A blog about Trace and her races.

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Boston Baby!

I never thought I would run a marathon, let alone Boston.  It seems like an immediate goal for most marathoners and I too had that in mind after hearing so much about it.  Boston. Boston. Boston. Blah blah blah.  Happy to say I qualified December ’09, but unfortunately it was just a few weeks after registration closed (I had no idea before I even finished the race that it was sold out).  At the time I was disappointed because Boston 2011 seemed light-years away.  Well as most of us adults know, time doesn’t slack – it speeds by, almost too fast, and I found myself already looking into hotel accommodations (booked!) and flights (still need to do) before registration even opened.  I had read somewhere that Boston was expected to sell out well before NY (11/07/10) so not wanting to wait another whole year, I set a few alarms, Google calendar reminders and even someone else’s alarm to make sure I was up at 0600 on the 18th to register.

Scurrying to my computer, I immediately felt the lag of the website and upon filling out required fields on the registration page and hitting submit, I was taken back to the registration page again.  I repeated this process over ten times before stomping my (healthy) foot on the floor and heading out the door to work.  At work I had the same issue until finally I tried with Safari and got in – Phew!

*Happy Dance*

So now I am in – well, they still have to verify my qualifying race and time and I don’t expect that to be an issue.  Heck, I don’t even know if I will make it to the starting line that day – I could get injured again or something but I am still excited…qualify for Boston…CHECK!  This excitement lasted only one whole day because as luck would have it, I receive this lovely email from Marathon Tours:

“We are sorry to hear that Boston online entry had closed out online before you had time to register.  As the official travel agency for the Boston marathon we are working to secure race entry to the 2011 Boston Marathon for clients who have a name on a pre-existing hotel reservation with us for the2011 year prior to October 18, 2011 and who are currently qualified to participate in the race.”

Just lovely!

Talk about a low blow, I already imagined how much I wold hate Heartbreak Hill and I could now understand the frustration of many other runners who qualified for 2011 but couldn’t get in because the race sold out in less than 8 hours – really, really sad.  I immediately called Marathon Tours and was informed that the webmaster had sent out the email too soon and it was supposed to say, “If you were unable to register…”  THANK YOU running Gods, I will just pretend I never got that that email – I am still in (I hope).

What really excites me more than anything is that I will be able to see my cousin Amy who lives with her family in Millbury.  We are nearly the same age and only met once when we were five years old (we didn’t get along very well that ONE time) and have a lot of things in common, one of them happens to be running.  She is excited to have me in town and we can finally catch up on life and each other.  This is the exact reason I will be in Boston regardless if I race or not.

This is what I looked like the last time I saw my cousin.


This Is My Goal (Not Yours)

You could only whisper it. Anything more than a whisper, and it would vanish – it was so fragile.

These are the words of Marcus Aurelius speaking to Maximus in Gladiator. Silly maybe, but this what always pops up in my mind whenever I’m asked about my goals or how my running is coming along.  I find myself almost afraid to speak about my future running plans or cheerfully say that my foot is all better because as satisfied as I was with my race performances before the fracture, I still feel like a failure.  More than that, I couldn’t do the one simple thing in life that I really enjoy.  I also hated the fact that I proved so many doubters right (or at least they thought they were right) – that I was going to get injured. At the end of the day though, they may or may not have been right but that is another blog to come, I hope.  It has also been a tough road coming back with several foot pain scares that dragged my 12-week forced vacation from running to nearly 18.  I’m going chance it today and say I feel great. Very confident that everything is and will continue to be OK. I feel very strong physically and mentally — I am just in a happy place and that makes this slow starting journey much easier.

Right now I am starting my second week of running – sporadic running, no particular program for the first 4 weeks. Just getting a feel for where I am now and establishing a base so I can begin a real 18-week marathon training program that will land me at the starting line of LA Marathon next year.

My goals now are much different than before, I want to focus on a timed goal instead of how many I can cram into my schedule in one year.  I remember when I decided to do CIM – my first real marathon, I was very strict with my training program after nearly a 10 year break from competitive running (dear God I am old).  I had to prove to myself that I was indeed a decent runner – running (jogging) 3 – 5 miles every so often while wearing cotton sweats and tee shirt wasn’t cutting it.  I had even told myself if I did horribly, I would just continue running for the fun of it and not worry about my times anymore.

