  It was fun cheering on the runners as they approached the aid station.  We filled their bottles and Camelbaks, put ice in their hats.  The course seemed to be full-sun and some runners just needed a cold towel and a shady spot to sit for a few minutes.  One of my fellow club members even pulled off a guy’s compression socks for him and ran up the hill that followed the aid station with another runner who needed some motivation.  Now that’s dedication.


The view from the aid station in the other direction.  I think the course went down that way earlier in the day.


4ish hours later, most of the runners had passed through- and it was past the time cut off for our station- and we were sent back down the mountain.  We cheered on runners as we drove back down (it felt kind of mean to be passing them when they felt like death, but that was the only way down).  We had views like this on our way down:


It was a lot of fun and I would definitely do it again!  The ultra runners were amazing. I can’t even imagine running all day, and with elevation change like this.  The race started at 6am and had a 13 hour cut off.  The winner came in at 6 hours even, which was a new course record.

 Sunday:  Easy – 1 hour walk with the dog.

Total Weekly Miles run: 34.89!
(Big for me…but sounds like nothing after mentioning people who ran 31 and 50 miles in one day).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Bison, Trash Plates, and a Jerb

I wanted to post a few times this past week and just didn’t get around to it.  Since the last time I posted, here’s what happened:

April 16-22

Monday:  Same old hilly 3 miler in my neighborhood.

Tuesday AM: Went to a Running Store’s “Fun Run” – it was just me and a store employee for 4 miles.

On my way home, I stopped at a park I have driven by several times.  Rumor has it the park has bison and I wanted to see them.  I saw some animals near the parking lot but had to walk uphill, following bison signs for half a mile to find the bison.
I didn’t see any bison right away, but there were some nice views of the surrounding area.
I started to head back down the hill when a friendly old man walking his dog told me the bison only come close when they are being fed earlier in the morning.  He pointed out the bison in the distance at the bottom of a hill.  He then proceeded to tell me I had nice legs, I awkwardly said thanks, and decided it was time to walk back to my car.

Tuesday PM
: Track night: 5.65 miles. Included 2x1200m, 2x800m, 2x400m. 
I hadn’t run 1200m in a while and couldn’t remember what a good pace for that distance was, so I ended up running the first one way too fast and as a result, the second one too slow.  The rest went ok.

Wednesday: 25 minute Yoga for Runners Podcast

Thursday: I was going to do a tempo run, but running club friend convinced me to meet her just before 5am. We ran 8.6 miles.  The loop we ran had rolling hills for the first 1/3, the second third was a slight downhill and, and the last 1/3 was a killer uphill.  Then we ran that 3 times.  I was able to keep running on the uphill though so I consider it a success.  Avg pace around 9:37.
Thursday night there was a little Western-themed live music event including several food trucks, one of which was called The Garbage Truck, so of course we went.

IMG-20120419-01158  IMG-20120419-01160
The sign reads: “Home of the West Coast Trash Plate: The best part of Rochester, NY right here in So Cal.”
What’s not to love about two cheeseburgers covered in hot sauce, onions, and mustard on top of home fries and mac salad?  Somehow I could polish off one of these on my own back in college.  But Thursday we made the wise decision to split one.  We even talked one of Dan’s coworkers into coming out and trying one.
Friday: Rest Day

Saturday: 10 miles/avg pace of 9:43 including my cool down walking.

Total miles run this week: 31.68

Sunday: 3.6 mi hike with the dog at a park we hadn’t been to yet.  The trail we started on was a 5 mile loop but it is becoming clear Molly is getting older and can’t hike like she used to, so we turned around 1.8 miles in.  To her credit, the first half was practically straight up the mountain.

In other news, I was offered a part-time job on Friday.  While it’s not what I went to grad school for, the experience will still be very relevant to a future school psych job.  Other pros: I will have something else to get me out of the house for 10-15ish hours a week aside from running and grocery shopping AND I can stop feeling guilty about things like buying running clothes and Starbucks after group runs.

