Cody Nelson's National AIDS Marathon Training Journal
Wednesday, December 11, 2002
Honolulu Marathon 2002
I did it! And I'm home from Hawaii, sunburned and tired, but full of happy memories. I had a great time, and the combined San Francisco and Los Angeles AIDS Marathon programs raised over six million dollars for AIDS/HIV services in our cities.
It was a lot harder marathon than I'd hoped, because I was in a bad car accident a week before, on my way home from Tehachapi after Thanksgiving, and pulled a muscle in my side. I ended up having to miss the final eight-mile run with my girls, and for a while I thought I might not be able to do the marathon at all, but I went to Hawaii anyway and was feeling better by the time marathon day rolled around, so I went out intending to finish.
One of the other women in my pace group was also injured, so we decided to do the marathon together, taking it easy and doing a lot of walking. It was my slowest marathon ever, at 8:47:46, but we finished! And, as we liked to say as we watched even more tired runners coming in behind us, we weren't last! :)
Complete race-day report, with lots of photos, can be found here.
It's been a great six months! Now I'm going to take some time off from marathoning and relax for a while! Thanks so much to all my supporters.
Sunday, November 17, 2002
It was an easy eight-mile run through the park today. It was over so quickly, I hardly felt like I did anything! Home by 11:00 am -- that's pretty early, especially compared to last week's 26-miler!
A lot of people apparently decided to take the day off. Only two people from my group showed up (and my other runner was a little late, so I thought I might have to join another group for the day, which I didn't really want to do), and we had a nice run. I think we went a little faster than we were supposed to -- we were told to run one minute/mile slower than our original pace, for recovery, which would have been 15 minute miles for us, but most of our miles were between 13:30 and 14:30. Still, we felt good and didn't have any problems, so I think it was all right. We ran a 3:2 run/walk ratio, which we haven't done in a while, so that took a little getting used to.
We ran around Stowe Lake, which pleased me, because I like that lake and we haven't done it in a while. Our entire route was within the park, on a nice sunny, slightly breezy day, then were treated with tortilla chips and salsa and Oreos afterwards. Ahh. A very pleasant run.
Monday, November 11, 2002
Whee! We did our 26-mile training run, almost the length of a full marathon.
(We didn't do the last two-tenths of a mile -- have to save something for the
actual marathon!) It was a cold and rainy day, which was nice as far as the
coolness, but not so good for the wetness. But it wasn't biting cold, so I was
fine with it. I don't mind being wet as long as I'm not freezing.
There had also been a major storm in the Bay Area a few days ago, so Golden
Gate Park was full of blown-down trees and branches, and part of Great Highway
was closed. It was a wild, wet day.
Me, I was wet, but not very wild. I'd been down in Tehachapi for five days
the week before, getting my new place ready to move into, and I was still pretty
tired, as well as missing my maintenance runs. The run actually went pretty
well -- we did a 2:2 run/walk ratio, with a target pace of 16 minutes/mile,
and finished in around seven and a half or eight hours (I wasn't paying attention
to when we started, but I think we ran from about 9 am to 4:30 pm), and I made
it with no problems beyond sore feet and log-like legs.
The route went up and down the Great Highway, through Sutro Heights Park, around
Lake Merced, and all through the Park -- all our usual routes. All the run sites
all over the Bay Area joined together to do the 26-mile run in San Francisco
this week, so our cohorts from Novato and Walnut Creek joined us to discover
the joys of running on hills and in cool weather. It was pretty festive, with
lots of friendly volunteers handing out goodies and water and encouragement
along the way. I'm learning that, while I can't eat food before I begin a run,
on the long runs I do better if I eat something after three or four hours. Like
that piece of pizza at 15 miles on the 23-mile run! This time I felt free to
stuff myself with Cheez-Its and a bagel at 15 miles, and it was yummy. Guess
I'll have to bring a bagel along with me in Honolulu!
Afterwards, there was a nice big spread of goodies supplied by our sponsors.
I was too tired to stay for long, but I scored a box of donated Krispy Kremes
to take home with me. It was a long day, but a successful one.
Sunday, October 27, 2002
This week was a short, eight-mile recovery run, and I really needed it after
last week's twenty-three miler! I had felt fine after last Sunday's run, but
developed some very sore hamstrings after a day or two, and once again didn't
manage to get my mid-week runs in (although I did walk home from the BART station
on Tuesday, which took about 50 minutes and was almost as good as a run), so
I was a bit stiff today. We did our original 3:2 run/walk ratio, which I haven't
done in a while, having missed the last few short runs, so it was a little odd
to get back into it. We were also keeping more or less to our 14 minute/mile
We ran down Great Highway to Sloat and back, then up MLK Drive to Transverse,
and back along the bridle trails near Fulton. It went pretty well, aside from
some pain in my right leg around the middle of the run. But I kept going and
it went away, so it wasn't a problem. I finally got around to getting some new
shoes yesterdayI wanted to get another pair of Nikes, like my last ones,
but they didn't have any, so I got Sauconys instead. I was a bit concerned about
whether the leather side piece would rub against the joint on my right little
toe, which tends to get sore if the shoe's too snug, but it was fine for eight
miles, so I think they'll be okay. My left big toe, which is my other sore spot,
also feels fine. So yay! Good new shoes and a good run.
