Monday, July 25, 2005

training notes to myself

This weekend I had a bad run. In the tail end of the training, it's important to make sure I know my running routine and stick to it. It takes a while to develop and figure out what works and what doesn't, so notes are important. This section is really more for me than anyone else, so don't feel you have to read any of this.

By Wednesday (before the Saturday runs) I have to stop with the caffeine. No more lattes. Replace all those desires with iced tea (because for some reason, hot tea doesn't do it for me - unless it's a specific kind of hot tea). No alcoholic beverages (not a big thing because I'm not a drinker anyway). If I haven't done so already, I have to be in the mindset of good, healthy eating. It's true that what you eat can totally affect your run, so it's important to eat consciously. DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

Thursday is carbo-load day. What works for me is this:
Breakfast: potatoes and Morningstar veggie sausages
Lunch: noodles (hot soba noodles from Semo favorite!)
Dinner: noodles or potatoes (maybe some whole wheat pasta or something, paired with chicken)
Each of these meals must be complimented with 1-3 servings of veggies and fruit. Snacks should be fruit, veggies, or pretzels. Of course, DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

Friday: Rest is of the essence. Get to bed early. Eat light. Make proper arrangements: pack the running bag with: socks, clothes, sweat towel, slippers, dry snacks (such as soy pretzels), band-aids for blisters (just in case); set up the mini-cooler with the ice packs, fruit and a recovery drink; make sure my blood meter is set to go with strips, cleaning cloth, and tissue; pack my waist belt with: water bottle, electrolyte tablets, pain killers, lip balm with SPF, pretzels; fill gallons of water. Take a shower the night before and set aside clothes for the run. Of course, DRINK LOTS OF WATER!

Saturday: Wake up at least 1 1/2 to two hours before you have to leave the house. Head straight to the kitchen and set up a large glass of water and have breakfast: two pieces of toast with a peanut butter-flaxmeal mixture and sliced bananas. If needed, have an additional piece of fruit. Take medicine (sibu, first round of pain killers, and metformin). Go back to the room and get ready. Lather up in sunscreen. Use up that body glide. Get dressed (don't forget: knee braces, hat, watch and ID bracelet). Pack the car and drive.

Have a great run. Do not take goo or glucose tabs. I'm better off with actual food. All the artificial stuff brings my sugars way too high and makes me feel loopy. Stay hydrated and re-apply that lip balm. Stay calm, patient and healthy.

After the run: STRETCH. ICE. EAT (feel free to indulge. I deserve it!). ICE. REST. ICE. STRETCH (for good luck). ICE (for even more luck).

Listen to what my body is telling me. Rest, hydrate and ice accordingly.

And this is my training routine.

more and more blisters

I didn't realize how much the 20 miler would wipe me out, but it did. I had to take an entire week off. Instead of training in full swing afterwards, I slacked off a little bit and missed a maintenance run.

This past weekend when we ran our 8 mile short, I totally paid the price for it! I had a terrible short run. Maybe it was the heat. In my heart of hearts I know that it was because I didn't train properly. We're down to the wire and each day I feel like I'm training all over again. It's like there's something new I need to tend to each time I'm out there running. Have I been training wrong all this time? I'm not sure. I'm frustrated and feel defeated.

I'm not sure why this happened, but I developed blisters AGAIN! So my training isn't hindered by the amount of running, it's that I have to wait for these damn blisters to heal. I don't get it. I never had a problem with them before. I'm wearing the same brand of shoes I wore before (only this time I had to go 1/2 a size bigger to prevent my toenail from completely falling off). I'm wearing the right socks, body gliding as needed and all that other stuff. It's killing me. I hate blisters and I feel like I'm doomed to have even more of them. I'm diabetic, so I don't think this is all very healthy. I'm nursing them as best as I can. Any advice?

We're set to run the big 23 mile run this Saturday, but I won't be joining the team. This weekend a good friend is getting married in LA. While everyone will be conquering the 23 miles, I will be setting up my make-up kit: washing brushes, setting up palettes, hoping that I have enough foundation for all the people I have to do make-up on. Depending on how these blisters heal, I'm not sure how to make-up the 23 mile run. I'm totally freaking out about this! Maybe I should try to get in as much mileage as I can. Or maybe I should take the time to re-group mentally and figure out how I'm going to conquer the rest of the training. I'm at a loss here.

Monday, July 11, 2005

20 miles is (not) a big thing

On Saturday I ran the big 20 miles in San Francisco. In truth, I really didn't think I would make it. I've been having some minor problems with my knees, legs, feet and shoes... okay, maybe all those things were just fine and my real issue was the fear of failing to conquer the big 20 miles...

...but I did it. I completed the 20 mile run in about six and a half hours. It's a long time to be running and I'm realizing that completing the marathon is going to take much longer than I had anticipated. But right now, none of that matters because I only care about finishing the actual race and living to tell about it:)

I didn't realize that completing the 20 mile run was going to have an impact on me, but it has. Again, I really didn't think I was going to make it. At mile 6 I could feel blisters begin to from on the soles of my feet. I take back the thing about sand in my shoes in an earlier post. Those blisters from two weeks ago were from my shoes being too narrow. I found out the hard way what the consequences of too narrow shoes are. I could also feel a little irritation on my knee, but that went away by mile 8 (or maybe the pain killers just kicked in. who knows?). Regardless of what I was feeling, something inside kept telling me to keep going. So. I. did.

