Saturday, August 30, 2008

Joy and the Marine Layer

(Kitty) Thank God for joy and the marine layer! We had to run 8 miles today - BY OURSELVES because John is visiting his family in Michigan for the weekend. Normally we don't do well by ourselves. Nor we do sleep well by ourselves after 18+ years together. So when I finally dragged myself out of bed this morning at 7am, having not slept well and with a sore neck from a dream that was a cross between Burn Notice and Law & Order (I get tense in my dreams!), I had to tell myself how very much I really wanted to run. :)

But I remembered something wonderful from my Thursday run. I had done some really great work on my book on Wednesday and was still so excited about it that I was thinking about it when I was running Thursday morning. Every time my thoughts drifted to my book and I got excited, I ran faster! And when I started getting tired near the end and started thinking about my book, I still slowed down a little but not a lot. I ran really well, in fact!

So today when I woke up and finally got going, I listened to some writing lectures I have on my iPod instead of music. The first lecture was by Susan Elizabeth Philips and Jayne Ann Krentz. They are hilarious! Listening to them and laughing while I ran kept me going for the entire hour of the lecture. The next lecture wasn't as funny, but it kept me thinking about writing instead of looking at my watch and wondering how much longer I had to run.

Plus, we had a really heavy marine layer this morning (and Thursday, too, which was great!) so I didn't have to run with the sun in my eyes. If you're not familiar, the marine layer is the fog/clouds that settle over the ocean near the beach during the night and don't burn off till the sun comes up. Or in today's case, not until after 11am when I was already home! I still put on a little sunscreen, but I was so glad not to have to run for two hours in the blazing sun! (Yes, it took me 1 hour and 55 minutes to run 8 miles (averaging 14.5 minutes per mile) but I'm just so darned pleased that I did it! And I probably could have run 9 if I'd had to! Thirteen miles, here I come!)

Today - back to finishing my book proposal for the editor and agent who requested to see it at the conference I was just at. I'm so excited! Hope you all have just as happy a weekend!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Back in the Running

(Kitty) So after our 10K race last Sunday, my feet and legs were simply killing me. We decided to take Monday off, then Tuesday, and by Wednesday we wondered if I had the wrong shoes and they were the reason for my aching feet and legs. I went in to the running shoe store where we bought the shoes and spoke to the manager about whether perhaps I'd been sold the wrong shoes.

The guy was awesome! He sat down with me and asked a lot of questions and showed me some stretches and gave me a lot of great advice. I did the stretches for the rest of the week, then today John and I started up again. It went great! Well, after 10 days of no running, I was gasping for breath! LOL! But other than that, it went great, no pain. Yay!

So now that we're getting into higher mileage runs, our schedule is changing a little. We can't run more than 8 miles and get home in time for John to get ready for work on time. So instead of running Monday, Wednesday, Friday, we'll run Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. Here's hoping we make some great progress! Less than 12 weeks until the big race!!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Taste of Heaven

(Kitty) Today our church (Bel Air Presbyterian) closed our doors for the morning services and went down to Faithful Central Bible Church (which meets at The Forum, where they used to have sporting events, and still is used as a music venue - it's huge!). Pacific Crossroads Church also joined us, and we were a crowd of thousands!

The service was wonderful! The choirs of Bel Air and Faithful Central sang together and they dressed in all these bright colors - the combined choir looked like a huge spotted rainbow! And because the combined congregation was so diverse in terms of every definable way to group people, all I could think of was - this is how heaven is going to look! I loved it!

For a variety of reasons, I've felt a lot of internal stress in so many areas of my life lately that I ended up at church today and found my spirit being filled and revived and refreshed without fully realizing until then how much I needed it. God is so good at providing what you need even before you recognize that you need it. Through the sermons and the music, He encouraged me, reminded me of all the good things He's done for me in the past, reminded me of His promises of good things in the future, and helped me to relax and enjoy the moment that I'm living in right now.

I can't wait to get to heaven and see how it is way better even than what I experienced today. But in the meantime, I'm glad God is also a step ahead of me, arranging for me to be encouraged right when I need it. He says in Isaiah, "Before they call, I will answer," and I've found it to be so true.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

10K Results - Pretty Good!

(Kitty) The weather was perfect and the bike path through the wetlands along the beach was gorgeous, all 6.2 miles/10 kilometers of it. Yea!!

On the one hand, nearly everyone ran faster than we did! Dwight and I came in last in our age/gender class (5th of 5 and 9th of 9, respectively), and John came in 13/15 in his class. On the other hand, we all did quite well - as good or better as our practice times. John ran in 57 minutes 54 seconds - amazing!! Dwight came in at 1 hour 11 minutes 30 seconds. And I came in at 1 hour 22 minutes 30 seconds. Plus we're all proud of the fact that while a few people used the run/walk method (I won't try to explain it, but it's a method that's supposed to make you faster by not running the whole time. I don't like it for this short a run.), we all ran the whole distance.

Oh, and did I mention I came in third from last in the entire race??!! LOL!! And that's because two people took a wrong turn on the path and got lost! LOL!!! There were only 131 people in the race, though, so when I come in nearly last in the Pasadena Half Marathon in November there will be hundreds of people faster than me. And just maybe I'll be faster than someone! LOL!
Dwight, John and Kitty a few minutes before the race started.

