October 2007 Archives

Happy Halloween!

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I chose not to run this morning, because I knew I'd be getting in a full workout all day in these puppies (note the make-up, I never wear make-up, I had to go to Walgreens last night to buy some!):

Angie as an Ice Skater

Starting my routine

And here I am in full dork mode (need the hard hat so I don't crack my head open! It's been 12 years since I've been on skates!):

I need the hard hat to protect my head

Ash and I will head out for trick-or-treating tonight, should be fun!

Oh, and I had a fantastic recovery run Tuesday morning with Barb. Surprisingly, I was not very sore from the 15.4 miles of pacing last Saturday, which was nice!!! I'll run again Friday morning, and probably hit up the gym this weekend. Feels good to be training :)

(and yes, I chopped my hair off Monday. It was a horrible experience, but thankfully another stylist was able to come to the rescue and save me from total hair hell...)

C2U: Week Four

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Did you get 10 miles in last week? I did - and more! WIth my pacing duties, I ended up with 22 miles, yikes. Y'all who are brand-newbies don't go doing that! It's a recipe for injury, that's for sure. Because my miles have been up up up before, this wasn't nearly as stupid as it seems (is this one of those "do as I say and not as I do" situations?!) :)

And did you get part of those 10 miles as a four-mile long run? I sure hope so - we're going to start building that up!

Let's do 11 miles this week. Do a 4.5-mile long run on the weekend, and break up the remaining 6.5 over two or three days during the week. Make sure the 4.5-mile long run is on a hilly course. We need to work on hills for ZG, that's for sure!

You'll notice I'm not assigning any speedwork or other types of runs right now; I'm just telling you to get relentless forward motion. That's because you're building up your base. This is what will make you a strong runner and help prevent injuries.

The full photo album here

Angie's lessons in what a pacer shouldn't do:
- Offer to pace someone for more than you are trained to handle at the moment
- Tell your runner once you are out there that you are in pain
- Insist your runner take the two pain medication tablets that he has, then tell him that if you don't get any at the next aid station, you won't be able to finish the lap with him
- Show any sign of weakness

Kirk and Jess

As a pacer, you should be strong, allowing your runner to mentally lean on you to help them through that section. You should be talkative, funny, have enough brainpower to tell non-stop stories and enough fitness to not only keep up with your runner, but 'pull' them along as necessary.

Yeah, uh-huh, okay. Too bad I didn't take lessons before I volunteered.

Jess and I slept in Saturday morning. After stopping by Starbucks and Subway to get our coffee and food for the day, we headed up to the trailhead. On the way, we freaked out upon passing an accident scene with multiple police cars, a body lying under a tarp with the person's shoes sticking out from underneath and a mangled bicycle lying nearby. I've searched the news to try and find out what happened, but can't find anything. My thoughts are with the fallen cyclist's family. It was a sobering way to start the day.

Once at the trailhead, we set up in the shade and proceeded to spend the day cheering on runners: Michelle Barton, who came in second place; Jennifer, a runner who belongs to OCTR (Jess's trail running group), who has not completed a 100-mile race but was determined to, who decided to do JJ100 two days before the race and who also had stress fractures in her foot; Steve, who seemed to always be in a good mood and who the few bees on course and at headquarters were attracted to; Hippo, who was dressed in a pink girls outfit, complete with "brat" on his butt; Kirk, the runner Jess and I would be pacing later in the evening, who had DNF'd last year at mile 60; Chuck, a guy I met through my blog who used to live in Tucson but recently moved to Phoenix; and the Tucson runners - Matt, Chris, Wayne.

Hippo and Angie

Chuck fuels up

Steve at some point during the night

Joyce, Chris, Denise

It was nice to catch up with the rest of the Tucson runners' family throughout the day (Hi Joyce!). It was also cute to watch Jess in the throes of new love, giggling and laughing and sending text messages all day long. We talked about Eric Clifton's DNF, about the race between Jorge Pacheco and Andy Jones-Wilkens, about Connie Gardner blowing past Michelle Barton as Michelle struggled with the heat. Steve passed by both Connie and Michelle right after Connie passed, and he told a cute story, complete with facial antics, about the differences between the top two women - Connie with her head down, plowing forward, unaware of anyone else; Michelle with a faint smile and a tired "hi" as he passed.

Connie - the lead woman - gets sunscreen

It was hot out there. I was in the shade and not moving much and still I was sweating. With the washing machine loops and everyone having to run through headquarters, it made a nice spectator course, with there almost always being at least one runner there.

Angie

Jennifer marks off another lap

I made sure to hydrate well throughout the day in preparation for my pacing duties. I also tried to eat well, although I did snag one slice of cheese pizza at about 5 pm. Jess, Mark (Michelle's pacer) and I started talking about how Jennifer, the OCTR runner who was determined to finish a 100-miler, needed a pacer. Jess and Mark said Rob, another OCTR runner (who I met a Zane Grey this year), was planning on coming out to pace Michelle for another lap. Mark said he could take Michelle's second lap, and Rob could run with Jennifer. I also received instructions on how to prep Michelle's water bottle for the next lap, since Mark would be out on the course with her, Jess would be pacing Kirk and Rob would be heading out with Jennifer.

