Saturday, June 30, 2007
Friday, June 29, 2007
A few days ago, my Mother announced that she was cleaning her closet out. Not news in its own right, but part of this cleaning process would involve us, her daughters, to go through all of the projects, pictures, and other memorabilia from our childhood saved since we were born and decide what to keep. Consequently, the last 3 days or so have had me sifting through album after album, drawing after drawing, deciding what, really, would be worth keeping. Not surprisingly, it's ended up being an enjoyable process, and I've learned some things about myself that are somewhat interesting :)
For instance, at the age of 4 1/2, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. Many other things have changed about me over the years, but apparently I picked up early my love of learning and of helping others. Almost every 'about me' form that I filled out from 4 onward had me mentioning teaching as a career.
I've always been someone who fixated on one certain thing (obviously, that one thing now is running :) ). In kindergarten, I got obsessed with a rabbit named Penny (on a questionaire: What would you like to have right now? A bunny named Penny. What makes you happy? Playing with a bunny named Penny. What makes you sad? When I can't play with a bunny named Penny). Later, in elementary school I proclaimed that I loved anything and everything pertaining to the musical "Little Shop of Horrors" (sort of a weird choice....). In Junior High (and this is embarrassing to admit, it was the X-Files. In retrospect, running might be the most sensible 'obsession' to date :D
I really picked up on messages told by adults and replayed them in my stories and drawings (early signs of my need to please my teachers?) From first grade, I have a drawing about the evils of doing drugs (they will make you look like the monster of Frankenstein), the necessity of always wearing a seat belt, and even a story about two ducks who can't play together because they are different colors, but who eventually make their parents see the light.
Also I wasn't always as shy as I remembered. I recieved multiple 'loudmouth' awards during my one year stint as a softball player (a sport I thoroughly sucked at. The end of the year letter about the team stated "Adelyn was our best right field played!" yeah....the ball never goes to right field....)
It's been enjoyable revisiting my past and I'll admit a simple pleasure from tossing out things that just don't matter that much any more. It's nice to feel that I can appreciate my past while still moving on. Some of the things I finally threw out were things that I've been holding onto for far too long, including a certain box of memorabilia from a relationship long ended. One of those things you hold onto, just in case (of what? I'm not sure).
Anyways, it feels wonderful to let go of all the things that were holding me to other earlier times. I've kept the things that are important, and now I have lots of room to store the momentos from the memories still to come.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Monday, June 25, 2007
Even though it was still pretty early, it felt hot out! It's so dry out here, which makes us all worried about the likelihood of a fire at some point this summer. The fire danger was 'extreme' according to the sign, and will likely be such all summer.
We did have a fun wildlife sighting on this run, right before returning to the car! Abbie and I looked into the field on the left, and there was a beautiful deer! It moved foward to the trail, about 30 ft in front of us, sort of bobbed its head out and back to check for any danger, and then crossed the trail! It was pretty cool :)
On Sunday, my Dad and I decided to just go out on a father daughter run, so I took him up to Modjeska Grade, where the Joplin adventure had started, to just run out to the flags and back. Why there are flags here, I don't know, but it's a great spot for a run turn around!
Just before I left, I decided to check out the OCTR sight, which posted a warning about mountain lions, saying that one had been sighted earlier this week on Modjeska Grade. Needless to say, I was slightly paranoid for the first few miles! My dad checked in with me on mountain lion protocal (if you see one, make yourself big, noisy, and as unlike prey as possible!).
We were just about the clouds when we started, and it was pretty amazing to look down on the blanket of white below us.
The uphills are a bit intense at time on this route, not so much because of steepness, but more just the length. It seems like a few of these hills will just never end! It was fun looking down into the canyon and seeing the wisps of clouds hanging between the hills. We could also see Tucker Wildlife Reserve, where the Joplin run ended last weekend, which was fun. I enjoyed pointing out to my dad the end of the trail that took us to the run's finish :)
There were a few mountain bikers that passed us not too long after we started, but it was pretty quiet on the trail until after the turn around, which was both nice and a little eeriee.
Before long we reached the flag, which looked beautiful against the blue sky.
I had my dad sign the OCTR book and we enjoyed taking a bit of a break at the scenic vista before turning around to head back to the car.
All in all, the route was just around 7 miles and a really lovely way to spend a Sunday morning.