Sunday, October 20, 2002
Twenty-three miles today! I was a bit worried about it, since I've missed the
last two ten-mile runs, and haven't even been able to get all my maintenance
runs in. I've been tired, and busy, and allergic, and running back and forth
to Tehachapi buying a new home (which I'm very excited about, but it's a lot
of work!). Last weekend, I had to go back down to meet with the seller, who
was only available on Sundays, since he works every other day of the week. I'd
hoped to be able to fit in a ten-miler on my own when I got back, but the six-hour
drive from here to there takes too much out of me. I shouldn't have to go back
down until after the sale closes on November 1, but then I'll be making trips
down to start working on getting the place fixed up to move into, so I may end
up missing some more runs in November, but I'm going to try hard to get as many
done as possible, since the marathon is coming soon!
Anyway, the twenty-three miler went really well, considering. I need new shoes
pretty badly -- my feet were feeling the pounding of the pavement -- and I hadn't
gotten around to stocking up on goo, so I didn't have my usual snacks, but in
a way I think that worked in my favor, because I ended up eating some different
things that turned out to make me feel pretty good. For one thing, I'd bought
a Starbucks Frappuccino at the corner store last night and drank it this morning
for a little boost of caffeine and milk before the run. So I was feeling pretty
peppy right off the bat. Then, one of the people in my group gave me a couple
of goos, so I had those. And then, when we passed by our starting place at mile
15, our volunteers had pizza for us! (Probably for the people finishing, but
hey! If we'd waited until we finished, it would have been long gone!) Now, ordinarily,
I'd never eat anything that substantial during a run, and especially not pizza,
but I was really hungry today for some reason, and I just couldn't resist
a slice of cheese pizza. And it was great! Really gave me a lift. Also did my
usual trick of taking aspirin at about 15 miles, and that also helped me feel
better for the last stretch. So I finished the run feeling pretty good. Tired
and sore, but not exhausted or wiped out.
The route was similar to the twenty-miler, with a few added bits. It was the
same three-loop course, first going around the polo field and then down Sunset
to Pine Lake Park and around the lake. Then we continued down Sunset to Ocean
and back. Second loop was up Great Highway to the Cliff House, then down Great
Highway to Sloat and back. Then the third loop was through Golden Gate Park
to the Panhandle, out to Masonic and back. It was a cool and cloudy day for
the most part, with the sun only breaking through for an hour or so, which was
nice weather for running. We finished in about 6:40, running a 2:2 run/walk ratio, and a target pace of 16 minute miles. Averaged about 17:39 minutes/mile with bathroom and water breaks and so on, which is just about right.
I'm pretty happy that I was able to do so well on a twenty-three mile run,
even after missing two weeks of long runs. Go me!
Monday, October 7, 2002
I didn't run this week. Sigh. I was down in Tehachapi all week, visiting my
brother and looking at properties to buy, and even though I came home on Friday,
with the intention of having a full day to rest and recover before my run, I
was completely exhausted and feeling sick so I didn't run on Sunday. I thought
if I felt better, I'd do the run on my own on Monday, but I was still feeling
pretty lousy so I decided to just skip it. It would have been a ten-mile run
recovery run, so I figured I could afford to miss it this once, especially since
next Sunday is another ten-miler, and we don't do another long run until the
So I've been concentrating on doing my maintenance runs during the week, and
trying to get lots of rest, and preparing for this week's run.
Sunday, September 29, 2002
And also Week Sixteen - I forgot to write last week. Oops! Well, it was a nine-mile
run through the Park, with lots of little loops and turns around the Polo Field
and Stow Lake and through the Rhododendron Garden, and it went just fine.
This week was a twenty-mile run, and the biggest news of the week is that,
for once, I didn't have to take the bus to the run site, because I now have
a car! I bought myself a Toyota RAV4 on Friday, and got to drive my brand new
car to the Park.
The route was a little unusual - we ran down Sunset to Vicente, then to Stern
Grove and around Pine Lake, back to the Park and over to the ocean, down the
Great Highway to Santiago and back, then through the Park on JFK out to the
Panhandle to Masonic and back. It was a pleasant run, and nice to do something
a little different. The weather was gorgeous - enough so that I feel like I
got a little sunburn.
I felt fine while I was running, and finished the twenty miles with no problems,
but afterwards I felt a little sick. I'm not sure why. The heat? Doesn't usually
bother me. The only things I did differently were filling my bottle with Gatorade
instead of plain water when I started out this morning and eating lots of gummi
bears along the way. Either of these might have upset my stomach, or maybe it
was that seafood salad I bought at the corner Walgreens yesterday. Maybe it
was just a bad day. In any case, I did my twenty miles.
