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I'm afraid I have some pop culture to catch up on.

1) Bachelor 

Most urgently, is a timely and relevant conversation about the Bachelor finale ;)

(see, the joke is, the finale was like 2 weeks ago. This is not timely. I will still talk about it).

Sean proposing to Catherine

I caught about 70% of the season, and by the finale became very concerned about the fact that a) the final two women that Sean chose were the two with the most grating voices, and b) Sean was "praying for clarity" in order to choose his wife.  As opposed to falling madly and deeply unquestionably in love with his future wife.  Seems like a pretty terrifying way to choose your lifemate....but then again, in the world of the Bachelor, a lifemate really means approx. 5 months-mate.

Grating voice aside, at some point early in the season (the volleyball group date) Catherine stood out to me. As drop dead gorgeous and not dramatic.  She is a cutie!

And then, by the finale, when she got adorably excited to ride an elephant, I declared, "I would totally pick her if I was a penis person!"  I suppose "if I was a man" would have worked.  Or "a person who likes women".  But you get the point--I was rooting for Sean to pick Catherine.

Except for the whole "praying for clarity" to determine who he should fall in love with, Sean seemed like an okay guy.  Definitely more likable than some of the schmucks in the past.  The fact that he couldn't take a shower without being filmed was a little odd though ;)

Did you guys catch the episode where he surprised a group of sorority girls watching the Bachelor?

They harassed him to take his shirt off.  Mean girls.
Girls feast on him in the DeeGee Chapter room
Oh how do I know cool terms like "DeeGee Chapter room?" Cause that was MY DG (delta gamma) chapter room in college.

Yup.  I was in a sorority at UCLA.  And I would have lost my shit just like those girls if we were watching the Bachelor and he just popped in.  It made me all sorts of nostalgic when the camera spanned that beautiful sorority mansion that I used to call home.  Man, I sure didn't appreciate that opportunity for what it was.  I was too busy trying to find a corner to hide in for an estrogen break to appreciate how AWESOME it was to watch the Bachelor (or as it were, Sex and the City) with 50 other fun girls on mandatory "Monday Dinner" night.

In sum, Sean did not have much to choose from, but Catherine was his best bet.  She seems really playful and silly, and sometimes that's all you need in a best friend/wife.


2) JT



Have you heard the hype? Justin Timberlake hosted SNL! Then he was on Jimmy Fallon everyday for a week! Then he was on every radio channel! And the Grammys! He has a new album out! You can buy it at Target for $10 and it comes with two bonus tracks!

For the love of *NSYNC it was just too much.  And I totally fell for it.

I found myself at a Target at 9:00 p.m. on Tuesday night (the day it was released) with the Gentleman to buy his new album and some Peeps.

And then I found myself at another Target at 9:30 p.m. on Tuesday night because the first Target was sold out of the JT album.  I bought some more peeps.

I buy CD's because my #1 favorite time to listen to music is in the car (nope, not while running, I listen to the radio or podcasts while running), and my old car does not have an ipod/iphone dock.  CD's only.

I bought the hype because Pitchfork gave his album an 8.4.  By Pitchfork standards, that is a beyond glowing review.

I also bought the hype because even though I find nothing about JT attractive, I think his sense of humor and SNL hosting skills scream, "I was on the Mickey Mouse Club!", I think he is arrogant, his voice is just ookkkkkkaay, and generally I fucking hate Justin Timberlake, EVEN THOUGH all of that: "my love" and "lovestoned" and "what goes around" and "cry me a river" always end up on my ipod playlist.  They just migrate right back there.  He makes good music.  Thanks to Timbaland's writing and Michael Jackson's influence, but still.  Good music.

How's the album, you ask?

Well there's this problem where I can't shake Jessica Biel's face out of my head, since every song is about how in love he is and how much he wants to dance with his hot lady.  No songs at all about how Scarlett Johansson (as a metaphor for Britney Spears) cheated on him and then Karma killed her in a car accident.  (See: what goes around).

Not a bad face to have stuck in my head
I have close to never seen any of Jessica Biel's acting, but she is so very famous.  She is stunning. That's all I have on her.

But, the album is very good.  The music and the beats are creative and fun.  They make you want to dance, and also to sit still and listen to the weird stuff that is happening.  The lyrics are terrible, though, so don't listen too closely to that.  Sample: "you really got me when you said hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, hey, smacking that strawberry bubblegum."

3) JTT

Lets add another T and now we have a hottie!

What 10 year old WOULDN'T fall madly for this?

