Monday, December 31, 2012

Last post for 2012

Happy New Years to who ever is reading this. 2012 has been a busy year. I started my running year with the Lou Gehrig 5K in January. It was during that first race that I hurt my left foot and have been dealing with arch and heel pain ever since. (It's been better since I stated wearing inserts about a month ago). In February I ran the Super Bowl 10k and in March I ran my first half marathon of the year at the Shamrock'n half. In April I ran the American River Parkway half and than, two weeks later, the River City Half. In May I went back to Fremont to run the Mermaid half again. This time Sami, my niece, Maddie, and her mom, Michelle, ran the 5K at the Mermaid Run. The Mermaid events are so much fun! In June I took a break from the halves and ran the women's fitness festival 5K. I really love this event. In 2010 I trained for the WFF 5K after taking seven years off from running (I had an injury then was too deposed to try again) and I finished feeling great without a hint of my old injury. In July I ran the Fab 40's 5K, the color run in August and the Giants Race in September. I also ran the McKinley Park 5K with my new running buddy, Tracy, in August and and a Pumpkin patch 5K in September. October brought me my fifth and final half marathon of the year, the Urban Cow. I didn't come close too my PR but I hadn't trained well for it and still beat my time for the year before. (In 2011 I got injured at mile 1 and had too hobble most of the curse-but I crossed the finish line) This year at the Urban Cow I won an iPad so I didn't really care what my time was. On Thanksgiving day in November Tracy and I participated in the run to feed the hungry. I'm proud to say that with the help and support of my friends and family I raised just over $300 for the Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services! Also in November, Sami and I went I to San Francisco for the Mermaid Run 5K and then spent the day exploring Alcatraz and pier 49. That was a great day! A few weeks ago in December I ran in the CIM as part of a relay team. It was a very wet day but it was a great experience. I'm looking forward to running it again next year.

That,s my very quick recap of my 2012 running year. There are some races I left out but I wrote about most of them earlier in the year.

I wish you and your loved ones a fantastic 2013!

Anna

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Post CIM... post

It's been a long time since my last blog. I haven't been able to grab on to one thought long enough to write it out and, apparently, that means I've been on a blog hiatus. But I'm back (for now) and I have lots to share.

The CIM (California International Marathon) was held this past Sunday. I participated as part of a four person relay team this time. The weather was a mess but the race was a lot of fun. If you haven't been out running in the rain I recommend you try it. Some of my favorite training runs in the past have been done in the rain and the race was even more fun. I ran a seven mile stretch of the 26.2 mile course and my team finished in 5 hours, 34 minutes. We Rocked It!
Zachary, Nancy, me, Rebecca, Janice (David had to leave) 

Organizing the relay team was more of a roller coaster ride than I was expecting. It all started after last year's CIM. I was sitting around my table chatting with my sister and my friend, David. (David ran the CIM about  four years ago and he ran part of it with me last year as a supporting cheerleader.) We decided we would run the relay. As 2012 moved along I started talking to other runners about the relay hoping to find a fourth person. My sister-in-law, Rebecca said she wanted be our fourth runner. Yay! But then more people said they wanted to run the relay too so I organized a second team. This team took a little bit longer to fill up but eventually we got four runners.

Not long after everyone was registered (and paid for) someone on team 2 needed to drop out. Then another person. Then we replaced one, but she dropped out too. Then someone got sick. Someone couldn't make it into town. Another replacement got injured. In total, there were eight people who had to drop and one of those people dropped twice. In fact, there wasn't a single original person on team 2 who ran on race day. Fortunately we were able to pull things together.

Team 2 didn't have a person for the first leg so Rebecca ran with the timing chips for both teams. My team, team 1, didn't have a person for the last leg of the relay. I was ready to run both my leg and the final leg but once my socks were fully saturated and bunching under my toes I realized that running another five miles would be harder than I anticipated Thankfully I came up with a plan. I sent a text to Zachary, the leg 4 runner for team 2, and asked (begged) if he would take both timing chips if I got to the relay exchange before his team member. He was more than willing to help out and it gave me the motivation I needed to keep my pace up. I had to beat Janice to the exchange!