The only other thing is I really need to get some new shoes soon. My current
pair is getting pretty worn, and I don't think they fit as well as they should
to begin with. My left big toe always gets sore, and the toenail is coming loose.
My right foot was a little sore today, too. I'll have to try to make time to
get to the shoe store before next week's run.
Sunday, September 15, 2002
Eighteen miles today! It was a good run, nice cool weather, nice low-key run.
There were only five of us running in our group today, which made it a little
more relaxed, I think. Since we were doing a longer run, we slowed down our
pace and interval, running 15 minute miles at a 2:2 run/walk ratio (and my watch
is still working!). The route was down Great Highway to Sloat and back, through
the park to the Polo Fields (running up Bernice Rogers, across JFK and down
Chain of Lakes Drive, instead of the usual straight up MLK and Middle Drive),
then down Sunset, around Lake Merced and back. The other new twist was a slight
detour from Vicente to the west end of Stern Grove, around Pine Lake and back.
I told everyone the story of the AIDS Marathon getting kicked out of Stern Grove
last year (for making too much noise while running past a wedding), and warned
everyone about the very steep path at the back entrance to the Grove (when they
saw it, our first-year runners exclaimed, "You said it was steep, but I
didn't think it would be that steep!").
After the run, we headed up past the Cliff House to Louis' diner to have a
late lunch overlooking the old Sutro Baths and out over the ocean. The weather
had cleared up and it was a beautiful day, blue skies and puffy white clouds
over a clear blue sea. It was fun to sit and relax with the "girls"
for a while, to chat without having to concentrate on keeping the pace and watching
the trails. And, we presented our soon-to-be-married runner Leigh with a gift
certificate for a dinner at Green's for a wedding present.
Sunday, September 8, 2002
Today's run was another eight-mile recovery run. The hardest part about it
was figuring out where the course was! There were lots of twists and turns and
back trails, and I"m not at all sure we always chose the right way. But
we got from one end to the other, and it was approximately eight miles, so it
was all good!
We began by running down to MLK, up Middle Drive to the Polo Fields, then cut
across on a bike path to JFK. We went down JFK to Stow Lake, once around Stow
Lake (clockwise! we were supposed to run clockwise!), after "christening"
the brand new clean and shiny bathrooms, then up JFK to the museums where we
turned in to run past the big hole in the ground where the DeYoung Museum used
to be (we were pleased to see the sphinxes were still there, although they no
longer have an entrance to anything to guard) and back across to MLK, where
we headed back up past the Shakespeare Garden, and through the AIDS Memorial
Grove. We ended up running along the high back trail along the AIDS Memorial
Grove, to many cries of "are you sure we're going the right way?"
But we made it through and back out to JFK, where we turned back and headed
The trickiest part was when we turned off onto the Bridal Trail after Transverse
Drive. From there we knew we were supposed to follow the trail alongside Fulton,
but the trail kept twisting and turning and splitting off and being blocked
by fences and crossing roads, and at some point we just threw up our hands and
kept running in the general direction until we got safely back to our start.
Let's hope the eighteen-miler is a little less confusing, or we may never find
our way home!
Thursday, September 5, 2002
Having been out of town for the Labor Day weekend, I did my 8-mile run on my
own on Tuesday this week. At this point, I'm enough of an "old hand"
at this that running eight miles by myself is no big deal. I ran from my place,
down to the end of the Panhandle, through the Panhandle and Golden Gate Park
to the bison paddock and back. I was feeling a bit worn out, but I took it easy
and the weather was cool and it was a pleasant run.
The hardest thing about doing the eight-mile run this way is that, once I get
as far as the Bison Paddock, it's hard to make myself turn around and go back!
It feels like it's so close to the ocean, it's a shame not to just go ahead
and run the rest of the way. But I stuck to my schedule and got my run in.
Fundraising is hanging in there. I managed to meet the September 4 deadline
with over 00, in order to avoid having my credit card charged, and now I
have until October 11 to reach 00. That's going to be a bit harder - my eBay
auctions have been doing well, but I'm running out of things to sell, so I'm
going to have to think about what to do next!
Sunday, August 25, 2002
I didn't write last week because, well, I didn't run. I was out of town from
Saturday through Wednesday, and I was hoping to get my seven-mile recovery run
in on Friday before I left, but I had too much other stuff to do to get ready
for my trip, so I skipped it. Then, of course, there wasn't time to fit it in
when I got back. I ended up working at the AIDS Marathon office, helping with
data entry for the travel forms, on Thursday and Friday, so I didn't even do
any short maintenance runs this past week. Bad me!
But, to make up for the missing week's update, here's my finisher photo from
the Chronicle Marathon. Don't I look strong and happy! :)
Today's run was 16 miles. Since we are now getting to the longer runs, our
fabulous coach John told us to add a minute to our normal pace and also increase
the walk interval. So we used a 2:2 walk/run ratio, with a goal pace of 15 minutes
per mile. I was glad for the slower pace, since I was still tired from my trip
and the unaccustomed workdays. But despite some extra tiredness in my legs,
the run went well and I feel fine afterwards.