When someone's face is hanging on your wall for a solid year of pure Teen Bop love, you never forget.  JTT still lives in my fifth-grader heart.

I am forever thankful that the "Justin Bieber" of our generation was the adorable JTT.  I never saw his underwear due to saggy-yet-tight-hammer pants.  I never saw him take his shirt off because he thought his skinny boy body was slammin.  JTT had a smoldering smile.  Bieber tries to have one.  JTT wins.

And JTT is back!

He made an appearance on some show called Last Man Standing on Friday night.  I didn't catch it, because I'm too cool to be at home on a Friday night.  But I still got excited just to hear that he's still around.  And adorable.

There he is, all grown up! Nicely done!

4) Bloglovin

I reacted to the Google Reader death announcement immediately, and then so did everyone else, which surprised me. I thought I was in the minority for using it as my blog reading tool.  Then I just felt like a douche for blogging about the same whiney stuff that everyone else is blogging about.

I hear that our choices are Feedly and Bloglovin.  I just sampled Bloglovin (tricky move, I just linked you to my blog on Bloglovin) and was very annoyed to learn that when you click on a blog post, it opens it in a new page.  There's no way to stay on the same page? It also downloaded all my Google Reader subscriptions, but then made it so a bunch of posts I had already read were un-read, which is going to be annoying to dig through.  -1 point for Bloglovin.  I'll try Feedly later.

Still hoping Google will realize how much RoseRunner is annoyed by this decision and will retract it.

5) Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue

I should be embarrassed to share that the first time I bought the Swimsuit Issue was when I was a senior in high school.  2002.  I discovered Ana Beatriz Barros and for whatever reason couldn't help myself from wanting to stare at her in a bikini.  Part of me was lusting, and another part of me was staring at her, staring at myself in the mirror, and breeding some self-loathing for not having her puffy lips and bright eyes.

This is the one. 2002.

Since then, I have probably bought about 4 of the last 11 years' swimsuit issue.  Including 2013.

WHY? I don't know.  I enjoy looking at women in bathing suits.  Kate Upton's boobs? Yes, I will take a look please. 

I am also fascinated by the painted on bathing suits.  

Kate Upton with a PAINTED on tangle of necklaces
Even though these girls make me cringe every time they pose with their ass arched to the camera, coyly looking back over their shoulder, I still get a kick flipping through.  It appeals to the same part of me that can't help flipping through an US Weekly while waiting in line at the grocery store. 

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue: degrading and disgusting, or love it/can't look away?

The New Plan



The season for great local races continues in the bay area of northern California.  As far as I can tell, this is every season except for January.  January is like, whatever guys it's dark out.

This Sunday, I will embrace the one race that includes waking up AFTER 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday (can you believe this!).  It's Oakland’s own half-marathon, which as part of the Oakland Running Festival starts at 9:15 a.m. approximately a half mile from my front door.  My port-o-potty will be my own bathroom.  Luxury.

I was on the edge of upgrading to the full marathon a few times this week, because I learned that the top women FIVE DEEP get paid with some Franklins if ya know what I mean, and last year, woman number five ran a 3:20.  It's a bloody hard looking course so no disrespect to the 3:20, but nobody has ever handed me money after a race and it seems possible! Plus, I've got to run the full Oakland marathon sometime. 

In the end I figured there's always next year.  And I also figured I just love the Oakland half marathon too much not to do it.  The whole 9:15 a.m. thing. 

The one thing I don't love about the Oakland half marathon is it is so crazy full of turns.  Lots of turns, makes it impossible for me to tangent the thing and get anywhere near 13.1 miles by my watch.  Running the tangents is a great myth.  I kind of believe only bicycles can do it. 

Look at the bizarre turns in mile 1 and mile 6.  What the?? Oh, I can see my house from here!

The timing isn’t fabulous, because I hear that you need months and years and eons to recover from a marathon, and this Sunday will put me at a solid 3 weeks post Napa Marathon.  But I’m not scared.  Can’t scare me!  

I tested out some speed this a.m. by sprinkling three lone 6:20 miles into a 12 mile run, and it felt good.  My foot issue has been completely non-existent since the marathon (oh, GOOD timing you super idiot foot).  Maybe that’s because I’ve been running 50 miles/week or less.  Maybe it’s because I’ve only worn the Brooks Cadence shoes once since the marathon.  Maybe it’s because my foot was acting up at a bad time.

Regardless, I’m once again facing a race and don’t know what shoes to wear.  Cummon perfect shoe, find me already!

As mentioned, I’ve been at about 50 miles/week these last few, and trying to keep up with what is my new non-plan plan.

The new Non-Plan Plan:

  • Butt/Hip girdle exercises 3-4x per week.  Mostly including donkey kicks, fire hydrant, clam shells, etc. (I generally follow the stuff I learned in this video). 
  • Hamstring and Piriformis stretch 1 full minute, everyday.
  • 2 minute plank, 2-3 times/week.
  • Swim 1x/week
  • HILLY trails 1x/week (will always have to be a weekend.  Not gonna drive out to a trail before work, not a fan of running after work).
  • Visit new physical therapist in SF recommended by a family member.
  • Run whenever.


Last week my non-plan plan was perfectly executed.  I had my very first warm-weather swim since I started swimming in October 2012.  It was a solid 70 degrees-ish when I headed to the pool last Monday evening at 6:30 p.m.  (thank you time change).  What a world of difference this makes! The water felt like butter.  Terrible metaphor, but, it just felt more pleasant overall.  To not be shivering to death unless I’m pumping and kicking non-stop.

And then, TRAILS!

A friend recommended I visit the Lafayette Reservoir and run the Rim Trail.  I think he secretly wanted me to die.  That thing was H-A-R-D but  I can’t tell you the last time I had so much fun on a run, headphones out, just me and my lonesome.  

Rim Trail.  Source

It was harder than it should have been because I was not properly prepared (only brought 200 cals worth of sugar gummies, by mile 15 of 18 I felt my energy deplete).

I parked a good mile away from the Reservoir (free neighborhood parking yo), ran the inner-perimeter of the lake counter-clockwise, turned around and ran it clockwise.  I dodged 8,984 strollers.  It was a very, very wholesome scene, with perfect families everywhere out for a Sunday walk.  But very crowded.  Not my favorite.  I did, however, enjoy how the entire perimeter was all waves of short up and downs.  The perimeter of my neighborhood Lake Merritt is pancake flat, which isn't as spicy.
The inner perimeter got me up to 7 something miles. 

The only picture I could find of the inner trail....and it has a stroller in it.  Source.

Then I went up, up, down, up up UP, for the Rim Trail.  All told, the elevation gain is more than 100ft/mile, which for me is a lot, but the hard part was the pure steepness at certain inclines.  I liked slowly trudging UP them, but running down those parts scared the shit out of me.  The trail was dusty and slippery, and I could not control myself.  But somehow I did. By tip-toeing.  Maybe a little lobster crawling.

After running the almost-5 mile rim trail…I turned around and ran it the other way.  Thank goodness for the water fountain at the peak of the trail, because while I had my measly 200 cals of gummies, I did not bring any water.  Amateur.

Got back to my car with 18.4 miles, 3 hours, and wobbly legs.  I cannot wait to go back!

One reason I'm going on and on about my excitement for the discovery of this 5-mile Rim trail is that it felt very safe to run by myself without worrying about being mauled by a mountain lion or collapsing in dust from thirst.  I saw another runner or hiker about every 90 seconds.  Not that I can’t run trails with friends, but sometimes it is much more convenient to just head out spontaneously, and since this is only a 12 minute drive from my house I actually think I can fit this trail into my life.  Without getting mauled by a mountain lion.  These are my priorities.  And these are my fears of trail running. 

Trails WILL make me a stronger runner. And then I can feel like I’m sort of doing strength training work without doing the dreaded squats or dead lifts.  

Lucky

Here's the story of when I had the good fortune of getting to run a (fast! fun!) half marathon 6 days after the Napa marathon.

I was one of the Three Amigos that day, we stuck together stride by stride for almost the entire race.

The three amigos, and, a deodorant sample.  Good job Margot.


Spoiler alert! Those are age group awards they are flashing!

But first, go read about the day from their perspective--the one who revived her love for running by finishing stronger and faster than she intended; and the one who hadn't run any speedy miles, nor a full 13 miles yet, since returning from injury, but somehow her speed woke up hungry from its hibernation.

I had been in talks with Margot to run the Davis Lucky Half Marathon a couple weeks prior to the Napa marathon.  I was so excited by the invite and the opportunity to meet the Bunny and I really wanted to say yes, but my first instinct was that I would probably still be hobbling around with post-marathon legs on that Saturday (yes, Saturday, which gave me one less day to recover than a normal Sunday race would).

