Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I Must Be Crazy

Navigation has never been my strong point. Those who know me well can attest to that. When I think we should turn right, it is almost a sure thing that the correct way would be left.
After waiting for the trails to dry out after the last rain, I was itching to hit the hills at El Moro. I looked over the trail maps, even put one in my water belt pocket just in case. I've run through the park several times, starting from the ranger station and ridgepark. The plan was 10 miles. From the ranger station up moro ridge road over and back down no name to no dogs. I carried one water bottle and 2 gels. The run up moro ridge road was good, I made steady progress and soon I was on Bommer.
My only concern was if there was a gate on bommer to a trail that connected with deer canyon. I would run for a while and if I didn't come across the gate I would go back to el moro canyon and take that trail back to the parking lot. After passing the gate to el moro canyon trail and running for about a mile there was a sign pointing to a another trailhead "bommer spur". I took the bommer trail but it didn't look familiar, so went back and took the spur. That didn't look right either so found bommer again and started running in what I thought was the direction toward ridgepark. I passed the trail heads for emerald bay, boat canyon, and ended up at laguna bowl.
I was at 10 miles on my GPS and no where near El Moro! After turning around I finally made it back to moro ridge road and the parking lot. total miles 15 plus change. I took my last sip of water at the bottom of BFI.
I even get lost on ski runs.
Maybe I should rethink trail running....

Monday, December 22, 2008

Calico Ghost Town 30K/OC Marathon

How could I forget?
I officially threw my hat into the ring.

I've been "training", getting some running in on a fairly regular basis. One long run a week, however with the holidays approaching it is a challenge. 2 weeks ago my long run was 14 miles along the Aliso trail. But last week with the rain, the best I could do was 10 brain numbing miles on a treadmill and a sprinkling of 5-6 mile trots.
The OC Marathon training group meets Saturdays and we are up to 5 or 6 miles, which I try use as speed work if I don't have a race scheduled. My long runs are mon. or tues. depending on work.
Raining today, so probably no long run. Maybe tomorrow...if I don't take a snowboarding lesson...

Winter Solstice Christmas Tree 5 Miler

In June we ran the Summer Solstice Watermelon 5 mile run. All finishers receive a watermelon, plus all you can eat cut watermelon. In the winter, try us events puts on the Christmas Tree run, and all finishers receive a tree. After running in the summer event for the last 2 years and having a great time, we decided to try the winter run. It's the same flat and fast course that winds through El Dorado Park in Long Beach as the Summer Solstice 5 miler. It's a small group of runners too, about 250, all friendly and looking to have a fun pre-christmas run around the park.
Benny smoked me, again! I now know that beating him in the LB Half was a fluke! And Matt was under 10min/mile again!!!! Woo Hoo!
We were expecting to go home with small potted christmas trees, but they handed out actual cut trees!!! All sizes!
I also came away with a 2nd place medal in my age group.
I try not to think about the first place runner who finished 10 min ahead of me!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Maple Springs SNOW!

My friend Pauline and I wanted to go hiking. Pauline is back home on winter break from medical school. Grenada has alot of sunshine and rain but no snow. So, when Rick came up with his BRILLIANT idea of hiking through Maple Springs it seemed perfect. We got a late start but hit the trailhead about noon. Pauline wanted to wear shorts, and actually, being the southern california gals that we are, I almost agreed not knowing exactly how much snow we would encounter. We both ended up wearing long pants and it was a good thing.
The first mile was easy, pavement and just a little snow on the sides of the road. A few very wet creek crossings later we hit snow on the road. By mile 2 we were happily trekking through about 4-5 inches of granular fluffy white stuff. At about 2.5 miles the uphill and slogging got harder. The snow was about mid-calf to us. We came across a family coming back down, they made it to the guard rail and said it was about half an hour more. That became our goal.
It was absolutely beautiful hiking. Snow on the trees, the road in spots barely touched, it felt like we were in another state. We stopped to make snowmen...a tribute to Rick...and admired other snowpeople along the way.
We made it to the guardrail and noticed the trail beyond looked almost untouched-very inviting! But the clouds were coming in and it was getting late. Pauline still had to deal with her car which was leaking coolant when we left it in the parking lot. Sooo a few pictures later we heading down the road.
3 hours of fun just 40 min. from home!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Make Room for Santa 10K

