January 8, 2010

Back in December, I did too much activity in a short period of time and my body rebelled.

On a Thursday, I went to a free class at California Kickboxing in Pasadena.  They kicked my rear end.  I took a fall in the beginning of the class onto the mats, but I was fine and continued.  The instructor, Joseph, was amazing.  There was a moment when I was having trouble with some of the instruction that he was giving me and he said, “That’s because it’s new.  Forget that it’s new.”  It was like something clicked, a light went off, and I got it.  I stayed for about 75 minutes until I finally had to jet.

On Friday, everything hurt.

On the Saturday, I went to an indoor rock climbing gym, called Rockreation, with Tyler and Brian.  We started climbing at about 10 am and climbed until about 5 pm.  It was awesome.  My rear end still hurt from all the jumping squats I’d done on Thursday, but I gave it another good workout…  And while on Thursday my arms were mostly punching and striking, on Saturday they were pulling and pushing and quivering.  I shred my forearms to pieces.

On Saturday night, I was stiff as a board.  And I’d planned a long run for…

Sunday.  I had intended to run about 12 miles because I’m training for the LA Marathon and it was a long run day.  I wasn’t sure if running the whole thing would be the best for me, so I decided to punch it down to 9 miles.  So on Sunday, I found myself at the Rose Bowl, trotting three times around the 3.1 mile loop.  At about 6.2 miles, I realized my arms were in pain.  I had thought that my arms would be fine, because “after all, it’s only running!” but I was wrong.  I keep them bent at a 90′ angle the whole time and that was using my exhausted muscles!  I finished at a 13 minute per mile pace.  Slacker!  And made my way home.

Once I hit the home turf, I started feeling weak.  More weak than I usually feel after a long run.  Ryan and I went to church (our church meets in the evenings on Sunday), and during church I was nearly ready to pass out.  People told me I looked pale.  So instead of hanging out with everyone afterwards, we came straight home and Ryan made dinner.  I felt better after I ate but I still needed to sleep.  I was weak for another 48 hours while my body recovered.

What happened?  I’d pushed my body too hard and I was literally, actually, for reals exhausted.  No kidding right?  But I learned something.  I learned my limit and I think it’s a heckovah lot farther out than I would’ve guessed!  I also learned the value of a rest day between intense workouts.  Rest is part of improvement.  For some of us, that concept might be new.

Forget that it’s new.



May 23, 2009

…need anti-inflammatory.

Today I was out for a quick run (20 minutes, 2 miles) and about 1/4 of the way, I hit a crack and went flying, tumbling and rolling across the pavement.  I was okay.  My hip hurt a little and my shoulder was scratched up, but I finished my run and felt fine.  However, about halfway through the afternoon my hip started aching.

I knew from my time spent with a great physiotherapist in Glendale that while inflammation serves a purpose, it also can hinder the healing process.

So I went lookin’ on one of my favourite food/health websites for some answers.

  • Here’s a post on the great effects of olives on the body, one of which is as an anti-inflammatory.
  • Here’s one about tea and its anti-inflammatory properties (among others).
  • Here’s list of foods that help reduce inflammation in the short term.
  • Here’s a list of ways in which to reduce inflammation over the long term.
  • And here’s a list of medication alternatives.

So after reading quickly through these posts, I promptly went to the kitchen and downed two aged garlic pills and four green olives stuffed with jalapeño peppers.  Yum!

I’d rather eat olives than down some nsaids any day!


March 16, 2009

On Saturday, I competed in my first triathlon.  It was a sprint reverse triathlon.  Whereas most triathlons will begin with the swim, transition to the bike, and finish with a run, this race began with a run, transitioned to the bike and finished in a pool.

It was also a sprint distance.  For an explanation of triathlon distances, click here.  The swim portion for the race in which I participated was only 150 meters since it was in a pool.  Typical times for a Sprint Distance Triathlon are between 60 minutes and 120 minutes.  I had expected to complete the race in about 90 minutes given my training times.  I thought I’d do the run in about 35 minutes, the bike in about 40 minutes, and the swim in about 5 minutes, plus about 5 minutes for transitions.  That’s about 1 hour plus 25 minutes.  I would have been happy to complete my first triathlon in about 1 hour 40 minutes.  It was my first!  I’d just be happy to complete it!

img_0067-fbThe energy before the race was electric.  Ryan said after that I was moving faster in the morning than he’d ever seen me move in the morning.  It was a little chilly and I wanted to stay warm so I was jogging everywhere.  The excitement was contagious.

Ryan was able to stand with me on the side of the road right up until the final horn!  I kissed him right before I started running.  That was neat.

The run was hard.  I truly thought that I wasn’t going as fast as I wanted to go.  It was a slight uphill going north and then a slight downhill going south.  So I was able to push a little harder on the return 1.5 miles.  Perhaps that is what saved me?  Either way, when I finished the run, I felt like I could have pushed harder.  Trotting into the transition area, I passed Ryan cheering for me.  That felt great.  Also, knowing I was about to get on the bike added a little energy to my step as well.  Apparently, I like transitioning.