By Tuesday post-marathon, I knew for sure I would be fine to run.  The one perk about having a crappy race day at Napa was that I didn't deplete myself (or at least didn't deplete my legs) and I could tell the recovery was quick enough to hang with Margot at an agreed upon 7:30-ish pace.

I knew Page would be there too, and thought I would hang with her at her planned 8:30-ish pace if my recovery was slower.

Classic RoseRunner move, I cut it very short by arriving at the race about 15 minutes before it started, without having purchased a bib yet.  I thought I was probably too late to even sign up, but it turned out that signing up took a total of 17 seconds.  Crazy easy.  I used a pseudonym because I haven't yet decided my stance on whether I want non-race efforts under my name, and in a spontaneous  moment went for the alternate name.

*I should note that even though I had this grand plan of being the world's best pacer for Margot, I was actually the worlds worst pacer, because I forgot my Garmin.  I have no internal clock (?) when it comes to pace, so basically, I was worthless.  I just tagged on to her side.

Finding the Bunny ears was thankfully easy amidst the growing crowd! We hugged, I dashed all her expectations by not being a glamorous tall person with a beautiful voice (whatever voice you are picturing for me, you know it's way wrong...).  Since I was running late and the port-o-potty line was long, we got to bond over my criminal actions of peeing in a hidey spot of the high school near the start.  Good first impression!

I tried to get a sense of Margot's goals for the day, and quickly picked up on the fact that she was in full-on dread mode.  Wasn't very excited to be there, wasn't confident about how fast we should run.  I mildly tried to pump her up, but knew that whatever we ran we would be doing it in good company and it would be FUN.  The best part of running.

We noted that we should try and find Page, who was going to run an easy pace of 8:30s.  I tenderly whispered into Margot's ear that no, oh no no no, Page will not be running an 8:30 pace.  And then there she was!  And then the race started!

I had no idea what pace we were running, but it felt perfect.  A tad hard for my legs, but I looked side to side and both Margot and Page looked really comfortable in their stride.  Page said "I'm just gonna hang with you guys for a mile or two" (paraphrasing of course), get some of her itch for speed out, so the Three Amigos journeyed through Davis together on a flat course that headed out into this winding little park path, through neighborhoods, and then next to the freeway for a stretch of miles.

I really wanted to see Margot and Page run strong, so even though I had no clue what our pace was as each mile ticked by, I tried to gauge their comfort level to see if we were doing anything stupid.  Margot was clearly focused and working hard, but she looked really strong so I judged our pace was okay.  Page seemed full of energy, but I knew she was pushing it because she told us at least twice that she was going to drop her pace back, bye guys....and then I'd whip my head around with shock: "what! you're still here!"  It was so fantastic.  She couldn't bring herself to slow down.  The Three Amigos were magnetized together.

Page and I got split from Margot for a couple miles while we jetted into some port-o-potties.  We spent most of those miles remarking on how awesome Margot was doing, and how we were never going to catch those bunny ears.  I heard Page tick off one of our miles at sub-7:00 pace, which I knew must have felt great for Page after being off her ankle for so long, but I also wondered if her coach was going to kill me for letting that happen! The plan was 8:30's!

We all focused hard for the last 3 miles, steady and strong, maybe even getting faster with each mile, passing half-marathoners and people in the shorter race distances. I was mad impressed with Page and Margot because I know I fall apart during miles 9-through-12-ish of a hard effort half marathon.

Last mile I do believe.  Page won me over to the Oakley side by wearing sunglasses that were way cuter and better performing than my cheapie $15 expo pair.

I had so much adrenaline and excitement in the last mile.  I was trying to pump us all up by saying stupid shit like "one more mile, it's time to give it all you have left!" and I'm pretty sure they were thinking...shut....up...roserunner...but man it was fun to kick it in to the end with each of them.

For splits and finishing time, check out the ladies race recaps I linked to at the top of this post, since they had the watches like a smart runner should.  1:36:xx finish time, low 7:20 pace.  It was the perfect amount of hard and fun, just what I needed that day.

First, that was fun and those girls rock the world, right?

Second, my internet world just ended today when Google announced that it will be getting rid of Google Reader in a few months.  PROTEST! That is my blog reading management central.   The only way I read blogs.  I know no other way.  I want no other way! I'm also really bummed because I know a lot of my readers read through Google Reader (just checked, 740 subscribers!) and I'm worried they will all fall away into the ether and forget to add me into whatever new subscription system they go with.

So please, Google Readers of mine, don't leave me when you make the switch.  And also, please tell me where to go! What other websites or programs do a great and easy job of managing blog subscriptions in one place?

