Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday Mario

Yesterday was the annual BunnyFest!!  We went last year and it was a lot of fun and very informative.  My parents are in town visiting so I had planned to make it to the second half of the BunnyFest day.  There were two veterinarian speakers I wanted to listen to and I wanted to be there for the raffle.

Side note:  We went to the Computer History Museum (great museum in Mountain View) in the morning and saw this:

Nothing like seeing your favorite childhold toy behind glass in a *museum* to make you feel old.  To make myself feel better, the very first display (chronological order) in the museum had a slide rule which my dad said he used in college.  That's right!  Shock of all shockers there were no calculators when my dad was in college.  Gah.

Lots of fun booths with bunny stuff for sale.

Bunnies for petting (Again, LOTS of people brought their rabbits which I just don't get.  Rabbits don't strike me as pets that take well to being brought to strange environments with lots of crowds/other rabbits. But the bunny eye candy was pretty cute).

Mario's bounty (those treats are actually DOG treats! I didn't notice until I got home.  But they are made with all plant-based things so guess it will work)

I was especially excited about the Teach 'n Treat.  It is an enrichment toy you hide treats in and the rabbit has to use his brain a bit to get them out.  It touts "Foraging Fun!" There are escalating levels of difficulty. I started Mario off on the easiest level.  The blue circular piece in the center slides around to reveal the treat wells below.  Mario needed a little help but was able to figure it out.  I was so proud!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wednesday Wings

So Rowdy is doing much better!  I went to see him Monday and he is walking around with no issues.  Yay!  I only took him out for a short walk so as not to push him too far but he seemed back to his normal self.

So cute with his tongue hanging out.

Sadly, Rowdy's leg issues seem to have jumped over to me :(  Sunday on my run my lower calf/upper achilles got really tight and achy during my hill repeats.  I was having a good run so did another hill repeat and a two mile cool-down on the leg. Stupid.  I rolled it out and stretched it lots Monday.  Tuesday I went out for a tempo run.  It wasn't bothering me a bit until about 3.5 miles into the run.  I was having another great run so kept on pushing another 4 miles.  Stupid.  Tuesday I rolled and stretched obsessively but it is still sore today.  I am trying not to be stupid so skipped today's run and tomorrow is a rest day.  Fingers crossed it will be better for my long run Friday.

I slapped a sample Salanpas patch I had on it.  Wow!  Major relief!  The pain area is at the mid point of the patch.  It feels bruised when you press on that area.

So I went ahead and ordered Garfield Garmin 3.0.  I have a feeling the issues I have been having are software based and not hardware based but I decided that a $350 piece of equipment shouldn't be giving me this much headache.  Is it too much to ask for one that works out of the box?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Monday Mario

My newest toy is a Nikon DSLR.  I took photography for two years in high school and was a photographer for my high school newspaper a year after that.  This is back in the day of 35mm black and white photography.  I used my dad's old, heavy, metal, Nikon SLR which is an awesome piece of equipment but pretty bare bones.  My new digital toy with hundreds of buttons and knobs is a bit intimidating.  I haven't done much with it except point and shoot (I'm hoping to attend a workshop next month).  But I have to say I am so impressed with the results with my minimal knowledge.  I really wanted the camera to be able to take better photos of Mario and also to be able to get better race photos.  For both of these things fast, prompt shutter speed is key.

Fast shutter speed, indeed!

I call this Mario's "Neurotic Bunny" habit.  Every now and then he chews on the bars.

Another thing is the ability to zoom.  If Mario is doing something I want to get a photo of, I usually have to get really close to him which causes him to stop and stare at me. Or, he will abandon his cute activity to come running over to me.  With the new camera I can zoom in and he is unaware I'm taking photos.  I also get an immediate reaction from the camera which means I capture exactly the moment I want versus waiting for the lag of the camera and capturing some other random moment.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Garmin Woes, Week 2

Introducing Garfield Garmin who replaced Garmin the Garmin.  If you're wondering why I didn't make a big stink about his arrival it is because he has been a grumpy fool the last few months and I haven't really felt like giving him the blog space.