And on a final note, please tell me who actually buys this denim jumpsuit.  I can think of SO many better things to spend $90.  I will note that I am opposed to rompers, too, for anyone over the age of about 4.
denimjumpsuit   romper2
That is all.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekly Recap and I'm Not In High School

Last Week:

Mon 9th- Rest
Tue 10th- Hilly 3 Miler in the AM, 6 miles at the track in the PM
Wed 11th- 25 min Yoga for Runners
Thu 12th- 5.17 mi/4.35 in 38:26, 8:50 avg pace (beats my 5k PR). Pretty surprised and pleased with that!
Fri 13th- Poured. All. Day. Arm Work & Crunches.
Sat 14th- 3.86 mi hike with Dan & the pup. More Core work.
Sun 15th- 9.11 mi run, avg pace of 9:39

1. Molly feels she benefits from doing yoga with me.


2. I spent all of Saturday morning inside a high school 35 miles away taking a basic skills test for the state of California so I can be cleared to work in CA schools.  Not until I sat down in a room full of high schoolers did I realize that I had been directed to a room administering the ACT (despite me showing my CBEST admission ticket to the people in the hallway). Maybe some day I will appreciate being mistaken for being 12 years younger, but not now.

Afterward, I treated myself to some Yogurtland on my way home.  It was what I got hooked on in NJ, but the closest one is over 20 miles from where we live now.  The competition (Golden Spoon and Menchie's) doesn't compare.  Then I was able to get outside and enjoy the sunshine in the afternoon.

Friday Rain = Creek has water!
Friday Rain = Snow at Higher Elevations (Look in the Distance)

3. Long runs with the running group force me to push myself.  Based on RLRF, I was doing my long runs around a 10:00 pace, but now I seem to be doing them more around 9:40 with the folks I run with on the weekends.  I don't feel totally wiped out after either so I might as well keep it up.  Maybe it was time for me to re-evaluate my training paces anyway.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Weekend Recap and a Beef.

Fri April 6: 8.5 mi BIKE ride. Yep, I said bike. The last time I rode my bike was January 7th.  I was so happy to be reunited with my bike, I didn’t even care that I got grease from my chain all over my arm while loading my bike into my car.

Sat April 7
: Unplanned 2.5 mi hike at Griffith Park.  Griffith Park is the one with the Hollywood sign, except we didn’t go on that side of the mountain.  We did see our first coyote though.  No picture because I was somewhat surprised to see it peeing, and by the time I got my phone out it had moved on.  But we did see this view of the LA skyline:


Sun April 8: 10.15 mi run in the morning, avg pace: 9:43 + 3 mi hike at Haskell Canyon in the afternoon. Awkward self-portrait to serve as proof I was actually there.

IMG-20120408-01074   558214_627962566523_70200002_32970458_1461109880_n

Now for My Beef.

beef-cuts-LSince there are vegetarian readers, I opted not to go with a fleshy depiction of beef.

I know on Friday I posted about liking my new TOMS, and while I like the shoes themselves, I have a beef with their customer service.  I placed my original TOMS order at the end of February. I got them both in my usual size and both styles were big, so I exchanged them for a half size smaller. Some companies will cover return shipping, especially if you are exchanging (not just returning), but with TOMS, you are fully responsible for getting your package back to them*. 

They advertise needing 10 business days to process returns, and they weren’t kidding.
  • On March 5th they received my return (I had a tracking number).
  • On March 7th they emailed me to confirm receipt of my return. 
  • On the 19th, they emailed me again to confirm which items I was exchanging for (same styles, 1/2 size smaller).
  • New shoes shipped on the 20th (11 business days after receiving my return).

While TOMS does good things, they are still a for-profit company. I’d cut them some slack if they were non-profit and had more limited resources. I think the timeline of this really bugged me, too, because the returns/exchange warehouse is 14 miles from my house. I can drive there. I feel like I could have shown up, knocked on the door and picked out my own shoes.

*still responsible for return shipping even when there is some serious inconsistency in their sizing.  The old grey pair is a size 6; the tan pair is the new size 5.5.  I never bothered to take a picture of the tan size 6s because they were so ridiculously large I just packed them back up to return them.

100_7364     100_7362

To completely contrast the Slow-As-Molasses TOMS exchange, enter a very recent experience with Running Warehouse.

  • Tuesday afternoon (4/3), I dropped off a pair of shorts I was returning to my local UPS store, using the prepaid return label RW gives you (return shipping at their expense).
  • Thursday morning (4/5), I receive an email notifying me my return was received, confirming the new pair of shorts and the price difference. I responded, questioning whether I had store credit still (thought I did).
  • 7 minutes later they responded, apologizing for the oversight with a new invoice reflecting the applied store credit .
  • Thursday afternoon (4/5), I receive notification the package has been shipped; scheduled to arrive Friday.
  • Late Friday (4/6) the package arrives (Note: RW has free 2 day shipping, but since I’m only 3 hours away it seems to arrive next day).