Before & After the Napa Marathon

Lost in my Napa Marathon recap was all the fun details from before the race!

The week before, I tapered hardcore, with 23 miles total Monday-through-Saturday before the race.

In some sense it was the easiest its ever been to chain myself back from tying on my shoes for long morning runs because it was a highly busy and stressful work week.

On the other hand, the more stressed I am, the more I need running to save my churning brain--burn off some of that stress that wakes me up at 4:00 a.m. with urgent thoughts about the case(s) that fill my work day.

So taper week had me feeling uncomfortable and out of my element.  I didn't have my normal crutch to turn to when feeling stressed.

I was so relieved when marathon weekend arrived, because it was a release for my mind from the office.  An indulgent weekend.  26+ miles on a beautiful Napa road sounded like bliss.

Saturday morning before the race, I woke up for a 2 mile "shake out" run.  Not sure I believe in the shake out run.  Do you?  I think next marathon, I might take the day before off entirely.

Anyway, turns out the two mile run was the most eventful run I've been on all year.  Because? I had front row seats to a woman in a public park getting pleasured by a fellow.

SORRY for that mental image, but since I have it burned in my brain, so must you.  Public park, and no less, a public park that is WITHIN EYESIGHT of Oakland's "Children's Fairyland."  On a Saturday, at 10:00 a.m.  I was definitely not the only witness.  They were just lying in the open grass! What drugs make you THAT brave? yuuuck.

After running for a total of 16 minutes (such a tease), I jumped in the car with Jessica, who would be my housemate for the weekend in Napa while she ran her casual 26.2 miles as an easy prep to the million ultras she's been running in the trails.  So casual, in fact, that she went Portlandia for her race outfit.

Jessica, too cute

Okay, Portlandia was just her throwaway clothes.  That's an old shirt of mine, by the way, I didn't tell her and instead let her think it was from my mom's giveaway stash ;)


Ah darn, I miss the blonde hair.  And that shirt! Maybe.

Nobody told us it would be so warm in the morning that we wouldn't need throwaway clothes.

Back to Saturday before the race.  We went to the expo, drank some free wine, and I learned a lesson to never expect that a race expo will be selling Honey Stinger gels.  I assumed I could buy some there, and have been strongly preferring the honey flavored Stinger gels to Gu brand (both in taste and how my stomach reacts to it).  I hunted all over Napa and never found any.  Gu it would have to be.  (p.s. check out this Honey Stinger sale, I will be buying some even though they don't have the gel I like on sale.)

After the expo, I hung out with the one, the only, niece Gemma the Great, who wore me out with games and dancing so much that my legs were tired and could only muster a 3:09 marathon the next day (you got that Gemma, I blaming YOU.  Worth it 10000%).

She's my mischievous best friend

Other exciting events related to being totally unprepared for something I have known about for months (not buying Honey Stingers, doing lunges with a 19 month old in my arms the day before), I didn't have any safety pins for my bib.  Realizing this the morning of the race, and learning my parents keep zero safety pins in their home, my dad brilliantly decided at 5:45 in the a.m. to staple the bib to my shirt.  It did the trick! A real MacGuyver my dad is!

The stapling of the bib looks professional, right?  like a professional kindergartner

Did I ever tell you how lonely this race was? Thanks to Will for the pictures!

The week afterwards.

My left calf, that had cramped during the race (and often cramps with this leg-lock sensation), was extremely sore for maybe 30 hours after the marathon.  I was limping on the thing.  Then it healed super fast, and I was left by Tuesday walking normally, just a some expected soreness in the quads.

By Thursday I ran 6 slow miles (mmmm, 10:00 minute miles never felt so right), by Friday I ran another 6 miles at a nice 8:40 pace, and by Saturday it was game on, and I ran a F.U.N. 13.1 miles with a couple girls you probably know from blog land, but that will be its own post as soon as my fingers can spit out the words.

I attribute not being deathly sore after the marathon to one thing: not taking a hot bath.  I always go for the hot bath, despite the warning not to, because basically if you warn me not to do something I will probably do it.  I didn't have the patience for a bath this time because I wanted to get the day on the road, and wise move.  I think baths were enhancing my post-marathon soreness in the past.

Another busy work week, another week of hardly any miles, topped off with some much needed relaxation outdoors with the Gentleman (who has also been swamped with work) in Olompali park in Novato.

