Sunday, July 27, 2014

Running with Dad

At Thanksgiving last year, my dad and I ran my hometown’s 3mile turkey trot. This was my first race coming off a 6 month break due to sprained ankle, and my dad’s first race in 35 years – since college (he’s a hall of fame track and cross country runner at Richland Center High School)! The race was rough for both of us. I learned that my pre-sprain HM pace was my post-sprain 5K pace, and my dad’s calves really bothered him. We were a pitiful pair after the race. But we managed to have lots of fun anyway wearing our matching turkey belly shirts!

Since then, we’ve both continued to run consistently. My dad joined a running club, trained for a spring 5K, and crushed it! I continued to build back my fitness and in 2014 have new PRs in the 5K, 15K (2 PRs), 10 mile, and HM (2 PRs) races. Now Dad is training for a late summer 5K, and I’m running the AFC Half on August 17.

My running buddy and I were reunited the week after July 4th when my family visited me in San Diego. We did 4 runs together that week, and I got to show him some of my favorite places to run in San Diego.

Dad did his long run, and I ran a shakeout on July 5th (recovering from my July 4th 15K) on Harbor Island.

We also made Mom and Dad wear their yellow shirts to the zoo so we could spot them if they wandered off. 

Then the next day we ran easy together in the Presidio – which I thought would be a great spot to run because it was hot that day, and it is shady there. I failed to consider how hilly it is, especially for my dad who is used to the flat lands of Illinois!

But I made it up to him by skippering our sailboat around San Diego Harbor that afternoon.  

And by being tour guide through the trails of Torrey Pines State Park.

Meanwhile, at the beach, my nephew, Nilo, was keeping his parents entertained.

When we weren't running, we had Auntie Kristen and Grandpa duties.

Which included finding crabs in tide pools.

Digging pennies out of fountains and making numerous wishes for dragon toys.

Looking for fire trucks, garbage trucks, police cars, construction trucks, . . . 

And we shared these duties with Grandma and Nilo's mom and dad. They climbed on rocks.

Played in the splash park.

Went down slides.

And played at San Diego's most beautiful beaches!

Two Little Runners ~ Kristen

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Real Friendship Is....

Placing bets on the diagnosis of your running injury, and how long it will take to get back out there...

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Another injury setback; another opportunity to explore a new, new home

So you think you've done your penance for running in 500-mile shoes and being too lazy to stretch and foam-roll. You fervently believe you've paid your debt to society for going too fast, too soon, and not eating/sleeping/hydrating optimally. You endured the pain of the injury, you've sweated buckets on every available cross-training machine, foam-rolled the crap outta everything, patiently sat on the side-lines for a recovery period that you thought would never end... and now, NOW, its your time to get back out there and run!

And then you get injured again. And you wonder precisely what horrific crime you committed in your former life, or what grave, unknowing offense you slighted against the running gods that would legitimate yet another rest and recovery period... And the excruciatingly slow return to running that will follow even when you are better again.

Yeah, so can you tell what happened to me yet? I did a little bit too much coming back, and now I have a pain in the top of my foot. It doesnt feel serious (kind of like tendonitis or something)... But then neither did my stress fracture. So I'm back lifting weights and on the bike and will see the doctor on Wednesday to figure it out. In the meantime, I'm going to delight you all and anyone who'll listen with rants about the relative moral injustice of this saga, as per the above.... 

The other thing I am trying to do is distract myself with fun, nice things to do that I would not otherwise be doing, if I were running 60 mile weeks; including exploring this beautiful new city that I'm calling home at the moment (my "home" city changes quite frequently, in case you havent noticed).

To wit, a few weeks ago, we did the "Bondi to Coogee walk", which is a walk between two beach towns just south of the city. It was really stunning. Indeed, everything they say about Sydney's beauty is true (I reluctantly admit, as a born and bred Melbourne girl).

The walk starts at the beach.

And you just follow the coast around the beautiful clear waters...

There are little inlets with built-in beaches...

Gorgeous ocean views...

Windy selfies...of course.

And beaches at the other end, complete with outdoor swimming pools!

There you have it; I hope the pretty pictures distracted you from my depressing injury woes as much as they did me :)

~ Penny

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Coronado Independence Day 15K

San Diego is America's most patriotic city. So it was no surprise to see Captain America at the starting line on July 4th at the 40th Annual Coronado Independence Day 15K.

There were stars and stripes all around the race course . . .

Now that's committing to a look! Well, he looks pink there, but at the beginning of the race, he was red and white striped!

Of course, I never thought about dressing up for the race . . . until I showed up in lavender. Fail!