The bike leg was awesome.  I was halfway through the first mile when a professional-looking guy on a tri-bike said to me as he passed, “Reduce your back gear!  You’re on a slight hill!”  So I said, “Thank you!” and did just that.  He was right.  It’s enough of a hill going north that I needed to be in gear 2 and not gear 3.  I was so grateful for that stranger because it really made my bike leg rock!  Going North was challenging; but I was competitive.  Then as we made the turn to the West and ultimately South again, I gained speed and zipped past lots of people on road bikes.  Me and my little modified mountain bike were flying!  So repeat that twice more and that’s how my bike leg went.  I passed Ryan on the South side twice.  The third time, all I could think about was how my calves had been cramping on the bike and I hoped they wouldn’t cramp once I got off my bike and tried to run to the pool.  I give serious thought to whether I should wear my sneakers to the pool or run the half-mile barefoot.  I choose barefoot.  Also, as I turned down towards the transition area, people were still coming out of the transition area on their bikes, having just finished the run.  Apparently, I was in the middle of the pack.  That felt good too.


At the dismount line, several people stopped all at once and I was too tired to laugh as we nearly toppled all over each other trying to dismount.  I’d practiced my dismounting but not in the middle of other cyclists.  It’s certainly a challenge!

After hooking my bike back on the rack, taking off my sneakers, helmet, socks, shorts and donning my swim cap and goggles, I took off barefoot across the grass towards the pool.  Halfway there, I came upon a girl in blue shorts that I’d been pacing on the bike course.  She too was barefoot and as I passed her I made a joke about how the gravel was horrible on the feet.  She laughed and said, “Heck yeah!” and we both continued our trot towards the doom that awaited me.

I ran into the pool area, unaware of what was about to happen.  While on the bike course, my calves had been cramping.  So I’d been praying that they wouldn’t cramp up during the transition to the swim.  And they didn’t.  Then I hopped into the pool.

Cramp!!  My left leg curled up like a baby fern.  My toes were tight and my calf ached and I had 150 meters to swim.  I was in shock!  What to do?!  I found it difficult and painful to swim the stroke that I’d practiced.  I had no air and no kick to support it.  So I did what felt right: I flipped over on my back and did some sort of reverse frog stroke.  It was slow, but at least I kept moving.  Consequently, I spent about 50% more time in the pool than I’d planned…  But it was nothing compared to the shock I recieved when I got out of the pool!

I hadn’t been able to find Ryan in the stands when I was in the pool.  So many people and I was focused on staying afloat, moving forward, and not sinking due to pain.  I kept moving forward and was strangely surprised and understandably delighted to get to the end of the 150 meters.  We narrowed into one wheelchair ramp out of the pool and crossed the chip mats.  Here was my shock:

The clock read 1:16:44.

What?!  1 hours 16 minutes?!  Really?  I waited around for the results to be posted.  But they didn’t actually get the athena results posted on Saturday morning.  So today they were posted on  So, here’s my actual times:

triresultsI performed better than I had expected!!  And I felt great!

The energy after the race was also super happy.  Everyone was congratulating each other and hugging and were super supportive of each other.  Monica met me and Ryan after the race.  We sat on a picnic bench and sipped free coffee from Jones Coffee who were superstars by providing free coffee for everyone.  Ryan and I already love Jones Coffee and we were even more in love with them after seeing them at the event.  Then Monica, Ryan and I went to The Coffee Table for breakfast.  Yum!


I was a little stiff on Satuday night and on Sunday but that’s the extent.  It’s kind of frustrating.  Part of me thinks that I could have pushed harder on the run.  Even though I finished with my prefered time of 30 minutes.  I tend to wonder what my bike time could be if I was using a road bike.  Next time, I’ll have something to chew or sip that will decrease cramping.  Also, next time, I probably won’t be competing in a reverse triathlon.  I intend to train for an Olympic distance race in the fall.  I might need to practice my swimming more.

Anyway, it was a great little event.  I plan to compete again.  I plan to compete in this event again and I’ve learned that I truly, truly enjoy triathlon.  I’m hooked.  Look for me out on the course, I’ll be the one flying by you on my mutant mountain bike.


March 5, 2009

Today, I worked out with Tom Hanks at the Rose Bowl.

Well… He was running one direction and I was biking the other and I passed him going rather fast three times.  So I’m not exactly sure that it was Tom Hanks; but it sure looked like Tom Hanks and it’s really fun to think it might-a could-a been Tom Hanks.

If it was, he was working out really hard.  Well done, Tom!

If it wasn’t, some guy who looks like Tom Hanks sure sweats a lot.

13.1 MILES

February 3, 2008

5:30 AM – Today’s the day I run a half-marathon. I’m up early to go join my carpool down to Huntington Beach! An update will be forthcoming upon my completion of the race and return to Hollywood!

2:30 PM – Did it! Proud, tired, and sore; but again oh so proud. We’re quickly (as quickly as I am able to move) getting ready to go out again to a Superbowl Party. A “real” update on the race will come later tonight or tomorrow. Pictures included!

5:30 PM – Well, 5:30 PM two days later… Yup! I’ve finally got photos up and I’ve recovered enough to talk about my experience.