Jennifer

I was nervous - what if I messed up the bottle preparation? What if I didn't recognize Rob? Thankfully, when Rob arrived, I knew who he was immediately. I went over and (re-)introduced myself. He remembered me from Zane Grey. I told him about how he needed to go out with Jennifer. He asked me, "does Michelle know? This is okay??" and I assured him Mark was telling Michelle, and everything should be fine. He raced off to get his gear as Jennifer came into the station. I filled her in on what was happening and then went and sat down. Suddenly, I realized that I could really be screwing things up here. What if I mis-understood Mark? What if Rob wasn't supposed to go out with Jennifer? Was I totally screwing up the second-place woman's strategy? Ack!

Michelle and Mark get ready for lap 6

Rob and Jennifer took off and my stomach started gnawing at me. I sure hope I understood correctly. Mark and Michelle finally entered the aid station. I snagged Mark and told him Rob was out with Jennifer, and he was glad. I double-checked that he was okay heading back out with Michelle, and he was totally fine. Whew. I did do the right thing!

Sunset

Time to head to bed. It was about 8:30 by the time I was in my sleeping bag in Kirk's tent. It took awhile to fall asleep, and my stomach was making noises. Then an alarm went off. Then I needed to pee. Then I heard Kirk and Jess approach, and suddenly an, "oh shit!"

Turns out the pacer Kirk had lined up for lap 5 was not ready for Kirk, instead he was out pacing his wife. Oh shit is right! That meant I needed to get up and get ready ASAP. Thank god I had prepped some of my running stuff before I went to bed, and thank goodness I can get up and ready to run within 10 minutes. I raced through getting ready, and we headed out at 11 pm.

Angie and Kirk get ready for lap 6

My goal: get my runner in with a time of 4:30 for this lap. This meant 90 minutes between aid stations. Make sure he eats and drinks.

I was delighted that I got to go in the clockwise direction; this is the direction I know best, from running Pemberton 50k. I still had the distances between trail junctions memorized, and knew this trail like the back of my hand. I knew when the rocks would come, when downhils would come, how long it'd take me to reach certain landmarks. Good. I could do this.

We set out at a brisk powerwalk over rolling hills. The full moon was bright enough that I didn't need my headlamp, and soon Kirk turned his off. We chatted about how he was feeling, how the day was going. We trotted a few times (trot being our word for running, since we weren't exactly running), then headed up a ridge. This is the rockiest part of the course. I liked looking out ahead and seeing headlamps bobbing in the distance. The desert at night is beautiful. The temperature wavers between cold and warm, depending on whether you are on a ridge or deep in a wash. I offered my clif shot blocks to Kirk, because I could tell he needed to eat more. We saw the crazy fountain of Fountain Hills in the distance (yes, Jess, it does light up at night) at midnight, and realized it was now Sunday morning.

My stomach was upset with me. My digestive system was wanting to rebel. It was asking me why in the world I ate that slice of cheese pizza. Yuck.

We made it to the first aid staion, Coyote Camp, right on target. I snapped a photo of Kirk:

Kirk at mile 72ish

Then a volunteer said, "What about me?!" So here's a photo of Don:

Don - an aid station volunteer

I asked him his name so I could post it on my blog, to which he asked, "What blog?" Onepinkfuzzy."Oh!" came a voice, "You're Angie!" Um, yes, I am. "It's Angie!" The RDs for OP50 were at the aid station and came over - "Angie, will you be able to volunteer at the race again this year?" Well, I'm crewing/pacing a friend. But I can help stuff bags in preparation. "Thank you!!" was the response. We headed out for the next - the longest! - five miles.

I found it was hard for me to keep my mind, my mouth, going. I kept wanting to shut up and move forward. Finally Kirk says to me, "Tell me a story!" I realized it was my job to keep his mind off what he was doing. We had just been passed by the guy in the fairy costume (complete with a wand, I loved it), so I said, "Once upon a time, there was a fairy who loved running." Then I stopped. I couldn't come up with anything more!

Complete with wand!

I wracked my brain to come up with something - anything - I could talk about to keep him going. I started on Ash, and since he has kids, we spent the next five miles discussing children and parenting. That morphed into junior high horror stories, working fast food joints, and the crazy gypsy lifestyle of my late teens/early twenties. My digestive system was still in disagreement with me.

By the time we were about a mile out from the next aid station, my fears about my under-training were coming true. I was in pain. I was really worried about injuring myself. I knew that if I were the runner, I would want to know how my pacer was doing, so I chose to tell Kirk that I wasn't doing well. I asked if he had any ibuprofen, which he did, but he also wasn't feeling well. I told him to take the pills, because it was more important for him to take them and be able to keep going for the 100 miles. I was doing a measly 15.

But that measly 15 was wearing on me. I told him there was a chance I was going to need to send him on, because I wasn't sure I'd be able make it, especially at the pace we needed to get him in. If the next aid station didn't have any pain medication, I wasn't sure I'd be able to make it.

Oh boy, was that the wrong thing to say! I didn't realize how much he was relying on me to help him make it through. I could see it in the slump of his shoulders, in the slowness of his pace. It was like he deflated. Oh shit, that wasn't my point! I felt like smacking my forehead. Duh! I needed to stay strong for my runner!

Rookie mistake.