Sunday:  7 miles @ 9:51 pace;  Did two Strawberry Hills ascents.

Tuesday:  6 miles, including 2x 1600m with 800m recovery; I was really excited to do this workout because I haven't done mile repeats since January.  It is a very long story but the short version is that Garfield Garmin decided to eat my splits like lasagna.  I'm fairly certain they were sub-8:00 and I was even thinking I might have posted an unofficial mile PR (previously 7:53).  But I guess we'll never know...  I suppose the important thing is that I'm running faster than I was pre-Texas.

Wednesday:  7 miles @ 9:42 pace

Friday:  14 miles @ 9:39 pace;  The miles went by so quickly and I felt strong.  I think it is safe to say that my "easy" pace has gone sub-10:00 which is right where I want to be right now.  Dipped down into the low-9:00's for a bit at the end which felt like a nice working pace.

Garmin the Garmin was a rockstar and never gave me huge troubles.  My dad's Garmin 405 broke and I mentioned to him that when I finally upgraded mine I would give him my old one.  It was almost my birthday so my dad offered to buy me a new one if I gave him my old one.  WIN!  So I finally got my lovely new orange Garmin 310XT.  I was smart and bought it from REI (you can return anything, anytime for any reason) in case I got a lemon.

Garfield 1.0 was a lemon.  After a few runs he locked up and I promptly took him back and returned him to REI.  I then ordered a new one.  Garfield 2.0 (the one I currently have) then went on to lock up the same way as Garfield 1.0!!  Argh!!!  I called Garmin support at this point since obviously it was some sort of widespread issue.  I was told to reset the unit and the next software update should take care of it.  Garfield 2.0 was behaving pretty well after this, though I held my breath every time we'd start off to see if it is going to lock up.

Well, the other day the long awaited software update was posted. They actually didn't have my issue listed as one of the fixes, but I went ahead and updated.  This caused the debacle of Tuesday's run.  AND now ever since Garfield isn't locking satellites as well in the beginning of the run.  My distance and pace is all wonky the first half a mile and I've had to add on extra mileage at the end of my run to make up for this.

I've decided this is all kharma for deporting Garmin the Garmin before his time.  I liked to think of his time with my dad as a nice retirement in Hawaii doing lesiurely 2 mile runs.  Apparently he preferred running marathons with me.  I haven't decided if I should stick with Garfield 2.0 for a bit or get yet another one or just scrap this whole idea.  Maybe Garmin 610?  I think I prefer buttons to a touch screen.    I am starting to think REI has some sort of bad apple bunch of 310's lying around because most people seem pretty pleased with theirs.  Le sigh.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wednesday Wings & Week 1

It has been a while since we had a Rowdy photo! This horse will stand there looking at you with his ears pricked like this for far longer than any other horse I have ever met. This means I have TONS of photos like this.

Rowdy is not doing so well right now. I went out on Monday and he was limping pretty badly on his front foreleg. They are giving him pain killers and I know they have moved him to a flatter paddock. He was still happy to see me and I took him out for some grooming and grazing. He didn't seem reluctant to walk when asked and wasn't trying to keep weight off the leg when standing so I'm hoping it isn't so terrible. Hopefully it is just some old-man ache that goes away soon.

I decided to start up my week workout wrap-ups again. It may start to feel sort of redundant what with my posting on Daily Mile, but I'll try it for a bit and see how it goes.

Sunday: 7 miles @ 9:21 pace; It felt natural so I went with the flow and pushed just a little at the end.

Tuesday: 6.2 miles including 4 mile @ 8:30 pace; My fastest tempo run ever was on February 22nd, the day Wings dropped me on my head. I had never run an 8:30 average pace before and I was so jazzed to be so close to dropping my tempo pace down into the 8:20's. Well it appears I am back where I left off which is really suprising to me. I thought I'd have to do these workouts this month slower than where I left off and hopefully upon repeating them the following month I'd gain some ground on my old speed. Not so. Thank you, legs.