I enjoyed having a lighter week, with just over 36 miles logged and no runs longer than 8.5 miles. This week needs to be a bit stronger, with at least 40 planned, and then I think I'll head into my taper for Tahoe! Only a few more weeks :)
Sunday, June 24, 2007
My favorite to watch is Andy Jones-Wilkins (4th place). He is just so estatic, hugging everyone. If you watch the later videos, you can see him in almost every one, hugging the finisher. He just seems like the nicest guy! Watching the video can't help but make me smile :) I love that he's so postive. I hope that I can have the same kind of additude when I finish my first 100 (whenever that is :) ) Scott Dunlap did a great write up on Andy, for anyone interested in learning more about him! Another cool thing, though he's now an Idaho resident, he used to live in Oakland, training at many of the parks I visited when I lived in Berkeley :)
Saturday, June 23, 2007
But for now, I'll enjoy from the side lines and cheer on everyone out there accomplishing something that I can only imagine for now.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
So, today (or last night, more specifically) I have made a commitment to be conscious of what I'm eating. From now on desserts (which I love) need to come from smart choices, like fruit, cereal, or yogurt. The Special K I love so dearly needs to be measured so I don't 'accidently' end up with a breakfast for 4 in my bowl. And late night snacking needs to stop. The whole eating when I'm not hungry, in fact, needs to stop. And, for good measure, alcohol (especially wine, since that's predominately what I drink down here) needs to be saved for special occassions only!
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
The whole crew, all 22 of us! Photo courtesy of Jessica
We all immediately split into different factions, based on pace. As planned, Skip and I were going to stick together in the back, and were joined by his other "Love from the Back" runners Nattie and Beiyi. The four of us took a nice and leisurely pace, enjoyed the early morning views and the coolish air. It promised to get hot later (and the fact that we were sweating a little already didn't bode well) but it was nice for the time being. From the beginning I planned to walk most of the hills, and stuck with that more or less, while still keeping up with everyone else.
3.5 miles in we hit the first landmark, the flags. I signed the book there, and then we continued on towards old camp, our next destination. Skip kept trying to give us false hope about the arrival of the final descent to old camp, but soon enough, it was there. As we neared this point, a number of runners passed us going back. Some of the group was just doing 16, and so turned around at old camp. These were the smart ones :)
At old camp we took a break, sat down around an (unlit) campfire, and refueled. I checked out my hydration pack and was reassured to see 40 oz or so still inside. It seemed like that should be able to handle 14 more miles. Jessica was there waiting for us with her bike and after about 20 minutes we all headed out together. Shortly though, it became readily apparent that that mountain bike wasn't going to get itself up the trail easily, so we all offered to pitch a hand, trading off as we went up the grueling trail. The first half didn't seem so bad, and we were all proud of how well we were doing on the trail. But then it started getting hotter, the bike seemed heavier, and the trail steeper. It seemed like we were never going to make it to the top. I tried to mimimize my water drinking, but it was just too hot.
And this brings us to the start of the story. Hot, dehydrated, out of water, and so far from the finish.
As we recovered from the arduous climb, we refueled, all eating a lot and trying to regain some energy.
On the water front, there was still hope. The promised water in 2 or 3 miles. We headed on, not too quickly for fear of sweating too much and dehydrating faster but steadily nonetheless.
A jeep approached and we begged a water bottle from them. It was some of the best water I have ever had. Seeing how happy we were, they gave us another bottle. Between the 4 of us (Jessica didn't have much since, with her bike, she'd be down much sooner) we each got about half a bottle which rejeuvinated us and raised our spirits. Onward we went, running some and walking some, down the wide trail.
Now, for almost the entire run I had had to use the bathroom (ironic since the one thing I needed to retain was water). I've never done that in nature before. But, I finally gave in, went for it, and while weird, was also quite relieving. Feeling much better, I continued on, knowing that our promised water wouldn't be too far away.
I saw the others who had gotten down before me, who announced that there was no water. Well, things just got a lot more interesting. The irony here is that there was water, 4 gallons, plus ice, that had been left. Unfortunately, there was miscommunication on its location and we never found it. Hopefully some other dehydrated runners will stumble upon it and be helped. But, for the time being, we had to figure out what to do. Beiyi was still up on the trail and didn't seem to be doing that well. A yellow hummer was approaching. The man inside rolled down his window and asked if we were okay. We admitted we weren't, we were out of water. Without saying a word. He got out of the vehicle, went to the back and presented a 36 oz bottle of water. As we thanked him, he gave us a few of his business cards and told us that he had also given a bottle to a woman up the trail a bit, Beiyi. The kindness of these strangers really really helped us, and we really owe them so much.
