Sunday, March 27, 2011

Headlands trail run

Playing at the beach
Yesterday morning, I headed out for a trail run with RQ and a guy from her running club. We ran some of the trail of last week's 30K race, which has become my favorite run. We didn't quite want to go the entire race route, so we self-navigated, and made our own. There are stairs, gravel, mud, puddles, single track, redwoods, amazing views of Sausalito, the Pacific, Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco. I could have been out all day, well, not body wouldn't allow it....but in theory, if I could, I would have. We parked at Rodeo Beach, a popular surf stop, so after the run we ran in and through the crashing waves. The water was so cold, but felt great and helped wash off the mud from the run.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Can I be a baby for 5 minutes?

Ok, thanks. Really 5 minutes is all I need. It's been raining non-stop here, and since I don't have a car, I walk or bike everywhere in the rain. It gets old, and cold, and wet. So, today, I was being crabby because it was raining (and I was stressed because of work), and I couldn't run all of my errands and get to the gym without getting cold & wet.

And really, get over it, Andrea. What do I have to complain about! It's 40 and raining, not 15 and snowing, and not a earthquake and a tsunami!

But still I was being a baby. I dragged myself out the door to the gym. I wore my rain pants, 3 shirts, fleece jacket, and a raincoat, and my rain boots. A little overkill...yeah, maybe. But I wasn't cold, at least. I was late, of course, so I had to pedal as fast as I could to get there. By the time I got to spin class, I was over my crabbiness, and I used every ounce left to power me through the class. This instructor is crazy-hard--the last class I went to of hers, she told us she'd broken up with her boyfriend an hour before, which was a good thing, she said, but if class got a little intense, that was the reason! After class, I jumped in the pool for 45 minutes to get every last bit of crabbiness out of me. It worked! My pool is outdoors on the rooftop of my gym, and by the time I got up there, the rain had stopped. The sky cleared a bit, and I swear I saw blue.

I'm all good now...Thanks for letting me vent.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pirate's Cove 30K Trail Race

Post-race: Dirty, tired and happy
On Saturday, RQ and I ran the Pirate's Cove 30K trail race in Marin. I almost made us late when I miscalculated our departure time; luckily, I'd packed my bags the night before, so I scrambled out the door. I've been spacey lately and I can't seem to remember anything unless I write it down! Anyway, the race was right across the Golden Gate Bridge in the Headlands, one of my favorite places to run. And we made it with plenty of time!

The forecast called for rain, but it looked like it might hold off, until about 15 minutes before the race when it began. I might even make a case the the drops I saw flying by my head were hail, though I didn't see evidence on the ground. I was cold & wet at the beginning and contemplated running 20K (instead of the 30K). RQ suggested we start out and see how we feel as the race went along. By the time the cutoff to where I could have shortened my race, I was having too much fun to turn. The rain came and went the entire race, but nothing more than sprinkles at any given time. We took turns telling stories the first 10K and recruited a guy running near us to join. He fell back after a while, and I think it's because he didn't want to tell any more. My speedster running buddy took off mid-way, so I kept to my trail-running race plan of walking up big hills and running the rest. It works well for me. I had a blast. I felt like I was "playing" the entire race, well, up to about 2 miles to go, when my legs and back started to let me know I'd abused them enough for the day. All in all, great race!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Dip in the Bay

Sunday morning, I joined one of the local running groups for their weekend meet-up. We ran through the Presidio, up along the ocean, through the Redwoods, up and down trails, past the kids on the playground, and along the Marina. Afterward, a friend and I had planned to do a swim in the Bay at Aquatic Park--just a quick dip--get in and get out. There is a local, members-only swim club near the area we always swim. The members are the crazy folks that swim in the Bay without wetsuits. My friend had heard we could pay a few dollars and use the club before and after our swim--more importantly, this meant a shower and sauna afterward. I didn't have to race home for a shower--cold and with blue lips! We made our way over to the club after our run, and found out the club was closed to guests on Sundays. The woman at the door let us in anyway; maybe it was the desperation on our faces or she felt sorry we'd carried all of our gear there. At any rate, the members of the club were extremely friendly. We soon found out we were the only ones in wetsuits, and we got the "oh, you must be new" nod-smiles as we made our way to the beach. I didn't let it bother me. I couldn't. We said hello to a man in a speedo suit on the beach getting ready for his swim. It was all I could do not to shriek from the cold as I entered the water. I didn't want the man to think I was a wimp.