We made it to Jackass Junction, where I asked if they had any pain meds, which of course, they didn't (legal reasons, I suppose). However, a random person there heard me ask, and gave me two advils. Oh my god, YES! I also had to use the 'throne' - quite literally, a throne. The port-a-john was up on a trailer, making it out to be a throne. Embarassing.

Kirk at Mile 67ish

We set out for the last five miles. These are easy, slightly downhill miles. Kirk decided we could make it down in 1:15. I was a little worried about that. Sure, I got pain meds, but in my condition, I wasn't sure I could - or should - do that.

I decided my runner needed me, and I would buck up and do it. We continued our conversation from before. We had burping contests (two bites of a donut at the last aid station didn't agree with me) - and he clearly won. Mine were wimpy! We called out "Good morning!" cheerily to fellow runners - some of whom got the hilarity in the "good morning" at 3 am, and some of whom wouldn't even grunt in our direction. We took turns as to who was in front. I was silly and allowed my Angie tired silliness out to play, such as joking about the howling coyotes: they were feasting a runner who took a wrong turn!

We got in a lot of good trotting here, and I apologized for scaring him earlier with my "I might need to wimp out" stuff. We made it through the final mile, and ran it in - our time for the loop: 4:24. Right on.

Jess was unable to line up another pacer for Kirk for the next lap. Kirk head out, somewhat dejected. I was worried about him - lap 6, 35 miles to go, early morning when it'll be the coldest, and he was all by himself.

I chowed down on two lukewarm hot dogs, some soup and some oreos, then headed to bed. My stomach was so upset with me that I couldn't really sleep much. Finally, I got up at sunrise and snuggled in my sleeping bag at the finish line, listening to Steve talk about his run, listening to other Bay Area runners talk about their race. This was the first 100-mile race I got to observe in person, and it was interesting to wake up the next day and hear people talk about it, and know that there were people still out on the course.

JJ100 107

Angie is muy tired

Jess joined me, and we discussed when her flight would leave and when we needed to get back to my mom's to pack up. Suddenly, Kirk appeared - a full 30 minutes before I was even going to start expecting him! He was doing great! Only 10 miles to go, and by this time, a gentleman Kirk had met at a previous race was ready to go out with him. Yay! Jess and I wouldn't be able to see him finish, so we told him congratulations on finishing, and cheered him on as he left. (He went on to finish in 29:17, way to go!)

We headed back to my mom's, showered, packed up and napped (oh sweet joy - a real bed), then I took her to the airport and headed home.

At dinner last night with Chris, I talked about how I really feel no need now to run 100 miles. I've seen it done. I know the human body is capable of doing it. And I don't need to make THIS human body do it. Nah, I don't want to. I don't even really want to do a 50-miler! I'm fine with 50ks. Those are doable with my schedule, my life, my desires. I feel no need to prove myself by running even farther, like I've felt before. And I'm fine with that. Not just fine, but happy with that.

Last night, I also got a gym membership! I got a great deal at the gym Chris has a membership, and I'm looking forward to being able to cross-train on bikes, with spinning, with the stair-master (for ZG)!

Today, I need more rest. I'm still recovering from last week, from the exhuasting and sleepless weekend. I'm taking the day off from work. I've got loads and loads of laundry, dishes to do, the house needs to be cleaned. I have errands to run. There's no time in the rest of the week - work is too busy - so I will take the time now to nurture myself and make sure I'm okay.

I was going to wait and post this as a giant blog entry on Sunday afternoon, but decided I'll do it in pieces. This is my diary of my experience at JJ100 2007.

8:27 p.m. Friday, Oct. 26
Sunset at the pre-race dinner
Well, DUH, Jess ;) Of course it's very "desert" out here!
Kirk F at the pre-race dinner
And yes, you read that title correctly. I am scheduled to pace Kirk F, a gentleman I met at Twin Peaks this year, for his miles 75-90 at 4:30 a.m. Sunday morning. He DNF'd last year, and this year is back to complete the course. I'm both excited and nervous about this. I've never paced anyone before (will he still be in the race? what condition will he be in? can I keep him awake, alert, out of the cactus, in a good mood?). I'll have to be up at 4 a.m. Sunday morning after a few restless hours of sleep in a tent on hard-packed dirt at race headquarters (will my alarm go off? will I wake up?). I'll have to be dressed appropriately (what's the temp going to be? did I pack properly?). I'll have to go 15 miles (I haven't done that in four months, am I ready? will I hurt myself? can I make it? will I slow him down?). I have to be prepared (do I have the right clothes? the right water bottles? did I bring my headlamp?).
Jess at the pre-race dinner
I volunteered for this after I heard he had Jess to pace him for miles 45-60 and another friend to pace miles 60-75, but no one for the rest of the course. I figure by then, he'll be really tired and most likely walking. I can walk 15 miles, of course. That won't injure me!
Angie at the pre-race dinner
I'll be sore, that's for sure. But it'll be worth it.
Jess on the trail
Oh yeah, the report for the day - picked up Jess from the airport, thought her luggage was lost but found it, got lost driving from the airport to my parents (I told you I was a bad driver), went out to the trailhead and did a run/walk of four miles (emphasis on the walk part - it was 93 degrees out; I am SO not ready for that kind of heat!), hung out at the pre-race dinner where I got to meet Steve and Hippo briefly, saw a javelina on our drive back, stopped by a local grocery store to get essentials and now we're at my mom's house, where we are currently cozily ensconsed with me on the 'net, and Jess talking to polish girl (read her blog for details :))
Part of the JJ100 Trail
7:07 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 27
Just woke up from a nice, deep 10-hour sleep. Sweeeet. I think Jess is still sleeping. We'll be taking our time getting ready this morning, then head up to the trailhead (about an hour from my mom's house), and spend the next 24 hours there. Thankfully, Kirk has a tent and sleeping gear, and I also happen to have a fleece blanket and sleeping bag in the trunk of my car (I always keep it there) (I don't just overpack for trips, I overpack for daily life too). This way both Jess and I can try to snag a few zzz's tonight in between pacing duties. We should be pretty well prepared; the last errands we have to do this morning are to Starbucks (gotta have that coffee - and espresso beans, don't forget the espresso beans, that'll be key tomorrow morning) and Subway (lunch and dinner today).