John, Kitty and Dwight after the race - long enough after for us to look a lot better than when we first crossed the finish line!

Dwight, Kitty's friend Teri, Kitty and John at a great little restaurant on the pier for a hearty lunch afterward.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Visitors and Races and Good News

(Kitty) So my friend from college, Teri Glirbas, is visiting for the weekend. We spent just about the whole day yesterday wandering around Hollywood seeing the sights, taking pictures, and buying souvenirs. I found a keychain with Betty Boop on a motorcycle that I bought to put my motorcycle keys on. Today we're going to the Farmer's Market and The Grove, then Venice Beach, then Santa Monica Pier and Third Street Promenade. LOTS of walking, and hopefully lots of fun.

Then tomorrow Teri is coming with me and John and Dwight to our 10K race in Santa Barbara.
Our training program had us slowing down significantly this week to be fresh for the race. But John and I are still feeling the slower, ache-y effects of our new shoes, so we're not expecting any record performances. Still, it should be a lot of fun.

We've been having a lot of adventures lately, but that means we've been too busy to get the pictures off the camera and post about everything here. Hopefully next week we will have the time to do that. Meanwhile, the big news about my Romance Writers of America National Conference is that an agent and an editor that I am really interested in both want to see the first three chapters of my book. Woo-hooo!! Due to [insert long story here] I am polishing it up, making a few changes to improve it, then I'll send it out before the end of the month.

We'll talk again next week. Hope you have a wonderful weekend!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

New Shoes - OW!

(Kitty) We knew we needed to get new shoes sometime soon before our next race (a 10K on August 17), so we finally made a point of going to a good running store this week. The one our friends go to was closed so we decided to try the one near us that we knew nothing about. When the guy (Josh? I'll call him that, I can't remember) looked at our shoes he shook his head and said they had no support. I'd noticed that my hips were aching nearly every run, but I hadn't realized how closely related that is to poor shoes.

Apparently, it's very related. We've run in our new shoes for two days now. Both of us noticed our legs ached from the get-go on the first day. Today, the second day, John's legs were stiff, but feeling better as they got used to the new shoes. I on the other hand was run-limping! John and I finally decided that he would continue with our 6-mile run, and I would turn around at the 2-mile mark, giving me 4 miles. If I could make it home.

Now Josh says I'm essentially flat-footed, so he sold me "motion control" shoes. Highly supportive shoes that not only support your instep (keeping your knees and hips in line) but keep your foot from moving around much at all. On the one hand, I'm really pleased. Like I said, knees and hips are happy campers. And I don't feel like I'm about to twist my ankle at every bump in the sidewalk. On the other hand, holy guacamole, my muscles hurt! By the middle of the third mile I'd decided to try to just "zone" out into the run. I kept my mind thinking about the horizon (as I've read is helpful) and I focused on trying to be completely relaxed.

Must have helped. By the beginning of mile 4 and all the way home (I did manage to run 4 miles) I found myself relaxing a bit as I ran and feeling better, not run-limping anymore. Then I walked up and down the block several times waiting for John to get home. By then my legs were doing about as well as could be expected. I'll tell you though, I can feel every muscle in my shins and half the ones in my calves and thighs. I'm guessing I'm now re-training my muscles to support my body correctly. It's a guess, but I'm going with it because it'll keep me running instead of quitting. John, of course, must be naturally athletic because he's breaking in his new shoes with far less problem.

We've got about 10 days till our race, and my friend Teri will be visiting from Minnesota and watching. I'm hoping the shoes and I make peace and learn how to be a team. I really don't want to embarrass myself by running like a turtle! LOL! But at least I'm not quitting. Only 14 weeks till the big Half Marathon! Woo-hooo!!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Running a LITTLE longer then I planned...

(John) Well, according to our training schedule that Kitty and I have been following, today was the day I was suppose to run 8 miles (ugh.) Kitty have been running down to the beach from our place, then down the beach walk to Venice. Well, since started running that route I have noticed that the beach walk path also goes the other way (toward Malibu.) Today I decided to see how far I could go down the walkway for my run. According to a sight called, I could go down to the end of the pedestrian walkway and turn around and run back and that would be around 8 miles!
Cool, I thought, this will be easy.

*Sigh* famous last words

I ran down the beach as planned and turned right at the beach to run the other route. The route was easy and pretty nice. I thought "Great, just follow this until it ends, then I turn around!"
Well, I guess the bike path AND the walkway both intertwine at several place, often becoming one path. Yea, well I followed WHAT I THOUGHT was the walkway and continued to run....and run....and run.... . After a while I was like "Man, this 8 miles is longer then I thought it would be!"
A little while longer the revelation came to me: I bet I messed up and I'm following the wrong path. I saw a major intersection coming up and decided that I'd run up it, turn around and head back home. The intersection was called Temescal Canyon Road. So, I turned around and ran back. By the time I got home I realized I was running late for work! I jumped on the computer and checked to see where I had gone wrong and how far I went. According to a rough estimate I ran 10.2 - 10.5 MILES!
OK, it is now time to get my Nike+ system calibrated and running so this does not happen again.