Monday, March 7, 2011


You probably suspect my lack of consistency with blogging mirrors my lack of consistency lately with exercise. You are pretty much right. Although I definitely haven't been just sitting around, I haven't been getting my traditional workouts in either. I've been working on lots of projects around the house (painting, grouting, cleaning).. all the fun stuff, so I have been at least engaged in some manual labor. I went on a great 5-mile ish walk on Saturday on a local trail. The weather was beautiful and it felt great to be outdoors. How can life be bad when you follow that up with an iced skinny caramel macchiato at Starbucks and good conversation with your best friend as you look over the trail watching Team and Training finish their workout! Now the question is how do you keep up the momentum and get yourself outside or to the gym for a workout on a dark, drizzly day like today?

We've missed the last few SacFit workouts for various reasons, so it will be good to get back on schedule this Saturday. It's those mid-week workouts that are killing me.. In fact, I could be at the gym right now (or working), but I was able to talk myself out of it by telling myself I will catch up on this blog instead. I am shooting for three workouts this week (totally realistic) and will report back in next weekend on how I did. Maybe that will provide some level of accountability. I think accountability is important and is often the one thing that changes our thought process in a different direction. Without it, things can be grim!

In the spirit of austerity, I don't have a new product of the week but will go on the hunt for one soon. I appreciate any and all suggestions! I don't want to sound totally negative, so on the positive side, daylight savings time is coming up and the Parkway half marathon is less than two months away. Both of those provide a good morale boost and help me escape the winter exercise blues and start picking up speed! That's the thing about exercise is it actually feels really great and can be lots of fun if you just get out there and do it!

I know lots of people have been getting out there and participating in lots of races! I will join you all as soon as I can.

Happy training!


Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Parkway half marathon training begins

I am happy to say that we completed our second official SacFit winter season workout on Saturday. It's amazing how quickly your body (physically and mentally) can get out of shape. Of course, it's much easier to get back in shape then starting from scratch but our 40 minute workout Saturday seemed like about how 10 miles would have felt a few months ago. I am struggling with whether I want to stick with my pace group that has the people I enjoy talking with in but it is a little faster than I want to go for a Saturday endurance workout or whether I want to slow it down a bit and enjoy the moment. I am sure the competitive side of me will win out in an attempt to shave 2 minutes off my time so I can break two hours in this year's Parkway half marathon. We will see!

It was also obvious to me on Saturday how important those mid-week workouts are. Even just getting one workout in mid-week makes a huge difference! It's all about getting mentally and physically back in the swing of things! It's definitely easy to negotiate myself out of a workout on the long drive home from work, but no more excuses!

In addition to getting back into the Saturday training routine, I am excited that several of my friends have chosen to "pay it forward" and bring their friends into the SacFit family. It can't help but keep people motivated to know that others will be counting on them showing up. It's also a great opportunity to socialize and catch up when life seems so busy. My best friend from high-school, best friend from college, a college roommate, and close co-worker are all just a few that are among the SacFit family. I've also enjoyed meeting new people and expanding the circle of people who are crazy enough to get up early and spend their Saturday mornings getting fit!

I am going to have to call it quits for now... lots of chores to get done before another busy work week. Instead of focusing on all the things that didn't get done this weekend, I should focus on how great it was to get a good workout in and all other things will fall into place!

Happy training!


Saturday, January 8, 2011

New year, new Square Peg Running blog!

I am sure everyone thinks Square Peg Running has dropped off the face of the earth, but we are still here! I don't really have any legitimate excuses for not blogging. I've thought about it and wanted to but time just slips away. Well, it's a new year and time to get back into it! We recorded a short Podcast today in an attempt to re-motivate ourselves into doing something we really enjoy doing... running, walking, talking, and writing about it!

One thing I've discovered while not blogging is that I really need a goal, in this case a race, to keep me motivated. As a project manager, I live a very structured work life. Everything is tracked to tasks and a timeline with a beginning and end to every project. I guess I really need that structure in my personal life as well to keep moving forward.

Over the past few months we did finish our SacFit summer/fall training session, albeit neither Lara nor I completed the full marathon training. We put two relay teams together for the California International Marathon relay and had a blast. I spent a week in Paris and made sure I walked everywhere in an attempt to keep up my fitness level and put as many Parisian miles as possible on my new GoreTex boots. I highly recommend a week of walking in Paris to boost anyone's spirits. But, with all the things we've been up to we just didn't get around to blogging or talking about them. Trust me, I am sure we will have lots to say this year and plenty of new Square Peg Running adventures to share!