It was also a more pleasant run because our pace group leader, whom I mentioned
we'd had some problems with, decided to leave our group to run with a faster
group. So the rest of us regrouped on our own, and had a nice relaxing run without
anyone grumbling at us for taking bathroom breaks or stopping at every walk
break to yell at us to hurry and catch up! I'm sure he's happier without us,
too, although I doubt he's going to be able to find a group that never has to
stop at the bathrooms....
Our route was similar to the 14-mile run: down Great Highway to Ulloa and back,
up MLK and Middle Drive to the Polo Fields, down Sunset to Lake Merced, around
the lake and then back up Sunset and Middle Drive back to where we started.
It was cold today! and we were all shivering waiting to start. While
we were running we were okay, but once we finished and stopped to eat and wait
to cheer in the last runner, we all turned into popsicles! This was definitely
the coldest run of our training! Had us all thinking dreamily of running in
Next week, I'll be out of town again for Labor Day weekend, but I expect to
get my 8-mile recovery run in on either Thursday before or Tuesday when I get
back. I asked Coach John which day would be better, but he said either would
be fine, since we're having two 8-mile weekends in a row. So I'll just wait
and see how I feel.
Sunday, August 11, 2002
Our run today was 14 miles. As a celebration of reaching a distance of over
half a marathon, we had a Hawaiian themed run. Many of us wore leis. I think
I was the only one there in an actual Hawaiian shirt! Our intrepid coach John
wore a grass skirt. Go John!
We ran down the Great Highway almost to Noriega and back, then up MLK Jr and
Middle Drive to the Polo Fields, down Sunset to Lake Merced, once around
the lake and back up Sunset to the Park. It was a good run. The weather, which
has been heat-wave hot the past few days, finally cooled down, and it was overcast
and pleasant running weather. I was looking forward to doing the Lake Merced
runI haven't done it since last year's training, and it was something
different. We did a 3:2 interval today, and I think we all liked it much better
than the 3:1, so I think we'll stick with that now.
We had a bit of a mutiny as far as our pace group leader goes. Well, actually,
he abandoned us, too. He always wants to go faster than the rest of us (and
faster than our assigned pace), and never wants to make bathroom stops, won't
wait for people to fill their bottles at water stops or to cross at intersections.
For a while he and one other runner were getting farther and farther ahead of
the rest of us, and at every walk break he'd stop and turn around and wave at
us, yelling, "Come on!" Finally, we told him to go on ahead without
us, because we weren't going to go any faster. Fortunately, we knew our route
and had someone with a watch that could time our intervals, so we just continued
on our own. We complained to John afterwards, but we will probably just end
up forming our own pace group without him. I got very irritated with him, and
I don't like running with bad feelings, so I hope we can just part ways.
I'm definitely going to have to buy a new watch now. I thought I'd figured
out the problem with mineit seemed to work okay if I didn't try to do
more than one function at a time. But today I was only using the split timer
and it still went wacky. I reset it three times, but it kept stopping on me,
so I officially am giving up on it. Maybe one day this week I'll go to the Sports
Basement and use the 10% off coupon I picked up at the Chronicle Marathon Expo.
Sunday, August 4, 2002
Today was a recovery run of only six miles, and I really needed it after my marathon last week! I felt a little stiff at first, and my right hamstring is giving me even more twinges than usual, but otherwise it went fine. I didn't do any midweek runs this past week, thinking I'd be better off just resting up from the marathon, so I'm sure that's one reason I was still feeling stiff. I really need to get back into my midweek training now!
We talked about switching to a 3:2 interval, instead of the 3:1 we've been doing - and I did my part to agitate for that! The Saturday group uses a 3:2 interval, and those of our group who ran on Saturday last week liked doing it, and wanted our group to try it. We didn't this week, but I think next week even if the whole group doesn't want to do it, I'll see if part of the group wants to split off and do 3:2 instead. Otherwise, I might switch to Saturdays for my group runs.
Today's run was through Golden Gate Park, up JFK Drive to the Conservatory of Flowers and back. The weather was cool and overcast. I was pleased that my watch worked the whole time, so that I was able to time the splits. I think what happens is that it goes wacky when I try to use the stopwatch and the interval timer at the same time. If I only use one function at a time, it seems to work. I hope that's the case, because I don't really want to have to buy a new watch!
Fundraising is up to about 0. I need to have at least 00 by September 4 (which really means by mid-August, since it takes so long for the donations to be credited to us). Looks like I need to send out some more letters! And look for some more stuff to sell on eBay....
Sunday, July 28, 2002
Week Eight - the Chronicle Marathon
Looking off to the side of the starting line at 5 am. The big
building in the
background is the Hyatt Regency, where I spent the night before the marathon.
