Month: August 2015

The Giants Race 2015

Empty AT&T

Empty AT&T

This Half Marathon was the second one for me in a month. I was confident it wouldn’t be as difficult as the first one because three days before that first one, my back went out. But I was wrong.

That’s one of the things I love about running. It is never, ever predictable. You can go to the same gym, day after day and do the same exercises, sit at the same bench and be predictable, but running never is. Even if you run the same course, you’ll find things you’ve never seen before if you look around.

Buster pre race

Buster pre race

And today’s race was really hard. I am completely at fault for this. I took it too easy yesterday. I rolled once in the morning, but that was all. I should have at least gone for a walk and gotten some nice stretching or maybe yoga in, but instead I had a lazy day.

This morning when I got ready to run, I rolled and stretched, but as I walked towards AT&T Park, I could feel my right IT band getting a little tight. I prayed it would be all right for the race.

Everything was fine, though. The weather was great; it stayed in the low 60s, which is perfect and didn’t warm up until near the 12th mile. I ran around 11-minute miles and even when using a porto-potty, there was no line, so I wasted little time.

I felt a little knee discomfort around Mile 3 and thought “oh no…”, but it went away and didn’t act up again. I only walked going up a steep hill around Ft Mason, both out and back and when eating or drinking. Otherwise, I kept a slow, steady pace.

Me with friends

Me with friends

But then at Mile 9 my right IT band started acting up. I took short walk breaks when needed until Mile 12 when I knew if I didn’t run straight through I’d never make my PR, and I so wanted that. So, I ran the last two miles with a bit of pain.

I had a great finish by nearly sprinting into the park, giving Lou Seal (the Giants seal mascot) the metal sign and high fiving him. After the finish line, I was beat, I gave this race and finish everything I had.

The 5K race started a couple hours later. I stuck around to meet up with friends and chill. It was fun to sit on the grass of the outfield. How many chances do we get to do this?

I’m very proud of this race and my finish – 3 minutes under my SF Marathon 2nd Half time.

SWAG! And Buster

SWAG! And Buster

Now I’ll take a couple days off to rest and recover and then I’ll start my full marathon training for the California International Marathon in December.

Oh you can follow me and Buster on Instagram! We each have an account. Follow me at: @Martha_Runs_SF and Buster @busterrunstheworld

Cheers!

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Be the Best You Can Be

On my evening run tonight, I suddenly had the realization that at age 56, I am running the best I have ever run in my life. I don’t mean I’m the fastest, although I have taken nearly a minute off my slow pace in the last year, nor do I mean that this is the best I can ever be, but I have worked very hard and steady to become a better runner and it shows. The dedication I have put in to running and sometimes the struggle to stay with that dedication is paying off.

This really made me feel good, because so much of my life isn’t making me feel good right now. All those extra hours (mostly) eating right, going to the gym, strength training, rolling, rolling and then rolling some more are doing what they’re supposed to do and I feel very ready for my next Half Marathon this Sunday.

I’m quite excited about it, not nervous at all. I may not be a fast runner; I’m quite certain I’ll finish in the bottom third of the race, and that’s perfectly fine with me. But I’ll still finish strong and happy. I AM planning on PR’ing by at least three minutes. For me, as a runner, it doesn’t matter if I’m part of the Back of the Pack Club. What matters is if I tried my hardest and did my best to prepare. I think most runners, unless they have set their targets much higher than me, would agree with that. Rock it as hard as you can and enjoy the rest.

But I won’t get ahead of myself, I need to get my sleep and get ready for another day!

Cheers!

Martha’s Running Truths – Part 1

During my Five-Miler Thursday night, I started thinking of Running Truths….running things that to me, just ARE. Truths may vary depending on the runner, but these do not for me.

It goes without saying…your mileage may vary. 🙂

Truth #1: The first mile is a liar. Everything hurts during that first mile. Your whole body tells you to stop. Don’t listen, keep running. You are using anaerobic energy and until your body switches to aerobic, it will feel like shit. Have patience, it will happen.

Truth #2: NO MATTER THE WEATHER, runs are always nicer outside. Sorry, but I’m an outside runner and no one on the planet can convince me that running on a giant hamster wheel is better. It sucks. And it’s bad for your knees, that’s a fact, jack.

Truth #3: Everything starts to feel really good after the 5th mile. I can’t speak for anyone else, but after mile 5, sometimes mile 6, but usually 5, I feel really good and if things are going well on a run, I have the amazing feeling like I could continue running for hours. I love this feeling more than any other feeling in my entire life. I live for these moments.

Truth #4: I think the weirdest thoughts when I run. It’s a runner’s thing, we have lots of time to fill up, it gets boring, our minds wander to places you don’t want to know about.

Truth #5: whatever leg muscles I don’t roll before a run will be the ones that start hurting during a one. This is ALWAYS THE CASE!!!

Truth #6: I may never win a race, but that doesn’t mean I’m not competitive, I’m always finding ways to run faster, farther, better.

Truth #7 – Songwriters really need to focus on lyric writing. Bad lyric writing has made me question many things during my runs.

Truth #8 – I don’t mind running with other people, but the runs that stand out as my best runs are always done solo.

Truth #9 – No matter how many times I’ve run the same route, I will spot something I have never seen before.

Truth #10 – I always feel sorry for the other MUNI passengers sharing my ride home from a run. Always. At least it is fresh sweat.

Buster at Delores Park

Buster at Delores Park

Summer Doldums and Long Runs

Buster and I

Buster and I

It’s been warm in San Francisco. It is August, but you never know what summer will be like in The City. Travel 50 miles south to San Jose and it’s always hot in summertime. Same with Walnut Creek in the East Bay, it will be hot, hot, hot. But in San Francisco Proper, the wind blows the fog in from the ocean and more often than not, it stays cool all summer long, fooling the tourists, who think it’s going to be just like home. They huddle in groups, freezing in shorts and tank tops and newly bought San Francisco sweatshirts.

But it hasn’t been that way the last two weeks. It’s been sunny and warm or hot and humid. There’s only two weeks until the San Francisco Giants Step, my next race, a Half Marathon, so I needed to get one long run in today.

I started early, at 7:30am. I picked a course from my apartment, up to the Presidio National Park down around the SF Bay and wind up at AT&T Park, running 12 miles. I made it 10.44 miles. A few things cut it a bit short.

Chrissy Field

Chrissy Field

It was mostly a decent run. There were a few uphill parts and I did well on those; no walking, running slowly, everything felt good, my Ghost 8s are great, socks, great…but it was warm… I ran up to Golden Gate Bridge, then ran down to Fort Point under the bridge and down around Chrissy Field, the Marina and through Fisherman’s Wharf, which was just starting to get busy.

As I got to the Embarcadero past Pier 39, my right IT band, the one that usually causes the problems starting feeling tight. I stopped and stretched out for the first time in my run. This was after about 8.5 miles. It felt better for a little while. But after the 10th mile, it acted up again, I kept running until I got to the Ferry Building and stopped; it wasn’t worth pushing it farther.

Even though I roll out my IT band muscles, as well as most of my leg muscles, out every day, it looks like I need to do it more than once per day and maybe I need to ramp up strength training even more.

Whatever it takes to get through this and push my running even more. It’s hard getting older, but running it worth it. I love being out there. I love it when I’m moving and everything feels good. I feel as if I could keep going and never stop. And when it feels good, I sometimes think I won’t ever stop…

Cheers!