Hi Glenn!
It was really fun seeing you again! My blogging is somewhat hit and miss, and I didn't see your comment until today.
It was the perfect morning for a run, cool and dry.
Last year I ran the 5K and loved the course. This year I decided to try the 10K.
5 or 6 months ago I registered for the race, before the foot pain started. So, now it is time for the race and even though I have been running on a regular basis, I am a little concerned about my foot and running on pavement. I did the Dana Point Turkey Trot and ran both 10+5K in the rain with a little pain. But I ran it so slowly, hardly more than a jog that there was probably minimal damage.
My plan for this run...jog again, keep the pace around 10 min. Before the start, Matt and I were killing time and we ran into Glenn, a fellow San Diego RNR marathoner. We chatted briefly, then got ready for the gun. The first mile was easy, there were so many people I couldn't have gone above that pace unless I really pushed my way thru the crowd. Almost 10 min exactly at mile one. Then the 5K and 10K course split and I found myself with open space. Should I speed up? A little. Foot felt good. Picked up the pace and finished mile 2 at 9.5 min. That was it, no holds barred I went for it. It is a great flat run with a downhill finish. At mile 5 I caught up with Glenn
and continued on. In the finishing chute Glenn came from behind and passed me!!! WHAT!!!
I looked up and we had 30 yards left, so, I leaned and reached for whatever was left...I slowly caught him and when I crossed the finish line he was behind me somewhere! We laughed afterward about our PR's! It was fun to run a "real" race! Thanks Glenn, hope we can run again!

Playing Footsie

Last week the foot doc ordered an MRI. The x-rays were all negative, but I was still in some pain and still had swelling after running. All the symptoms were pointing to a strained ligament and the MRI would just confirm her diagnosis and rule out completely a fracture.
Well, gosh darn it. I have 2 broken bones. She put me in a boot and wanted me off my foot for 1 month.
I pouted for a day. Ate peppermint ice cream and coconut cake.
The next day I took off the boot and went for a 5 mile run.
The entire time we had been tossing the diagnosis back and forth, before the MRI, I had continued to run. The day before the MRI I put in 14 miles to get ready for the Calico Run. The fracture must have occurred at least 2 months ago. So with the healing and lack of pain for the past 4 weeks I will continue to run, cut back on the miles, but still trot along. I'll wear the boot to work, standing for long periods does irritate it. Next appointment is 3 weeks.
I'm gonna try cycling too...

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Next Step

Long Beach and Big Sur are both checked off.
By the way, I gimped thru Big Sur with a chip time of 2:09, amazing for me because my foot hurt so badly by the 8th mile I considered walking/quitting. It's a beautiful course, and I'll try to run it next year, healthy.
So, what's next?
There are some of possibles...Calico Ghost town 30 or 50K, another marathon, Twin Peaks etc. As I list my "possibles" and think about the amount of running I completed last week. I am leaning toward a trail race with longer miles...a "just to see if I can do it" type of challenge.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Would You Like Some Cheese with your Whine?