Today starts the new season of the SacFit running/walking group. I am really excited for the new season because it means a new half marathon to train for and a new running/walking schedule to follow. I am always afraid to not follow the schedule when training for a big race, but I manage to negotiate myself out of exercise when I don't have a goal to work for. It doesn't have to be a half marathon or marathon to keep you moving. It can be a 5k or a new hike that you want to complete... whatever it takes to stay motivated!

We look forward to also hearing about your running/walking adventures this year. I hope this year is filled with good health, good finances, and the ability for all of us to take action to complete whatever we want to do! Thanks for reading and sticking with us!

As in life, don't forget to run your own race!


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Square Peg Running- SF marathon!

Can you successfully complete a half marathon if you've missed some of your
training? That is the question I asked myself over and over the last few
weeks. I've heard your body develops a certain level of fitness and that
as long as you maintain it at a certain level you can accomplish more than
you realize. Fortunately, for me that was this case in this weekend's San
Francisco marathon (first half).

Although I was looking forward to a weekend in San Francisco and all the
things a big race has to offer, (the Expo, carbo loading, free goodies) I
was very anxious about the actual race. I've successfully completed six
half marathons in the last two years but have always felt well prepared
going into the race. This time, I did not! I've struggled with a minor
hip injury the last month or so and between that and the heat did not get
in the mileage that I wanted to or needed to prepare for the big day. I
came up with about 82 different contingency plans if I didn't or couldn't
finish. Fortunately for me, the race gods were watching over me!

We started Saturday off with a trip to "The Expo." Although the Expo was
crowded the swag was great!! Perhaps the highlight was being about three
feet away from Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man, as he gave away samples of
his joint juice. A close second was getting samples from "The Erin" of
Erin Baker's breakfast cookies. The race shirts have a great design and
are a beautiful turquoise blue. This year, they also gave away fabric
drawstring drop bags that can be re-used instead of the usual plastic bags
that get tossed! The finishers medals are equally nice with the half
marathon medal doubling as a key chain and the full marathon medal as a
coaster. I think I ate my way through the Expo again. Who doesn't love
free samples of Lara Bars and Bare Naked granola! We all finished the day
with a great carbo loading dinner in North Beach!

The weather for Sunday's race was perfect. It was cool and overcast...
ideal running/walking weather. In fact, I wore my jacket to mile 10 and
only took it off because between the mist and sweat it was actually making
me cold. The race started in front of the San Francisco ferry building
with a view of the Bay and the Bay Bridge. The course went several miles
along the wharf and the famous Pier 39 with the first big hill at Ft.
Mason. I've learned from hiking that the key to those big hills is do not
stop. After crossing the Fort Mason hill, the course continued along the
water front through Crissy Field. The view at Crissy field is beautiful
but unfortunately it allowed us to be able to see the steep climb up to the
Golden Gate bridge from at least a mile away. I could see these tiny
little people running, walking or in some cases crawling (maybe a little
exaggerated) up the hills! But, once you got to the top the view from the
bridge and accomplishing the climb made it all worth while. While almost
25,000 people ran and walked across the bridge it was amazing how personal
and individual the experience was. After the bridge, we faced one more
climb before a nice one mile downhill jaunt on the highway/cliff
overlooking Baker Beach and the ocean. You could actually hear the waves
despite the distance and the volume of people. A quick dart by the Sea
Cliffe (amazing neighborhood) and two more miles to the first half finish
at Golden Gate Park. At least for those continuing on to pursue, the
marathon the second half of the course was hill free "relatively speaking." I finished the first half with a time of about four minutes longer than the Parkway half, which to me was success, considering all the hills and that when I woke up that morning I wasn't even sure I could finish. After the finish it was off to the post race festivities with more food sampling and swag. You gotta love a sport where "nutrition" includes
chocolate milk after your workout!

As I look ahead to the next few months, I will treasure what an amazing
race this was. I've never felt better mentally or physically during or
after a race, which is amazing considering my pre-race state of mind. I
think it is because for the first time I truly ran my own race and enjoyed
every moment whatever the outcome. Although I already have the SF
marathon on my calendar for next year, I look forward to taking the rest of
the summer and really enjoying my workouts without stressing over how fast
and how far!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Square Peg Running is back!

I am sorry it has been so long, but again "real life" just sometimes gets in the way. We have been back to SacFit for about a month, and it is a great group this year. I agreed to serve as an "emergency/backup" pace coach to help out when I can. I've been able to take out two great groups out so far this season and I have to admit although it is fun it is a bit stressful. I want to make sure everyone learns all they can and has a great time but I don't want to be overpowering or annoying!