In a few minutes Beiyi approached and we figured out our plan of attack. We were now 9 miles from the finish, and we each had about 12 ounces of water. The Laurel Springs were only 4 miles away, and those became our next goal. Jessica headed down on her bike, and we continued down main divide on foot, quickly separating. Beiyi fell back again and I kept close to Skip and Nattie, but still a bit behind them. I was rationing my water, having one sip for every 1/2 mile I completed, hoping that that would be motivation enough to get down. Lots of thinking about stranded people on boats and islands and how they managed without water. We also started fantasizing about what we'd like to do when we finished. Strawberry Daquaris and swimming pools were popular fantasies. Nattie wasn't doing that well, and gave in, draining her water after about 2 miles. We were really getting discouraged despite our attempts to raise each other's spirits.
Finally we saw the sign. "Laurel Springs 1/4" with an arrow pointing to a side trail. The idea of an extra 1/2 mile total seemed frustrating. With the heat I was worried about how much water there'd be, if there was any at all. Holding my small amount of water left in the bottle close to my chest, I followed Skip and Nattie down the trail. We reached a broken down picnic table, not exactly promising. It was hot and the trail was narrow and it didn't seem like we were getting any nearer to a water source.
And then, suddenly, we were there. A shaded, green, wet oasis! We took turns placing our bottles underneath the water trickling water, drinking in the cool wet wonderfulness. It was amazing to suddenly have access to the thing we had been without for hours, and to be in such a beautiful place enjoying it. Skip took some and poured it on his head, exclaiming how great that was. He then offered me the same experience, and, my was it heavenly. The water was so cool, and it felt so great to get the salty residue off of our faces. There were pools of muddy water all around us, and I finally decided to give into the urge and dip my feet in a shallow pool by the dripping water. As I put the first foot down, I was shocked to discover that it wasn't a few inches deep, it was more like 4 or 5! I stumbled and my other foot plunged in, the water covering my feet and going halfway up my gaiters. We all laughed at the mixture of shock and pleasure on my face, and I encouraged the other two to do the same. It felt heavenly. In turn Nattie, and then Skip took foot dips, and all of them gave quiet moans of appreciation. The water really did feel that good. Skip and I both took off our shirts briefly to soak them to keep us a bit cooler and we loaded up on water from the springs. It was amazing how much difference the stop made. Everything seemed so much more approachable now and we were ready to take on those last 5 miles.
The only thing that worried us was that Beiyi never joined us at the springs. She had gotten much more water from the Hummer man, so we hoped she was doing okay. Not too long after we left the springs, a mountain biker was heading up the trail so we asked if he had seen a woman in a blue shirt. He had, but she was walking with a man. Was that her? We had to hope it was.
Finally after getting water we felt like we could run a little again. Our bodies were pretty beat by this point, though, and we still need to take walking breaks. We had pretty much drained our food by this point, but I had some ginger chews, which we all enjoyed. The heat was still feeling pretty oppressive, but every once and a while a cool wind would revive us. We continued pushing, trying to will the finish closer. Soon, we saw cars. They had to be ours. We weren't that much further. We started seeing hikers, and took that to be a good sign. One woman with her daughter asked us if this was a loop course. We started laughing, looking slightly crazy I'm sure, explaining between laughs that we had been going for 8 1/2 hours and almost 22 miles. They moved on. Skip and I started running more now, knowing we were just a few short miles from the end, and going downhill.
We let out a cheer as we reached the gate and headed into the parking lot. At the gate was a less than reassuring sign. I guess, had we known, it just would have been one more thing to worry about. We didn't see any cats, so not to worry :) Nattie finished a few minutes later. After 8 hours and 52 minutes, we had completed our journey, not without some moments of fear, exhaustion, and also enjoyement. It will definitely be a run that is sure to be etched in my memory for a long time to come, and, if nothing else, taught me a good number of lessons about running on an isolated trail :) We later found out that it was, in fact Beiyi who was with the man, a hiker she had connected with towards the end. Without the springs stop she finished about half an hour ahead of us.
