Thursday, August 20, 2009

Circadian Rhythms

This picture is of Little Tova modeling her favorite outfit from the school clothes shopping that we did - yes, the scarf was a must have, and yes, it has sparkles. I'm so envious of kids clothes.

She was here for 10 days and it was magical - for the first time in years it actually felt like summer time while we were in AZ (probably the first time ever for us). There's something about spending the whole day in your bathing suit, swimming for 5 hours, eating outside (in the misters, fan, and shade) diving for rings at the bottom of the pool, and playing freeze tag that just makes it summer time.

It's also funny how the little queues that we get from the universe changes our rhythm and has us thinking of the next season. We went school shopping, she went home, and she starts school on Monday. That means it's fall.

The sun is starting to rise later here, which means it's back to the gym and my glorious summer outside is over - so it's now fall.

Here's the thing. I've found myself thinking about sweaters, and Christmas, and being cold in the mornings - yet nothing has physically changed from last week. I'm still getting up at the same time. It's still in the 100's every day, it's still exactly 79 degrees in my house - just like it has been all summer - and yet I found myself putting on a hoodie this morning because I was "cold". Why? I have no idea. I also started looking through my desktop pictures for something with fall leaves. Eileen - it's still actually August. And hot. And not remotely autumn like.

I just think it's interesting how these small changes can changed the way that I'm thinking about the environment that is exactly the same.

Anyway, going back to the gym has been weird because it doesn't feel weird. It's like I didn't spend the last 5 months outside. The same treadmill, the same bike, the same shows on, the same people trying to pick other people up. It does give me a chance to focus more on training specifics, but I'm still waffling with where I want to take my training this winter and in the spring.

I still definitely definitely want to do the XTerra Offroad Tri in May, yet I haven't been out on my bike and in the mountains in well over a month. I've been on the bike, but just on the canals. I need tog get back to pemberton - maybe for Labor Day. The hard thing is that not doing PBR in October and not being able to find another offroad race, nevermind a good offroad race, means that I'm sucking wind with the offroad training.

I have been running South Mountain, but I also can't seem to find a trail race anywhere around for the rest of the year either. So I'm just going to have to step up my weekend outdoor training, and get good mileage done indoors during the week.

I haven't been swimming at all - unless you count the diving for pool rings. Lady Tiara is going to be doing the fall splash and dash, and I'd like to do it - but I looked at the distances, and the swim distances are fairly long - 1000 m and then a couple of K running. I need to do some research on temperature of the lake and whether or not I need a wetsuit, and then I need to find some cojones and actually get in there.

Since I can't seem to find a race that meets any of my needs - I've been looking at the following races for the rest of the year - none of these are guarantees at this point.
- Grasshopper Bridge for Children's Hospital - 9/26 This is the Miracle Girl race that we will probably do, but probably walk most of it because Lilac's family likes to go, and none of them run consistently.
- Run for Congo Women - 9/27 I swear would it be so hard for them to make this race gramatically correct? It should be Congolese. Anyway, it's only a 5K this year (last year it was 10) and although it's the day after Grasshopper Bridge, since we'll be sloughing and I really like the home grown roots of this race, I'll probably do both. It doesn't hurt that J will be in Boston this weekend.
- Ghosts/Goblins 5k - Oct 31 - Might be interesting. I just want a race in Oct, and aside from the weekend I'm gone there's not much out there.
- World Run Day/Run Against Domestic Violence - 11/8 I want to do the Run Against Domestic Violence with my girl who has experienced it and is still struggling to get out of the marriage. We say every year that we're going to do this race, but for some reason there's always a horrible dust storm or something that prevents it. This year we're going. It's also World Run Day, and I can sign up for taht, get a t-shirt and run wherever I want - like the other race.
- Iron Girl - 11/15 - Since this is not the GOTR race for the fall season I might be able to run it - though I've crossed out the 10 miler at this point. I know that Lilac had visions of our hubbys dressed in pink and waiving sparkly signs for us. I'd like to do this one.
- Mesa Mi Amigo's Turkey Trot - 11/26 - Best race of the year. I'll be there, and then I'll get to eat whatever I want for Thanksgiving dinner.
- Fiesta Bowl 5K - 12/6 - This will be mandatory since it's the GOTR race this year.

We'll see how it all irons out!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Race Report: Summer Series #5 - South Mountain - 8/9/2009

Ok the reason for this late post is because Little Tova was with us for the last 10 days, and frankly she's more important - sorry!

Pre-Race: I signed up Little Tova and Papa in case she wanted to earn some bling (one of my race medals) she told me that she wanted a medal but she didn't really want to run. I told her sorry, you have to pick, she picked pancakes and eggs with Daddy - which was A-OK with me, as I really really wanted to run this last race hard and finish strong.

We got to the race and did all our standard pre-race stuff. Again, a lot of people there - definitely more than last year.

Race: This is such a weird course. You leave from the far end of the parking lot of the South Mountain preserve, and run along the parking lot - which is so long that you run .6-.7 miles just to get out of the parking lot. The first 1.5 miles is all uphill - the insidious uphill where you're not necessarily licking the dirt, but you can't understand why you feel so slow and tired so quickly. It's probably a 2% incline on the way up, with a couple of sections that are steeper. So to get to the first guard station out of the park is .6 - .7 miles, and then you run along the road to the second guard station which is the mile 1 marker. At this point you're just looking forward to hitting the water station and going DOWNhill for the second half of the race. The .5 miles from the second guard station up to the water station loop is pretty steep, and it hurts. The best part is that you hit the water station, and then go downhill the rest of the race. It's an out and back course, but that .6-.7 miles on the way back from the first guard station to the end of the parking lot takes FOR-EV-ER. It's the longest finish "sprint" of all time.

This year it felt WAY better than last year - probably because the temperature was in the low 90's, which felt great, but also because I was definitely acclimated and had been doing hillwork all summer, so I didn't feel like I was going to die before I even got out of the parking lot (like last year). Lilac and I had a great time, and we decided that the Summer Series isn't that bad if you actually prepare for it.

Post Race: 44:09 (there IS this thing called South Mountain involved in the race which slows you down just a speck), 442 pts, 36/38 in the 25-29F division, 634/660 overall.

SERIES: 20/111 in the 25 - 29F division, 168/712 of all women, 1865 pts. This put me in the top 18% for my age group, and 23% overall.

Am I dissapointed that I finished in 20th place again this year? A bit, yeah. Still I earned 400 more points than last year, had better times at every single race than last year, and there were more people competing this year - so I guess I can't ask for more than that. I have had stray thoughts about signing up in the walk division next year, since I run/walk every race, and I'd have been in 8th place if I had - but it just feels like cheating to me.

Goals for next year's series - earn 500 points in a race, break 2000 points overall, place in the teens, break my PR at the first race.