Being an "older" runner, I've been lucky to have been pretty much injury free for so long. I've had a few bumps and bruises but nothing that has really kept me from running for more than a few days. I had a frozen shoulder which kept me from being able to raise my left arm for 8 months. But I could still run! Until now.
I fell on the hike down from Whitney, didn't do much but scrape my shin and bruise my knee. So I thought. Days after the fall, my left leg was black and blue and swollen from ankle to knee. The knee, a little puffy was giving me more trouble than I was expecting. I think I was favoring that knee every time I ran after the fall. Which led to my hamstring woes just before the Long Beach Half Marathon. Which I think then led to my left foot finally pulling the plug on the whole running thing. The Wednesday before Big Sur my foot was pretty sore,it had been sore for weeks, the doc said no fracture, probably just a strain. I could run on sunday, but it would delay the healing. Any running wouldn't hurt it further, just delay healing. I got a strong prescription anti-inflammatory which also upset my stomach. So I ran, got thru 10 miles with pain, then my right quad, angry because it was doing more than it's usual share of the work started to cramp up. I think I finished the race running because I couldn't face the thought of walking the rest of the way with all that pain!
I spent yesterday with my foot in ice. Looking up new races. Trails to run. Eating cinnamon rolls. Complete denial.
I thought I would roll out of bed today with my foot completely pain free, like it was a bad dream. No running today.

My Man, Bart

A speaker at the Big Sur Half Marathon Expo was Bart Yasso.
A few weeks before we left for our Mt. Whitney climb, I purchased Bart Yasso's book "My Life on the Run". I enjoyed it so much, I xeroxed the last few unread chapters, packed it in my Whitney stuff and read it at night by headlamp before going to sleep on the mountain.
He turned his life around with a jog.
After running on all 7 continents, in all manner of races he's slowed down a bit due to complications from Lyme's disease. He's very active in fundraising and giving back to the community.
When his name showed up on the speakers list for the Expo I was thrilled!
We arrived in Monterey, picked up our packets and had a little time to kill before the lecture, so we wandered thru the vendors. I was looking at socks or something, I heard Matt call over "Lori, come on over here, there's someone I want you to meet". I slowly made my way a couple of booths over, still looking down at the tables of pamphlets etc. When I looked up there was Matt talking to Bart Yasso! Matt said "Bart, Lori has been running for about a year and a half. She's read your book and it's really inspired her."
Matt, thank you!!!
by the way, he will be in Laguna Niguel Nov. 20, for a book signing and fun run with the Fleet Feet crew. It's open to everyone!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big Sur Half Marathon

At some race expo there was a booth for the Big Sur Half Marathon in Monterey. A beautiful poster was displayed with the Pacific Grove coastline in the background and a line of runners making their way along the road.
After I got home, a spur of the moment decision was made to sign up.
It was the most beautiful course I have ever run.
The start is close to fishermans wharf and you run for about 5 miles thru the city. At one point I remember looking up and the shoreline was just ahead. It floored me. The ocean, the trees and the jagged shoreline-amazing!
I am putting this race on my calender for next year.

The Summit

The morning was very cold. Matt was putting on what seemed to be every piece of clothing he brought. The first stop was trail camp, 5 min. up the trail to fill our camelbaks. After filtering and filling we took off for the trailhead, it was about 0700.
The hike started out easy, the sky was clear and the wind had died off. Soon we were peeling off layers, at one point Matt stood guard as I tried to strip off my long underware on a switchback.
Everyone complains about the 99 switchbacks, yes, there are 99 of them and yes, it is a chore.
We arrived at Trail Crest , admired the views and were encouraged by the time and how well we still felt. Most say that if you can make it to trail crest you can make it to the summit. A brief rest and we pushed on. The trail takes a very steep drop at this point, you can see Guitar lake , then slowly climbs. I liked this part of our hike. The views were breathtaking. At one point we reached a section where you could see Whitney and the long winding trail that takes you to the summit. The altitude was becoming a factor now and that long trail to the top was going to take a long time to hike.
We were having to stop every 30 min to catch our breath, they were short breaks, but our muscles needed rest and more oxygen. When we could see the summit hut , maybe 0.5 miles from the top, the headaches started and every step from that point on required focused determination. 10 steps and rest. 8 steps and rest. Finally we were on top and all the pain vanished. As Matt said, "It was all he had hoped for and more". We signed the book, took in the views and sat down to eat. My headache was gone and we were both suddenly hungry. It is amazing to be on top of a mountain. To take in that 360 degree view with nothing higher than yourself....
It was a long process to reach the peak. The training, planning and cost were certainly all factors. But that first step on the summit made it all worthwhile.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mt. Whitney Part Two