All in all, if we had been more prepared, this run has the potential to be great. Unfortunately, you need an incredible amount of water to really be okay on this course. We figured with a 64 oz camelback, two bottles stowed inside (adding another 48 oz or so) and 2 handhelds (adding another 40) you might be okay. Maybe. But you'd probably still run dry. That run is just brutal, especially now that the So Cal summer is upon us. Still, the views were beautiful and some parts of the trail were just visually spectacular. I'm glad I got to experience my hometown moutain, even though it was in less than optimal circumstances.
Thursday, June 14, 2007
I can't find any trail specific running clubs!!!
The only running club, it seems, anywhere in Santa Cruz is the Santa Cruz Track Club which seems like a great organization but that only runs trails "now and then". Their main focus is wednesday night track workouts :( I suppose it could be good for me to learn things about speed workouts but, honestly, I'd rather unwind for the day on some trails than running in circles. I really came to depend on my wednesday night trail runs over the last few months, and even now, in OC, I'm making sure to get in my wednesday trail run with the group. I've been searching and searching, though, and even sent out a plea to the Ultra List, with no responses besides emails pointing me to SCTC.
How can a place with so many beautiful parks and trails surrounding it not have more of a running community? UCSC doesn't even have a running club, which just seems sort of ridiculous.
Perhaps once I hook up with SCTC I'll be able to meet people that I could maybe meet up with outside of the club workouts to run with. I suppose I could hit trails alone, but it's just been hammered into my head that that isn't safe, and I'd really rather run with others.
Oh well. Sorry about the vent all! I just really want to love living in Santa Cruz and am a bit shocked by its lack of groups, compared to Berkeley.
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
Saturday I met up bright and early with OCTR for a run in Black Star Canyon, which, contrary to mapquest's prediction of a 40 minute drive from my house, was actually only 25 minutes away. Nice to be closer, but it resulted in my arrival at the start almost a half an hour early! Much to my surprise, instead of the empty parking area I expected, the roadsides were packed with cars. There was a huge truck in the middle of the road and a crowd of people standing by. Apparently the only other people crazy enough to get to a trailhead at 6 in the morning besides runners are mountain bikers, and there were lots of them!
Skip and I pause for a photo-op
Finally, we turned around, and began the wonderful 7 mile descent back to the cars. As downhill running is my favorite part of trails, I kept getting ahead of Skip and Tracy, enjoying the carefree feeling of gravity pulling me towards my destination. After stopping and waiting a few times, Kalea (who was doing 16) caught up, and I decided to go ahead and run in with her, since she seemed to be going a good pace. We stayed together, inadvertantly pushing each other towards the end, and had a really nice finish to the run.
Getting back to the car, we saw that Vinnie had already hooked up his toaster and had the bagels and cream cheese out. A lovely end to a good run :)
This week the marathon (and the 60 mile week that inadvertantly followed) has finally caught up to me and my legs are feeling pretty shot. My foot was hurting a little today, and my knees felt a little off yesterday, so I'm going to be smart and take thursday and friday off (as much as it pains me to even write that!) I'm doing a challenging (but slow!!) 22 miler on Saturday and the last thing I want is to get injured just over a month out from tahoe. I think I got ahead of myself, feeling so great w/ the marathon and getting in these 40+ mile weeks, and I need to cut back. My run tuesday ended up being 3 instead of 6 because my legs were so beat (and it was 85 degrees) and today my legs felt pretty tired as well. I know time off will make me a better runner, so I'm doing what I need to do. It's sort of cool though, I guess, that taking off 2 days in a row seems like a big deal now.
Monday, June 11, 2007
(The shopping crew, courtesy of Wendy Garcia)
(Myself, Abbie, and Wendy enjoying the view from Skip's condo complex)
Afterwards we went back to Skip's condo and hung out until other OCTR folk arrived. Around 6 or so we all headed out to this great Italian place just walking distance from Skips and enjoyed a lovely dinner.
Jessica joined us part way through dinner, having come up not to run but, rather, to be part of the awesome cheering section on the course.
(Another Phil Photo, of me just cruising along somewhere in the lower miles of the race. Check out my awesome blue and gold outfit, complete with Cal shirt and visor!)
We crossed the halfway mark at 2:16:17, and I immediately felt a bit of a weight lift as I no longer felt like I was being pulled back by Lauren, and could finally run the pace I wanted. Had some faster miles here, which was nice. It was really enjoyable to run this middle section so well, when the same section last year featured me stopping at least every mile to stretch a painfully tight thigh muscle. I was really enjoying wearing my cal outfit and getting the "go bears" comments, to which I always responded in like and with a smile. It was a good pick me up and made me want to run just a bit faster, to respresent those bears well :D
(Phil photo to the left)
(Thanks again Phil for all the wonderful photos!!!!)