This'll be so much fun!!!

Nurture me

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FallHike2007 042

As expected, this week has been C-R-A-Z-Y. But just a few more hours, then I'll be home packing for my weekend in Phoenix with Jess. Tomorrow morning, I may go for a quick run, then I'll be driving up to Phoenix, where we'll crash at my mom's house, hang at the pre-race dinner, Jess will pace a friend in the evening, and we'll generally have loads of ultra fun.

Last night, I got to thinking. I'm a total stress-eater, and with how crazy things have been, I haven't been eating very healthy. Oh sure, there are some days I eat well, but overall, I'm still gaining weight. I'm also feeling old feelings of anger rising in me and coming out sideways for silly things, things I can't control, like slow traffic or slow Internet connection. I realized I'm feeling a lot of pressure to perform right now, and I'm terrified I won't give a good performance, that somehow I'll be found lacking, that it'll be found out that I'm actually this really bad person. The voices in my head start telling me that not only will I fail at my projects at work, but I'm also a bad mom, a bad driver, bad runner, bad eater, all these bad things to back up the argument that I'm a bad person.

I'm tired of hearing those voices. Especially since I know it isn't true (well, maybe the bad driver part...). I know I'm a good mom, I know I'm doing a good job at work. It's true - I can improve on my eating and running habits, but I'm not a bad person just because I have room for improvement.

When I get this stressed, I feel like I'm seeping out of myself, I can't contain my self, my emotions. I want someone else to come in and tell it'll all be alright. I want comfort, hugs, my head rubbed to soothe my worries. Often, I eat. But I don't want to comfort eat, because that often involves really large amounts of really unhealthy stuff. And I don't want to use another person (read: Chris) as a crutch. I want to be my own damn seatbelt, and keep myself contained.

I realized last night that what I'm seeking is to be nurtured. No one taught me how to nurture myself. This is what I need to do. Not with unhealthy food (that's counter-nurturing). Not by needing someone else to validate me. But by me making nurturing choices to fulfill what I'm seeking and by me validating myself.

I'm not saying I need to be completely self-contained and never reach out to anyone. There's a balance to be had here. I am saying that I'd like to at least attempt to help myself first, before I automatically turn to someone else and say, "fix me! make me all better!" Sometimes, that's okay, but I don't want that to be my default setting.

So. I'm keeping this all in the back of my mind - nuturing. What choices can I make to help me feel better. I can put the DND sign up on my desk and on my phone to give me 20 minutes of rest (what I'm doing now). I can eat good food that will last and give me fuel to make it through the rest of the afternoon. I can go sleep early enough to give my body the rest it needs to function properly (and with the least amount of crankiness). I can journal. I can write. I can reach out and say, "I love you," to Ash. I can reach out to my friends and say, "I'm thinking of you," and remind myself of community. I can tell myself, "I love you, I accept you."

What do you do to nurture yourself?

New Running Partner

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Okay, first, I got through yesterday's workload relatively unscathed, whew. And dinner with Chris at a local Mexican restaurant (with a really good hibiscus margarita) helped make the rest of the day go well.

I was up at 5:45 this morning to prep for my first run with my friend Barb. She is a triathlete, and coaches TNT. I'm psyched to have met someone who will run in cold, dark, wintry weather with me, woohoo! We met at my house, and took off for a great 3.7-mile run around the neighborhood. I maintained an 11:36 pace (includes a couple walk breaks), which is right quick for me at this point in my training. It was a fantastic run with great company. I'm looking forward to my training this winter! She mentioned that she may be interested in ZG - she's never run trails, so it'd be a first. What fun!

Rest of the week should go fairly easily - and Friday, it's time to take off for Phoenix and have fun at JJ100!

So so so much much much!

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C2U folks, scroll to the bottom to get this week's info...

My totally cool new earrings
New Earrings
New Earrings

Oy vey.

*deep breath*

I am tired, exhausted, worn out, used up, scared, stressed, worried, fretful. But I made another sale! Sacred Heart Vision...
SacredHeartBLack

And I've made good progress on Lisa's running art (go congratulate her, she just finished her first tri!).