Now I know that the backpack I was given at the Napa Marathon expo sucks balls as a hiking backpack.  Do. not. try.
Our relaxing hike included a dynamic conversation about where North Korea psychos will attack when they have the capability, and we settled on San Francisco.  Sooo, that sucks.  Fingers crossed Dennis Rodman is actually a double agent who is teaching all North Korean physicists the wrong periodic chart...

Napa Marathon 2013

Well happy March 3rd guys, I've got nothing going on in these parts so just, hope you had a good weekend and we'll talk later, cool?

Oh...so like....I have a running blog....and I have to write about my races....even the ugly ones?

Boy.

I did not PR today, and I thought there was a high, 78% chance that I would.  I was basing that on a) the fact that the weather appeared to be working in my favor, b) I PR'd in the half marathon just four weeks ago, c) I tapered pretty hard-core and foam-rolled/stretched every day the week before, and d) I just kind of figured that the only direction to go in racing is UP...as in...improvement....

If I had had the time last week to do a real analysis of my goals and expectations, it would have looked like this: based on my recent 1:26 half marathon, which is about 2 minutes faster than the half marathon time I was rocking when I ran a 3:05 marathon, I would run a 3:02-3:04 marathon.

(friends, a sub-3 hour marathon is obviously a goal for someone who has run a couple sub 3:10 marathons, but that hasn't been on my realistic front burner recently.  My body is F-U-C-K-E-D up.  If you've read for a while you know that.  My body cannot last 26.2 miles without some major leg failure, i.e. this leg-lock I've referred to, which streams down through my calf, and then makes my calf cramp.  Not in the cards until I learn how to take care of it and fix myself.)

Point being, my goal was to PR, and a 2:59 was a "well maybe if there is a 20mph tail wind!" kind of 0.3% chance.  But 3:02-3:04, I thought I had in the bag, for the reasons mentioned above.

And then, the other 22% of me understood that a) the shoes I was determined to wear were making my right foot angry; b) in my training, a 6:50-7:00 pace was never really feeling that much easier; c) my buttcrease/leg-lock issues would likely make an appearance, and d) the Napa marathon course is bloody boring and difficult in the mental kind of way.

THAT 22% WON.  For all of those reasons.  Plus a few other reasons.

Reasons....reasons....man, I'm so used to training in the 40-50 degree morning air, and this morning was muggy and the sun just blared on the never-ending pavement.  I scratched at my forehead around mile 18 and it felt like a pile of sand was stuck up there - just salt.  I was losing so much salt.  Not acclimated to running in that temperature.  And I was guzzling electrolytes when I could, but it wasn't keeping up and I felt the nausea that accompanies dehydration early into the second half.

More reasons...I could not hold a sub-7:00 pace on the uphill miles.  Just couldn't.  And there were a tasty number of uphill miles.

And....the no-headphone policy and the sloped roads both turned out to be true, adding whatever degree of difficulty to the wear and tear on my legs, and to my sanity during the empty, lonely, miles of 16-24.

Big reason: I stopped to WALK and/or stretch.....during EVERY...SINGLE...MILE...starting at mile 20-ish.  Once my goals were out of grasp, I gave in to that temptation.

I have never stopped more than once in a marathon, in the however many marathons I have run (7? 8?).  

I want to let you know that to ME, a non-PR on any given day does not bring me down.  To me, this is a great memory (even the painful parts!) and I don't regret or feel badly about the day or the result in the least.  To me, striving for goals is often the funnest part, and I welcome the fact that I will reach to break these time barriers in the future, and will one day do so.  There were also many parts about the day that I LOVED.  I was still running after all.

But the day felt really bad, because so many people were physically there to support me, and I felt awful that even their big hearts couldn't lift me up to a PR today.  I also felt down because many others contacted me throughout the day to ask how it went.  That is the BEST question to ask me when I can excitedly tell you good news, but by the end of the day, I felt awful having to answer again, you know, I didn't do my best.  I DON'T LIKE LETTING PEOPLE DOWN.

(I realize that SOME of you want me to fail, because that is just simply how blogging works, and so at least I fulfilled the expectations of some people.  YAAAYYYyyyyyyyyyyyyyy).

Seriously, like, my dad was at the finish line.  That will probably NEVER happen again (because I'm never running the boring as shit Napa-no-headphones-allowed-marathon again, famous last words), and so when I DO PR, and when I DO run under 3:00 hours, and when I DO run even better than THAT, he won't be there.  I just wish I could have had that happy moment, and let everyone know, it was YOU on the sidelines and knowing YOU would be at the finish line and knowing YOU had told me you would send me good vibes, that is why I was able to push it and reach my goals.