I finished the Chronicle Marathon in 6:29:40 (unofficially). Yay! My goal was
6:40, and I did better than my goal. And nearly a half an hour better than my
time in last year's Honolulu Marathon! And I felt better when I finished than
I did in Honolulu. I can definitely tell that I'm much better trained than I
was last year.
The Golden Gate Bridge with its head in the fog, at around mile
I was really nervous about running this marathon, though. My biggest worry,
aside from the fact that I'd interrupted my training for it and hadn't had time
to do a 26-mile training run beforehand, was that the course is only open for
seven hours (if you include the 5 am early start, which I did), and the traffic
barriers are lifted after at most six hours. I was fairly confident about being
able to finish in less than seven hours after my 24-mile training run, but I
was still concerned about possibly being out there on the course all alone and
getting lost after they took up the traffic barriers. Turns out I didn't need
to worry. There weren't a lot of other marathoners around me for the last hour
or so, but there were always a few in sight. And even though the traffic barriers
had been lifted by the time I got out of Golden Gate Park (earlier than the
10 am they said the roads would be closed through!), there were still volunteers
manning water stations and directing us at turns with their cheerful yellow
flags. So there was no problem finding the way. And everyone was so enthusiastic
and encouraging! All the way to the end, there were well-wishers cheering us
on, and quite a crowd remained at the finish line. It really made a difference
to see so many people out there pulling for us.
The bison paddock in Golden Gate Park. (Yes, those little brown
blobs are bison.) Mile 10.
I did my 3:2 interval pretty much all the way. My darned watch died at mile
two, so I ended up using my spare (and I'm so glad I decided to bring it along!),
but it doesn't time splits or intervals, so I was just watching the time and
trying to run/walk more or less when I was supposed to. Obviously it wasn't
exactly 3:2, but it was close enough. I averaged just under 15 minutes/mile.
I think my actual pace was about 14 minutes/mile, with time added for hills
(and there were some doozies, most especially the two mile climb up to Fort
Point from the Marina -- my ears popped!), water stops, bathroom breaks (I
only took one, and there was no waiting, a considerable improvement over Honolulu's
15 - 30-minute lines for the bathrooms), and waiting for traffic lights for
the last 7 miles or so. I took three aspirin at about mile 18. I think it really
does help when your legs start to feel heavy and unmoveable. I ran it in with
a smile on my face, feeling pretty good!
Coming back up the Great Highway along the ocean. I always get
a kick out of these three houses:
pink, chartreuse & teal, and olive green, one right after the other. Between
Miles 13 and 14. Over half way there!
Afterwards, I walked around for a while at the Expo, ate a banana, got a 20-minute
massage of my arms and legs, and then headed back to my hotel. I'd spent the
night at the Hyatt Regency, which is right next to the starting line, in order
not to have to worry about getting a taxi or taking public transportation to
the race at 4 am on Sunday morning. It was a good idea. Really cut down on the
stress. Took a quick shower and changed (into my Chronicle Marathon tee-shirt
and finisher's medal!), checked out and had lunch at the café there (Alaskan
Salmon Nicoise! Yum!) before heading home. Where I am now taking it easy and
enjoying the aftermath of my second marathon!
The finish line on the Embarcadero with the Clock Tower in the
from across the street in Justin Herman Plaza, where the Expo was going on.
Whew! Now I can just "relax" and rejoin my regularly scheduled AIDS Marathon training already in progress. Next week -- only six miles!
Sunday, July 21, 2002
This week we did ten miles -- the hard way! It was a very hilly run, up the Great Highway past the Cliff House, along the cliff trails, through the golf course and out past Baker Beach, through Sea Cliff (the rich people's neighborhood), out to the Golden Gate Bridge and back. I remember this run from last year -- somehow, it seemed as if it was uphill all the way there, and uphill all the way back again! I did better this time, but it was a lot more tiring than my usual out-to-the-ocean-and-back-again ten miles.
I was a bit worried that the pace might be too fast for me, after last week's difficult hot and hilly run, and being too tired to do any of my mid-week runs this week, but I did okay, although I was fairly tired by the time we finished. We were considerably slower than 14 minutes/mile, I think, due to all the hills and water stops and bathroom breaks. Which was fine by me! I didn't want to get all worn out this week and not have any energy left for next week's marathon! So I'm happy with it.
The one bummer about today's run was that my watch went wacko in the middle of it. First it kept losing the intervals, then it quit working altogether. There were other people timing the run, so it was okay for today, but I need a working watch for next week. I got it reset and working again after the run, but I'll need to watch it and test it out this week to see if it's going to keep working.
Fundraising is up to about 0. I'm going to have to start sending out some more letters....
Friday, July 19, 2002
New eBay Auctions!
Because of my vacation, I haven't listed any new auctions in a couple of weeks, but I'm back now and have five new listings up, and will be adding more soon.
