Friday, January 22, 2010

Dorothy, We're Not in Long Beach Anymore!

This week has been a wild week for Long Beach, and most of Southern California for that matter. This week has been a torrential downpour with winds up to 25 miles an hour, thunder and lightning, hail, and even tornados! Dorothy, we’re not in Kansas anymore!

The tornados were a little more worrisome because us Californians don’t have basements. It doesn’t help that work on the 14th floor in downtown LB, so not only do we NOT have basements here, but I am on the HIGHEST FLOOR possible! Haha oh boy. Luckily, we were ok at work aside from the building swaying due to being on rollers (we DO have earthquakes here in CA). My friend’s boat, which is docked in the Huntington Harbor, was hit by the tornado. She was lucky as her boat had minimal damage. The boats around her seemed to be much less fortunate though.  Glenn has some incredible pictures here on his blog of the tornados and waterspouts!

The rain was so severe that we have gotten about 7-8 inches. To put that in perspective, we get an average of 2-5 inches of rain PER YEAR! We just got 8 inches in three days! There has been a ton of flooding near my house. We had to put sandbags in my front yard, and our alley was full of water 3ft deep.
Check out some of these pics that were taken near where I live!
This is down the street from me near Wilson High School:

Here is Wilson High, which is down the street from me and on one of my running routes:

These pictures were taken by Fat Tony who is a brilliant photographer.
Second Street, which is down the street from my house, was flooded pretty badly too.  2nd has all the restuarants, bars, and shops on it, and it's always a fun time and a quick bike ride :)
Here are some pictures taken by Samuel Lippke for the LB Post:

Here is the inside of Jamba Juice where my friend and I stopped that morning for oatmeal on the way to work (they have yummy oatmeal!).  When we were there it wasn't like this yet:

It's pretty wild!  Long Beach is an older city and the drainage system isn't as great as it could be.  Cal State Long Beach closed down for two days because they flooded so badly they were getting sinkholes!

It's been wacky weather for good ole sunny CA.  These back-to-back storms rolling in have not been conducive to my training schedule either!  I've only gotten out to run once this week.  I did make it to the gym one evening too, but it's definitely been hard to get my workouts in.
It's supposed to dry up tomorrow just in time for my 10-miler this weekend!  Since I don't like Gu, I'm going to test out the Clif Shot Bloks (flavor:  Strawberry) to see how I like those on a long run.

Surf City is in 16 days!!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The 9-miler that wasn't

The past week I have been pretty out of commission due to a heel injury.  It started to hurt before my race last weekend but I thought nothing of it and pushed through it and felt fine.  Well Monday I woke up to run before work and as soon as I stepped out of bed a burning pain shot up my leg from my heel.  I could barely walk, let alone run.  Everyone I talked to said to rest it, and so I thought a day or two would be ample.  Not so much.  I wasn't able to run until yesterday, which means that I rested my darn heel for 5 days.  Five days without running made me so anxious to get out there and run, especially with Surf City only three weeks away!

Yesterday I had my first 9-miler on my Surf City training plan.  I don't know why I thought I could tackle it after 5 days without running (let alone my longest distance is a 10K), but for some wild reason I thought I could.  I knew there was a big storm coming in that afternoon so I laced up and headed for the beach.  It was 60 degrees and if I looked to the left it was blue skies with the sun shining, and if I looked to the right the dark ominous clouds had begun rolling in.


I stared out running along the beach, then I ran towards a wooden beach path by the homes where one of my friends live.  It runs along the beach-front side of the homes and I like it because it's more cushiony than the pavement path.  I didn't have my iPod with me, so I was listening to the seagulls gawk before the storm, moms and kids riding their bikes along the path and playing in the sand, the sound of the waves rush in then out, and the sounds of other runners' feet hitting the path.  It was the calm before the storm as one might say, very serene.
Here is the wooden path that I ran on:

So back to the 9-miler...I don't know how I thought I could tackle 9, because after 2.5 my heel started the burn and I was just plain tired.  I ran into an ultra-marathoner and we ran and chatted for about ten minutes.  He is also a pacer for LA and Long Beach marathons with the Road Runners.  He was a very cool guy and I enjoyed the company for the little bit.  Sometimes it's nice to have a running partner...anyone know where I can find a running partner!?  :)
So after running with Mr. Ultra for a little while, I ran from the beach to the canals where my Aunt lives, and now the clouds were really rolling in and it was getting windy.

After a bit, I felt I couldn't go on anymore.  My heel was burning and throbbing, and my body felt tired.  I looked down at my Garmin, and it read 3.5 miles.  Blah.  40% of my intended 9miles.  C'est la vie!  I cooled down and stretched, and I met two little chatter boxes:

These little guys were very cool!  They were just chillin outside their house while their person was BBQing, and they were talking like pirates!  Cliché, yes.  Entertaining nonetheless, absolutely!

