in the zone

I almost didn’t run at all today because my body just didn’t feel right.  I debated going to the gym because it was pretty windy out but I decided to just take a long run/walk instead at Crissy Field.  I dropped my bike off at Sports Basement for a major overhaul and starting walking.  After I warmed up for a few minutes, I decided to run, promising myself I’d walk as soon as I switched directions and felt the headwind.  Once I switched directions I decided that running didn’t feel that bad and I’d run 10 minutes then check in.  At the 10 minute mark, I walked for a minute and took stock of groin and low back.  Groin hurt, ironically, only when I walked and low back was okay.  At around 15 minutes I started feeling a little twinge in the low back.  This is a new one and I wasn’t sure what would make it better or worse so I decided to keep going and see what happened.  It went away completely.  By 45 minutes I was really enjoying myself and it hit me that I was experiencing what runners sometimes describe as “the zone”.  Running suddenly felt easy, even into the wind.  My body moved in perfect coordination and breathing through my nose was gentle and rhythmic.  I checked my HRM after the run and found that I’d never even spiked into ZN5.  I was mostly in ZN4, aerobic zone, right where I wanted to be.

On my second lap of Crissy Field, a peregrine falcon swooped down and landed near the running path briefly before soaring back up to her nest in the rocks.  After that I saw a teenaged girl dressed in a pink princess ball gown posing on a rental bike with the Golden Gate bridge in the background.  Her family swarmed around her giving instructions, fixing her dress and taking pictures.  Midway through my second lap I decided to just run two complete lengths from the Crissy Field Center to Fort Point and quit thinking about time or distance.  I concluded with my toe/heel walks and some stretching before getting back in the car and continuing on with my errands.

The workout:

6.5 miles, run 10/walk 1 minute, 70 minutes, ave HR 80%, 582 calories


An evening with the girls, eating good food and learning about this month’s Dining For Women organization, Somaly Mam foundation.

next race

Today it actually is pouring so I’m heading to the pool soon. I just began my morning with an hour of yoga/core work. I am really seeing the results of my PT exercises as I sit through long hours of rehearsals and my back only aches minimally sometimes. This has encouraged me to take them even more seriously and my goal is now to do two sets a day instead of just one. My therapist mentioned this week that I need to be concentrating on the glutes and upper back muscles in addition to the stomach area core to continue supporting the lower lumbar region. I have added two exercises to help this:

Lying flat on the floor with face resting in hands, find a neutral spine and slowly raise upper body 1 inch off ground. My back is not strong enough to do this from elbows, so I am simply lifting my head to feel the effort in my upper spine, while keeping everything in the lower half relaxed.

One legged bridge pose (see Core work page) tends to cause cramping in my right hamstring because that glute isn’t strong enough. My therapist suggested I rest my feet on my heels instead of feeling feet flat on the floor. This took care of the cramping and I am now lifting into bridge and immediately raising my toes then alternating leg lifts. I can only do 2 reps on each side at this point without letting the work move into my lower back, but I’m building up!

My race season for the rest of this year is in the works, and I hope this will lead up to an ironman in May. There are many factors so I am not taking this decision lightly but am starting to plot out races to build up just in case I take the plunge. The first will be Golden Gate Triathlon next month. My racing/Dining for Women friend alerted me to this race at our last DFW meeting. I am signing up for the sprint, as the bike is a loop course and two loops is plenty. It will be a fun race before an afternoon show and I hope to have many friends joining me! I plan to have a new “Race Training” page up and running soon. Please check back for a training schedule!

The workout:

1000 yd swim-

200 yd warm up

200 yd freestyle

100 yd drills

200 yd freestyle

4 x 50 yd sprint RI:15

100 yd cool down

hot tub!

Nikken Wellness:

plenty of PiMag water

mushroom immunity complex