Unfortunately, I've had to start adding shipping charges to my auctions. Most of the stuff I'm selling is only going for a few bucks, and the shipping costs have been eating up all my proceeds! I will still be donating the amount of all winning bids to the AIDS Marathon, but I'll be charging a separate shipping charge to cover the cost of mailing the items.
Check out my auctions at my eBay About Me page. And remember, donations of items to auction are welcome, as are donations of money!
Tuesday, July 16, 2002
I was out of town this week, visiting my brother near Tehachapi, California, so I did my run on my own up in the Tehachapi mountains. It was very tempting to just skip this week's run! It was in the low 100's every day, very dry and hilly and about 4000 feet elevation. I didn't run on Sunday, but then I felt guilty so I went out on Monday to do my eight miles. I started out at around 7 am, to avoid the heat. At first, I was going to run along the trails around my brother's 40 acres, but the ground was too uneven and brushy. I was afraid I was going to trip and fall, and I kept getting burrs in my shoes. So I went out to the road instead. My brother had told me that if I turned right at the end of the driveway, it was probably about four miles to the end of the road. So I ran to the end of the road and back.
It was a beautiful run, but a hard one -- lots of hills, lots of heat even at 8 am, very dry. I filled my water bottle before I went out, but I could have used two full bottles of water, and there was no place to refill it along the way. But I did it! It really makes me appreciate running in San Francisco!
I'm up to about 0 raised so far. Less than 00 to go!
Sunday, July 7, 2002
That's me, waving and squinting in my AIDS Marathon yellow singlet
My friend Lilith took this photo of me marching with the AIDS
Marathon contingent in the San Francisco Pride Parade last Sunday. I had a
great time! Met lots of other runners from other sites and pace groups who
were marching, passed out info about the AIDS Marathon program and other AIDS
services, and got seriously sunburned in the wacky (for San Francisco) June
heat. I had such a full weekend, I was exhausted all week! But I finally recuperated
enough to get out there and do my training run today.
Today I ran with the Christine Clark group, doing a 15 minute/mile pace and
a 2:2 run/walk ratio. We ran through Golden Gate Park, once around Stow Lake,
up to around the Academy of Sciences and back, a total of seven miles. It was
a nice, relaxing run, which was good because after we were done and I'd caught
up with my regular pace group for a few minutes, I headed out again for another
For the remaining miles, I did my usual 3:2 run/walk ratio, and went to the
end of the park and back, down Great Highway to Sloat and back, and then up
MLK and Middle Drive through the park, out the Panhandle and home. There is
a psychological advantage to running the first seven miles with a group, taking
a short break, and then running another 17 miles. It feels like doing two shorter
runs, rather than one long run of 24 miles. I was feeling a little tired, though,
and achy in my legs when I got back to Great Highway, and at around mile 15
I decided to try the aspirin trick again and see if it would help. Caught my
second wind at about 16 miles, which is just about when the aspirin would have
kicked in, and ran the rest of the way feeling strong and happy. That was also
about when the sun came out. Aspirin? Sunshine? Both? Whatever it was, it worked. I ran well for
the rest of the way. Even the Baker Street hill didn't phase me!
I got a clue this time and just left my stopwatch running the whole time, from
the time we started the seven-mile run until I got home. And finished the entire
24 miles in 6:02:35! That averages out to just about 15 minutes/mile, which
is great, considering it includes all the bathroom breaks and slow first seven
miles and the ten minutes or so I hung out after the seven-mile run before I
started running again. And I felt great afterwards! I'm psyched. If I can maintain
that pace for the Chronicle Marathon, I should be able to finish in around 6:40,
which is what I've been shooting for. Go me!
Fundraising update! I'm up to about 0 total, with 0 in donations and about 0 in charity auction sales. Only 00 to go! Keep those donations coming!
I've applied for a job with the AIDS Marathon office, doing data base entry. Do you think it would help if I told them I'd probably be donating most of my earnings back to the program? :)
Friday, June 28, 2002
Fourth Week of Training
I'm going to be busy with Pride stuff all this weekend (including marching
in the San Francisco Pride Parade with the AIDS Marathon contingent on Sunday!),
so I did my long run on my own this morning. The group is up to six miles this
week; I did about ten and a half -- my usual loop to the ocean and back through
Golden Gate Park. I felt a little tired today -- probably from working out yesterday,
so that I didn't have as much time to recuperate as I really needed -- but still
finished in my usual two and a half hours, or about 14:15 minutes per mile.
It was odd to see cars on JFK Drive -- on Sundays, when I usually run, JFK
Drive is closed to traffic, and the street is full of walkers and runners and
skaters and bicyclists. It was almost like running in a different park.
I saw some kind of falcon or hawk sitting on the fence of the bison paddock
as I ran by. I think it was a peregrine, if I remember my raptor birds correctly.
I don't think I've ever seen one in the park before.