Sept. 24th we set out for Mt. Whitney, an overnight stay at the Whitney portal campground to acclimate then the hike to Consultation Lake to camp. The elevation at the lake is around 12,000 feet. The hike from the portal was brutal carrying the packs, but the training was paying off. We didn't need to stop often and we were making pretty good time. After passing Outpost camp at 10,000 feet the hike seemed to get harder. The air was pretty thin and the climb steeper.
We passed and were passed by a group of men, they were going to Trail camp to spend the night. They'd done this climb before and knew that the lake was just over the ridge. After what felt to be an eternity, the lake came into view. The group of men decided that trail camp was just a few too many steps too far and headed down to lake with us.
The sun was setting and we rushed to set up camp. After a fast, dehydrated, dinner we tried to get some sleep. 50 mph winds swirled around us for most of the night. I kept waiting for the tent to completely blow apart. I imagined my pack, which was outside in the vestibule, flying into the sky, a scene out of the wizard of oz!
After an endless night and maybe 1 hour of sleep we got up to make our attempt on the summit.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Mt. Whitney

Now that Long Beach is over for 2008, i'll backtrack a few months.
Early 2008 a few of us in the lab were tossing around the idea of climbing Mt. Whitney. The permit lottery opened in February. After some planning we put our names into the lottery and hoped for the best. April mail brought our winning a Sept. 25-28th permit to hike the mountain.
It was better than Christmas! We spent hours scouring the internet for info, what to pack, the weather, how to train. Every free weekend we tried to hike the local mountains-Baldy, San Jacinto, Baden-Powell, Saddleback and San Gorgonio. Hiking took the place of running, for the most part, however I tried to get involved with the OCTR to increase leg strength for the uphills and build up stamina. Matt and I trained for, and ran a marathon to help with our chances to summit.
After months of researching gear and living at REI we finally took some backpacking trips to try it all out. An overnighter, then climb up to the top of Baden-Powell was encouraging. Pack was good, stove worked and sleeping bag was warm.
The next overnighter on San Gorgonio was not so good. I was way overpacked-my pack weighed 40lbs without water. The trail was alot steeper than the one to Baden-Powell. 3 hours and I was ready to give it up. We never made it to the summit. Discouraged, I renewed my efforts to train, did some great cardio hikes with Irvine Ranch Conservancy and bought a beefier backpack.
Next post-the trip to Mt Whitney.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

High Tech and Low Tech

Whew, we made it to the finish line! Honestly, a few days ago, that was all I wanted out of this race. To finish. After 4 days of ice, ibuprophen and wrapping I was hobbling along on my sore left hamstring. I got a 5 mile run out of it on Friday, nice and slow on the Wood Canyon trail with out too much pain. I was cautiously optimistic...
I'd read about some compression tights-very high tech. Thick and strong lycra with strips of nylon sewn on top to provide support, much like being taped. I bought a pair instead of trying to run with the neoprene wrap, which kept slipping down during my Friday practice run.
Sunday at the starting line I realized I forgot my watch! How can I run without a watch? I won't know my pace! No time to go back, so I just let the crowd dictate the pace at the start. Mile 3 I asked a man for the time. 36 min. Yikes better step it up! The crowd was starting to thin and I was thinking I needed to make up a lot of time! So I ran this race in a very low tech manner. I listened to my body. Ran as fast as I could for as long as I could, then slowed to catch my breath. I had no idea of the time until I saw the finish clock. My chip time: 2:06:32. 7 min faster than 2007.
Matt is amazing. He'd run maybe 5 or 6 times to train for this and finished 2:17:59! Imagine if he'd actually trained...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Happy Endings?!

