Category Archives: Running, the bitch goddess

more half marathon

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This is Michelle.  We did another half marathon together on Saturday, our third one together now.

We have a fairly complimentary running pace (although she’s faster, but will deny it).  And we live close enough to one another that we can manage to get together some times on weekends for our long runs.  It’s quite handy.

There is a strangeness, though:  our running camaraderie, which I appreciate tremendously, seems to largely depend on an ongoing disagreement we have.

She makes me do what I couldn’t do alone.  She not only tolerates my grumpus attitude, but responds to it with insane optimism and compliments.  When I grovel at her all pitiful and beg her to run with me because I am too full of hate to carry on, she’s all “that sounds awesome!  let’s do it!”

And then!  Then she gets all grateful about what I got her to do.

And so we bicker, about who made whom do what and who should take responsibility for the motivation.

But I am telling you, my time for this grotesquely hot* half marathon would have been at least 30 minutes longer without her.   I would have given in to a laborious jog/walk plod after the first three miles.  It could have been a very long, boring, and sad struggle.

Instead, even though it wasn’t the PR I was hoping for, it was still 20 minutes faster than my worst half times.  And our pace for the first 8 miles was actually surprisingly good.  And she somehow inspired me to all out sprint it at the very end.

I totally owe that woman some bacon.

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*Please don’t judge, but grotesquely hot means about 85 degrees.  When the temperature runs from 58 to 72 degrees all the time  forever, we suffer in any deviation.

 

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another half marathon

I had to leave Craftcation early to come home and do something the opposite of fun:  another half marathon.

It was pretty fail and I’m still feeling rather ho-hummish about it.  Trying to let it go and focus on getting better for next time.

[Next time? Why not just focus on not running at all?  So many “I don’t know!”]

I finished in 2:56:56, which you can write an essay about and compare and contrast to my other times here.  (Are you on Athlinks?)

It’s about the same time as my last half in December. For which I was under-trained and walked a good chunk of.  I did get my training in this time, but those were slow, too.  So my performance wasn’t unexpected.

Ah, well.  Nothing I can do about now.

Despite the boo-hiss nature, there were actually quite a few positives from the race:

a.  I did it.
b.  I didn’t die.
c.  Michelle, came to stay with us and also ran it.  And she tied her PR, which is pretty excellent.
d.  My work husband came out to watch and I saw him just before Mile 10.
e.  It was an insanely beautiful perfect day.
f.  The spectators, bands, djs and cheer stations were awesome. The church congregation in their Sunday best cheering from their front steps, the woman yelling “You’re beautiful, you’re amazing!” from her balcony, the dude channeling a clothed thunder-down-under attitude while standing atop his flaming, Burning Man contraption, the little kids giving out high fives.

So there you go.  My 3rd Oakland Running Festival = done.  An event that I can’t help but loathe and love.

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at least it *looks* fun…

jumping and runningIn December, I ran another half marathon, The Las Vegas Rock n Roll.  It starts in the evening and part of the course is on the strip, so you get all the glitter and grandeur of lights at night to stick in your hat.

It was a fantastically sucky run for me.  I could complain a laundry list of stuff I didn’t like about the race itself, but the biggest problem was that I hadn’t done any running at all for about 2 months prior.  I had (and have) been firmly ensconced in a crapped-out period.

So, I’m bitterly trudging along through the hours, diligently passing by the race photographers, one after another.  Either they’re going to take yet another picture of me looking grim or…

 

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and then there was half marathon again

This was half marathon #6, which seems like frequently enough now that I shouldn’t even bother writing about them anymore.

But if my mission is just to blog about my cats and my running, then by all means, Margaret!  Tell us about the running!

Despite a lot of moaning and groaning about it, I did complete a 10 mile run with no walking the weekend prior.

This was the San Jose Rock n Roll, known for being particular flat.  Hoot.

The universe bestowed a heaping of awesome on me when I met Michelle on the other side of the country last month.
She:
a)  lives in my neck of the woods
b)  was also signed up for San Jose
c)  runs just a little bit faster than me
d)  has fun levels comparable to puppies on a trampoline

In short, I was going into this run prepared, flat, and partnered up.

I really really wanted to break a 2 hour 30 minute time.

And lo, so I did!

Of all the pictures that were taken on the course, this is the only one that actually has both of us in it.
At least that girl in the middle back there is in focus.

And here’s one that shows me with both feet not touching the ground!  Did you know that running is technically defined as a gait in which both feet are off the ground at regular intervals?  A speedwalker (or any sort of walker) always has one foot touching at all times.  I don’t think I’ve seen a picture of myself  with no feet touching before, so I feel rather peachy about this, even if it is out of focus.

This was somewhere in the half way vicinity.  Some lady with a boom box was playing Living on a Prayer (we’re half way there.)  Clever.

More both-feet-off-the-ground!  Now with sunglasses!

I confess:  almost as soon as it was over, I was conniving that I could have been faster and plotting for how long it would take me to break through the next milestone.

But am trying to give myself a bit of credit for doing it and doing it better than I ever have before.  I do love that I did it.  2:26:34, 11:11 min/mile pace.

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the fifth half

I completed my fifth half marathon on Saturday.

But don’t worry. I’m still that girl who hates running.

I think maybe I hate being bad at stuff more. The other half-marathons I did this year left me feeling a bit defeated. I did ’em, yes. But I didn’t prepare as much as I should have and I didn’t do them well.

Hence “Operation: Just Keep Signing Up For More Half Marathons”

This time around, I was moderately prepared. I made it up to a 9 mile training run the weekend before, which went surprisingly well.

Not surprising: the half marathon really started to tank after the 9 mile mark. Go figure.

So I didn’t break 2 hours 30 minutes, which I had been optimistically hopeful about. And I didn’t beat my best time to date of 2:34:15. But it was pretty darned close to that.

We got there a bit late, so started 15 minutes late with the 10K runners, which means that it was a long lonely time after I passed the 10K turnaround point. But I did start to catch up to and pass loads of the half marathoners.

So, until next time (on October 7)…

Run it up, you hate-runner! Run it up!

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I’m especially good at spectating.

The San Francisco Marathon was on Sunday and my friend, Megan, was running, her first time with the 26.2.
Since it’s such a monumental accomplishment, we got up at 6:30 am to drive into the city and cheer her on.

We wanted to be in Golden Gate Park because we knew that that was a really lonely and endless part of the course (I did the 2nd half and David did the full last year.)

After some tomfoolery trying to get to where we needed to be while avoiding road closures, we scurried into the park, saw the runners and then we stood there.  With signs!

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People were loving David’s sign, “Run, total stranger, Run.” So may runners saw it and said “That’s me!” It was totally fun.

We knew Megan was going to be wearing a pink shirt and a white hat. We had a half an hour window in which she should be passing by us, around her Mile 15.

So we looked for Megan and we cheered for the total strangers. I teared up watching them go by.

After a bit, I noticed that most people had their names printed on their bibs. A bit too small to read easily, but you could pick them out if you looked. David got a total kick out of calling people out by name. I just wept and tried to pretend I wasn’t.

I started to wonder if all the people passing by seemed like they were probably slower runners than Megan, who’s roughly a 10 minute miler.

But who knows with all the different waves and the half marathon people mixed in with the full.

And then later, I noticed that all the people had green markers on their bibs saying “2nd Half,” for the second half marathon.
And they ALL said that.

What? Where are the marathoners? What’s going on?

So you see this little course map? The dark blue line is the marathon course and the lighter blue is the half. Most of the time, their course is the same.
But they take this extra little out and back extension here. The yellow arrows point to where we were standing. If we had been standing in the path, we would have actually seen the rest of the race course, just a bit further on.

So we didn’t see Megan around Mile 15 like we said we would. And I was preaching the gospel that “It’s hard doesn’t mean I can’t” to the half-marathoners before they had even hit the 2 mile mark.

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a little life doing

5ks abounded last week.

I had a weird confluence of work blog and maggie blog that resulted in inviting Ben Davis from Ben Does Life to come have a chat with us about book publishing.

Always weird to see someone you know in a bloggy way in the real life way.

He was definitely really normal and friendly, and talked with us openly about his experience of writing a book.  Fodder from that conversation should show up in the Blurb blog next month.

 

And the whole reason he was in San Francisco was for his Do Life tour, so I took a couple of work lady friends down to run his 5K that evening.  (Me at the top right, then Jeannette and Megan next to me, and Marissa in front of Megan.)

I ran with one of my coworkers, who kicked my ass a bit, setting a pace that was just slightly beyond my comfort zone.  And I know that it wasn’t really a race, and the point was really just to get out there and “Do Life!”  But good golly.  Me and Jeannette?  We came in second!  Which is likely to be the first and only instance of that kind of glory for me, so let me just wallow in it a little.

<wallow>

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