Sunday, September 30, 2007

Be Strong

Phase II - Regressive Count - Week Nine
09/24/07 - 09/30/07
Week Total: 6.8

Last Sunday my daughter Alejandra and I learned that one of her best friends tragically died a few hours before. The world stopped for a while.

I know how hard this is and will be for Ale. I wanted desperately to be with my daughter, not as her running partner but as her companion. Long hours in the phone during the week was our only choice to be as close as we could be. Putting things in perspective, nothing was a priority but to mourn. Being
quiet, silent or crying at home. Running was put on the side.

My week should have logged 28 miles but I only ran 6.8 on Saturday. I did not care if I would complete my mileage this week, or if the only run was good or bad, or fast or slow, or if my heart rate was high or low.

Craig wrote in one of my posts that
"Running is the place where he processes thoughts and experiences and finds some clarity about life ." With that thought, my only run of the week was focus on life as is the most precious gift we have.

Life is short, but as my husband put it:
"life is beautiful, remember that when you get teary eyed. Cling to what you have, not to what you can't change."

Ale, my daughter, I adore you. Be strong. Treasure all the beautiful moments you shared with Veronica. Treasure them forever.

Veronica, you'll always be in the hearts of all you touched, especially your friends for 15 years from Kindergarten. God Bless Your Soul.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Phase II - Regressive Count - Week Ten
09/17/07 - 09/23/07
Week Total: 28.9

Seventeen is a prime number, my favorite number, the day I was born, the day my son Diego was born, the age when my husband went to Vietnam and my favorite age when I was young.

Seventeen is the number of miles I ran yesterday with results singing "improvement" over previous weeks.

The day was cold, 55F, and the sky was overcasted. Not having any desire to drive 20+ miles to Seward Park in Seattle, I stayed in Mukilteo. My regular route there is 7.2 miles, which I doubled, throwing 3 more miles in the same route.

The streets were empty during my whole run.
My heart rate was lower than normal, being inclined to believe that was due to the cold temperature.

Some sadness surrounded me after a stressful work week, work negative feelings kept coming back pounding in my head. Same thing happened during my 8-miler on Wednesday in DC, when crossing the Potomac I literally made the gesture of grabbing the work thoughts out of my mind and threw them over the Memorial Bridge. It worked.

But, o
n Saturday, not having a bridge to throw unwelcome thoughts, I abstracted myself thinking on my number and relating it to the amount of miles I needed to achieve that day. I clicked "play" and transposed myself to my 17's, as well to my kids'. It was a nice movie.

more than 3 hours of absolute solitude I re-confirmed it was a beautiful and magic age.

Seventeen only comes once in a lifetime,
Don't it just fly by wild and free
Goin' any way the wind blew baby
Seventeen livin' on crazy dreams
Rock and roll and faded blue jeans
And standing on the edge of everything

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Just The Two Of Us. We Can Make It If We Try

Phase II - Regressive Count - Week Eleven
09/10/07 - 09/16/07
Week Total: 25.5

My running partner (my beautiful daughter Alejandra) and I had this week a very close encounter, although still 7,000 miles apart.

She received 3 CDs I sent with my long-runs playlist. We spent 3 hours in the phone listening it together, and making comments about it: This is cool! This is too slow! Isn't this awesome? For being so young, you have a great taste for classic rock, girl, must be in the genes!

Also we completed this week almost a marathon distance between the two of us. Both ran our max distance ever. She did 10 miles, I did 15.5. It was tough for both of us.

My 15-miler was done on Lake Washington Blvd, following Seattle's marathon route.
My knees had the same pain that last week, "oh, patella, oh". Heat, ice, icyhot, fish pills, glucosamin, chondroitin, etc, part of the treatment. I still quite don't understand why, all of a sudden this pain, and I don't want to even think on how to add 10.5 miles to this package.

Alejandra had pain in the ball of her feet (metatarsalgia) and in her hips. She has been running with a terrible pair of Adidas running shoes, and being mom, so concerned, encouraged her to get new shoes. As she also overpronates, I recommended her the Asics Kayano 13, but she could not find them in
Bangkok & Chiang Mai, the two biggest cities in Thailand. As the Asics for underpronators (Nimbus) cost there $200!!!, we decided that I will buy the Kayano in the States and ship to her.

On Thursday I went to Road Runners by Green Lake and bought the shoes. Now our feet will continue running alone, but pacing sometimes the same music and feeling together the same nice cushion and comfort, and hopefully with less pain.

We need just to keep the faith on us.