Don't get me wrong. I didn't run 20 miles alone. I have a great runningmate named Tzel who keeps me company in our two-person strong team "Bullet X" and makes great conversation to help the time go by fast. The city of San Francisco provides a great landscape to run in. The Runbutan coaches are also phenomenal because they keep us hydrated, fed and motivated to make the distance. With that, I would like to take a moment to thank them because they really help through some really tough times in the run. I also have a supportive family and fantastic friends who are willing to see me in my post-long run pain. Finally, I do my best to maintain my strength, nurse my injuries, and be fairly healthy. After all the technical support, it's really you and what you think you're capable of doing that determines whether you're going to finish the long runs or not.

I'm noticing a pattern when we go on these long runs. The first 6-8 miles of running for me is always the hardest because that's when all my concerns are running through my head and when I think I feel like my body is ready to give out. Once that's over, I reach a state of delirium where I think anything is possible and turning back would be tragic, so I just keep going. The last leg of the run gets hard again because I don't have any sense of where the finish is, so I tend to show down a bit and loose all sense of time and speed. It's also the time when I feel "the wall" creep up on me, so to avoid meeting "the wall," I slow down, ask fate to give me a little bit of strength, and hope I make it to the finish. So that's my state of mind when I'm running those long distances.

Reaching the finish line was AMAZING! Our group is big (35-40 people), which is why it's hard to bond with everyone. But at that moment, I could see that although we don't really know each other, we really are in this together. Hearing the cheers was the sweetest sound I've ever heard. Unfortunately, it's the aftermath that's most painful. My legs were sore and stiff. It took me FOREVER to walk back to my car and put on my slippers. When I got home, I found that my left foot had a blister the size of a sliver dollar, and my right foot had a blister over twice that size. I never thought I'd enjoy taking ice baths, but marathon training makes a person delirious, so even the craziest things seem pleasurable. This ice bath lasted 20 minutes. I know. I'm crazy. But pain makes you do crazy things. By the end of the night, my legs were ultra-sore and the soles of my feet were raw. I could barely walk and fell asleep through the two films my best friend, housemate and I watched.

I know what you're thinking... With all the post-run pain, is the training really worth it? It's an evil question, but one that I ask myself every day. In truth, the answer changes for me depending on my mood:)

On the drive home from SF I began to cry. I'm not sure why. Tears just randomly started streaming down my face and I just let out a good and probably much-needed cry. In reflecting back on the drive home, I cried because I was in total disbelief that I made it this far. I didn't think I was going to make it past 10 miles of training. But like my running pattern, I just reach a point of delirium and figure it would be tragic to go back. I cried because I realized that it's official, that I am running and going to complete this marathon. I'm actually going to do something not only for myself, but something that is beyond myself. I don't think I've ever stepped this far out of my own comfort zone. I cried because I did something great, but still don't know if what I'm doing is good enough. I cried because these mixed feelings are so bittersweet and I don't know how to feel about all this. In fact, I'm still processing things.

For now, I'm still recovering from 20 miles. I'll tell you how it goes.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005


Hello all,
I just wanted to remind you that this happens THIS WEEK! IF YOU WANT THE DISCOUNT, YOU MUST RSVP TO AVI HANGAND at! For those of you that need some gear (or just like to look athletic and fashionable), take advantage of this shopping party! The sportsbasement has TONS of stuff (clothes, shoes, gear, etc.) and most of their items are already marked down. Coming to the party allows you to save another 10% (while another 10% goes to Manilatown). So RSVP and join the Runbutans as we get our gear on for the Maui Marathon!

Runbutan Sportsbasement Shopping Party

Location: Sportsbasement Presido/Crissy Field
610 Mason Street, the Presido,San Francisco,CA

When: Thursday, July 7, 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Phone: 415.437.0100, ext. 34

Shoppers of the world UNITE!!! Help the Manilatown Running Collective (AKA- the Runbutans) BY JOINING US AT THE RUNBUTAN SHOPPING PARTY!!!!!

If you rsvp to Avi Hangad ( AND come to The Presido Sportsbasement on THURSDAY, July 7, from 5 to 8 pm, YOU WILL GET 10% off your purchases. In addition, Manilatown Heritage Foundation will get 10% too. Yup...10% to Manilatown...and we'll take the store over!

Sportsbasement and the Runbutans will also provide free refreshments (beer, snacks, and other goodies). We'll also raffle off some prizes.

So if you run, walk, cycle, camp, row, swim, yoga, go to the gym, stay active, or, sit on your butt and want to look good doing it...JOIN US at the RUNBUTAN SHOPPING PARTY.


You must RSVP to Avi Hangand at and let her know that you'll be joining us at the Shopping Party for the Manilatown Running Collective. Please rsvp by July 4.

See you at the shopping party! It's gonna be FUN. Please forward this to everyone that you know. Everyone deserves 10% off.

Email Avi ( or Rex ( if you have any questions.

For directions to the Presido Sportsbasement check out link below-

back in the groove of things

After a one week hiatus I am finally back to my training routine. I figured out what was wrong with my knee. During my last long run, I decided to wear an arch support. Apparently, my left knee doesn't like that. Yesterday I went on a 10 minute machine run and I was having similar pain. When I took off the support, my knee was fine. So there you have it. Go figure.

My legs are a bit sore, but they're healthy. My left knee sometimes bothers, but proper training and strengthening should fix it right up. I'm getting ready for the big 20 miler. Please send out prayers:)

This weekend we celebrated the 4th of July and my mom's 66th birthday. WOW! Way to go mom:)

This Thursday is the Sportsbasement party. Please see details in the "GET YOUR SPORTS GEAR ON!" entry. I hope to see you there. Please take advantage of the great deals available to you:)