PS: RW did not pay me to say this.  But having ordered from many companies online, I can say RW has amazing customer service.  And being peeved with my slow TOMS exchange, I felt compelled to share that there are companies that handle exchange/return processing much better.

Moral of the Story?
I think this means I should only buy running clothes and shoes.  All the time. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Friday Favorites

…but first, this week in running:
Monday- Ran 10.3 miles at an average pace of 10:10
Tuesday- Rest day: Did crunches. Went for an hour long walk with husband & pup
Wednesday- 3ish mile hill run
Thursday- 6 mile tempo run/5.16 mi at average pace of 9:06.
Friday- Planning to bike once I hit publish.

I’m borrowing the Friday Favorites idea from Kristy.

1. Coffee heath bar ice cream.  This isn’t really a “lately I’ve been enjoying this flavor…” kind of thing.  I like this flavor all the time. Because it is a fact that I enjoy all things coffee.  But whereas I used to get coffee heath bar or coffee chocolate almond ice cream from my beloved Halo Farm in NJ, I picked up this little fellow from my local super-Target.  It has really big chunks of heath bar and it is delicious.


2.  Satsuma Body Wash from The Body Shop.  I don’t know why, but this citrusy tangerine-y scent is like a drug to me. I could smell it all day. I want to smell it all day.

100_7275 (757x1024)

3.  These super cool moving announcement postcards are to officially share our new address with friends and extended family.  Personally, I like getting real mail.  It’s way more fun than email.  Yeah, it’s been almost 2 months since we moved. So what, who cares. 

The talented Emily designed these, sent me the proof electronically, and I had them printed through Vista Print.

100_7281 (1024x768)

4.  I know people either love ‘em or hate ‘em:  Toms.

I got my first pair of Toms last May.  When I decided I wanted a second pair, I had originally seen these in navy canvas and loved them but they were sold out and after months of stalking, they were never restocked.  Next came tan.  Neutral’s good too.

bimini source

I promise you I am wearing pants.

100_7002      100_7300

IMG-20120404-00995     100_7010

And I thought this was a fun springy/summery print that would go with a lot of different colors.

corbel source

IMG-20120405-01007     100_7301     100_6992

I’m not totally sure how I feel about the cuffed jeans look,  but it showed off the shoes better.  And in case you’re in the market for either of these, I had to go down a half size in both styles from my regular shoe size.

5. Key Lime Dannon Oikos Traditional Greek Yogurt

oec98fetj tw1

I found this flavor at Wegmans in N.J. and it is by far my favorite (probably because it has fat in it) but noticed it was nowhere to be found at my grocery store in California.  Vons has other full fat Oikos flavors, but not key lime. When I asked, they told me they didn’t carry it.  So started my Key Lime Greek Yogurt hunt. I checked Target, Whole Foods (shouldn’t have bothered; it’s not organic), Albertsons, and finally Ralphs before I found it.  And when I did, I stocked up and bought 7.  In fact, I’m going to get more today.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

March Recap

Previously recapped:
March 1-4: Ran 14.99 miles, Hiked 7.78 miles
March 5-11: Ran 26.18 miles, Hiked 5.22 miles
March 12-18: Ran 22.86 miles, Hiked 11.12 miles, Skied 5 hours

The rest of the month:
March 19-25: Ran 21.64 miles including a mostly-trail half marathon
March 26-31: Ran 18.93 miles (included a short hilly run, track workout, short easy run & tempo run) + walked 5.5 miles on sand, that counts for something right?

100_7149  100_7154

I like scenic drives home:
100_7214  100_7216

Also did a core + arm workout and a short 20 minutes of yoga. I deferred last weekend’s 10 mile long run to Monday because we skied on Sunday so I needed to save my legs.

100_7241 - Copy
Last line on the sign says "Easiest Way Down"

March totals: 104.6 miles run; 24.12 miles hiked
2012 Running Total: 221.71 miles (Yeah, January & February were pretty weak).

What’s going on in April?
  • I’d like to have another 100+ mile running month.  I have no excuse not to be running more than I am right now.
  • I miss my bike. I’m really going to cart it down to the bottom of my giant hill and ride it on the bike path.
  • More hiking, less skiing. Sadly ski season is probably just about over. (Also, oddly, we have skied more in the past month in Southern California than we did in the last 2 years of living in New Jersey).
  • Hopefully more trail running.  Now that it’s light out later at night, my running group has a few organized week night trail runs starting this month.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...