Once I finished the storm rolled in and it got very dark.  I had some errands to run then picked up my Grammie to bring her over for dinner.  We all watched the Golden Globes while the rain poured.  A perfect relaxing evening.

I don't work today because of the MLK holiday, and despite my training plan saying today is a 'rest' day, I am going to run to the gym (it's raining but not too hard; it's quite windy though) and get some strength training in.  I need to push these next three weeks, especially after losing a week of my training.  Oh, but if anyone lives in the Long Beach area and wants a running partner, let me know!!!  :)

Enjoy the rain <3

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Earthquake + Ways We Can Help

My thoughts and prayers go out to Haiti and those that were injured, killed, or lost a loved one.

This is devastating. Haiti hasn’t seen an earthquake of this magnitude in over 200 years! I’ve been following it pretty closely, and it gives me goose bumps when I see pictures and hear survivor stories. Haiti, especially Port-au-Prince, looks like an atom bomb went off. It breaks my heart. Roger Searle, a professor of geophysics in the Earth Sciences Dept at Durham University in England, said the earthquake’s power is comparable to several nuclear bombs. This ferocity coupled with the geographical shallowness of Haiti made it especially devastating.

A government official in Port-au-Prince reported this morning that he feared the death toll of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake may exceed 100,000. A spokesperson from the Associated Press fears it could be as high as 500,000. That’s half a million people!
It will take years to rebuild the country, and we all can help in numerous ways. CNN posted a great site with ways we can help out whether it is providing basic needs, providing medical aid, providing shelter, or providing food. Please check it out:
There are 32 categorized links to relief organizations. It only takes 2 minutes to help a country in desperate need.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

San Diego Resolution Run 10K Recap!

This past weekend I cruised down to San Diego for my first 10K, the San Diego Resolution Run.

My boyfriend and I drove down the night before, and on the drive down I realized I had forgotten my iPod!  Major fail.  Sean was being so encouraging, telling me he never runs with music and that gives him time to think and enjoy his surroundings and look forward to what he will be doing once his run is over.  So I said I would try it the next morning for the race.  Be one with nature.

My alarm went off at 5am, I got up and dressed (I wore my Surf City Shirt, Nike Running Skirt, and my
Zensah arm warmers), had a cup of Starbucks VIA Ready Brew I brought with me, and ate an Odwalla bar.  I didn’t expect Sean to come with me to the race because he is in law enforcement and works nights so he usually sleeps during the day.  I was happily surprised when he said he was planning all along on coming to watch me run my first 10K and cheer me on!  We got to Mission Bay park around 6:15 so I could pick up my bib.  It was so cold and dark, and I was happy I wore my Zensah arm warmers.  I went back to the car and put my bib on and sit in the heated car for a bit.

The 10K started at 7:30, and I started warming up beforehand.  I felt pretty ready, minus not having my music with me (I had just put together a playlist for the race too!), but my stomach was jittery.  One of the bootcamps was there warming the runners up, so here is me in the 10K warmup doing a little jogging in place:

I lined up at the starting line and at 7:30 the gun went off.

I started out at what I thought was my comfortable pace.  I passed Sean and he was cheering me on and taking pictures.  He was so supportive!  So during the first mile I was pretty much keeping pace with everyone around me.  BAD MOVE MAGGIE!  My Garmin beeped at mile 1 and I felt out of gas.  I looked down and I had just ran a 7:35 mile!  I NEVER run a 7:35 mile, ever!  So I slowed down and walked hastily for a few minutes until I felt ready to go again.  I kept telling myself to keep an easy 10-11 min/mile pace which is my comfortable pace.

At this point I started to feel great again.  The sun had begun to rise and was shining over the bay, and I took Sean’s advice and focused on all this beauty around me.  It was gorgeous!

I focused on my breathing and keeping my shoulders back.  Everything was going pretty darn well until just before mile 4.  All of a sudden my shin felt like it was on fire and I almost lost my footing.  I stretched it out and the burn was gone.  My knees were aching, but I kept my comfy pace and it was fine.  I was really missing my iPod though.  I know there are lots of runners who can run ultras without an iPod…I am not one of those people.  I love music.  Music keeps me paced, motivated, and focused.  Plus I love to sing along even though I’m no Frank Sinatra.  Around mile marker 5 I started running with and talking to two women, one of whom was running with her black Labrador.  We ran for a while together chatting about the 10Ks they had run before, me running Surf City ∏ in four weeks, our achy knees, and some random things.  They were very cool and talking with them made mile 5 fly by.  Finally I passed the mile 6 marker and picked up my pace. I saw Sean near the finish line and he was cheering me on and I was so happy he came to see me run.

I felt inspired, and the finish line was so close that I booked it and crossed the finish line hitting my goal time on the nose.  My goal time was 1:10-1:15.  I finished at the faster end of my spectrum with 1:10:47.

