Monday, April 19, 2010

River City Half Marathon

Yesterday, 4.18.10, I ran my first half marathon in Sacramento. It was a perfect morning for the beautiful bicycle trail run.

We drove up to Sacramento on Saturday and spent the evening with Ian's Dad and step mom. We went and picked up the race packet and then headed to our carb dinner at 'The Old Spaghetti Factory' in Elk Grove. We met our friends for dinner. Tim, Sara, Asher, Lori, Robin, the couple they were staying with, and Lauren all were there for our delicious dinner. Amy and Jeff arrived while we were leaving. Amy had work that day.

Sara and Amy ran the full marathon on Sunday, they're start time was 7am.

Woke up at 6:40. About 7 I started eating. I had a wonderful loaded breakfast salad I had prepared before we left for our trip (knowing the hotel would not really have anything), a banana, and some hummus on whole wheat flatbread. Yummy, energy filled grub. The salad was great for replenishing some water loss due to sleep, and the potassium filled banana and yummy hummus were a great filler. About 15 minutes before the race I downed a Luna Bar and a Cliff Energy Gel. With a few swigs of water, I was ready to go!!!

Ian drove me to the start for the half and the air was filled with runner's anticipation and excitement. I was ready. Here Ian snapped a fantastic pre-race picture.....

I ran in my Vibram Five Finger Sprints. (pictured below) It was so funny walking around before the race. Without fail, everyone mumbled among they're friends about the 'shoes.' Things like "Wow, oh look she's wearing those barefoot things...." or "I've heard about those..." or just nudging and looking and chatting about how they've heard something about running barefoot, and/or these shoes, or the Nike Free's or something along those lines. It was fantastic. No one did anyone approach me about them until we were about to start. There was an awesome guy who had tried them at an expo and was asking about my experience with them. ( I LOVE THEM BY THE WAY) My feet are strong, and I have NO injuries at all.

Once the race started, I had about 6 or 7 people trot with me and chat about the shoes. We talked about the science and info behind the running barefoot trend. If you know me, you know I just love to be barefoot anyway I can. These are SO light, I don't feel like I have heavy clunky shoes weighing me down. I feel myself landing on my mid/fore foot more often, my posture is straighter, they let me feel the ground and let my toes have some space. My feet are stronger, and I am not depending on any fancy cushy inserts that would just weaken the tendons by having them stay inactive. It's just like working out any other body part, allowing my feet to naturally strengthen with work. I guess it would be like trying to lift weights with cushions around all of your muscles supporting them and doing the work for you. Your muscles would never strengthen properly that way. Also, a lot of running teams spend training time barefoot, and Nike has there new 'Free' shoe that simulates a barefoot feel. I just love them. I am not running in them to be trendy, (and seeing how everyone was just looking at me and chatting about them and not really approaching me) I TRULY believe that they are the best thing for me, my feet and my running. It seems like there are just a few people running in them right now anyway. We'll see how it is in a few years. Some people just can't give up their shoes.

The following are some pictures from the start of the race....

I finished in 2hrs 20min and 06seconds. (according to my official foot chip time)

I am super excited about it. This was my first run at this distance ever. I was super back and forth about wether or not I was going to run this race anyway. I really started training seriously only 3 1/2 weeks before the race, so I wasn't expecting a lightning pace or anything. I am vert satisfied with my pace. I ran the whole thing VERY comfortably. I was expecting to hit a wall, but never did. I just kept it steady and relaxed and stayed at a pace that was challenging, but not too much. I had one guy run with me for a few miles. He wasn't entered in the race, he was just out for his long run. He was encouraging me that my pace was great. I was consistent, comfortable and kept it relaxed. With about 2 1/2 miles to go, I passed another guy going the other way who commented... "you're doing GREAT, nice and relaxed, keep it up." I was so encouraged.

I finished strong, and though I probably could have pushed it a bit more, I was glad to get a feel for the distance. I am planning on running the Disneyland 1/2 with my sister and some friends on September 5th. I will be training for that a lot longer than I did for this one.

