Race Recap: Hollywood 5K

A funny thing happened on my way to a half marathon…

So last time we saw our heroine, she was fresh off her high of running a half marathon PR at Surf City (not to mention smoking Matt Damon). I had high hopes for the Hollywood Half, and with eight weeks to train, I was looking forward to pushing myself even more by tacking on extra mileage and throwing in some tempo runs on top of the hill/track work I was already doing with Trainer. Because, as you know, if it isn’t broke, for sure you should mess around with it and fix it (read: screw it up). Obviously more is better when you’re staring down 50 years of age, right? Argh! When will I learn?!? Continue reading “Race Recap: Hollywood 5K”

Training Week 12/7 to 12/13/15: Things That Make You Go “Hmmm…”

After spending eleven days in Europe subsisting on tapas, bread, cheese, and sugar, and doing no running (save one in Paris), I entered this week girding myself for the pain of training re-entry.

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Freezing in Jardin du Luxembourg, Paris

Continue reading “Training Week 12/7 to 12/13/15: Things That Make You Go “Hmmm…””

The New Normal (For Now)

Much has changed since September’s Ventura Marathon and my last real weekly training update at that same time. Um, thanks injuries?

Prior to getting injured, the post-marathon plan was to reduce my mileage, since my next goal race was a half marathon, and finish out my strength sessions with Trainer, which perfectly timed out for the Santa Clarita Half in November. Note, however, that I intended to go balls out in training even at reduced mileage because I hoped to PR — Santa Clarita was not just a planned training run. After that, I hoped to take a breath and embark on my late November vacation before jumping into marathon training for February’s Surf City Marathon. Basically, there would be no training hiatus save for my annual Thanksgiving break. Continue reading “The New Normal (For Now)”

Training Week 11/2/15 to 11/8/15: Stepping Forward, Stepping Back

Hey! Seems like not only have I taken a break from running, I’ve also taken a brief hiatus from blogging. I guess not being on a steady training schedule threw me off my blog game too, and while I remember being a bit cavalier about having a weekly summary, perhaps that type of structure does me well. Anyway, here’s what’s been happening over here at Not-Running Central. Continue reading “Training Week 11/2/15 to 11/8/15: Stepping Forward, Stepping Back”

Attacking from the Flank: Part 1 of 2

“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.” – Archimedes

If you want to run faster, then you have to run faster. Or, to get better at running, you have to run more. Seems like this is patently obvious. I mean, practice makes perfect, right? Continue reading “Attacking from the Flank: Part 1 of 2”

So You Think You Can Run

It should be natural. Put one foot in front of the other and go. It’s not that complicated, right?

I guess for most people this is true. And honestly, my form probably wouldn’t matter too much if I was running shorter distances, but the marathon distance has been humbling for me in many respects, and this may be the latest lesson. Upon reviewing my most recent marathon photos, it’s easily noted that they reveal more than just the unlikely occurrence of a hobbit shuffling down the streets of Ventura, they also highlight a few issues. But I jump ahead. Let’s dial it back. Continue reading “So You Think You Can Run”

Weekly Training Summary Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2015: Q&A and more Q

As I mentioned in last week’s training summary, there is no plan. I am currently in a holding pattern — an active holding pattern — but waiting nonetheless. I have answers to some questions and, well, more questions. Below, dear reader, the pressing questions. Continue reading “Weekly Training Summary Sept. 28-Oct. 4, 2015: Q&A and more Q”

Ventura Marathon: Plan C

There is a legendary story about NFL Hall of Fame safety Ronnie Lott that epitomizes toughness and gladiator-like mentality. In the NFC playoffs, Lott had his left pinky finger badly mangled in a collision – supposedly part of it lay on the field — but he came out briefly, taped it up and continued to play. Later, when given a choice between a bone graft that would mean missing playing time but could eventually give him full use of his finger and hand, he opted for the second option, which was to amputate the top of his pinky and keep playing. Dude played eight more seasons without the top of his pinky. I fucking love Ronnie Lott. Continue reading “Ventura Marathon: Plan C”

Ten Super Fantastic Things About Being Injured

Even though I’m not necessarily sleeping in, there are still some unexpected benefits to being injured and not able to run. For sure I have felt more connected to my fellow man. So THIS is what it’s like to not be running, planning on running, or recovering from running! Below are some other silver linings.

1.  No need to worry if I’ll walk up to the start line of Mountains2Beach overtrained or if my legs didn’t have enough time to recover from training.