And Ash and I had a fanTAStic hike on Mt. Lemmon today. It's true: the boy doesn't know how to "hike". He thinks the trails are for running :) Watching his nimble body leap from rock to stump and over roots was beautiful. At points, I was nervous that he was about to fall off the trail, but each time I was about to open my mouth to caution him, he'd deftly manuever to a safer spot. He fell a couple times, on the trail, but was amazing to watch.
FallHike2007 073
Ash being a zombie
FallHike2007 070
Making the fall colors fly
FallHike2007 041
Having fun at lunch
FallHike2007 027
Catching himself on a rare fall
His little four-year-old legs did good on the approximately 1.4 mile roundtrip hike on top of Mt. Lemmon.

We've had an interesting weekend. Ash is tired and exhausted and missing his dad - he spend two nights with his grandmother and now three nights with me, and no time in between with his dad. He's been cranky and pushing all my buttons. It's been rough. But we're doing ok. I'm overwhelmed, though.

And work. Oh boy, work. I know I've been this stressed before, but this time, I feel like there's more pressure, more riding on the upcoming events that I'm coordinating. It's my favorite part of my job: event planning. I get a rush from planning every little detail and having the entire thing come off without a hitch (knock on wood). Well, I've got one on Saturday - which is when I'm in Phoenix for JJ100. This'll be my first that I've managed, planned and organized that I won't be present for. I'm a little nervous about that. Ok, more than a little nervous. I'm a wreck over it. But I just have to trust that it'll all unfold smoothly even without me there. Have enough trust in myself to know that it'll all be ok. And then I have another one in just a few weeks that's turning into an even bigger deal, and the invite is due to the printer on Wednesday and to my client for approval tomorrow -- and my art dept hasn't even begun the layout yet (waiting on images). AAAHHHHHHHHH (Did I mention this is a relatively new client?! Don't want to lose their business!) Not to mention a few award submittals due asap, internal team politics, a couple projects headed into construction, which means weekly meetings and alerts due out, and looming public meetings.

*deep breath*

Then there's the socializing. A friend is back in town for a few days before leaving for Germany, which means Thursday night is happy hour (I'm hosting this time). Friday morning I'm heading up to Phoenix to pick up Jess and spend the weekend playing at JJ100, and hopefully meeting up with a few friends and fellow bloggers (Steve and Hippo among them). The following Monday night is book club night (yay Kiera for reinstating it!). Between my friends and Ash, I have only two open nights in the next two-and-a-half weeks for Chris :( Sigh.

Oh yeah, and running too - I've discovered a new running partner! Someone who doesn't mind dark, cold, early morning winter runs, woo hoo! We're running on Tuesday morning. Yay!!! I didn't get much running in last week, but that meant I got lots of Ash time. I run every morning I don't have him - every other week, I'll get high mileage - which means every other week, extraordinarily low mileage (rest weeks, I suppose).

C2U - I haven't forgotten you. This week, if you haven't already been running this much, I want you to aim for 10 miles for the week. The biggest challenge? Get 4 of those miles on one day - either Saturday or Sunday - as your 'long run'. Preferably on trails to start training for ZG, but this week, it's ok to not do trails. So, your schedule is three 2-mile runs during the week (you can choose two 3-milers if you want), and one 4-miler on the weekend. GO!

Why I know I am a RUNNER

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Sarah tagged me.

I am a runner because...

- The act of running beautiful - the rhythm, the cadence, the dance, the simplicity of forward motion

angpaki1

- Running is my meditation

Angie emerges from the woods just past the turnaround

- It gives me confidence

Angie at the finish line of her first race

- I would go crazy if I didn't

Angie on the way up.

- It takes me an hour-and-a-half, at least, to get warmed up

DSCN1105

- I plan my vacations around races (even races I don't run!)

Anne, Jess, Jeff, Matt and Angie

- The majority of my friendships revolve around running

AngiePaki1mile

- I think about running when I'm at work, at the grocery store, at home, reading a book, while creating art

DSCN1103

- The idea of running 30 miles for my 30th birthday energizes me

Coming into the mid aid station at Pemberton

- I'm tempted to eat gels when I'm hungry

Gu tastes good!

- I drink nunn at work

Ash and Mama run to the finish line

- I'd rather go shopping for a sports bra than a regular bra (hell, I'd rather wear a sports bra than a regular bra)

Angie cools off under the waterfall at Sabino Canyon

- My hiking shoes are my running shoes

Angie's shoes

- I take my camelback on non-running-related excursions (like going downtown for an art fair)

Iron Girl Mother/Daughter 5k

- I'll get up at 5 am in the dark of winter to get 5 miles in before work - and enjoy every step of the way

AngiePakiFinishLine

- I have more running photos than art photos on my flickr page

Tied for last at Pemberton

- I create RUNNING art!

Doing my best "Scott Jurek" at Pemberton Finish

Tag! You're it: Jessica, Olga and Renee.

Sarah's art is done!

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Woo hoo! I'm so excited! First custom piece - completed. Sarah's photo offered plenty of inspiration (her feet were off the ground, I loved that!), and I had a blast putting it together :) There's a photo on Sarah's blog, and more photos can be found here, along with a description of how I put the whole thing together.

I'm looking forward to completing the other four free pieces...AND...I got my first order last week! So exciting!

