Month: October 2015

THE HEART OF TRAINING

Sunset in the Presidio

Sunset in the Presidio

It’s late October now, soon to be November. The weather has finally started to cool and hopefully, one day, it will rain again.

Tomorrow is Halloween, but I’m not into it this year. With my dad’s passing and my marathon training, the thought of having to think of a costume was just another chore I dreaded, and one that wasn’t at all necessary, so I’m skipping it.

This Sunday I’ll go for the longest run I’ve done in half my life, 18 miles…not since I ran the only marathon I’ve ever done in my twenties have I ever pushed myself so far. I’m excited, nervous, scared and trying to be brave, all at once!

Last night I ran 8 miles, which is a lot for a midweek run. It was enough to run to and through the Presidio and back home. And it was enough to have to make up a batch of homemade electrolyte mix before I went out.

I’ve also been working very hard to shed a few pounds. Granted, I should have been losing weight for this sooner, but with all that’s happened, life was just too stressful. I’m not THAT much over weight, but losing a few pounds would really help with the stress and strain my body is and will be taking. My focus is where it should be now, on eating right and doing the best that I can.

I was thinking on my 4-miler tonight that all the strength training, stretching, and runs I have done are doing some good. My legs feel good, my runs usually feel all right, of course there is the occasional bad run, but those are the anomaly rather than the norm, and my confidence in my own abilities is growing. I can really see the progress I’m making!

December 6th isn’t far away and I’m sure the butterflies will start up soon….

Cheers!

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Are Too Many Races Nothing But Hype?

San Francisco Sunrise

San Francisco Sunrise

I ran 15 miles this morning. It was the longest run I’ve ever completed in 28 years. It was great and hard and punishing and rewarding and tiring, all at once and I’m quite proud of pushing myself to reach my goal. In a couple weeks, I’ll run 18 miles; my marathon isn’t that far away.

This morning was also the SF Nike Women’s Half Marathon. I thought I’d watch a little of it since it started at the same time as my run and the course at the 1-mile mark ran past the corner of my street. There’s so much build up for this race. It costs a whopping $200. The only other Half I can think of in that price range are any of the Disney “runs”, again, with massive hype. I’m not a Disney person, so those have no appeal to me, and I’m equally not a Nike fan, so I’ve never understood the big draw for this “race”. And this morning made me like it even less.

The front part of the race included runners that were pacing nicely, but they petered out quickly and even at the 1 mile mark, the walkers started. In fact, most of the “racers” were walkers, and they weren’t walking fast at all. I shrugged it off and ran off to continue my route.

I ran into the Slow Walkers again at my 13-mile mark. Their race was around the 10-mile mark, so they still had a little to go. I was hoping that they would be completed with this portion of the race by now. We were on the bottom, level portion of Lincoln Blvd in the Presidio and several thousand Slow Walkers hadn’t started the ascent up the hill towards the Golden Gate Bridge. They were in no hurry to do so. They were strolling as if in a suburban shopping mall, taking selfies, dancing around, doing everything but working up a sweat.

How about just going to brunch and letting someone who really wants to run and do their best take your spot?

These hyped-up “Fun Runs” regardless of whether they are 5Ks or Halfs, give runners a bad name. We runners work hard to be the best we can. Sure, the vast majority of us will never win a race or even place, but we don’t treat it like it’s just a “thing to do” or a place to party.

I place the Nike Women’s Half Marathon on par with Color “Runs” and all the other silly money makers. If all you want to do is stroll along, never break a sweat, never train at all and just go do something different than Eggs Benedict at the local spot on the corner, they’re for you. If you want to really go out and run and do something good for your body, skip it and find a decent race.

Cheers!

CATCHING UP…TRIBUTE TO MY DAD

Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach

My dad turned 93 this year. He has always been healthy. He was very active when he was younger; he loved mountain climbing, hiking and being outdoors in general. He also liked to eat right and I can’t ever remember a time when he was overweight. Whenever he gained a few pounds, he lost them right away.

Two weeks ago, he passed away peacefully in the Hospice room he had been staying in next door to his home in Northern Florida. He and my stepmom live in Jacksonville next to the Mayo Clinic, so he was always had the best care. Eleanor (my stepmom) had called me and warned me that his time was coming, so I prepared to fly out there at any time.

My dad when he was young

My dad when he was young

As soon as I heard, I booked a flight a couple days later and was there a few days. I was relieved I got to spend time with him when he was feeling better a couple years prior to this.

I was able to get a couple shorter runs in while I was there, but my marathon training has been shaken up a bit. Granted, it’s a good reason, and my head wasn’t in the right place to run for a little while, but I’m now trying to get back into it.

While in JAX, I got one decent 5-miler near the beach. It wasn’t as humid as a couple miles inland where Eleanor lives. I truly love the beach and am thinking about moving there in a couple years.

The flowers for my dad. He loved gardening, so it included vegetables

The flowers for my dad. He loved gardening, so it included vegetables

So, I said goodbye to my father and still think of him. He led a long and filled life. No regrets. He was a man’s man, but he loved the ladies too. He loved being in nature and exploring foreign countries. He taught me to love the outdoors, reading and the SF Giants.

Love you always Dad.

Cheers,