Read the rest of this entry »


January 21, 2008

Yup, it’s true.  Yesterday I ran 12 miles.  From here, to here.  I ran the entire length of the bike path from Venice Beach (MDR), through Santa Monica, to Will Rogers State Beach.  The bike path starts in Venice and ends right past Temescal Cyn Rd.  I ran that.  Yup.  It’s true.

I haven’t really been keeping up on my running blogs.  After I hit 11 miles right before Christmas, I ran 10 miles (long runs) several times  over Christmas the the first few weeks of January and then began to increase my weekly training runs (4 or 5 miles instead of 2 or 3 miles for each run).  But the half-marathon, is in two weeks.  Half-marathon = 13.1 miles.  So I needed to run 12 miles yesterday… to push my wall back.

But I’d been getting a little nervous because up until last week, I’d been having a strange pain in my left foot.  In the arch.  Caleb, one of my running coaches, suggested 2 oz miracles.  So I bought them last week and have been running with them for a few days now…

And I did not have ANY pain yesterday!  Except for a Kansas-sized blister…  But other than that – NO ARCH PAIN!  YAY!!  I also wore a cotton tank and got a bit chaffed on the insides of my arms.  Sad.  But regardless, it was a gorgeous run.  The sun was beautiful and the temperature was perfect.  And I felt strong at the end.  Except for that dang blister!

Ryan drove us to Venice.  I took off for my run and after he found parking (an achievement in itself!), he walked up the Venice boardwalk and hung out at the Starbucks.  He was waiting for me when I finished and he drove us home.  It was so nice to have him there.

When I ran my first 7-miler (and blogged it) months ago, Sarita said that it does get easier.  It think it’s more appropriately said that it gets easier to push yourself harder.  I’m certainly running faster now (at a comfortably slow pace), than when I first started.  And when I do my “short runs” I’m able to push myself harder and go even faster for a longer period.  It’s exciting!

So for the next two weeks, I’m supposed to taper.  This means I start running shorter distances.  So I’m like a horse at the gate on race day.  Whoo hoo!

P.S. By the way, I ran 12 miles in 2 hours and 24 minutes.  I feel good about that.


December 17, 2007

Yup.  I did it.  I ran 10 miles.  In fact, we went a little farther and did 11 miles… just because.  Well, because we accidentally took a wrong turn but that’s another story.  The point is, I did it.  And now it feels accomplishable.

My running mates are deciding whether we should continue on a half-marathon training pace or up the pace to a full-marathon training.  I think my feet wish to continue on half-marathon pace.  I might need new shoes.  Or new inserts.  Something.  11 miles of pounding certainly takes its toll!

This time we were joined by one of the faculty/staff members of Act One and he chose the route.  It took us by Warner Bros, Disney, the Los Angeles Equestrian Center, and of course, through Griffith Park and down Forest Lawn.  It was a lovely run and we saw several other training groups out.  As we past them (going the opposite direction), we would all wave at each other.  I enjoyed the solidarity.

And I enjoy running.  I’m starting to think I’m affected.


December 2, 2007

It was raining on Friday in Los Angeles.  Unusual, wet, meaningful rain.  Cleansing rain.  Cool rain.  Rain that makes all the colours saturated.  Yummy rain.  Rain that beckoned me to run in it.  So, decked out in plastic clothes specially crafted (in China?) just for running, I ventured out.

It rarely rains in LA.  I thought of the recent fires.  I thought of home.  I thought of my father.  Once we’d seen a runner running while it was snowing, through slushy streets, and my father had commented, “Now that’s dedication.”  While it was only rain, and it was a cool 59’F in the balmy California fall, I was still running in the rain.  And I wondered if he’ll be proud of me, and say, “Now that’s dedication.”

I got slapped in the face several times by low-hanging, sopping-wet branches.  Water ran down my neck and sloshed into my aerated shoes.  And it was one of my best runs yet.  Strong stride, good turnover, little bounce.  And not too hot!


December 2, 2007

So yesterday’s goal was to run 8 miles.  But my running partner and I (others were out of town) arrived at the designated location without a designated route!  So we ran when we thought would be about 8 miles.  And afterwards, we discovered, with the use of sophisticated measuring devices (my car), that we’d run 9 whole miles!  The great part is, it was a good run.  We took it slow at the beginning and ran strong at the end.  I think I could have gone at least 3 or 4 more miles!  It was a good day.

So I’m starting to enjoy running!  It’s fun when you don’t feel like you’re in pain the whole time!

Don’t know if we’ll do 9 miles again next week or if we’ll move ahead to 10 miles…


November 25, 2007

Jogged it. Ran it. Walked a few bits. Walked often, but short bits. We do the “run for 5 minutes and walk for 1 minute” thing.  Or is it 10 minutes running…?  Halfway through, I was given a bit of banana and I ate it, but it didn’t fare too well in my tummy. And then I got stitches. I think next time I’ll refrain from eating while I’m running. I also had to pee for the last half. Very annoying! Anyway – still, I finished and am proud of myself.

Next week: 8 miles.


November 17, 2007

I ran them.  By myself.  I think it’s the longest I’ve run in one run.  Next Saturday, 7 miles.  Ack!