ran a marathon!

CIM – ‘26.2 or nothing!’

finish line!

I am thrilled to have finished the California International Marathon yesterday in just under 5 hours, running from Folsom to Sacramento @ dawn to noon! I could not have made it without all of the support I got from friends and family, fellow runners and spectators, and volunteers cheering us along throughout the course. I stayed on pace this time, focusing on a negative split, and finished really strong without a whole lotta suffering like last month when I hit that proverbial wall.

kiss the sky

This was truly one of the best days of my life! The dream I had to run — when I was just a kid watching and cheering and giving cups of water to the runners @ the Boston Marathon — finally became a reality. I wanna give a shout out to those of you who have been following my 6 month journey, and provided me with so much encouragement. I am grateful to you! Look out for 2017: I may move into the ULTRA-marathon with an attempt at the Gold Rush 50 kilometre trail run which also starts in Folsom, in May. Sky = the limit.

cim or nothing

upcycled blue

Decisively you stood up for me. The sun was nowhere to be seen, bright was the sky had been vacated, so clear you could see the stars embedded in blue. Decisive it was you. The blue was of the freshest upcycled hard knock gel you coulda thought it was original and might even say american, which was upcycled, too, and swell. I was a dangling participle, left hanging like an pomegranate swollen on the bush late in summer. The bush wanted rid of me but I would not fall, and they wanted to pick me off anyway. Decisively you stopped them when they tried to pick me off. I couldn’t even see them as you know. We want some seeds, they said, and all they were was mouths watering. You surged with a dry wry unflinching certainty: “and what of the rest of her, discard her, would you?”  They quivered and wavered and blinked their mouths. Innocently suggesting only this little part of me was useful. It was then you hedged them out of the yard with the clippers. My seeds were glowing inside me like jelly, like wax, like embers, like fireflies, like rain at night in the light. The sun came out of the blue and reappeared in the sky. It was so nice and warm, I could modify you for days and days. And days and days and days. Modifying you. Days and days and days and days and days.

running

CIM – countdown! (part 2)

With less than one week to go before my first ever marathon, I am running out of time to train let alone play with options. Two weeks of cold symptoms and bronchitis had destroyed my running schedule before the fated long run where I injured/strained my knee only 10 days before the race. And though I was really happy with my 10:39 pace on Nov 5th when I finished the Run the Parkway 20, I really didn’t want 6 months of hard training to end without ‘the big one’.

I took a deep breath and recovered some hope after talking with friends and family, and kept on. I bought a compression sleeve for my knee and did a couple of short (2-3mile) runs over the weekend in my Adidas Pureboost X’s, and I did still feel a dull pain in the knee but not too bad. Running fast on a downhill did not seem to aggravate it, and there was no swelling or bruising afterward. This convinced me it was the proverbial ‘runner’s knee’ people talk about.  I began to wonder if I might forsake the Nikes for the Pureboost X’s but nowhere online could I find anyone who ever ran an entire marathon in these shoes! I just didn’t want to wear the Pegasus again, due to their weight and something about them just did not feel right toward the end of my first race. The Pureboost X is a lightweight shoe which is incredibly comfortable and is mostly reviewed online as a 10k or less trainer with floating arches, and good for the road. So I decided to run a counterintuitive 9 miles yesterday with only 6 days to go, just to see if the Pureboosts (and my knee) could handle long distance.

These are the final variables for my race preparation. I have brought my weight down to 169lbs (i am 5′ 11″ tall) by eating mostly tilapia, pasta, oatmeal, cup of noodles, and drinking Jamba juice, muscle milks, tea, water, and V-8. I take B-complex and multivitamins and green tea extract pills daily. I am happy with my in-run energy plan which consists of Roctane (higher amino acid levels) GU gels every 45 minutes, and S-caps (salt pills with potassium) every hour. And of course water/gatorade provided on the course. Needless to say, shoes and a knee injury are 2 very critical variables to have at such a late stage in training. Up until I got sick and subsequently injured, my training regimen (Hal Higden’s intermediate schedule) went perfectly well, too.

How did yesterday’s run feel? Pretty good. The Pureboost X’s felt fantastic all 9 miles, so I think I will go against the grain and run the marathon in these beauties! Maybe I will be the first one ever to do so? I think they can go the distance. As for me, well, my knee got a little funky after I took a bathroom break midway through the run. It began to hurt in mile 5 and I really thought my plans to run the marathon were about to come crashing down. But I decided to try and run through it, and this time — miracle of miracles — it worked! By the end of the run it was feeling quite good and so was I. My plan is to stay off my legs as much as possible the next 5 days, do a lot of yoga and quad stretching, buy some glucosamine supplement and KT tape (kinesiology) — which seems to have worked wonders for other runners in trouble with runner’s knee — and keep my head up and heart skipping beats as Sunday fast approaches.

running

CIM – marathon countdown!