(oh, and I ran three miles on Monday with Paki, which totally rocked, we kept an 11:18 pace, my best since having to take time off this summer; I also ran 3.4 miles this morning (at a slower 12:01 pace), and am feeling good. yay!)

Coming along

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Not only did I run Sunday following the awesome hike, but I also ran Monday. The hike left me good sore - sore enough to hurt, but not sore enough to need ibuprofen or to keep me from running. Perfect.

Looking forward to seeing Jess in just a week and a half! We'll be hanging out and having fun at Javelina Jundred. Who else is coming?? I need to know who to keep an eye out for!

If you haven't yet discovered Etsy, check out the treasury I created, chock-full of hand-made goodness from around the world that makes my soul, my essence, my onepinkfuzzy dance!

What can you do to promote sustainability? What can you do to help our planet?

Some people sit in trees to preserve them. Some people pay to have trees planted to offset the amount of greenhouse gasses used to fly from one location to another. Some architects look at building 'green' buildings (Tucson has its first 'green' school now). Some people have contests to help raise awareness.

My thing? I like to recycle. It's so easy. I keep a paper grocery bag next to my trash bin, and throw anything and everything I can into the recycle bin. I find that I empty my recycling more than I empty my garbage! Now that helps me feel like I'm making a difference.

How do you 'think green'?

Blackett's Ridge

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(Update: Photos!)

After a fun Friday night with a soccer game, followed by eating at a new English pub in town (yummy!), Chris (aka "C") and I headed out to Sabino Canyon yesterday morning to go for a hike. I decided I need to start training on steep trails to simulate race day conditions at Zane Grey. It's well known about Tucson that the best steep-ass trail would be Blackett's Ridge. I haven't been on the trail for over nine years, but I remember its relentless grade. I wanted a companion with me the first time I headed up it while I got a feel for the trail that will become my best friend this winter. Chris is not a runner, so trail running isn't something I can share with him; however, he likes to hike. If I'm 'running' something steep, I'm not actually running - I'm hiking. Which is what Chris likes to do. So it's perfect!
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The weather was slightly warm, but just about perfect. It felt strange to not be running the first flat mile or so. It also felt strange to be in 'hiking' shorts (with cotton underwear), as opposed to 'running' shorts (with a built-in wicking liner). It also felt strange not to carry my camelback (Chris convinced me that he'd carry everything, that I didn't need to carry my camelback).
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Not comfortable with walking, I set a quick pace for the first 1.4 miles to the Blackett's Ridge turnoff. Then, as we started climbing, and climbing, and climbing (and climbing), my pace gradually lessened, to the point where I actually had to stop for a breather (I didn't want to!). Chris pointed out his parent's house and high school, among other nearby landmarks. It was a good stop, but I knew there was more to go. This hike was a good sort-of base test, the baseline to guage my progress this winter against. And I was much more out of shape than I was hoping!
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I channeled Olga as I headed up some steep slabs: swinging my arms and power-hiking my way up, up, up. Relentless Forward Motion. Finally, we hit the top of the ridge, and I was ready to stop. The trail continues, but it doesn't really have an 'end'. This was good enough for me. We hung out on some rocks enjoying the expansive views and taking some photos before heading back down.
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Chris took the lead on the way down, which was fine (I could do snot-rockets without him seeing me - really, what girl wants her boyfriend observing her blow snot-rockets?!), until we hit some prime running trail, at which point, I pushed him out of the way and let loose, flying over the trail, down, down, down, such sweet sweet release to open my hips and let my legs stretch out and fly free. Wheeeeee!!!!
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This trail being as nasty as it is, that didn't last long. The rest of the way down, I'd run when I could, then wait for Chris to catch up as I took my time picking my way through the steep rocks, which was totally fine with him (yay!) The last 1.4 back to the car, I walked with him, even though I could have ran. It felt good just to amble along, knowing the goal of this was not to run run run, but to enjoy a Saturday morning with my boyfriend. I was quite glad he had convinced me to give up the camelback; It was nice to not have to carry anything! We estimated that we hiked about 5.5 miles with 2300 vt ft elevation gain.
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After filling ourselves up with soup and sandwhiches at a favorite restaurant, we headed to my house, where he fell asleep and I got started on Sarah's custom running art (should be done this week, woo hoo!!!). The rest of the day finished out with Scrabble, a favorite Mexican restaurant and watching Howard's End (I hadn't seen it before).

This morning, I held myself to my goal of heading out for a recovery run. I spent a leisurely morning in bed (oh, so nice to relax and not worry about having to get up to run - the weather has cooled off enough that I can run later!). I wasn't too sore getting out of bed, although my right glute was complaining a little bit. I am actually surprised that I'm not more sore. I headed out for 1.3 s l o o o o o w miles around the neighborhood, then stretched a little. Now I've got laundry on, a cinnamon nut bread in the oven, an artisan potluck to go to this afternoon and Ash (yayayay!) tonight.

All in all, it's been a fantastic weekend.

C2U: Week Two

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How're you doing this week? Still running?

Good.

This week it's four 30-minute sessions. Leave some comments letting me know how far you run when you run for 20 and 30 minutes, to get a feel for your current pace (if you aren't already). Then I'll start changing things over to weekly mileage. Right now, you're just getting used to moving on a regular basis.

