Saturday, December 22, 2018

2019 Races: January through April

Friends, can you believe the calendar's about to flip again?? What the heck?

I am wrapping up work stuff & packing today & tonight, & then tomorrow we jet off to Eastern Washington to spend Christmas week with Don's parents. Then it's back home for one day, & on to another plane for Mexico for New Year's week to celebrate a good friend's 40th. (Did you know Ensenada is Mexico's wine country? Did you know Mexico HAD wine country?? Me either! #TIL. I'm so pumped.)

I am waiting on race pictures to post my last race report of the year (Silicon Valley Sant Run 5K), so in the meantime, please enjoy some musings about what I might do race-wise in the first half (or so) of 2019.

When I started running again last August post-Boston, I was feeling unmotivated & in need of another big-hairy-audacious goal to chase. Eventually I settled on the Wharf-to-Wharf six-miler at the end of July and finishing in the top 100. Seven months is really too long to be one training cycle, though (at least for me), so my plan is to split January through July into two 3-3.5 month chunks with a little break in the middle, which I've started referring to as "Season 1" & "Season 2".

I think I want to run maybe 3-4 races in each season (all in the 5-10K range), with a target race at the end of each. For season 2 obviously my 'A' race will be Wharf to Wharf, and for season 1 I'm leaning toward Stow Lake Stampede 5K in Golden Gate Park. I've nailed down a few things but still need to fill some slots.

What do YOU think I should run? Here are the candidates:

Friday, December 14, 2018

I Bought A Car!

Heads Up: This is not about running. It's about the very very annoying and frustrating process of buying a car. Mainly I felt like I wanted to document the process and also thought maybe some of the info would help someone out in the future, so, enjoy! Or don't! I'll get back to run-blogging soon enough, promise. :)

Let us journey back in time to spring 2005: Snoop Dogg and Kelly Clarkson on our first-generation iPods, pseudo-useless internet on our dumb phones, and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" playing on endless repeat on the radio. We watched How I Met Your Mother and Bones on the actual TV at the actual times they aired; The 40-Year Old Virgin made us laugh, Brokeback Mountain made us cry, and Elektra made us question Jennifer Garner's judgment in hairstyles (just say no to the bangs, Jen).

I had also just finished grad school and secured my first grown-up job making real grown-up money (sort of), and the first thing I did once I got that offer letter was ride my bike to the local Honda dealership to buy a 2005 Civic Hybrid. I'd hoped to buy a used one but hybrids were still pretty new then and I couldn't find one near me, so I ended up buying a new one. I had a lot of environmental guilt and since driving daily was not going to be optional, that 43-48 mpg seemed like a solid way to do make at least some kind of effort.

Here is how buying that car went down:

    Car salesman: Hello, how can we help you?
    Me: I would like to buy a Civic Hybrid.
    Car salesman: Excellent choice! That will be $xx,xxx.
    Me: GREAT where do I sign.
    Car salesman: *blinkblink* Oh...Ohkay then!

I even paid for the extra warranty and the car alarm because, well, those things sounded important and I was young and dumb and knew nothing about buying cars. Palo Alto Honda dealership, you are welcome.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

'A' Race Time Predictions!!

If you've been following the drama the last few months you might recall that I've been having some annoying issues with my left side, from my lower back/SI joint, through my hamstring, all the way down to the plantar fasciitis (which is chronic) in my foot. It was sort of at its worst a week before OktobeRun but a week off magically healed me enough to get through the race at a pretty okay pace, though the hamstring was pretty unhappy after.

I had some forced rest (thanks, travel & weather!) after that, which probably ended up being for the best because in spite of basically no training between OktobeRun and Oakland Turkey Trot, I had a significantly faster race.

Riding the high of that race, I told myself, OK but for real now! Three & a half weeks til Santa Run! That is totally enough time to get serious about this shite & shave a few more seconds off this beezie.

And, I DID have a couple of good weeks. But then this past week/weekend I got called to NY at the last minute, & if there is anything that will eff with my training plans, it's these short coast-to-coast trips where the time zone gremlins just completely destroy whatever free time/decent sleep you thought you had happening in your life. I won't even bother doing a training log for that week, since "training" consisted of

    1) Tuesday 12/4 => 3.5 warm up, 6 x 200m / 200m jog, 2 miles @ aerobic threshold, 6 x 200m / 200m jog, 3.5 cool down = 12 total

    2) Thursday 12/6 => spend the whole day flying/sitting in NYC traffic & arrive in so much winter boot-induced foot pain that the 7 easy on the schedule was never going to happen even IF I'd arrived at a decent hour.

    3) Friday 12/7 => Work a full day on 3 hours of sleep, come back to hotel & crash

    4) Saturday 12/8 => Work another full day on maybe 4 hours of sleep, just barely rally for 2 warm up, 3 x 1 mile @ HM pace, 2 cool down = 7.2 total.

    5) Sunday 12/9 => Get up at 4:30am Eastern/1:30am Pacific to catch a 7:00am plane home, land at 10am Pacific, & immediately come home & bake cookies for a party. (Again, I could barely walk this day, so there was no running; just 21 straight hours of mostly regrettable consciousness.)

It was really this last run on Saturday that was the turning point for me.

Monday, December 10, 2018

2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Buying Me Presents

Tis the season for every blog & website you know to start posting a 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for the _______ in your life. Let's be real, though; odds are if you're reading a _______ blog featuring nifty ________ products to buy, YOU are probably the ________ in your life.

Fear not, though; out of the goodness of my heart, I've found a few minutes to put together this handy dandy 2018 Holiday Gift Guide for Buying Me Presents. You're welcome.

Real talk, though; if you've been reading for a little while, you know that this has been my Year of No Shopping, which has had a number of different benefits. One of them is that having a general policy of not buying stuff has cleared away the consumerist noise in my head & helped me clarify whether I really truly want something for good reasons, or am just falling prey to #shinythings syndrome. A lot of times I find that after a few weeks or months, the infatuation passes and stuff I thought I wanted no longer seems all that appealing, while with a tiny percentage of things, I realize that nope, this is something that I really would value and use regularly in ways that truly improve my quality of life. So, here are some of those things!

(Oh, & before you ask -- these are not affiliate links. It's literally just stuff I personally want.)

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Sorry no pics this week.

I am working on doing that thing where you give it the best you've got, do the best you can do under the circumstances, say, "This is okay," and don't beat yourself up about stuff you can't control. (It goes better at some times than at others! And that is okay too.)

There are only two weeks and one race left in my fall season, so I'm a little less stressed about building up mileage than I was earlier in the fall when I was starting to have yellow injury flags all over the place with months left to go.

My feet are definitely still a bit FUBAR'd, but I think they'll make it through these next two weeks and that last 5K on the 16th.

And after that, rest.