I can't believe we are only two weeks out from the SF marathon. I have never been this undertrained for a half marathon before. Six weeks ago, the eight week "boot camp training" program I was putting myself on sounded great in theory but in reality is a completely different thing. I've been able to get a few mid-week workouts in here and there and an occasional Zumba class but in my attempt to run some intervals to make sure I made it to the Golden Gate bridge in time, I think I've injured my hip. I've only been able to get in up to 8 painful miles so far... not sure how many I will get in next Saturday. My hope is I've built up a certain fitness level where I can get through the race.... and then go to the doctor if needed. I guess I really am meant to be a walker!

It seems like there must be lots of big news to share along with a few square peg running moments... but my brain is full! I need to trust in my training, enjoy the race, and then look forward to a summer of just enjoying my training without "that big race" to train for. I love training for those big half marathons and getting another one under my belt but I long to return to the simplicity of walking for the mere fun of it. That is my goal for the rest of the summer and then truly I will be running my own race!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Square Peg Running goes to San Francisco

I am sorry it has been so long between postings. That craziness called work has been keeping me busy. I am looking forward to the new season of Sacfit starting this weekend, which will get me back on a more regular workout schedule. Despite the craziness, Square Peg Running has had a few adventures over the last few weeks.....

Week before last, we went to check out the first half of the San Francisco marathon course. Last year, we did the second half which was a fairly flat course overall for San Francisco. This year we (and a few other friends) are taking on the first half of the marathon course. The course is actually beautiful because it goes along the water and includes a run on the Golden Gate bridge which will be closed for the event. It's not too often you get to actually run on the main part of the bridge. So, for our "trial" endeavor along the course we set out from the ferry building to walk the course. It was beautiful along the water and perfect weather. We tackled the Ft. Mason hill which 2 years ago nearly beat us down but it seemed pretty simple this time around which was a good testament to how far we each have come in our individual training. We thought we had successfully completed the most difficult part of the course but boy were we wrong. I guess we both had a square peg running moment (or even a blond moment for me) and didn't stop to think that if we were running at sea level and somehow needed to get up to the bridge that there wasn't an elevator to get us there. Boy, that is a pretty steep climb. It's not bad if you are hiking but when you have a time limit (since they can't keep the bridge closed forever) it is a challenge. I guess it will be hill repeats over and over for me for the next 7 weeks. The course finishes in Golden Gate Park. I am looking forward to the challenge but hope we all didn't bite off more than we can chew.

This past weekend, Square Peg Running (and many other Sac Fitters) attended the Nike Women's Fitness Festival. I guess it technically is supposed to make up for those of us who can't seem to catch a break and get into the Nike women's marathon. I have to admit the swag/grab bags and post race breakfast were fantastic, especially for a 5K. I set a PR despite the fact that it was about 10 degrees warmer than it had been, and Lara and my good friend Heather did great as well! All in all it was fun event and a great kick start back into training...... which boy do I need. As we all know 7 weeks goes by fast and I am not even ready to start thinking about another 13.1 miles. It will be fun though!!

Wish me luck in my training journey over the next 7 weeks. Lara and I will both need it as we get in some serious hill and speed workouts in. I send you the same good luck wishes in whatever you are training for!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

Week in review- The Wild Way!

I have to admit I have been on a little bit of a walking hiatus since the half marathon three weeks ago, but with the SF marathon just around the bend the hiatus must end this week! Square Peg Running did compete in a unique race last weekend. It was a new event added to a local 5K and 10k race. It was appropriately called the Wild Way. It was a 2 mile course consisting of running (or walking) and all kinds of military like obstacles. We crawled under ropes and ran over logs. We did pushups and jumped hurdles and ran through the trails. We climbed the fences of the local rodeo and ended our journey running through the zoo. It was definitely a unique event!

I ran a portion of the course and did pretty well. I have to admit I felt I was either on an episode of The Biggest Loser or in boot camp! Lara did better than I did on the hurdles and running through the tires. I thought I had mastered running over the logs and the mud but the tip of my right shoe splashed into the mud as I plotted my strategy to run up the hill at the end of the log obstacle. Good thing I wore those old running shoes!

The event had a few challenges but for a first year portion (added to a 27 year old event) they did a good job! The course was well marked (once we got started) and the volunteers along the way were enthusiastic. I have to think the high-school boys manning the push ups station enjoyed telling us to all drop and give them 10. Despite a few near injuries, I think we will both end up doing the race again next year!

Our next Square Peg running event is the Nike fitness festival and then it will be back to Sac Fit! We hope to squeeze a "dry run" of part of the SF Marathon course before we start to Sac Fit so we know how to appropriately train for the hills. I also hope to get in a few good workout this week. Hopefully the crazy weather behaves this week so I don't have to brave the treadmill at the gym!

As always, have a great week. Don't forget to run your own race!