I’m very happy I finished in one hour and ten minutes.  I know I could have beat 70 minutes if I had paced myself better from the get go, but I expected to finish in that time and I did!  Maggie’s first 10K:  DONE!  After crossing the finish I had to wait in line to give the tear-off part of my bib so they could log my time (it wasn’t chip-timed) and Sean came to bring me water and took this picture:

Sean deserves the *BEST BOYFRIEND* award for everything he does.  He was so proud of me and I couldn’t have been happier to see him at the finish line :)

After drinking water and eating a little snack, I asked someone to take a picture of us.

After taking the picture I said “I think my toenail just fell off” and this guy turned around laughing and said, “That is the quote of the day!  I am going to use that one as part of today’s description!”  And we all laughed.  When Sean and I got to the car, I checked out my toe and sure enough there was a gnarly blister under it lifting the toenail a lot (I took a picture, but I'm not sure if anyone really wants to see that haha!).  I will probably be losing that toenail sometime this week or next.  BADGE OF HONOR!

Overall it was a fun course in a beautiful part of Southern California.  There was a lot of pavement on the course (not my fav), but there was also a lot of asphalt and a bit of dirt trail both of which were more cushion-y than the concrete.  The Resolution Run was a great run and I would totally do it again.  But I would keep the following things in mind for next time:
1.      Always double check that I have my iPod before the race.
2.      Pace myself better.
3.      Bring sunglasses just in case (we were running into the sun for 2 miles…blinding!)

I’m so happy today is a rest day because I am experiencing pain in my right heel.  Hopefully resting today will help.

Surf City is less than 4 weeks away!!!


Thursday, January 7, 2010

My 2010 Race Schedule!!

I've spent the last couple weeks putting together my 2010 race schedule.  I was already signed up for my first half marathon, Surf City, for February, so I started to work around that.  I wanted to run a 10K during my training for the half, so I found one albeit down in San Diego, but I found one.  Then I started thinking about my recovery time after Surf City...there was a race the following weekend, but I decided that would just be dumb.  After my first 13.1 miles, who knows how my little legs will feel.

Then I caught the 13.1 bug!  I've been so excited for Surf City, and my boyfriend and I have been talking about going to San Francisco for a weekend since I haven't been there since I was 8, so I thought our weekend getaway could be the weekend of July 25!  Yep!  I did it!  I signed up for the San Fran Half Marathon on July 25!  I was so pumped that I tweeted it right away, and my twitter-friend (twiend?) Glenn immediately tweeted back:

gwjones00 She's doing Surf City and SFM. No way we're *not* going to make her do Long Beach next fall!

Glenn, I will DEFINITELY be running Long Beach to complete the California Dreamin' Series!  And I'll be completing it in my hometown, which is just a tiny bit poetic :)
Surf City, San Francisco, Long Beach.  These guys are the big ones I've built my 2010 schedule around.  Without any further adieu, here it is!

1/9 – San Diego Resolution Run 10K
2/7 – Surf City Half Marathon
4/10 – Seal Beach 10K
5/2 – OC 5K
7/25 – San Francisco Half Marathon
10/17 – Long Beach Half Marathon (this will complete the CA Dreamin Series!)
11/25 – Turkey Trot 5K
12/12 – Santa 5K

I am also walking for my SECOND time, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in September.  It's two days (Sept 11-12) with 26.2 miles on day one and 13.1 miles on day two.  I walk for my Grammie, a breast cancer survivor who is celebrating her 91st birthday on Valentine's Day next month!  I wasn't blogging at the time, but here is a brief recap I wrote in Sept 2009, a year after my first walk.

So there it is.  8 races + 2 days walking 40 miles = 10 events in 2010.  Now that's poetic.
Have a fabulous day!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2010 Goals!

Today is the first Tuesday of the new year, and it is also the day I post my running goals for 2010!

I first started my blog in August of last year because I wanted to become a runner and by writing my goals and training updates for anyone in the world to see, I would be held more accountable and thus could not back out if I had a “bad day/workout.” My goal last year was to run. To get out there and be able to run 1-3 miles. Mission: Accomplished! In one of my first posts, I talked about my LONG-TERM goals…long-term as in within the next few or even several years. Reading that post now, heck, I’ve accomplished the first two, will accomplish the third this Saturday, and in 4 and a half weeks I will accomplish the last goal I listed on my post that day.

This brings me to my 2010 running goals:
1. Finish my first ½ marathon! (Feb 7, 2010 – Surf City here I come!)
2. Increase my running foundation/endurance
3. Incorporate strength training into my routine 2-3x per week
I also want to throw in some more 5Ks and 10Ks, which will help me with goal #2.

So there it is! My running goals for 2010! This brings me to my 2010 race schedule which I’m working on and will hopefully post in the next couple of days! Stay tuned!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year!  Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, injury-free, and fun-filled 2010!!!