Sunday, June 23, 2002
Today we did our five-mile run. Once again we ran down the Great Highway and
back, this time to just past Vicente. We had a bit of trouble sticking to our
14 minute/mile pace -- our second mile was 12:20! Oops! But we slowed down our
succesive miles and finished only a few minutes ahead of schedule. It was perfect
running weather, once we got going -- high clouds, light breeze, cool and sunny.
But it's always awfully cold waiting around under the trees in the wind for
the runs to begin. Makes us eager to get out there and work up a sweat!
Afterwards, I headed off to run home, another five and a quarter miles or so.
Managed to stick to about a 14 minute/mile pace, despite going out too fast
on the first five miles. And I felt good, which was encouraging, considering
that my stomach's been wonky ever since the 20-mile run last Sunday, and I've
only been able to eat normally for the last couple of days. I'm glad it was
a short run this weekend, though!
My fundraising is off to a good start. I've made about 0 in donations from
my eBay charity
auction, and received 0 in other donations. Only 60 to go! Thanks
so much to my generous donors!
Sunday, June 16, 2002
The Return of Jesse!
Jesse and I were in the same pace group last year, and we ran the marathon
together. He had said that he was going to do the AIDS Marathon again this year,
but I didn't see him at last week's training run, so I didn't know if he was
still planning to, or if he was, whether he'd be running in San Francisco on
Sundays again. So I was very happy to see him this morning! He'd missed last
week, so hadn't done a timed 3-mile run, but ran with us in the Grete Waitz
group anyway. He was always faster than the rest of us in the Christine Clark
group (15 minutes per mile) last year, so he may well end up joining a faster
group for the rest of the training, but it was great to run with him again and
catch up on what he's been up to for the past six months!
Jesse and me, after last year's marathon, with Diamond Head
in the background.
For our four-mile run, we ran down the Great Highway for two miles and back.
Our pace group has a choice of running a 3:1 or a 3:2 interval. I prefer 3:2,
myself, but we ran 3:1 today, mostly because our pace group leader had a fancy
new watch, and he'd just barely managed to program it, and 3:1 was what he'd
programmed it for. :) It went fine for me to do 3:1 for only four miles, but
I'm considering dropping back to the Christine Clark group on the day I'm doing
23 miles because I think I'll get too tired running the first seven miles at
3:1. We were also a bit ahead of our pace, running closer to 13:30 than 14:00,
but we'll adjust that as we go along.
Then, after the four-mile run, we waited a bit to cheer in the group after
us (who came in only five or ten minutes later -- much better than last year,
when it seemed that we always had to wait a half an hour or more for the last
group to come in), and then I refilled my water bottle and went off to run another
16 miles! I ran back through the park on JFK to Stanyan, then turned around
and ran back to the ocean, down Great Highway to Sloat, back up Great Highway
to the park and up Martin Luther King Drive to Kezar, then through the Panhandle
Having forgotten to start my stopwatch, or even check the time, when I started
out, and not really being sure how many miles I ran (I suspect it was actually
closer to 21 than 20), I have no idea what my pace was overall, but I suspect
it was around 15:00 minutes per mile for the second part of my run.
It went pretty well, although it didn't feel quite as good as the 18-mile run
did. Partly, I think it's due to running harder on the first four miles, and
partly because of getting up at 6:30 am to get to the training run by 8 am and
having had less sleep. Possibly also partly because of eating an egg for dinner
the night before. I have a slight allergy to eggs, although if I have one occasionally
it usually doesn't bother me. Except on days before a long run, I guess. Didn't
take any aspirin before running, either. :) I did bring some with me on my run,
in case my head started to ache, but didn't feel the need for it. It might have
made my legs feel better, though. And, of course, some days are just better
than others. In any case, I finished my miles with no problems and still managed
to run up the Baker Street hill at the end of my run, so I'm happy!
Sunday, June 9, 2002
First Day of Training
We met at the Queen Wilhelmina windmill at the west end of Golden Gate Park
at 8 am. Actually, we were advised at orientation to arrive early for our first
day of training, but being an old hand at this I didn't worry about it. I was pleased
to find that the bus schedule hasn't changed - there is still a 38 Geary
Ocean Beach that picks up at my stop at around 7:30 am and arrives at the ocean
a few minutes before 8 am. Perfect timing!
I was also pleased to see that Coach John is our Sunday Golden Gate Park coach
again this year. It was just like old times!
For our three-mile timed run, we ran down the Great Highway from Fulton to Ortega and back via MLK and Bernice Rogers to our meeting area.
I knew that they would determine our training pace by adding one minute to our
one-mile average pace, so I wanted to do around 13 minutes/mile to end up in
the 14 minute/mile pace group. So I pushed myself just a little, knowing that
if I ran too fast, I could always drop myself back to a slower group.
I got off to a kind of rough start. I wasn't planning to time my intervals,
just to run at will, but after running the first seven minutes or so, my left
shin got very painful. Bad me! It would be very silly of me to go out there
and get injured on my very first day. So I slowed down and walked for a bit,
then went ahead and started doing my usual 3:2 training interval. After a couple
of walk breaks, the pain went away and I was fine for the rest of the run.