Having said all this, I think I am back but just not ready to tell you that my next goal is 2:59:59.  Yep – true. Maybe impossible but I won’t know if I don’t try and I have 6 months of training to prepare. I’d say that is plenty of time. Someone told me last night not to worry about failing because the ones that love me will never think less of me if I fail and the ones who judge me are the ones I shouldn’t care about anyway. I think he was right – thank you for putting that into perspective.

Thank you to all my running friends (some posted below) that kept me sane until this point – I owe you big time!

Janese R. - Finally broke 4:00 at the OC Marathon!

Jen L - Miss Speedster. Killing it during her first year of running!

The boys - great runners and friends!


Training Summary 3/29 – 04/04

Scheduled: 35-39

Actual: 34.71

This past week of training was rather difficult for me – a great week now doubt, it just didn’t come easy.  It followed a very short running week (totaling 11 miles – immediately following LA Marathon) and plenty of rest.  It was time to increase my mileage while still not over-do it.  The plan was to run between 35-39 miles, a track workout and to finally wear my orthotics so I can build up my mileage in them and ultimately be able to wear them during a marathon.  I finished the week with 34.71 including the ever-dreaded track workout and even incorporated a 13.1 race into it. The orthotics are not yet my friends and have caused the pain from PF to return…

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Training Schedule 3/29 – 04/04

Workout Schedule: 03/29 -04/04

Monday – 6M
Tuesday – Track*:

1 x 1600m, 1 x 1200m, 1 x 800m, 1 x 1200m with 400m recovery jog.   All intervals at slightly faster than 5K pace with 400m recovery jog.

Wednesday – 6M
Thursday – 6M race pace (7:15); light weights
Friday – Rest
Saturday – 6M
Sunday – 8M + mat pilates

*Track Club LA workout


Blog Graveyard

I know, I know. Where have I been (at least I am asking myself that)? Well I took off a few weeks from running to get completely rested from Surf City and you know what? My knee is better! Yay! In all honesty, I am a little nervous — only 11 days until LA Marathon. It is so weird for me to be nervous since I haven’t felt like this since I competed in high school.  This break was really difficult for me, I wanted nothing more than to to put on my trainers and RUN! At least I am back…

Besides not running, a lot of great things have happened and I will share that soon!

LA Marathon training @ Dodger Stadium


Today's Run

I just finished an easy four mile run after taking a few days off. My right knee is nagging me since Carlsbad — nothing painful, just annoying and out of place.  It felt really good to get out there and clear my mind and I didn’t feel any discomfort until the last half mile of the run.  I will continue to ice, stretch and just take it easy for my race on Sunday.  Keep reminding myself it’s a B Event, and I just need to be ready for LA.


Because I do

Why I run.

I don’t like when people ask me why I run. Actually, I don’t like when people ask me why I run when they say it with a look of disgust on their face. Couple that with, “I wish I was as skinny as you,” and I officially lose all interest in that person.

Running has always been something that I did. Why? I never wanted to ask myself that question. I just did it and I do it. And if ever there has been something steady and constant in my life, I would say it’s running. Why question something that has always been my shoulder to cry on?

I hesitated posting about this because it’s such a sensitive subject for me.   And maybe I shouldn’t be so agitated when I am asked that question, but I know, deep down, it has been my cover for deep-rooted issues and pain and I’d rather avoid that… Well, tonight, not really doing much of anything except catching up on all my magazine subscriptions, I came across the “The Father Lode,” an article in this month’s issue of Runner’s World. I read it once and I cried. I read it again and cried. And then I read it again and decided I would open up a little. Of course my story is different, but I can relate to it on so many levels and so I will slowly share (part of) my story with you.


Running Scared & doing it for the ladies

Joining the Los Angeles Roadrunners (LARR) has been a great experience. I will never forget the first morning I got to the parking area which is at the Westminster Elementary School in Venice – hundreds of runners everywhere. Seriously.  Tons of runners. All ages.  All levels.  I figured it was about time that I start running with a group of people – I was really tired of training alone and I needed the camaraderie and competitive push.

I joined late (officially started September 12th and I joined October 17th) –  during the 10th week of my 18 week CIM training schedule but made sure to keep my focus on CIM until that race was over and then look towards LA Marathon later.

