September 30, 2010

When life gives you!

Life sort of threw a curveball this week so running and blogging had to take a bit of a back seat. Last Friday my 94-year old grandma ended up in the hospital and has gotten worse since, so my week has consisted of working long shifts then heading straight over to see my grandmother and be with my family. On top of that, I'm also on graveyard duty a few days this week for the crisis hotline which means no good night's sleep for me. I have, however, managed to fit in some running, most importantly my long run this past Sunday. In times like these, though, you have to look at the big picture. We have no idea how much time she has left, so every moment together is dear. And it's also at times like these when family needs one another the most. But like I said, some running still did manage to happen this week, and I think it's helped me manage the stress of everything.

My mom's 5k on Saturday went great! Her goal was simply to finish while running most of it and she did just that. It was kind of an odd experience to be at a race as a spectator instead of a runner but it was kind of fun : ) The race stared at 5:30pm and holy cow was it warm! I was actually glad I wasn't running, and I felt kind of bad for all the runners. We hung around in the sahde for a while and then soon enough it was time to go! After watching the start my dad and I headed to the 2 mile mark just before the turnaround to catch my mom mid-race. When we finally spotted her I ran to meet her and jogged alongside her for a bit. I think the heat had really gotten to her, but she was still trudging along, refusing to quit. After hitting up a water station I sent her on her way with some encouraging words then my dad and I headed back to the start to see her finish. I could tell when she crossed that finish line that she was glad to be done, but I think she enjoyed the experience. It was definitely a big challenge that she took on and she accomplished what she set out to do - I couldn't be more proud. Stay tuned for my mom's recap in her own words (with more pics) coming soon!
 mom and I post-race!

I had made plans with my coworker, Heather, to meet up early Sunday morning for a long run. She's running the Nike Women's Marathon in a couple weeks and we both needed to get 16 miles in. We both had to be at work at 11am which meant an extra early start (well, early for me). I chose a route along the bike trail that was an extension of the course of the Parkway Half I ran this past May. Heather picked me up bright and early and we headed to William Pond Park, although we ended up just short of the park itself. We hopped on the trail and set off, aiming for a 10:30 average pace (my goal MCM pace). The first several miles I felt like my perceived effort was much greater than the pace I was seeing on my watch, and I was worried it was gonna be one of those runs. We got to mile 7ish and took a little potty break. When we continued on we spotted something in the middle of the pathway ahead and realized it was a small snake! Upon closer inspection (per my encouragement) we discovered that the baby snake was dead. I felt it appropriate to remove it from the pathway so Heather flung it to it's final resting place via a stick : )
 once i knew it was dead i got a closer pic : )

We finally approached the turnaround; I always get a second wind once I know I'm on my way back! I finally started feeling good and we actually picked up the pace a bit. I was starting to get thirsty and my handheld was low but luckily we reached my oasis and I was able to fill up and douse myself with water since the day was starting to really warm up. My left hip had been nagging me for a while but I was able to run through it, stretching a few times along the way. Heather's longest distance before Sunday had been a half marathon, so it was fun to get to 13 miles and realize that the rest would be all new territory for her. I miss distance PRs : ( With one mile to go I looked down at my watch and realized I had to be at work in 50 minutes, so we decided to pick it up! We finished our final mile at a sub-10 pace with an average pace of 10:25 for the whole run, then immediately hopped in the car to hurry home. It turned out to be a great run, and I can't even tell you how nice it was to have some company! I've really missed having running buddies, especially for long runs, so I hope Heather and I can run together again soon!
near the turnaround
Monday I took as a rest day, then Tuesday morning before work I squeezed in a quick 4 mile run at 9:33 min/mi. After work I headed straight to my grandma's, then was on call that night. I wasn't able to fit in a run Wednesday which made that rest day #2. Earlier this month I had bought my dad Giants tickets for his birthday and Thursday we were supposed to go to the game. But since his mother is so sick we didn't want to go out of town, which meant selling the tickets instead. I was kind of bummed, but life happens, and there will be other games.

I already had the day off of work though, so I took advantage of that and headed out for my last run of September in the late afternoon heat for my first tempo in waaaaay too long. To give me an extra kick I took a Gu before I left and it happened to be a new flavor - espresso. All I can say is that I'm kicking myself for not trying this sooner! I may have a new favorite Gu flavor to rival vanilla bean : ) The run itself went really well actually. I had some new jams on the iPod and just felt good for once! My goal was to do a one mile warm-up, 3 miles at tempo pace (~9:00 min/mi), then a mile cool down. My last tempo mile was even my fastest! Woot woot. Here are the stats:

9:50 warm-up
9:46 cool-down

Before my run I took my pup to the river to play and couldn't resist sharing a few pics! She's a lab so she's a natural swimmer, but her favorite things to do are fetching sticks and diving for big rocks.
 such a little water dog : )
 diving for a rock!
she brought this rock all the way home!

This weekend is the local Urban Cow Half Marathon, my first Sacramento race since moving back home. My store is hosting the packet pick-up tomorrow so it will most likely be absolute madness at work. I'm hoping to try something new by going for an easy run straight from work so then I can head right over to my grandma's. Then Saturday I'll be resting up for the race! I have some big goals in mind that I'll be sharing soon : )


  1. Congrats to your mom! I am running a 5K with my sister and mom in November and it's their 1st race ever so I am very excited :)

    I ran the Urban Cow last year when they still had a full marathon and it was called Cowtown. I ran my marathon PR on that course :) Hope you have a great race!

  2. Hi Rachel,
    Was nice to meet you in person at the store the other day. Keep up the inspiring work.

    How did your Urban Cow 1/2 go? Mine was great, came in at 1:49:01. Only my second 1/2 but PR'd by nearly 7 minutes! Feeling good w/ my training going into the CIM in 2 months for my first marathon.