Ended up doing the three miles in 37:40, or about 12:33 minutes/mile! They put me in the
Grete Waitz group, training at a 14:00 minute pace. Which is just where I wanted
to be. Yay!
Then, to keep up my training for the Chronicle Marathon, I ran home through
the park with one loop around Stow Lake, for about another seven miles.
Tuesday, June 4, 2002
AIDS Marathon Charity Auction
For my fundraising this year, I'm holding a charity auction on eBay. I'll be selling DVDs, CDs, laserdiscs, magazines, books, photos, autographs, whatever else I can find in my apartment that I think someone might want! I've only got a few things up for bid so far, but I'll be adding new items regularly, right up until the marathon (or at least until I run out of things to sell).
Here's how you can help:
- Buy stuff! Click on the link above to see what's available, and check back often. Who knows, I might just have that book or video or other thingum you've been searching for.
- Clean out your own closet and donate your junk, er, valuable memorabilia to the cause! If you have any items you'd be willing to contribute to the auction, email me.
- Donate money! Don't want to buy anything? Don't have anything to donate? Money is always appreciated! The "Donate Now" link is sitting right over there on the left, waiting for you to click it. Don't be shy! Be sure to enter my runner number, 0628. You will have my undying gratitude, and a postcard from Hawaii after the marathon.
Thanks as always for your support!
Sunday, June 2, 2002
I ran 18 miles today! And I'm back on track for the Chronicle Marathon!
I'd decided that this was the make-or-break run for the Chronicle Marathon. If I could do 18 miles today without feeling horrible afterwards, I could maintain a training schedule that would have me ready to run a marathon at the end of July. If I couldn't, I was going to officially and finally bow out of the Chronicle Marathon, and just concentrate on the AIDS Marathon.
And I not only did it, I felt good the whole time, and maintained about a 14 minute/mile pace with a 3:2 minute run/walk ratio, finishing the course in 4 hours and 16 minutes. I ran from my place to the Panhandle, through Golden Gate Park, once around Stow Lake, then out JFK Drive to the ocean, down Great Highway to Sloat Blvd and back, up MLK and Middle Drive to Transverse Drive and back to JFK, once around Stow Lake again, and home! My legs didn't even start to feel tired until the last couple of miles, and they were still much less tired than they were last year after the 18 mile training run. I guess I'm in much better shape than I thought I was! It's kind of hard to tell when you're fatigued from depression and hormone wackiness all the time....
So, why did it feel so good to run 18 miles today, especially after running no more than 10 - 11 miles for nearly two months? I'm not sure, but I have a couple of thoughts:
- New shoes! Yes, I finally made the long trek out to the Sports Basement for new shoes, a new running outfit, socks, and a couple of boxes of Clif Bars and GUs. I love the Sports Basement, but it's way the heck out by Mission Bay, an hour-long trip each way by public transportation, so I don't get out there that often. But I desperately needed new shoes -- my old pair should have been retired after the Honolulu Marathon in December, but instead I went ahead and ran another five months in them. Bad me!
- Aspirin! I had a bad headache last night and this morning, so I took three aspirin right before going out. Had no idea whether this was a good idea or not, and I couldn't say for sure that it helped me run, but it sure didn't hurt!
- Two-minute walk breaks. I've been trying to increase my pace by cutting my walk breaks to one minute, running 4:1 or 3:1, and it's just not working for me. I get too tired with only one minute of walking. I trained for last year's AIDS Marathon at a 2:2 interval, ran the Bay to Breakers at 4:2, and did today's 18-mile run at 3:2, and it was all good. So I guess I'd better just stick to 3:2 for now.
So, training is going well. I'm also working on my fundraising plan for the AIDS Marathon. I've got some good ideas cooking that I'll write more about as they get firmed up.
And next Sunday, I begin this year's AIDS Marathon training. I remember last year how long that first three mile training run felt. This year, I'll be going into it after having run 18 miles the week before!
Friday, May 31, 2002
Okay! I'm all signed up and ready to go for this year's AIDS Marathon Training Program. My first training run will be on June 9, and will culminate in my running in this year's Honolulu Marathon on December 8, 2002.
Here in San Francisco, the AIDS Marathon benefits the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, offering a comprehensive array of services for people living with HIV/AIDS. Through its affiliate, the SFAF HIV Prevention Project, the Foundation provides needle exchange services to stop the spread of HIV among injection drug users and their partners. Proceeds raised by the AIDS Marathon will also fund a new initiative to support vaccine preparedness and HIV treatment access in the developing world.
I am committed to raising at least 00 by September 4. Your support would be most appreciated! You can donate by clicking on "Donate Now" and specifying Runner #0628. Even if you can only afford a few bucks, every little bit helps. I've got big plans for my fundraising this year, so stay tuned for more ways to get involved!
And check out my training journal from last year's AIDS Marathon.