LARR is the official LA Marathon training program that meets for 27 weeks – every Saturday, our only group run and our longest run of that week.   The great thing about this organization is that you never have to worry about running alone, there are over 20 pace groups and you are constantly reminded why we are so lucky to live in LA: views of the ocean from Santa Monica all the way to the Marina, beautiful weather, and home course advantage (we regularly run the last few miles of the race during this run).

The morning of my first group run I didn’t really know which group to run with – I was thinking Group 3 or 4 because I hadn’t yet run CIM and I was kind of scared that I would fall off during the run. At the last second I decided on Group 3 (8:30 pace).  I thought this was a fun group but I kept running into the heels of the runners in front of me and knew I should be in Group 2 if I wasn’t such a wuss.  Finally, a little persuasion from a close friend (the same friend who pushes himself so hard, he barfs), I joined Group 2. The difference between each group is 30 seconds. It may not seem like much, but it is a big deal when you get deep into your mileage towards the end of the season and right before the race.  It was exciting to change groups not only for the challenge of working towards a faster marathon, but for the new friends I met (small group of us communicate regularly and share our workouts, goals and even look towards each other for motivation encouragement). I started consulting with a few friends about moving again *gasp* and they were all for it.  It finally sunk in when I told my friend Janel R. that I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with their 7:25 pace (marathon goal pace 3:15). I would be the only woman and if I couldn’t hang, it would be obvious.  She didn’t hesitate to remind me that I had given her similar advice when she decided to change groups. I couldn’t be a hypocrite, and I knew that if I didn’t at least try, I would never know what could have been.  It was New Year’s Eve when I finally decided that I would do it no matter how scared I was.  As soon as I got back home that morning, I called my friend Frank P. (also a Group 2 runner) and told him I was doing it.  He was very supportive and we chatted about it for a while including our own separate goals (his also includes triathalons). The words were officially spoken and I had to do it.  My last email about this decision was to Phil, our Group 2 pace leader letting him know that I wanted to do this and I wanted his opinion (blessing). He of course, was very positive and suggested that I try it out. He reminded me that LARR is the perfect place to try out different groups. The night before my first run with the group, I made sure to get plenty of rest, I prepared as if it were a marathon.  Right before my run, I saw Frank and asked him to join me for this run and he did. (I think Group 1 was always his group, he just didn’t know it until after that run.)  To date, I have only ran with this group twice – a 14 and 15-miler (the last two runs).  The first five miles are kind of challenging but after that it just feels right. The funniest thing about this whole (stupid) group dilemma is that after my first run with this group, they decided to split the group into two – a 7:25 group and a 7:10 group (does that mean there is a Group 0?).  This made perfect sense since there are some REALLY fast runners in the 7:25 group and I was wondering myself why they didn’t have a Group 0.  Still, just when I thought I was getting there… Oh well, I will consider that my new challenge. JOKING.  I wouldn’t call myself a Group 1 runner (yet)…it is too early (or too late in the season) to find out.

To say the least, I am happy with my decision, not really worried now about failing or falling off anymore because at the end of the day, I want to remind myself that I gave it all I had.

Splits from my last two Group 1 workouts (Garmin Forerunner 405):

Click here to visit the LA Roadrunners website.


100,000 calories gets you…

Last Saturday during our 16 miler with LARR, I overheard (eavesdropped) another runner talking about his friend who according to his Garmin (watch), had burned over 80,000 calories.  My curiosity got the best of me and when I got home, I had to check my own stats. To my surprise, I had just hit 100,000 calories since March 29, 2009.  I am not neecessarily proud of that, and I never count them.  (I was actually happier to discover that just yesterday, I hit the 1,000 mile mark in training!)  Seeing that number was really weird and hard to fathom so I did some comparisons with some items that although I like (love), I eat in moderation…well, except for the Starbucks.

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12 marathons. 12 months.

Suddenly I hear the ticking clock – only 10 days until my first marathon of 2010!

I delayed posting about my upcoming races because I was trying to finalize my race calendar while determining which of my 12 marathons will be considered “A Events” (to be discussed later).

I almost have my entire race calendar penned but I am still searching for a California marathon for the months of August and September.  I may change my she dule as I find more interesting races, but I won’t deviate from my goal of 12 marathons in 12 months.

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Lake Balboa Turkey Trot – 5K

Pure fun. With the marathon only 10 days away, I decided that I would just “trot” this run. I tried to run as close to 8:00 a mile and I was close — 24:03. I like the shirt — what do you think?