I thought of each of those people.  At mile 14 when I could see my PR slipping out of reach, (after a 1:31 first half, when the hills started to push my miles to a 7:15-ish pace, and I knew it was getting harder and harder to dig for a 1:33 second half for a PR), I tried to think of these people for help.  I thought of running in hard at the finish line as these people cheered.  I thought of feeling strong at the next big crowd-support location and getting a surge from the awesome and hilarious posters my friend Allison had made for me.

And then I felt like I failed these people, because I couldn't get their energy to transfer into me.  That's why they were THERE, and I couldn't do it.

The sun.  My calf.

My goal changed from, "1:33 second half, you can still PR" to "1:36 second half, you will have a second-best marathon time" to "fuck me.  Let's at least finish under 3:10".

So I took my dainty little time, walked every mile, to get the goal I settled for with legs that weren't properly working.

3:09:30.  10th place woman.  3rd place in age group.  7:14 pace.
26.38 garmin, 7:11 pace.


(Women in 6, 7, and 8th place all passed me in the last 1.5 mile.  Darn.)

THE BEGINNING:

  • Stripped off my sock-arm warmers at mile 0.5--well my oh my, this is quite a warm muggy morning now, isn't it?
  • Miles 1-2 -- "so pleasant! This pace feels like a piece of cake! Thank you caffeine and tapering!"
  • Mile 3: foot--shut up.  just, shut up.  not now, too early, let's deal with you later.
  • Mile 4-10: my foot problem, whether plantar fasciitis or otherwise, was re-enacting the Kaiser half marathon.  It was going numb, making my inner ankle sore, on the verge of cramping.  So at mile 7, when I saw the Gentleman, I shouted out one of our pre-planned possibilities: "bring my other shoes to the next stop!"  I knew I was going to see him at mile 11, and I knew I needed to change outta these sucky shoes.
  • Awwww, Hi Allison! Hi Marjorie! Hi Gentleman! You guys are the BEST! I LOVE THIS!
Mile 1: 6:32
Mile 2: 6:47
Mile 3: 6:52
Mile 4: 6:43
Mile 5: 6:49
Mile 6: 6:58
Mile 7: 7:02
Mile 8: 6:57
Mile 9: 7:01
Mile 10: 6:56

THE MIDDLE
  • I realized if I stopped to change my shoes, I would have to take off the chip timer and get it onto the other shoes.  Ugh.  I convince myself the shoes aren't that bad, and I don't make the switch.
  • IT IS HOT, gonna pour some of this water all over my hot head...gonna suck down some Gu and Gatorade to make up for all this salt loss.
  • Is this long, slow, incline, ever going to end, because if NOT, then I am kissing any chance of a PR goodbye.
  • ouch ouch ouch okay I need to stop real quick and stretch this calf before it full on spasms on me.
  • Awwww, Hi Allison! Hi Marjorie! Hi Gentleman! You guys are the BEST! I LOVE THIS!
Mile 11: 7:01
Mile 12: 6:59
Mile 13: 6:54
Mile 14: 7:13
Mile 15: 7:10
Mile 16: 7:28
Mile 17: 7:27
Mile 18:  7:18
Mile 19:  7:26

THE END
  • hahahaha, just walking through every water stop, just walking.  juuuuust walking.
  • just stopping to stretch out the cramp.  just stopping.
  • Awwww, Hi Allison! Hi Marjorie! Hi Gentleman! Hi Irwin! Hi Dad, Sister, Niece, Brother-in-Law, Alexis, You guys are the BEST! I LOVE THIS!
  • I'm done, I'm embarrassed.  Hi everyone, I didn't come close to my goal.
Mile 20: 7:32
Mile 21: 7:22
Mile 22: 7:28
Mile 23: 7:46
Mile 24: 7:43
Mile 25: 7:51
Mile 26: 7:36
0.38:      2:38

Yeah yeah Napa, soooo pretty.  Not after 3 hours of running.

Hi to my loves!


Proved it! No heel strike! I knew it.

Mile 24.  All of these pictures are.  The husband was busy handing me food and drinks at the other stops (miles 7, 11, 16), which I appreciated greatly.

I know what you're thinking.

"Dang, those miles aren't all that slow considering she stopped to walk and stretch."  You're RIGHT! I noticed that too.  I was semi-stoked that these stop-and-walk miles were under 8:00 minutes.

and

"well, you went out too fast."

Sorry, I still don't buy it.