Countdown to the California International Marathon = 5 days! Wow. I am excited but nervous. I sustained an injury of some kind — probably ‘runner’s knee’ — on my belated long run last Thursday (postponed due to bronchitis). I had reached the 14 mile mark on the Hoka Bondi’s I have been breaking in, and I was feeling great physically but got blisters. I had never run far on the Hokas so I had planned for problems, and asked my boyfriend to carry my tried and true Nikes (Pegasus 33) in his backpack as he rode his bike alongside me. These were the ones that I wore when I raced the 20 mile Run-The-Parkway. So he helped me stop and switch out, and I got back on the river trail near Sacramento State. Within a mile I somehow developed a throbbing pain on the outside of my right leg just below the knee. I thought it might be a cramp and tried to run through it from mile 14-16 (on an 18 mile run), but I began limping and could not go further without risk of further injury. I walked the last 2 miles alongside Tosh, who was kind enough to stay with me even though he had places to be and it was approaching 4 hours since we set off up the river. Sunrise when we started had been quite cold @ 36 degrees F but now the skies were sunny and it was a perfect fall day, lots of foliage to see.

I was concerned about the knee. I was gonna wait a couple of days before freaking out about the situation. I had a bad feeling that I caused the injury by switching shoes mid-run like that, because the Hokas are heel strikers and much different from any other shoes I have worn. They have a strange way of changing the impact points on your legs. Though they provide more cushion than the Nikes (the very reason I decided to buy them), I could feel great stress in my hips and inner thighs after running a half marathon. Still, I love the shoes for the way they push back and give me an effortless feeling, seem to help set a nice rhythm in the stride…    (see part 2)

book review

Book Review: The Outsiders

The OutsidersThe Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ponyboy narrates the story of his teenage life within a sewn together band of brothers and young ‘greasers’ in small town America (reminiscent of American Graffiti) who include working class orphans, school dropouts, criminals, athletes. He provides an emotionally-centered account of these trying circumstances for kids on the back side of the mainstream. Desperate times give rise to fierce loyalties, and it’s easy (as a reader) to love Ponyboy and root for him and his friends as they fight the rich kids and steal the hearts of their girls. The action includes drive-ins, cars, turf wars, switchblades, leather, cars, hair, grease, cocacola, madras, cops, heaters, music, ‘weeds’ (smokes), denim, runaways, sunsets, vacant lots. A whole lot of fun as you get to know some of the characters on deeper and deeper levels. Ponyboy’s not afraid to give you his opinion on people and things, and he’s not cool with all the greasers, either, but he sees the good in people when he can. It’s a sweet and tragic story and you might feel it all ends too soon.

View all my reviews

precipice

There he was, alone in the room. There was the light and him and the dust and the sound of the keys striking, and the strings being struck all alone in the room, and more than a sensation an emotion joined them, he and the light and the keys making chords, the emotion barely registered on his face and one could catch it at the upturned edge of an eyelash, and only for a fraction of a second. Balancing there. Causing the edge to collapse. He promised himself he would not think upon her again. It was not safe.

bygone euphoria

You may be on the road for years and years before you get off the road and keep to one region, one state, one county, one neighborhood, one single home, one room inside one single home, one single chair inside one room, rocking away the rest of your days. Hopefully, all those years on the road you gathered enough memories to fill up your basket. So you can rock the days away with wild visions of bygone euphoria.

katya

give thanks

If life has worn you out, be worn out for a while and let yourself surrender. Try and be grateful. For only can you be tired by living if you have truly lived, and it is the living that you did that made you feel the way you feel now. Some don’t get the chance to feel beat down by a hard day’s work because for some reason they are not living like you are, maybe they are not now capable of really letting themselves go and get carried away. May today be a day to give thanks for the life that beats us up and wears us out, working, raising kids, building something, caring for someone, devotion, fighting for something, loving someone, learning our lessons, taking our licks, falling, getting up, pulling ourselves together, asking for help, succeeding, failing, crying, laughing, running, shouting, breathless, dreaming, getting quiet again… and looking back we would do it all over again.