Everything worked out. I got to the exchange before the team 2 runner so after my seven miles I was done. We all got our medals and had a great time! Both teams were a runner short but we made it work :o) A big THANK YOU to my teammates, Rebecca, David, Nancy, Janice and Zachary! Who's excited for next year?!?!



Monday, August 20, 2012

my running bag

Like most people I have a few addictions and one of those are bags. I love bags and the more pockets a bag has the better the chance is that I will buy it. I have four bags I use on a regular basis and I will list them here for you (any excuse to make a list, right!) 

[1] my backpack 
I use this for the lake, river, beach and overnight trips

[2] my swim bag 
this is a small tote that has a waxy lining on the outside. This works well for my wet swimsuit and towel because the water doesn't leak through

[3] my gym bag 
I take this bag to the gym when I'm planning on doing more than one class or cardio and swimming. I also use this bag for trips

[4] my running bag 
I take this bag to all of my races and to my long runs and trail runs.

I'm writing about my running bag because I keep it stocked with anythings I might need before, after or during a run. Most of the things in this bag I found out I needed after I needed it and didn't have it. I'm hoping this little blog will will help someone stock their own bag before an item is needed and not after. Like me.

Here is my bag
It's just a small duffle with three pockets.
[1] a big main compartment pocket
[2] a smaller pocket between he big pocket and the front
[3] a small mesh pocket on the front of the bag

What I keep in the biggest, main pocket:
- an assortment of hydration packs and fanny packs
- a towel
- hand wipes, mine are "natural" and eco friendly
- an arm band for my phone
- a hat
- a first aid bag

In the first aid bag:
- muscle relief gel
- pain revilers (I pack Tylenol & Advil)
- tissue
- band aids
-vitamin E gel capsules (for blisters)
- ace bandages and/or knee brace
- athletic tape
- feminine products
- chap stick
- cream/lotion

Middle pocket:
- road I.D. anklet
- reflective vest
- snacks
- hair ties
- race belts
- more tissue
- a handkerchief (a good friend gave this to me for 
Christmas one year and I carry it with me during cold weather runs and races)
- headband/ear warmer
- gloves

Front pocket:
- inhaler
- baggy of safety pins
- ipod
- more hair ties
- parking passes for the bike trail and state parks
- clip on light (I run before dawn a lot)
- pens
- gu gel pack
- life savers (my quick sugar of choice)
- a luggage tag w/ my business card 

There you go, that's what I keep in my running bag. 


   Thanks for reading and if you don't already follow my blog then click that thing 
over there <--------- and follow me! 
   

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Let the Games Begin!



I am a huge fan of the Olympic games and always have been. I become obsessed with sports I normally don't take the time to watch or read about. No matter where the athletes place in their events, or what country they are from, they all inspire me.

I am not an athlete but I have always dreamed of what being an Olympic athlete would feel like. Here are a few of the athletes I'm keeping my eyes on during the 2012 Olympic games.



Kara Goucher
Kara Goucher is a middle and long distance runner from Portland, OR. She ran the 5,000m and 10,000m in the 2008 Olympic games in Beijing but this year, in London, she will competing in the marathon. Her debut marathon was the 2008 New York City Marathon where she came in 3rd with a time of 2:25:35 (that's 5:33 minute/mile pace). That race won her the prestige of becoming the first American woman to be on the podium since 1994 and she set the record for the fastest marathon debut ever by an American woman.  




Lolo Jones
Lolo Jones grew up very poor and was homeless for a period of time as a child. Today she's a favorite to medal in the 100m hurdles. She went to Beijing four years ago and finished in 7th place. This was a bit of surprise considering she was named the Olympic trials champion and came in first during the game's semi finals. Following the games she struggled with a string of injuries and ended up having surgery in her spinal cord in 2011, a year from the Olympic games in London. She came in 3rd place at the Olympic trials this year and will compete in the 100m hurdles on Sunday. She's been getting some heat over a tweet she wrote:
: USA Men's Archery lost the gold medal to Italy but that's ok, we are Americans... When's da Gun shooting competition?
Okay, so yes there was a horrible shooting in our country not long before she tweeted  this but... I never thought she was relating this to violence. I think some people took this the wrong way. Afterwards she responded to her critics with:

 "sorry u guys only think of violence but I think of all the hunting I do w southerners in da south. Its impressive."




Misty May-Treanor & Kerri Walsh
These women need no introduction. If this is the first time you have heard of their awesomeness, even if you're not a volleyball fan, you've either lived a very sheltered life or under a soundproof rock. In any case, these women are truly amazing. They won the beach volleyball gold medal in both the 2004 and 2008 Olympic games. Misty has won more tournaments than any other woman with 107 career wins. Kerri played on USA team volleyball team in 2000 where they finished in 4th place. After the 2000 games, Kerri turned to beach volleyball and teamed up with Misty and quickly made their way to #1 ranking in the FIVB world tour. So far they have won both preliminary matches and I think they are playing in the finals today. I'm very excited!





Natalie Coughlin
Natalie is a 11-time Olympic medalist! She swam in both the 2004 and 2008 games and was the most decorated female athlete at both games. She also holds the title of the most decorated female swimmer in world championship history. To top it off, look how cute she is! In this year's games she swam in the 4x100m freestyle relay but was pulled in the final. The team finished in 3rd place to earn the bronze. I can't find her anywhere else on the Olympic schedule but I have a hard time believing that the relay is her only event. I hope I'm just reading the schedule wrong.    




Shalane Flanagan
Shalane Flanagan is my favorite Olympian this year. She currently holds the American record for the 3,000m, 5,000m and 10,000m and won the bronze at the 2008 Olympic games for her 10,000m event. In 2010 she competed in her first marathon and finished in 2nd place with a time of 2:28:40 (that's a 5:40 minute/mile pace). This year she will be competing in the marathon on Sunday along with her team mate and training partner, Kara Goucher. She won her spot on the American marathon team in January when she won the Olympic Trials Marathon and set the event record at 2:25:38 (a 5:34 minute/mile pace). Sunday will be a very exciting day.     


You may have noticed that these are all woman athletes. There are men competing in the 2012 Olympic games that I'm watching and routing for as well as other woman athletes. I wanted to keep this blog short so I limited myself to five athletes or teams to write about. It took me longer than expected to get this done. I started before the opening ceremonies but life got in the way of my ramblings. I hope you are enjoying the events as much as I am. Feel free to comment below and tell me who your favorite athletes are and what events you enjoy the most.








   

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Aurora

Ever since I saw Sleeping Beauty as a child I have loved the name Aurora. When I was in high school there was a girl in my gym class named Aurora and every time I saw her I told her she had the prettiest name of anyone I knew. In those days, I was sure I would name my first daughter Aurora. Now that I think about it, I'm not sure how Sami got the name Samantha. 

However, today the name Aurora has a different ring to it. I will forever think of the events of last Friday first instead of the beautiful princess I pretended to be as a child when hearing the name, Aurora.  The facts make me so sad. The image in my head of everyday Americans, like me and my family, going to a movie and instead of enjoying the heroics of Batman are faced with as real life bad guy frighten me. Not just a bad guy trying to get rich or steal but a terrorist. I know the investigators have said that this man had no ties to any terrorist organization but he filled the hearts of his victims with terror so to me, he is a terrorist. 

What scares me the most about this man is he is one of "us". He has grown in up here in the good o' USA and has grown up living with the rights and freedoms that this country has to offer. He's educated and intelligent. Why did he feel that this act was a good idea? What was going through his head? What happened to turn his mother's son into the mass murder he is today? Can that happen to one of my kids? I have tears in my eyes as I write this because that idea is a nightmare. What can I do as a parent to give my kids the morals, ethics and tools to become good, hard working and life loving citizens. I'm sure this man's parent's gave them all the love they had to offer so what happened? 

I pray that the victims of Friday's shooting find peace. I know four women where there with their boyfriends and those men gave the ultimate sacrifice and covered those women with their own bodies and died. I Pray that those four women learn to live everyday to the fullest and seek help for the survivor's guilt they may be going through. In fact, I hope all of the survivor's seek help. They all may be feeling that guilt. 

I pray for the the family and friends of the fallen, Alex Sullivan, Micayla Medek, Jessica Ghawi, Petty Officer John Larimer, Rebecca Wingo, Matthew McQuinn, Veronica Moser-Sullivan (6 years old), Staff Sgt. Jesse Childress, Alexander Boik, Alexander Teves, Jonathan Blunk, Gordon Cowden and for the victims who survived. I also pray for Arlene and Robert Holmes, the mother and father of the "accused" gunman. 


To save my faith in humanity, I'm choosing to associate the name of Aurora with strength and bravery in honor of the survives and the fallen heroes instead of sadness.  

     

Monday, July 23, 2012

grease lightening, mermaids, pirates and socks

It's been way too long since my last post... There's no good excuse (other than my keyboard being broken but I fixed that problem last week...) There's a lot you have missed such as more skin issues, an eye patch, my best 5K of the year and my kids who have turned out to be swimming studs. Oh, and Sami has decided that she's going to go to Julliard for college (she's going in to 7th grade next year)

Samantha turned 12 at the end of June. For her birthday we got her tickets to see Grease (on her birthday) and The Little Mermaid (The Little Mermaid might just be the best stage production I've ever seen. It was amazing!). She also got the dvd, cd and book of Phantom of the Opera as well as a Joffrey ballet dvd. The last dvd I mention is especially cool because one of the ballet teachers from Sami's studio is in it. Maia Wilkins was the prima for the Joffrey ballet for many years and now she teaches at The Sacramento Academy of Dance, where Sami has been going since she was four.
Sami and I at The Little Mermaid

Both the kids were on the Arden Manor Pirates Swim Team this year and both had a great time! Nevyn is especially gifted in the water and continued to get faster every week. One of his coaches didn't realize till very late in the season that this was his first year on a swim team. He was shocked and said he should look into swimming on the year-round league. I'm so happy we have found another sport that he really likes. The team went to championships this past weekend and both Sami and Nevyn did a great job. I'm very proud of both of them.

Sami at champs
My hubby, Coach Jeremy at champs
Nevyn at champs
Around the time of  my last post one of my sweet daycare babies came towards me with with his finger pointed at me and before I knew it, it was jammed in my eye. He meant to poke my nose, a game we play a lot, but he missed miserably and I ended up with a pothole in my eye. It took a week to heal and it was very painful. I had never experienced pain quite like that before. Hence the eye patch (wait, who's the pirate?).



Two weekends ago I ran in the Fab 40's 5K. Formally, this was the Alzheimer's Memorial Run. I ran it a couple of years ago and even though the last mile was tough I really enjoyed it. This year's race was another good experience. I started out training for this one but after a week and a half my training fell through the cracks in my busy life. There wasn't much time for training between my medical issues and schedule conflicts. I didn't run during the last two weeks before race day so I wasn't too optimistic about finishing in under 40 minutes. I got tired half way through and the final mile seemed to last forever but when I saw my time I knew I pushed myself just enough. I finished in 39:01! I know a 12:33 pace is pretty slow but my running year has been a mess. I've had slow times all year long and haven't been able to get through any of my training plans because of constant medical issues. This was my first sub 40 minute 5K all year long. I'm wondering if the new pair of of my favorite running socks had anything to do with my improved time???


Next on my racing schedule: 
The Color Run
August 4th

August 11th

September 16h

October 7th

November 10th


November 22nd

Relay Team
December 2nd
   

Friday, June 22, 2012

30 day yoga challange

As you may know, I'm training for my next 5K which will be held on July 14th. I haven't actually "trained" for anything in a while and it feel good to be back on a schedule and training plan. It gives my workouts focus and having a specific goal helps keep my motivation going strong. 