Chip time: 4:23:56
Friday, June 08, 2007
“Each player of this game starts with 6 weird things about himself or herself. People who get tagged need to write a blog entry of their own as well as state the rule clearly. In the end, you need to tag 6 people as well and list their names. Don’t forget to let them know they’ve been tagged!”
1) I have a phobia of moths and other flying insects. Logically, I know they can't hurt me, but the way that they flutter will send my heart up into my throat and cause adrenaline to race through my body. Even butterflies, when there are enough of them, will be enough to freak me out.
2)I research, sometimes to the point of ridiculousness, anything and everything I take on, and, or, am afraid of. For example, because I'm afraid of mountain lions, I have researched far and wide online to find out where the attacks in california have been over the last few hundred years (16 attacks since 1890) and when the last ones were seen in areas I run (one was seen in berkeley about 2 years ago). I also look up information and pictures about most any run I'm thinking about doing (looked up pictures of Black star since I'm running there tomorrow- did you know it's haunted?), as well as read any race report I can get my hands on :) A bit neurotic, I'll admit, but at least I'm prepared!
3)I sometimes really enjoy running to classical music, especially cello played by yo-yo ma. I find it relaxing! (but perhaps that's why I'm so slow:) )
4) I really hate to be in a room with open doors. For some reason I find it unsettling and am much happier to be in an enclosed space.
5) I didn't try a cheeseburger, burrito, or hard boiled egg until high school.
6) I hated running my entire life, until a few years ago. I even offered myself up as the team goalie when I played soccer so that I wouldn't have to run for most of the 10 years that I played soccer.
I think about half of these make me seem incredibly neurotic, but oh well :P
Now, I'm tagging, Josh, Kim, Bob, Red, Terry, and Gretchen.
Have fun guys!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
The last 4 nights have featured stress dreams (where bad things happen and I can't stop them and, subseqently become really stressed) but last night I had actual nightmares, featuring my realization that my dad had died (which, of course, he hasn't), going to turn in my thesis and realizing that it was full of mistakes and was completely undone (its turned in and already graded) and that I was trying to drive a car across the san francisco bay on the water with my mom and a huge wave came over and destroyed our car, and, probably, us as well.
Monday, June 04, 2007
My PR for the 1/2 marathon distance is 2:10:09 meaning that I got a 1/2 marathon PR in the 2nd 1/2 of a marathon!!! That's really cool :) Not sure if I count that as an actual PR since it wasn't done in a 1/2 marathon race, but it's exciting nonetheless. Imagine how fast I could go if I hadn't already run 13.1 miles? Perhaps breaking 2 hours isn't as far away as I thought :D
I looked back into my coolrunning log tonight and stumbled upon an entry from Monday, November 2nd 2004, which showed:
Monday,Nov 22, 2004
Running Training run 4:45 pm
4 miles41:14 (10:18/mile)
That felt so awsome to run for such a long time. Thats the longest that I've ever run in my life, and I sort of felt like I could have gone longer if I had wanted to. Body still getting achey though while I'm running, which sucks...that better not happen on thursday! i'm glad to be working out again though.
It's funny to remember a time when 4 miles was a long run and an exhilirating achievement :) Amazing how far you can come in 2 1/2 years!
I'm looking forward to my first post-race run tomorrow, hopefully 6 miles or so :D
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Final time: 4:23:56!
That means my pace was an average of 10:04!!!
Beating my previous pr of 4:54:56 by over 30 minutes :D
I ran this race last year in 5:32:38, so I took over an hour off my marathon time in one year :)
Plus, my half time was 2:16:17, meaning that I had an awesome negative split!
I was aiming for 4:45, but decided to push early, since I never had before, and had such a great race. I kept waiting to blow up but never did. My last mile was a 9:06 pace and the last 1/2 mile or so was an 8:22 race (my watch was about .3 off of the actual markers). It was so cool to be 'fast' for once in my life.
Just checked out the results and I finished in the top 32% of all runners, the top 20% of women, and the top 19% of women 19-24.
I'm still sort of in shock.
But super happy that I really have improved so much fitness wise in the last year. I felt a million times better this year than last.
Thanks so much everyone for all your support!!!
Friday, June 01, 2007
San Diego here I come!