Friday, May 30, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Our First Race!

(Kitty) We did it! Step 1 of getting ready to run a marathon - run a 5K. Check!

On Sunday, May 25, John and I ran our first race, along with our friend Dwight. We all ran the 5K (3.1 miles) portion of The Brentwood Run. It's only a few miles from where we live in Santa Monica, so we were quite happy to not have to get up early and drive somewhere. But we were all so excited that we got an early start. Turns out that was a good thing as it took us forever to find a parking spot!

There were booths set up advertising local health and fitness organizations (I'm going to try two free weeks of a martial arts self-defense course!), as well as booths with free food and drinks. Advertising, of course. The food and drinks were mostly of a sports nature - Clif bars, energy drinks, etc.

Before the race, a woman from the local YMCA got on stage and took us through an aerobics-style warmup. I stopped about half-way through. I had visions of me using up the energy I needed to complete the race because of the warmup!

Finally it was time to run! I went to the back, right in front of the people pushing strollers, and John and Dwight stood in the middle. I kept reminding myself to start slow, think Tortoise and the Hare, make sure you can make it to the end. I was pleased that I found a pace and stayed with it! But I was shocked to see John running down the other side of the road when I was barely to the 1-mile mark! He'd already passed the half-way point and had turned around with the pack!

Soon Dwight passed me, too. I just kept my eyes on a young woman in her thirties and an old man (who I later learned was 89!!) because the three of us kept passing each other, so we must've been running around the same pace. Nearing the 2-mile mark the fairly flat road went slightly downhill so I picked up my pace a bit. At the 3-mile mark, with the Finish Line in sight, I picked it up again. As I passed him, I told the old man thanks for being my pace-man! He laughed!

Then I heard my name and looked to my right. There was John and Dwight as well as our friends Len and Bobbi cheering me on! I called out, "Well, if I've got an audience..." and sprinted as fast as I could to the Finish Line! What great fun! Well, it was more fun about 2 minutes later when I could breathe again! LOL!!

John finished in 28 minutes, 17 seconds, 37 out of 54 in his gender/age category, 402 out of 827 overall. Dwight did his best time ever (he's run two 5K's already) in 33 minutes, 47 seconds, 51 out of 56 in his category, and 594 overall. And I finished in 44 minutes, 22 seconds, 45 out of 56 in my category, and 752 overall.

Overall, we're all pretty happy with our experience. In fact, John and I want to do it again. I'll let you know how that goes. Meanwhile, on Tuesday we started the next step in training to run a marathon - training to run a 10K. There's one we'd all really like to run in Santa Barbara in August. It'll be a 1.5 - 2 hour drive to get there, but it's a beautiful city on the ocean - and there's an ice cream social afterward! LOL!

We'll try to remember to load our pictures from the race tomorrow. But if you want to look at the one Dwight took of us afterward, it's at his blog. And if you have any advice, let us know! It's amazing how many people you run into who have run a marathon - but you'd never know it till it comes up in conversation. Have you run one?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Riding in the Rain

(John) I have been trying to decide what other exercise I should do when cross training with the marathon running. My friend Dwight invited me to go for a bike ride on Saturday, the day before Kitty's and my first 5K race. He lent me his old Specialized while he rode one he had just bought on eBay. We went to a park that we have ridden at before and spent the morning riding through a light drizzle. We both had mud on us when we were finished, but we got some great exercise and some great pictures.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

BANANAS are Your Friend!

(Kitty) Only a few more days until John and I run our first race with our friend Dwight! John and I are finally getting excited about it. Why only now? Because last Saturday when we were supposed to running a "long" run, we totally broke down, practically before we got started. We did our 5-minute brisk walk to warm up, then started jogging. My muscles began to ache from the very start. About 16 minutes in, I finally broke down into a near-limping walk. How embarrassing!

Then John jogged back to me and I told him I didn't know why, but everything from my hips down hurt and I was just going to walk while he ran ahead. About 5 minutes later, he was toast, too!

When we got home, the first thing we did was go to the store and buy some bananas. I remembered feeling this kind of muscle ache on a lesser scale in the past, and eating bananas always made it go away (potassium, you know). Then I Googled running muscle pain and found out a lot of things can cause it including poor nutrition and dehydration. So we spent the weekend eating a lot of bananas and drinking a lot of water!

Monday, our run went much better. Wednesday, I ran longer than I have so far in all our training (and I think in all my life!) and could've kept going! (Also, a first for me!) We run again on Friday and finish the "Couch to 5K" 9-week program, then our first race is Sunday! We're running in The Brentwood Run 5K, not far from where we live. Our friend Dwight is coming down to run it, too. (He turned us on to the "Couch to 5K" program. This will be his third race.)

We'll let you know how it all goes. And feel free to give us any advice! :)

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

AMAZING Conference!

(Kitty) I just got back from Austin, Texas (where I wish I'd had more time to look around - beautiful place). My friends Lauraine and Bonnie and I went to a writer's conference by Donald Maass called the High Tension Workshop. It was perhaps the best writer's conference I've ever been to! You know how you go to a conference for either your business or one of your hobbies or interests and there is so much going on you can barely process it all? Not this time. At this conference we studied one thing for four days! By the time we left, we really knew what we were talking about when it came to tension in novels. My brain was so tired I had to take a long nap after I got off the plane! LOL!

In other news, John and I are eagerly pursuing our marathon training. Yesterday morning, and then again this morning, I broke my personal best records for speed over a 2-mile run! Woo-hooo! By the end of May, we'll have completed our "Couch to 5K" training. On Sunday, May 25 (Memorial Day weekend), we will be running our first race! It's a 5K - about 3 miles - and we're feeling very good about it. Only six more months until we run our first half marathon at the Pasadena Marathon! We'll tell you all about it as things progress!

P.S. If you haven't seen the movie Iron Man, you've got to go! It's awesome!!