Next week, we'll introduce the concept of the long run/hike. You'll choose either Saturday or Sunday to do a longer run each week. I'll also switch from timed sessions to mileage per day/total for the week. Long runs are meant to be run on (steep) trails, if possible, to simulate conditions at Zane Grey, which is a wicked steep trail. (I'll be posting shortly about my Blackett's Ridge "run" I did yesterday; I chose that trail specifically to simulate ZG.) So keep that in mind, and start thinking about a hilly trail you can head to next week.

Right now, my mileage is about 10 miles per week (which is pretty low). The goal is to slowly (safely) up our miles until we are averaging 30 miles per week (that's going to take a couple months). By February/March, the goal is to have a few weeks over 30 miles (the more, the better trained we'll be for ZG - hopefully we'll have a few 40-mile weeks in there). In a few weeks, I'll post a full schedule showing miles per day/week/month, etc. and types of runs those should be.

Beautiful

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Up before the alarm goes off, I quickly dress in running gear and pop a couple Clif Shot Blocks as I head out the door and to the street. The air is nippy, giving me goosebumps. I turn on the iPod, hit "start" on my watch, and I'm off.

It's a route I've run a million times before, wandering around my neighborhood and a local park. It's light out, barely, but the sun hasn't come over the horizon yet, and all the dogwalkers are still snug in their beds. When they do come out, tired and sleepy and cold, they are bundled in sweats and mittens, a stark contrast to my shorts and T-shirt.

The air is invigorating, my legs are strong, I am healthy. I breathe deeply and let the music wash over my body, my soul. I am alert, yet relaxed, reveling in the smell of wet grass as I dodge mud puddles. Round and round the park I go, in an age-old dance, my legs traveling one after the other, always moving forward, in a comforting cadence.

I run intervals to the music, picking up or slowing down my pace depending on the beat. It's a music-based fartlek, and it's fun. By the end, I am tired, but when I turn the last corner and spy my house, I am almost sad to see the run end. I extend the beauty of the morning by taking a long cooldown, walking around the block, by the market that isn't open yet, by the caretaker watering the flowers.

I am ready for my day, ready to handle whatever may come. I am strong, confident, capable, my run having given me a reminder of my strength, a reminder that I exist, a reminder that I am alive in my body. A reminder that life is beautiful in it's simplicity. Eat, drink, sleep, run.

Jim Click Run'n'Roll 8k

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Run'n'Roll07 004

This year, I did not run the race with Paki; I ran it with my friend Melissa. (Paki was unable to make it.) Melissa has run for years, but wasn't sure about racing 5 miles. She did fantastic, coming in at about 45 minutes. This race has a fun course wandering all around the UA campus and neighboring streets.

Run'n'Roll07 002

Ash and C played frisbee while I prepped for my run. Coming off a nasty cold and a late Saturday night (C, Ash and I drove up to Phx for a friend's birthday bbq), I had no expectations for this race. I just wanted to run and have fun!

Run'n'Roll07 003

Ash hurried Melissa and I into the starting line, and 15 seconds after the announcer told us we had a minute to go, the starting gun went off. Melissa quickly wove her way through the packed runners and I settled into a nice groove, laughing at the three-legged dog in front of me (I wonder if he ran the whole thing?).

Run'n'Roll07 005

First two miles passed quickly, and unlike last year, they had both water and cups at the first aid station. C and Ash finished up in the jumping castle quick enough to make it to the 2-mile spot and snap a photo of me passing by after I spent most of my energy getting the UA cheerleaders to actually cheer as I passed by.

Run'n'Roll07 006

C and Ash had a lot of fun hanging out while I finished up the last three miles. I got the load of frat boys in front of their house to not only raise a raucus for me, but also give me tons of high fives. I didn't have to walk other than the water stops (the second one, unlike last year, had both water and cups as well), and the folks out on the course making sure we stayed on track were much friendlier than last year and gave lots of encouragement.

Run'n'Roll07 008

It was much cooler than last year, making for a more comfortable run. After running this three years in a row, I'm familiar with the course and know when to anticipate hills, heat, and the nearing of the finish line. I had a little left in me for a small kick at the end, but nausea was setting in. Melissa, C and Ash gave me awesome screams and cheers as I rolled through the finish line.

Run'n'Roll07 009

I finished in 56:46, and at first, I thought I set a PR by about a minute, and was quite excited! Later research revealed I ran one minute faster than my first Run'n'Roll, but one minute slower than last year (my PR). Not bad for being sick! The rest of the day was tough - the nausea that started in the last mile increased, and I was pretty miserable for a good six to eight hours while my insides figured themselves out. I had a lot of fun at this race, though, and am looking forward to next year!

(On an unrelated note, my boyfriend finally got me to eat fish. Amazing. I don't eat fish. I hate fish. Fish is gross. But not only did C make me fish last night, but I ate it. All of it. And enjoyed it. Wow.)

C2U: Week One

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(My race report should be up today or tomorrow)

Couch to Ultra Training Plan, Week One:

What you need to know
- I chart weeks from Monday through Sunday.