The Fab 40's run is going to be a nice event. Here's some info from the website:

Fab 40s 5k Run/Walk


In 2008 we launched a great community event, and we strive to make it even better every year. Realizing there is a tremendous need in the local community to help caregivers and their families, the Fab 40’s committee donates all proceeds from this event to theAlzheimer’s Association www.alz.org.
We want to increase the understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and its devastating affect on families.  We feel the need to provide an opportunity for affected families to meet and interact with one another.
This year’s Fab 40′s 5k Run/Walk  will be held on Saturday, July 14, 2012.  The name of the race comes from the neighborhood in which the race is held; the East Sacramento community has embraced this event and looks forward to seeing and cheering on all event participants.

“Alzheimer’s Memorial Wall”

The “Alzheimer’s Memorial Wall” is the first of its kind in the nation.  Modeled after the Vietnam Wall, people can inscribe the name of a loved one who has died from Alzheimer’s disease or is currently dealing with this disease.  It is a way to memorialize or honor a loved one or friend.  Located at East Lawn Memorial Park, individuals are invited to visit the wall in a beautiful, peaceful setting and share a comment on your visit.


My search for my inner athlete has opened my eyes to lots of different forms of exercise over the years and one form that I have fallen in love with is yoga. I used to take two yoga classes a week and I felt a change in my body very quickly and I looked forward to my yoga nights all week long. My gym has changed the class schedule around over the years and now there is only one yoga class offered in the evenings. Very disappointing.

I have been wanting to add more yoga workouts to my weekly routine but I seem to lack the dedication and discipline to make it happen. I've decided to change this and do a 30 day yoga challenge. I'm not following any plan or joining a website, I'm just going to make my yoga practice a priority and commit to doing a yoga workout everyday for the next 30 days. The days I don't go to my class I will do my Jillian Michaels Yoga Meltdown DVD and I'm going to start going to the downtown gym and try their Thursday night class, just to mix it up a little.      


Today Jeremy and I took our kids and the daycare on a field trip to Fairytale town and then had a picnic lunch in the park. Everyone had a great time but I'm exhausted! Now that everyone is sleeping it's time for me to put my feet up and relax.


Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm still here

It's been a little over a month since my last blog. I had a small case of writer's block and then I was battling an illness that made even the slightest movements very painful. The last thing I wanted to do was type away on a computer. But I am much better now and I thought this would be a good time to catch you up to what I've been up to.

My June race was the women's fitness festival again this year. I really like this race. the 2010 race was my first event back into running after six years of laziness. Last year at this race I met Jaime and Scott from riseSUP.com. I won their raffle and took my first stand up paddleboard class from them and now, as you know, I'm hooked on SUP. This year wasn't as great as the past two years. I was not in the best shape and my time was a little disappointing (41:59, last year I ran it in 35:09) and there was a LOT of runners this year. However, this year was made special by my sister-in-law. She ran this year for the first time and she had a really good race. I have inspired her to start running and this was her third event, I think. The idea that I have inspired someone else to get active and healthy is kind of crazy to me but I'm truly honored. I must be doing something right. 
June 2010 37:06
June 2011 35:09
June 2012 41:59
This year has been a tough running year. I've been dealing with some odd foot issues since my first race of the year in January and that has lead to calf and hip pain due to over compensation on the part of my other leg and muscle groups. In addition to my injuries I've been sick a lot this year and it's been a horrible allergy season too. My most recent illness was another outbreak of my mystery pox. If you are a regular reader you might remember a blog I wrote back in February about my "I'm-sick-pox" (I also refer to them as "mystery pox" because no one knows what they really are). This time the medication I normally take to make the pox go away didn't work so I went to see my dermatologist. She's my newest doctor (I collect them apparently) and had never seen one of my flair ups. At first, like all of the doctors before her, she was very confused but she had a few theories. She brought in another doctor to collaborate with and the verdict is in. I have Eczema Herpeticum. To confirm this diagnoses she took a few culture samples and a biopsy from my back and prescribed some stronger medication. Here's some additional info on my condition: 