Ale, just the two of us, we can make it if we try (and KEEP TRYING). I love you.


Sunday, September 9, 2007

La Patella

Phase II - Regressive Count - Week Twelve
09/03/07 - 09/09/07
Week Total: 22.9

No, it is not a veal or chicken scaloppine with mushroom portobello. Nor is a typo on my favorite dish, paella. It is that I hurt my knees. It's "Runner's Knees: Chrondomalacia Patella".

Yesterday I went for my 14 miles run, through a very nice route in Long Beach, California. Along water, and at a nice temperature of 66F. First along the Ocean, then through Naples Rivo Alto Canal, then Alamitos Bay Marina, back to the Ocean, Shoreline Marina and a last mile by the Ocean again.

The plan to ensure "non-depletion" was to walk for a minute every 10 minutes and having my GU's every 45 minutes. By mile 8, my legs were fine, my breathing was steady, so was my heart at an average of 152 bpm. However,
I started to feel pain in my knees. I kept going and also felt pain in my insteps, more in the right than in the left, which I assumed was due to tight shoelaces.

Every start after a walk break was harder than the previous, but I kept going. By mile 13 the pain was huge, but I could continue. Stupidly, I sprinted the last 0.2 miles, as fast as I could.

For the rest of the day I could barely walk due to my knees. Meanwhile massaging my right instep I touched something in a way that gave me a terrible pain. So, my two knees and my right foot were out of order, and I was limping for a while. After icing my foot, the pain in the instep was gone. The knees keep hurting.

I am concerned that I am injured now. My calves and hamstrings feel like if I walked in the park, but the pain in my knees is severe.

Would it be any relationship between the instep pain and the knee pain?

Or is the patella (knee cap) imbalanced due to weak quadriceps?

I see myself tomorrow visiting the running store to
get a strap for compression and stability to the Patella.

Ah, and no question, legs extensions twice a week.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

All Dressed Up and Nowhere To Go

Phase II - Regressive Count - Week Thirteen
08/27/07 - 09/02/07
Week Total: 19.6

The first marathon plan I considered included two races. One 5K on week 5 and a 10K on week 10. The plan that I decided to follow does not have races, but I kept them on my schedule anyway. I registered in Bank to Bay in Tacoma, WA on Sep 9, which benefits the Tacoma Public Schools Help-a-Student fund; and I plan to participate in the UW Dawg Dash, Seattle, on Oct. 14th.

Plans for the 5K changed as I came to work to Long Beach/Seal Beach for the first week of September, not being able to run the Bank to Bay. I checked the races in SoCal and found a 5k/12K, the "
ION® Bridge To Breakwater® ", on Sep. 1st, in San Pedro, just only 6 miles from my second home in Long Beach. I registered, happy of running a race on a different state, and by San Pedro's waterfront. On Friday afternoon I finally got the course map of the races and called my attention than they were around several streets and not on the waterfront. Worst than that, the 12K were 5 loops on those streets. That did not sound logic to me, but hey, I just wanted to race.

Saturday morning I woke up really early to have an early breakfast (
and to digest it on time) , then got ready, and minutes before leaving, while checking directions, I learned that the races were canceled. Still I went with my hubby to the race place. The place was all set up for the races, but we were told that due to permit issues they had to cancel them. They gave us our goody bags, T-shirt, and let us know they will refund the race fee. Even though I felt sorry for the organizers I cannot understand how registration could even start weeks before, without having all the logistics in place.

So, I was there at the starting line with many other runners "all dressed up and nowhere to go".

Came back home and I traded my race for a 7.5-mile run on nice but smoggy Long Beach. Not bad after all.

The week went well, but keep going slow. My initial goal was to finish, but now I'd like to get a little bit faster, or less slower. More interval training, perhaps?

Note on the Race:

Through the San Francisco Gate I learned that "Hundreds of runners were left standing at the starting line after a [5K & 12K races were] canceled at the last minute. Organizers of the "San Pedro Bridge to Breakers" race failed to buy insurance and get necessary permits for the competition, which was scheduled to start early Saturday. Runners from across Southern California showed up at the Vincent Thomas Bridge just after dawn, having missed an e-mail sent Friday night that the race was canceled. Last year's race was marred by complaints that its waterfront course prevented businesses and their customers from getting to stores, and Los Angeles city officials said organizer Dave Behar was obligated to solve that problem before getting permits. At the last minute, Behar moved the marathon to five laps around a gritty industrial area near the port, but did not obtain permits for those street closures either. Behar spent Saturday explaining to runners how to get refunds on their $30 entry fee."