I'm foreshadowing here. This is after the race, and look how red and sweaty I am. It was hot! By the time the race started at 7 a.m., the marine layer had burned off, and it was full sun - UV index 10+. I'm unlikely to get a lot of sympathy from the ROA (rest of America) but it was HOT...for SoCal! By the time I finished it was 73 degrees with 80% humidity.

My plan was to run 6:55 for the first half and 6:50 for the second half, if I could. I knew the course was perfectly flat, and there was no wind that morning. The race is on out-and-back course, starting in Coronado Tidelands Park (under the Coronado Bridge), along the bike path that goes to the Silver Strand, and through the Navy's Amphibious Base, then back.

The Naval base sounds more interesting than it actually was...the most interesting part was that there was an on-base McDonald's. And the french fries smelled delicious!

Each mile was really the same experience - flat and hot. I quickly revised my plan and just tried to maintain a 6:55-7:00 pace. The one mile that stands out was the last one...I suffered from a stomach stitch in the last half mile. Dehydration. (I was dumping water on my head at water stations instead of drinking it.) Here I am in the final stretch...hunched over, breathing as shallowly as possible, and trying as hard as I could to look good in the last 200 m. It was not a strong finish.

But at least it was over! (And I didn't get passed.)

Still, it was a good effort. I stayed focused, and passed a lot of people in the second half. I was 12th female at the turn around point, and finished 8th female and first in my age group. Even splits.

Mile 1 - 6:38
2 - 6:52
3 - 6:58
4 - 6:51
5 - 6:58
6 - 6:55
7 - 6:58
8 - 6:54
9 - 6:57
last part (0.49 by my watch) - 6:55 pace.

Official time = 1:05:28.
Official average pace = 7:02.

Oh, and its a PR!

Another race, another 7:00ish average pace, which is about the same average pace as last month's San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon. I'm getting frustrated with not being able to break into the 6:5X range in races. But I can attribute this race's 7:00ish average pace entirely to weather. I have the stomach stitch to prove it!

Two Little Runners ~Kristen

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Im back (again) from injury (again)!

Hey y'all! Long time no blogging. I guess its a bit of a pattern for us these days. Run well, blog blog blog. Get injured, and we decend into avoiding blogging, ceasing reading blogs, pretending running blogs never existed, putting our hands over our cyber-ears, and metaphorically yelling lalalaifimnotrunningnooneis....

Denial and repression is an extremely healthy and balanced human response, I've heard. 

So as is my custom, now Im back from injury, Im finally back here too, much to the excitement of our 2-4 regular readers  Im sure. 

As Im sure you've realized from the amount of time I had off, I did actually end up having a more serious injury - yep, a stress fracture. This time it was in the cuboid bone; a very rare place to get a stress fracture. My sports doctor was a bit morbidly excited by it all, having never seen one of these before, after 15 years of practice and tons of pedal sfxs! 

Unfortunately I only recieved a diagnosis with an MRI (x-ray obviously didnt show it up) three months after the injury happened (March 10). It would have taken about that long to heal anyway, but I could have avoided a lot more angst if I had known what it was. The lesson here for me, is just to go straight to the doctor and get the right tests. As soon as I saw my current guy, and he learned my injury history, he ordered an MRI immediately, suspecting a SFx. Next time Im marching straight through his door when something hurts enough to stop running for weeks! 

So while I was injured, I had a fair bit more time to spare. Of course I was pool running (akin to shoving needles in my eye at this point), biking and weightlifting. But i also had plenty of time to message Kristen and complain about my injury constantly and how long it was taking to get a diagnosis:

Also to suggest that I move back to California, (with the idea that my injury would stay and set up shop in Sydney):

I did actually get to spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephews who are the cutest ever. Check out this face:

You're going to be a runner like Aunty Pen, right little man? Right??

And fiiiinally I got to start going on little run-walks, following the traditional Pfitzinger plan for returning to running after a stress fracture. So exciting that I had to document with selfies, of course:

Total post-run endorphin high.

My first outdoor run was in Melbourne in a park near my sister's house on a grey and rainy day.

It was truly miserable weather, but I could not have been more stoked to be out in it!

Right now im up to running 25-30mins at a time, with a kick-ass mileage of roughly 10 mpw. Its pretty awesome.  Especially because I dont want to murder any and all runners, anymore. So really, its for the good of the world that Im back to it, right?

Thursday, July 3, 2014


Suffering from a little from shin splints this week. I busted out the compression socks for the first time since last year's marathon training. Hope it's not a bad omen...

Haven't pinned down the cause. In June I ran 30, 30, 40, 40 mile weeks. Most of that was easy paced. But that's exactly the number of miles I ran in May... Could be old shoes, which I have now retired. Could be new speed workouts with track club. Probably all of the above.

Nothing serious though. I'm running a 15K tomorrow (with Tylenol)!

Two little runners