Wednesday: 5 miles @ 9:55 pace; Generally Wednesdays come with heavy legs from Tuesday speed. I felt pretty good this day, though. I even went up Strawberry Hill once. I am trying to incorporate Strawberry Hill ascents and descents a lot more into my training. Strawberry Hill is a half a mile incline that really gets your heart pumping. I'm still tinkering with how and where I fit the hill work in, but I love it.

Friday: 12 miles @ 9:29 pace; Much faster than I would generally do a long run (yes, 12 miles is a long run these days) but it felt like a comfortable working pace so I let myself stick with it. When I trained for San Francisco back in 2009 I remember that my tempo pace was in the 9:20's and I was really jazzed about that. I find it very encouraging to see how far I've come since then.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Monday Mario

Bunny Loafing on a box can sure take a lot out of you.


Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Favorites -- Firedaughter

It has been at least over a year since I discovered Firedaughter. I stumbled upon it on Etsy (an online venue for people to sell handmade and vintage items). Firedaughter is a one woman show put on by Samya. She is a kick ass runner (she just ran Boston), mother, and fire wife who makes awesome tops that highlight all these avenues of her life (oh, she is also a Twilight fan -- I know some of you people are Twilight diehards -- and she makes baseball tees).

Every shirt is handmade when you order it. You can pick from various styles of tops (tanks, long sleeves, sweat shirts) in various colors and also the ink color to create a very personal shirt.

I have the following designs so far:

Recently, Samya came out with her "Fight For It" shirt. She describes it best herself here. Twenty percent of every sale goes directly to St. Jude's. I love the saying and I love the cause.

Definitely check out all her awesome designs. Samya is super sweet and has been an absolute pleasure to deal with every single time. People call her creations, "Pretties" and I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Fight For It

My new running mantra has become, "Fight For It." I was previously getting a bit down about the loss of fitness the whole fall-on-head-ankle-debacle cost me. And every day I was out there and things were feeling tough, I'd repeat it in my head to buckle down and just keep plugging away. It made me channel my anger and frustration into good running. Let me tell you, it works. I've used "Believe" in the past which was awesome during races and pulled me through. But I currently like the bite of tenacity and empowerment behind "Fight For It" more right now. I intend to use this one for a bit. There is an awesome story about the above tank which I'll post this Friday.

My running has been going really well and pace-wise I am pretty much back to where I'd like to be at this point in training. If I'm being honest I am amazed at how quickly it came back and I am excited to get on to the meat of training.

I took a good hard look at my tentative training schedule last night and already feel the need to revamp it. I'm a little ahead of the curve right now and want to keep building on that, mileage-wise. Originally I was treating June as a freebie month where I was following the beginning weeks of my usual marathon training schedule. Then, at the end of the month I was going to repeat those initial weeks when I jumped back into official training.

I think I need to treat these weeks as the first few weeks of official training to get my mileage up higher before ET in August. ET is a total training run with no real time goal. However, it is at altitude and is all uphill the first 13 miles. I want to put myself in the best position to perform well under the altitude+uphill combo.

Two, I am having some misgivings about running Half Moon Bay AND Two Cities/Fresno. A part of me feels that the races are too close together. I was looking at CIM in December which would give me another extra month of training. It would also open up the Humboldt Half question and allow me to get a good half marathon race on the schedule. But I reread some friend's CIM reports (and also my own) which pretty much made me NOT want to rerun that course. I think my heart is with Fresno this year.

So this leads me to think about how I want to approach Half Moon Bay. I don't think I can race both Half Moon Bay and Fresno. I don't even think it is wise for me to set a semi-aggresive time goal for Half Moon Bay (I was thinking maybe something in the 4:15 range, initially). I have to either throw in an easy 4:35 effort or maybe drop down to the half. If I decide to just go for it at Half Moon Bay, I suppose Fresno would be a moot point. I'll have to see how things shape up the next few months.

Any thoughts or suggestions would be very much appreciated!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Monday Mario

They say bunnies love to have bells and toss toys to throw around. Mario has never been really big into any toy I've gotten him. I occasionally cycle these rings into his house because he pushes them, digs at them, and does toss them side to side. I sometimes wonder if they are really more of an annoyance to him and he is trying to get rid of them vs. him having a good time. You be the judge: