Category Archives: Running, the bitch goddess

more half marathon



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.


*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.



Filed under Running, the bitch goddess, Uncategorized

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.


Filed under Running, the bitch goddess

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…



Filed under Fitness and/or Fatness, Running, the bitch goddess

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.
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.


Filed under Running, the bitch goddess

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!


Filed under Running, the bitch goddess

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!


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.


Filed under Running, the bitch goddess

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.


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Filed under About a blog, Running, the bitch goddess, the interwebs

the color run!

For MONTHS, the interwebs have been abuzz with fanfare for The Color Run.

Races were selling out like crazy – I think Seattle was closed within 3 hours.

I caught a whiff of the excitement and spread it around.  A group of my coworkers and I had alarms set for the day and time that registration opened, and we signed up real good.

Blah blah.  Time passes.  Things that are not The Color Run occurred.

And then.  It happened!

You know that kid? The one on a bike in The Incredibles who is all agog and then says “That was totally wicked!”

Color Run was like that.

If you’re signed up for one in your town, here’s some stuff you might want to know:

There were about a million more people than I expected.  Mostly teen and twenty something girls.  Or I don’t know.  I can’t tell the difference between a teen and a twenty something any more.

It was not a run.  We did our best jogging effort, but most people were walking and it was hard to get through them.  If you’re worried about the running aspect, DON’T BE!

The color is dyed corn starch.  It does get cloudy and in your nose and mouth, but it’s not too unpleasant.  The powder will mix with sweat and form crusty chunks.  It doesn’t hurt when it gets in your eyes.

You can open the packet of color you get with registration at any time.  You don’t have to wait until the end.

The volunteers won’t douse you in color at a station unless you go up to them and present yourself for dousing.  You definitely can’t run through the stations and still get good and colored on.

Definitely a fun event for kids.  There were even people with babies/toddlers in strollers.

I had my iPhone in a ziploc, but ended up taking it out quite a bit to take pictures.  It got pretty covered in the colored dust, but that all wiped off and it seems fine.  Was also wearing my Garmin, which I wiped off and also was fine.

People are throwing color every which way at the end.  So if you made it through the race course unscathed, you can still get plenty of decoration just puttering around in the crowd afterwards.

I washed all of our clothes in a separate load.  The Color Run t-shirts seem to be ever so slightly stained still and everything else came out clean.  I haven’t washed our sneakers, so they are still grody, but wearable.

The pink color does not come off your skin right away.



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stuff that happened while I slothed on blogging: half-marathon #4

my fourth half-marathon happened two weekends ago.

yes, hello?  four?  that’s right.  four.  in the span of about 15 months, i have done this four times.  on purpose.  voluntarily.

and this time, i took some others down with me.  mwah fucking hah.

the david and i flew to seattle for the rock n roll half marathon to run with my lady friends virginia and alysha, and then alysha slurped in her friends yari and chris.  you see how these thing spiral out of control.  a very slow, plodding out of control.

anyway, i sucked at training for it, as per usual, and was not planning to try very hard.  but ended up staying with virginia for all of 8 miles before i crapped out and told her to take her appropriately trained tuchis to the finish while i moped along, rueing the ridiculous choices i make.

it didn’t rain.

i didn’t die.

i finished in 2:52 which is far from my best, but it’s also not my worst of the four.

and then, sweet baby james, i agreed to and actually signed up for the vegas rock n roll in december, with this same entourage of folks.

please don’t ask me what is the matter with me because i’ll be damned if i know.


bootleg screenshot of me and v holding hands

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Filed under Running, the bitch goddess

trail running: a miracle 10K

I needed to force myself to log some damn miles. So I signed up for a 10K and then on Saturday, I did it.
There was mention of some hills in the course description.
What actually presented itself was a mountain.  Elevation gain close to 2,000 feet.

Within 5 minutes of the start, I was no longer running, but walking.  And very quickly, even the walking was a torment.

It took me about an hour to get through the first 2 miles.

As you may already know, I am never loving the running while it is happening to me.  But this was the first time that I almost started cursing out loud (or in my head, for that matter) because of the high degree of suckage.

Things definitely got better once it started going downhill, but even then I was treading carefully… since I was in the woods on a narrow path, with rocks and woodland surprises.  All told, it took 2 and a half hours.  Which is about how long it has taken me to do a half marathon in the past.  It was so slow, it was like a miracle 10K.

Also, I fell, at a steep slidey downhill bit.  And I got a bloody hand.  Bloody and dirty.  And still like a million miles to go.

It was definitely the hardest race I’ve done.  But whatever else there is to say about it, the most important bit is that it got done.

Here are some pictures of me being slow:


Filed under Running, the bitch goddess