A Simple Running Log

January 18, 2010

Training for 1/18/10

Filed under: Uncategorized — aschmid3 @ 5:32 pm

I’m back! And while I may have neglected this blog the whole time we were on vacation, I did not neglect my training.

We flew out to San Diego on Jan. 8, landing around 12:30 p.m. local time after what felt like the longest flight in the world. Seriously, I don’t know how people stand to fly to foreign countries. Six hours was my limit.

Having gotten up so early in Delaware to catch our flight and then dealing with the three-hour time change, I had no trouble getting to sleep early that night so I could get up for my 15K the next morning.

I was up around 5 a.m. Saturday. We made the short trip to Mission Bay. Clark hung around long enough to take a couple of pictures of the unorganized, enormous mass of runners at the starting line before taking off to go do some running of his own at a beach.

The start of the race was ridiculous. Most people didn’t even hear the director tell us to go. We shuffled through the start as a giant mass; some people were even jokingly mooing, because it really did feel like we were a bunch of cows being herded along instead of runners bursting from a starting line. It didn’t get much better for the first few hundred yards, as we were all supposed to somehow fit onto a sidewalk.

Finally, it started to space out, and I could actually start running.

Somewhere in the first part of the race.

We did a short out-and-back from the starting line and then ran around an island before crossing the finish line. Around the 5-mile mark, I caught up with a woman who was running what felt like the pace I wanted, so I just trotted along next to her. We started chatting, and she was amazed that I was racing on my honeymoon and that my new husband had just dropped me off and split, haha.

There was nothing remarkable to note about the race. As we came across the finish line, we had to stand in line in the order in which we’d finished so volunteers could rip off the little tag on the bottom of our race bibs and put them on metal rings in the right order.

When I finished, things were moving along pretty smoothly. Not long after that, though, the bulk of the runners from all three races started finishing (a 10K started a half hour after the 15K, and a 5K started a half hour after that), and the line backed up to at least 100 feet before the finish line.

I guess the point here is the race was either poorly organized, or a lot more people showed up than expected, because both the start and finish were a total mess.

Anyway, I got my post-finish goody bag, filled mostly with useless coupons and offers from San Diego-area running stores, but it also had no less than six energy bars and two samples of granola cereal.

I even won a prize in my age group! I finished in 1:13:42 officially (though if it hadn’t been for that incredibly packed start, I think I would have been in the 1:11 or 1:12 range) and was second in my age group.

I was going to do the other 6 miles of the planned 15-mile long run after the race, but by the time the awards ceremony had wrapped up, I was tired of being in my running clothes. So Clark picked me up, and we spent the rest of the day at the San Diego Zoo.

Sunday morning, I got up bright and early for those 6 miles I had to make up. I ran them along the waterfront, which was gorgeous. We spent the rest of that day watching football in a bar and getting drunk.

Monday morning, we tried to lift weights in the hotel fitness room, but it was a pretty ineffective workout. Oh well. Gotta work with what you have. The rest of that day was spent driving the Pacific Coast Highway and admiring the scenery along the coast.

Tuesday was our last morning in San Diego. I went to Balboa Park for what turned out to be about 5 easy miles. It was a nice place to run, with plenty to look at, but I was lost most of the time and wound up sliding down a hill into Palm Canyon. We left for the drive to Santa Monica and did some more sightseeing along the coast on the way, including a stop in Malibu so Clark could scope out Brad Pitt’s former oceanfront home.

Wednesday, I had my Forrest Gump moment, when I ran to the end of the Santa Monica Pier, which was right near our hotel. I then ran through Venice Beach, to the Venice Beach pier, and back, for a total of about 7 miles. That was when I found out Delaware running does have an advantage over California running: In Delaware, there are no hordes of Mexicans just hanging out and yelling at every woman who dares walk or run by all by herself.

Anyway, on Wednesday we also took a walk around Rodeo Drive (we wanted to buy something small, just to say we bought it on Rodeo Drive, but it was a little intimidating to actually walk inside a store there), and when we got back to Santa Monica, I actually bought a pair of skinny jeans and was shocked at how comfortable they are to wear. California was starting to rub off on me, I guess.

Thursday was our second and final morning in Santa Monica, and that day I did four easy miles through Palisades Park and down on the beach. We left that day for Los Angeles, and accidentally hiked up a mountain in Griffith Park for no reason, trying to get to the Hollywood sign after a borrowed GPS told us to go that way. When the trail ended and we were nowhere near the sign, that GPS almost went off the side of the mountain.

Friday was a much-needed rest day. We took a five-hour tour of Warner Bros. studios, which included lunch in the swanky fine dining room and a chance to see actual sets, including those for “The Ellen Degeneres Show,” ” The New Adventures of Old Christine” and “Chuck.” We hoped to attend the Friday night live taping of “Two and a Half Men,” but we couldn’t get tickets. Oh well. Clark did see Reese Witherspoon drive by in a Nissan Versa, so that was cool.

Saturday, I had my last run in California. It was a cutback week, so I was scheduled to do 11 miles. I returned to Griffith Park, thinking the roads wouldn’t be as steep as the trails. Wrong! I ran all the way up to an observatory, which was only a couple of miles, but felt like the whole 11. We don’t have hills in Delaware. My legs were screaming.

After I made it to the top, I figured I’d head back down and out of the park and run along a residential street for a while. That should be flatter. It was, but it was still hilly as crap.

Finally, my 11 “easy” miles of torture ended and my shredded legs and I gratefully returned to the car. When I got back to the hotel, Clark wanted to walk 7 miles round trip to first eat at an In-N-Out Burger and then walk the entire Walk of Fame. I thought I heard my legs whimper.

We made the trek, and about a half mile from the end, Clark said I looked miserable. I said my legs had gone from hurting to “fuck you” about two miles ago.

However, while we were trying to find a way to see the lobby of the Chateau Marmont, Clark had another star sighting — Jason Segel, who plays Marshall on “How I Met Your Mother,” walked right past us. I didn’t even notice.

After watching the Ravens get creamed by the Colts in our hotel room Saturday night, we took yet another hike, this time to spend way too much money on one meal at Gordon Ramsey’s restaurant at The London hotel. You only live once, right?

Sunday, we headed back to the San Diego airport for our return flight. We got home around 1:45 a.m. My body was not happy when it had to get up for work six hours later. I still managed to unpack all of my stuff and get in my weight training this morning though.

It was a great vacation and a wonderful week of running (in shorts!) Now it’s back to life in running tights.

And only a couple of months until my first marathon!

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