I will post some finish line pictures, when I get them back from the course photographer.
Ian and the family were unable to get to the finish before I made it back. There was a mix-up with the time and everything, but they supported me the rest of the day with love and admiration!!

We finished out our time in Sacramento with a visit to Sutter's Fort in the city, here is a picture of us all...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

I have an Incredible husband!!!

Tomorrow is my 25th birthday. Ian and I were blessed to have his mother come up to watch the girls while we went on a weekend adventure up to San Francisco to celebrate!!!!

I was SO blessed by the love my husband portrayed for me. He didn't give me any wrapped gifts or throw me a huge party, but he truly showed his love and appreciation for me by giving me his undivided attention ALL day with no strings attached and no questions.

We left Saturday morning around 10am. Though we prefer the scenic Hwy 1 drive up to SF, we had some shopping to do. Our first destination was REI to spend some dividend money and gift certificates. Ian pitched in his gift certificate to help fund an AMAZING waterproof running jacket for me. (I have been running a lot in the pouring rain without the needed protection, I am sure this jacket will come in handy for many years to come.)

We then proceeded to In-N-Out for a yummy lunch. Our next shopping stop was Title Nine (athletic and functional women's clothing) Ian didn't mind at all. He encouraged me to try on a bunch of dresses and outfits and really take my time. We had SO much fun. I found something I LOVED but they didn't have my size/color combo, so I bought some much needed shorts.

We headed up to the city and arrived at the hotel in perfect time to check-in at 3:00. We stayed at the Westin St. Francis, in Union Square. We got up to the room, waited for our luggage, got bundled for the chilly evening weather and headed back out.

We rode the cable car to the Wharf

We ate at a GREAT Restaurant: The Blue Mermaid Chowder House. The Chowder is AMAZING. They have some pretty unique chowder choices, and in a delicious bread bowl with a Caesar salad, some fried Calamari, and a glass of chardonnay, we shared a delicious dinner.

Next Stop was of course Ghirardelli Square for dessert:

Above is our amazing dark chocolate fudge mint sundae entitled: Mint Bliss... and it was.

We rode the cable car back to Union Square

And on the way back we had a 'tiny' delay. Just stopping in the middle of an intersection to replace the cable levers. It was so cool to watch them remove the current one by heaving it out of the car, and then load a new one in it's place. A new and unique experience for the both of us.

We got back to the hotel, and after running 9.5 miles the day before and walking around all day I was in need of a bubble bath. But we didn't bring any bubbles. SO, with no hesitation or delay, Ian and I ran out the hotel down to Macy's just 5 minutes before they closed and acquired the much needed bubble bath. A bath, a book, some red wine. It was GREAT! Ian showered, and then we watched 'The Blind Side' through the Hotel Entertainment options. We loved it.

We slept in. Took our time getting packed. Picked up the car, and headed down Highway 1 toward lunch and home. We stopped in Half Moon Bay for lunch. Again we were blessed with amazing food at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Ian had Clam Linguine and I had another salad and some beer battered fish and breaded calamari.

Something to note about us. We ALWAYS order the fried calamari when we eat out at a seafood destination. We are on the hunt for the best around, and have a short list of our preferred favorites. This place made the list. Along with the battered fish, the calamari was so crispy and light and well seasoned. It seemed to melt in your mouth. SO yummy.

The drive was an adventure down, we hit a spot of DOWNPOUR, the cars in front of us pulled over to wait it out, and we were only going maybe 5 mph. It was intense, but fun. We made it home to enjoy some time with Heather and the girls.

I am so thankful for my husband and his love for me. He really showed his love in supporting EVERYTHING I wanted to do or didn't want to do. He trusted me with every decision and supported me with positive loving feedback. It was SO relaxing and refreshing to just be away for a day with no REAL time restraints or schedule restrictions or expectations. I was blessed beyond belief for the love I felt.

So, thank you Ian Shea for loving me perfectly this weekend. Thank you Heather for watching the girls, and pitching in on the trip funding. Thank you mom and dad and Tim and Vic for the funding as well. We could not have afforded this trip on our own and are grateful for the gifts you gave to help celebrate me. I love you all.