I ran about a 1:35 first half at CIM 3 months ago, and still positive-splitted with a 1:37 second half.  Taking it slower in the first half still leads to a slow second half for me BECAUSE MY LOWER HALF IS FUCKED UP and my legs twerk up and lock.

I ran a 1:31 first half at CIM the year prior, and ran a 1:34 second half.  Point being, my 1:38 second half today was not, in my opinion, due to going out too fast, but due to my laundry list of excuses listed above.

I know what I'm thinking:

Is a marathon supposed to hurt almost the entire time? Am I just a wimpy whiner, or am I doing this whole thing wrong?  Or, like elite front-runner for today's race Caitlin Smith, maybe it just wasn't my day for who knows why.

You can still say I'm awesome if you want to :) That's what I do when other bloggers races don't go as planned....and I mean it when I say that to them....but it still is silly isn't it.

God, I love running.

Things to make you laugh

1) fun time number one

If you have an iphone 5, or any other device that will type out whatever words you speak to it, here is a fun game that will guarantee to kill some time and make you laugh.

I turn the Siri microphone on and say whatever I can that is not real words.  I just mumble nothings.  You could probably try another language.  And then I wait to see what Siri thinks I have said.  Examples of Siri's interpretations:


  • You know whoever says no comment is Llewllin Shirley did Herman Crommell Bromlett
  • Where is the night Mankin Melina will do Grill Carmel and the machine Laurent

Beautiful poetry.  I love these.  Thank you Siri!

Me and Siri are best friends.  Hanging out in the ladies room like two fine ladies having a real good time. 


2) My wedding save the date.



Hey-ooo, come to our "we've already been married for over a year" wedding

Leila made this for me.  And since she's running Napa this weekend, I'm bringing her the reward of Sees lollipops.  Carrying them the whole time for you.  It's better than Gu.


3) Did you hear the one about Oscar Pistorius?

He was arrested for murder, and then me, the Gentleman, and my sister went on a bad joke rampage (inspired by pathetic news headlines).













There's more where that came from.

Don't mind the lipstick interruption.


4)  You've been watching the Bachelor, RIGHT???

Well then you know that this past week's episode was the overnight suite episode, aka the week where the Bachelor gets laid 3 times after having to kiss a bunch of crazies for ten weeks, aka the week where the Bachelor pretends he is totally just going to talk all night, AKA the week when THE letter from Chris Harrison gets handed to the lady contender at dinner.

The Gentleman decided to re-enact the scene.

oh, this looks sweet.  A nice letter.  What is inside?


Oh dear.

[Please don't be offended by the penis drawing.  This was not an actual proposal you are witnessing; you are witnessing us making fun of Sean, the Bachelor].

5) Did you hear about the best way to share pictures of clothing or pretty beaches and pools with the world?

By posting your naked skin on the internet!

Hey guys, just wanted to show you a picture of the pool
Hey guys, just wanted to show you my new belt

Sorry internet strangers with hot bodies for making you seem stupid.  I don't know if you are or not.

6) The best way to get free shit is to be mean first.

Right over here, just a couple weeks ago, I said, and I quote, "Chobani hasn't sent me any free shit.  I recommend this Fruyo stuff from Fage instead, eat that, Chobani."

Ahem, I said. "eat that, Chobani."

And then Chobani sent me a bunch of free shit.

Like, an unfair amount of yogurt.  Unfair because I'm not a food blogger, and because I just poked fun at their free-stuff-for-bloggers tradition.

Hey, whatre they tryin to do here, eh? Make me look like a punk!?

No pictures for you because you know what it looks like, but no really, A TON of yogurt arrived here.

Chobani, to you I tip my hat and say: touche.  Touche.  Way to kill them with kindness. 

AND WITH THAT

The humor portion of the segment is over.  You know where I'll be this weekend.  NAPA VALLEY MARATHON.  I'm excited.  Game is on.  I'm showing up, and I'm begging that shoulder, buttcrease, and foot problems DON'T show up.  And wind.  The wind can stay home too.

(I just did some researching and it turns out that no headphones are allowed, and Napa takes this SERIOUSLY.  Can anyone confirm? I'm pretty sure I wore them no problem in 2010.  That invites a whole new level of boredom to the never-ending vineyards and seldom cheerleaders.)

(I also just did some more researching and everybody is complaining about how the road is slanted and curvy and it's hard to find an even surface to run on.  What's the solution to this? Run on the center line?)

If you are running in Napa this weekend, run your heart out, and don't forget say hi!