Sunday, Matt and I ran 10 miles through the back bay. It was a lovely morning, not too hot when we started out. By mile 7 I was starting to feel the heat and my left hamstring was starting to pull. Thinking it was just cramps I downed a HammerGel with some water and continued to limp along. After making the turn onto East Bluff, I trudged up the hill towards Corona Del Mar High school. My hamstring was feeling much better, it was probably the incline, and I happily trotted the last half mile uphill.
Fast forward to Wednesday(no running since Sunday). We decide to try another run, our legs should have recovered from Sundays long run by now. 2 minutes after we start, my left hamstring is killing me. I wave Matt on to continue. Our plan was to run 6 miles. I start walking. Run alittle more, pain, walk again. At 3 miles, our turnaround point, I caught up to Matt and we start back. It's downhill for about 1.5 miles and my leg feels better so I pass him, but last 1.5 miles back to the car uphill killed me.
I had gotten some advice from other runners, Rick S. and Bill R., both whom run ultra's, to consult a massage therapist. Well, the Long Beach Half is just days away and I can barely walk, let alone, as fast as my little legs could carry me I dig up the yellow pages and leaf through the massage therapists. "Happy Endings", Ultimate Pleasure", "Exotic Massage"...What!!!! Maybe if I get an "Ultimate Pleasure" massage by a hunky guy I'll forget my pain?! Matt suggests I look under "Theraputic Massage" in the yellow pages.
Well, to wrap this up, I found a sports massage therapist who spent an hour working over my abused legs. This morning I woke up almost pain free and thinking about running...not!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Is it the Weather?

Hmmm, I think I am in heatwave funk...
At least 4 times in the last 7 days I've gotten dressed to run, opened the door and BOOM got a face full of warm air. Which in turn made me close the door and swear to myself that I will run in the evening when it is cooler. But it never got cool enough to run!
Countdown to the Long Beach Half, 4 days and counting...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Long Beach Half Marathon

2007 I ran the Long Beach Half Marathon. It was my first race over 10K, and I'd only been running 10 months. I bugged the heck out of every runner I knew, questions about mileage, shoes, gels, and injuries! Then it got hot, in the 80's at 8 am, still in the 80's at 6pm. How do you run in that kind of heat! What if the marathon was HOT!!!
Race day arrived and I did everything wrong...we(my honey and best buddy, Matt) got lost due to my bad directions, but he managed to get me to the starting line 5 min before the gun. I didn't stretch and I tied my left shoe too tight!
I found my pace group and the race started. The pace leader was great, it's amazing how they keep on time! It was a good run, I stayed with my group until the last 2 miles, I had to slow because that left shoe did me in...never occurred to me to loosen it. Finish time was 2:13. Woo Hoo I did it!
Well the 2008 Long Beach Half is a little more than a week away. I finally ran 9 miles today. Think I'm in trouble? Well, I still have a week, maybe if I run every day...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My First Blog Entry!

Hi All,
My life has gotten so full in the last year, I've met amazing people, climbed mountains and run hundreds of didn't seem fair to keep all this to myself so I'm sharing, just in case you wanted to share with me!

It's hard to know where to begin this internet stroll down memory lane. But I guess I would have to start with running, my life changes began with running.

January 2007, I was faced with a birthday. You know, one of those MILESTONE birthdays. I was in terrible physical shape. We live on a small hill in a city with alot of hills. Every July 4th we'd walk down the hill to watch the fireworks over the lake, then hike up the hill to home. The quarter mile hike up the hill took forever and left me breathless. So, in January with that birthday looking me straight in the eye I started running. I bought a pair of running shoes and DROVE to the lake that was a quarter mile away and ran...for 2 min...thinking I was gonna pass out right there, I stopped, walked 15 min to catch my breath and continued this until I got around the lake, 1.8 miles.

1 year, 9 months later I've completed about 10 5K's, 3 10K's, 1 half marathon and 1 marathon. Mixed into these traditional runs were 2, 5 mile Watermelon runs(really quite nice) and a 5 mile trail run.

Now with my story on board, my next posts will be about what's been going on the last few months...but gotta run along now...Long beach Half Marathon is Oct. 12!