Eczema herpeticum, initially described by Moriz Kaposi in 1887, is a potentially life-threatening herpetic super infection of a pre-existing skin disease. Eczema Herpeticum occurs as a result of the eczema being infected with the herpes simplex virus, the virus that produces cold sores. It is important to avoid skin contact with anyone who has cold sores.
Normally, herpes simplex will be confined to cold sores around the mouth and is a routine condition. However, in a person with eczema the virus can appear anywhere on the skin. In rare cases, it can prove fatal. Despite the availability of antiviral therapies, eczema herpeticum remains a dermatological emergency today.

Eczema herpeticum appears in small clusters and looks like blisters or ulcers. These are initially filled with a clear fluid but this turns to pus. The blisters are scratched and become raw and weepy. The symptoms of eczema herpeticum may include a high temperature; an extensive rash with small skin blisters filled with yellow pus and you may generally feel unwell. The rash can cover the whole of the skin surface. Eczema herpeticum can occur when anyone with eczema, especially if it is sore and open has skin-to-skin contact with someone who has active facial (cold sores) or genital herpes. The cause of eczema herpeticum is always HSV type I. The exact patho-physiology is unknown, but it is thought to involve HSV entering the skin when skin barrier function is compromised due to dermatitis. Defective cytokine secretion in the affected skin also plays an important role. The severity of pre-existing eczema does not seem to dictate the severity of eczema herpeticum. Secondary bacterial skin infections are very common. A mixture of aerobic and anaerobic bacteria are commonly isolated, the most common being S aureus, Group A ß-hemolytic Streptococcus, Pseudomonas, and Peptostreptococcus.
If your eczema becomes worse for no apparent reason or you see blisters on the surface, medical advice is required. With eczema herpeticum the sufferer may have a high temperature and feel very ill. Be sure to explain all your symptoms to your doctor because this is not a straightforward condition to diagnose. 
The first indication of infection occurs 5 to 12 days after exposure to the virus and typically appears as multiple itchy, watery blisters that occur on skin previously affected by atopic dermatitis. If these blisters are not treated, they can become progressively worse as illustrated by these four stages of Eczema herpeticum: In stage one, multiple itchy, watery blisters over an area of skin, usually where atopic dermatitis lesions were present (5 to 12 days after exposure). Stage two begins as the blisters begin to disseminate or "crop" into adjacent areas of skin. In stage three, the blisters may bleed, become encrusted, and erode - at this stage the condition becomes extremely painful. At stage four, the viral infection spreads to cover the entire body, with associated fever and swollen lymph nodes. Secondary bacterial infection frequently develops in large, eroded areas of skin.
During all stages, fever is usually present and the person feels ill. The first episode of eczema herpeticum usually runs its course in 2 to 6 weeks if left untreated. However, letting the disease run its course is not recommended as eczema herpeticum can be life threatening. Subsequent outbreaks tend to be milder, unless the patient has an underlying immunodeficiency condition. 
Sometimes a hospital treatment may be required with Eczema Herpeticum. This type of infected eczema is usually treated with an anti-viral drug acyclovir, which is given by injection, by mouth or as an ointment. 

July 2010 38:09
I'm feeling much better now and yesterday I went for my first workout in weeks. I'm preparing for my next 5K on July 14th, the Fab 40's 5K and because I'm basically starting over I'm taking things very slow. This week I'll run a total of six miles and I'm keeping my pace slow and relaxed. The last time I ran this race I finished in 38:09. I don't know how close to that I'll get this year but as long as I finish in a sub 40:00 I'll be happy. I know that's a really slow 5K and especially for someone who's been running for years but it's about fun, not time, right? I keep telling myself that but I don't think it's working


P.S. I don't know why parts of this blog are highlighted. I didn't to that and I don't know how to make it go away...