- When I say, "Run 20 minutes, four times this week," I use the term 'running' very loosely. What I really mean is RFM (Relentless Forward Motion) . Whether you run, walk, jog or crawl, I don't care. Get your body moving forward for the specified amount of time/distance. I don't care how fast or slow you are, but when you are training for a certain race, you'll need to know the cutoff times and if you can get fast enough to beat the cutoff times. Your goal here is not to win anything; your goal is to finish.

What you need to buy if you haven't already
- The most important piece of equipment are your running shoes. Eventually, I'll get you into some good shorts/shirts/sports bras with technical fabric, but for now, let's focus on shoes. You want running shoes. You want to go to a running shoe store, perferably one that videotapes you running on a treadmill to observe your gait. This way, they'll get you into shoes that will work with your running style. You'll feel better and possibly prevent injuries. Try Performance Footwear, Fleet Feet or (if you are in Tucson), The Running Shop.

- Second most important piece of equipment: a running journal. Either buy one at Barnes & Noble or keep one online (good log websites are www.breakingthetape.com and www.coolrunning.com). It's good to keep track of when you run (date/time), how you felt, what you ate/drank before/during/after, what shoes you wore (to keep track of mileage to know when to replace), how far you run, how long you run and what your pace is. This will help you keep an eye on if you need to get faster in order to make cutoff times, and by tracking your food/drink intake, you'll start to see trends on what fuels work better for your body.

Overview of the program
- We'll start with just getting you into a program of moving your body. Get used to getting out there (or on a treadmill) on a regular basis, if you aren't already. Figure out your average pace and get you comfortable with RFM.

- We'll up the time/distance gradually over the winter with a combination of short, moderate and long runs (some back-to-back long runs come February/March).

- By March (your "monster month"), you'll be running about 8 hours a week. This takes commitment!

Your assignment for the week of Oct. 8 - 14
- Start a running log.

- Budget for your shoes and figure out when you can buy them (in the next month would be good).

- Give me RFM for 20 minutes, four times this week. Let's get you used to being out and moving.

- Leave a comment to this post after each run you do - let me know that you are out there, moving your body! Let's celebrate!

Now GO.

All the silly stuff I have to include that you already know, aka legal disclaimer
- All information contained in www.breakingthetape.com/onepinkfuzzy is for educational purposes only.
- It is not a substitute for any advice given to you by your physician.
- Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.
- I assume no liability for information contained herein.
- I will not be held responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury which may occur through reading and/or following information within this site.

#300

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Wow, 300 entries. And next month will be 2 years! My how time flies!

So this nasty cold is finally clearing. I figure it was probably good to be so sick for two weeks, it made me rest my foot. Remember how I mentioned a twisted ankle a few weeks back? Well, after my 8 miles a couple weeks ago, my left foot was aching along the top and up my leg. I thought it was strange till I talked to a friend who has the same thing happening on a foot he twisted awhile back. It's still huring, two weeks later (any shoes, any pressure, any wiggling the wrong way). So maybe it was good to rest.

But I'm done resting. I've got a 50k to train for! Oh yeah, and a five mile race this Sunday. I'll run this evening with Paki, and then I won't run again till Sunday morning. I figure if I have to stroll through the race, I will. I'm coming off a non-running summer and then a bad cold, so no pressure, that's for sure. The important thing is I'm out there doing it. It'll be fun!

So I'm looking ahead at training plans and scheduling and upcoming races. I'm excited to put together info for the C2U plan. I'm excited to think about getting in ultra shape again. I'm excited to think about running with 30 of my friends in April. I'm excited about a new pair of earrings I bought that are the COOLEST EVER. I'm excited about selling my artwork. I'm excited about putting together custom running art for my friends.

I'm just excited!

Okay, so we're not up to 30 people yet, but we've got time to add you to the list. I'm starting an RSVP list on the left sidebar under "Upcoming Races"...is your name there yet?

I was surprised when a few non- or newbie runners commented/e-mailed me regarding the fact that they'd like to train for the 50k (50k = 30 miles) (just to clarify, I am NOT running 50 miles for my birthday, I'm running 50 kilometers, which is 30 miles) . The most surprising of all? My sister!

She's a 25-year-old mother of four who does not run. She was on the dance squad in high school and played softball as a kid, so she has somewhat of a background in athletics (I always thought she was more athletic than me), but she's not a runner. I'm so excited to think that she is interested in doing this, and my brother-in-law has already committed to helping her by watching the kids so she can train.

With newbies expressing interest, I was already considering creating a plan to train for ZG, and now that my sis is asking for help, I've decided to do "The Couch to Ultra Training Plan" (C2U). It's still sort of rolling around in my head as to how exactly I'm going to do this, but I'm thinking it will include a weekly post with tips, tricks and schedule. I'll include links and resources, and help y'all who are interested in running an ultra.

Please leave a comment to this post if you want to "sign up" for this plan, and I'll create a new spot on my sidebar with links to your blogs and I'll add you to an e-mail list, so we can support each other while training for this race. Please feel free to e-mail me at onepinkfuzzy {at} gmail {dot} com, if you don't want to leave a comment or if you have any questions.

The first official C2U post will be Sunday, to prepare you for the first week of training.

(PS My cough is deep in my lungs now, and I have a race on Sunday! I haven't run in a week! Oh well. If I have to leisurely stroll through Sunday's race, I'll do so. The important thing is I'll be out there :))

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This page is an archive of entries from October 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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