Bouncy compressionized legs.
Bouncy compressionized legs.

2.  I have to work much harder at lying to myself about how much I’m eating. So you know how it is. You run a gazillion miles and have an extra bite here, a second serving there, a handful of this in passing. Yeah, I’m super aware of what I’m eating since I’m not running. It’s a real bummer.

3.  I can definitively say I’m never doing a triathlon. There is just Too.Much.Stuff involved with biking and pool time. One of the bestest things about running is being able to throw on clothes and shoes and go out the door. Packing my gym bag and digging around for a bike pump is a major pain. Also, my ass is way too flat to be biking too long even with the extra cushiony seat, and I don’t like smelling like chlorine all through the day. That’s a pass on traithloning.

4.  My IG followers finally get to see a photo that doesn’t feature running shoes, trails, or healthy food.

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5.  I can finally give a different answer to “So, what are you up to?” and “Are you free to go to ____________?” Usually the answers are “Running” and “No,” but now I can talk about something else and while it’s not a “Yes!” to the second question, it’s also not an automatic “No.”

6.  I’ve thrown off any possible killers. I used to read a lot of those Ann Rule true crime novels when I was a kid, and I usually have Forensic Files playing in the background when I’m home, so I am very aware of possible danger situations. I also know that a killer’s strategy is to look for a possible victim’s patterns. With my regular running schedule completely blown up by my wonky calf, any potentially harmful freaks will be totally thrown off by my erratic schedule.

7.  I get to save a little money on running stuffs like magnesium spray, Glide, Clif gels, electrolyte pills, pre- and post-workout drinks. Of course, since I have more free time on my hands, I quickly moved those spending dollars over to (non-running) shoes. I spent way too much money on shoes this week, friends.

I'm not saying the price, but they're Ash.
I’m not saying the price, but they’re Ash.

8.  Found my next project. Since I’m trying to take my mind off my current and stalled project, I had to occupy it with my next project. What’s next, what’s next, what’s next. Well, if you checked my browser history, you’d find “LSAT,” “evening program,” and “scholarships” were the main searches performed this week. I have two life goals right now, and I fear that I can’t get to the second one without going to law school, or at least it’s looking that way right now. Because I don’t have enough stuff to do, I made my husband promise to start prepping me for the LSAT this summer since it’s off-tax season.

9.  An opportunity to test physics laws. Sir Isaac Newton wasn’t blowing smoke up our ass with that first law of motion about an object at rest staying at rest. Strangely, it is taking immense external force to get this slothy lady out of bed and exercising. I can’t run, but I’m just not that motivated to do anything else but run. Unfortunately, it’s only when I run that I get driven to do all the other strength training and core work. It’s a vicious lazy cycle. Frankly, I’m not sure why we have to complicate things with that “V = 0 m/s blah blah blah” formula. I think ZZZZZZZ pretty much spells it out.

10.  Weather means nothing to me. First of all, we hardly have weather here in Los Angeles, but even if we did, it wouldn’t matter much if it was going to be blazing hot or windy sprinkly. I’m not going to be out there, so WHO CARES. Haven’t checked the weather app in days.

This somewhat lighthearted list didn’t spring forth organically as it’s actually been pretty frustrating not being able to run this late into marathon training. It came to mind last night after I got a call from my Tita (Aunt) Ellen, the matriarch of our large extended family. I kinda knew that if Tita Ellen was calling that late at night, it wasn’t going to be good news, and sure enough, she told me that my Tita Ebit had passed away earlier that day. Being injured has been uncomfortable, with anxiety about the race simmering just below the surface, but this news nipped that shit in the bud. Tita Ebit and I weren’t close – I didn’t even know she’d been sick these past five months – but she was a consistent presence at our family events and always kind and warm to me. I obviously would have attended one night of rosary* and the funeral service, but I’m actually free and clear to do much more. It’s one of those rare times in my life where I have nothing scheduled the next few days because I had cleared everything out to train. I know it’s important to my dad that I pay the proper respects on behalf of our family since he and my brother live out of the country, and it’s important to me to be there for my aunt’s family who supported me when I was not the best human being in the world. So how lucky is it that I’m injured and have nothing on calendar other than to help out my family however and as much as they need. I’m grateful I have the opportunity to do it — what an unexpected gift.

*It’s a Filipino tradition to say the rosary every evening for nine days.

Shout out to a super cool and sweet lady. RIP Tita Ebit.
Shout out to a super cool and sweet lady. RIP Tita Ebit.