We did one lap around the buoys, like last week. It wasn't so bad, after the first 5 minutes. I seem to forget how cold it is, every time. We got out and enjoyed a sauna and shower. One of these times, we'll have to jump on our bikes after our swim, but the warmth was a nice way to end the workout!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"You made my day"

I was told I made someone's day today...And I didn't do anything spectacular! A guy from one of our work partners, member organizations, and huge proponent of our organization, called requesting stats for a presentation he was giving. I told him I would update his slides with our most recent numbers. He told me I made his day. I kind of laughed and hung up. But, then I got to thinking, it feels really nice to "make someone's day." Not to say, someone else won't also make his day, and who knows, maybe he tells everyone this. But still. As "customer service" is a pretty big part of my work, without it being written into my job description, I work with a lot of people on a daily basis, and it is hard to please everyone. It's nice to hear that I've actually helped someone.

I have to remind myself to tell people when they "make my day." It feels really nice to hear.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Oakland Hills, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Sebastapol, Nicasio--all in one week!

I've been feeling tired lately...well, more than that, fatigued, might be the right word. And while I am not 25 anymore and can't bounce back like I used to, I'd thought I was in pretty good shape. My diet and/or hydration can be partly to blame as well--I have not been as diligent about either. Still, I am a little bummed to come to terms with this fatigue. My training is ramping up, but I am still only about 1/4 the way in; I have a lot left--in terms of mileage and workouts (and the actual race!). I spend anywhere from 8-12 hours each week training, so I can understand being tired, but not bouncing back is what has made me worry. And my training will only increase here on out.

After I ran the Redwood Park 30K trail race last Saturday, I woke up on Sunday morning and knew there was no way I was getting on my bike and/or doing anything physical that day! I was taking the "red-eye" flight to Minnesota later in the day, so while exercise would ensure I could sleep well on the plane, I just could not do it. I spent most of the day reading and watching TV on Hulu on my computer.

While in MN last week, I had a few good workouts--fun run along the river with my brother, a spin class and swim at the gym--but mostly, I took it really easy. (I got to catch up and visit with friends and family too, which was so awesome.) Mostly hoping to get rid of this "tired-feeling" I have in my legs. Friday night, I flew back to SF, and jumped in my friend's car and we drove up to Sebastapol, where our bike team had a "launch party" at a bike shop (and a sponsor). It gave us a chance to meet our sponsors and Board, and chat about the upcoming season. A few of my cycling teammates are also training for Ironman races, so we checked in and compared notes about training and life. I discovered they're tired too! Great--well, no, not "great..." But I felt relieved, I'd say, that I was not the only one who's tired! They're teetering the line between feeling over-trained, mentally exhausted, trying to keep up with life and non-training activities...So, I could relate. We all discussed that we do know our bodies and minds and while it's hard to step back and relax and take a break, sometimes, it's the only thing to do. For me, I've always been go, go, go...And then I get so tired that I just hit the wall. This "balance" is so hard for me to find. It's going to be essential though, for me, in order to get through the next 4 months of work, training, travel, friends, and life.

Saturday was my first time I was on my bike in a week. It felt good to get out. We rode to Nicasio, a small, ranch town in the North Bay. Each time, we stop at Rancho Nicasio, a general store, bar/restaurant where cyclists, tourists, motorcyclists, locals all stop to refuel. I think Rancho Nicasio is the town of Nicasio. Next to it are a ball park, church and cemetery.

Finally, after my run this morning, my training buddy, RQ, and I braved a swim in the Bay. We parked at Aquatic Park, ran out and back, and then started the "workout" of getting into our wetsuits. I think it took longer to get into the suits than our actual swim! Our goal was just to get in the water, which was 52-degrees. We did, and completed one lap around the inner buoys. We jumped out of the water and out of our wetsuits as quick as possible. We drove home with the heat on high!