This year has been a fun one. After the recovery from the stress fracture I began running well enough again in late August at the same time as I took a temporary job in Santa Maria,CA. I am now training for the Santa Barbara Half Marathon which is on Nov 6, only 4 days after the completion of my current work assignment. Because my work is also wrapping up in 12 days, I figured, it is possible that I might fall off the training schedule, which is why my goal for SBIM(1/2) is only to finish strong. I have also scheduled myself for the Santa to the Sea race on December 12, with a goal of a PR.
My favorite part about training, other than coming up with a schedule is the long runs! I did one in Santa Maria out by the strawberry fields, but although it was beautiful, it is too secluded. The next weekend I returned to The Goodland to do my long runs. The first was the average perfect temperature and sunshine. The second, just this past weekend was in a constant mist and gloom. While it was not inviting at 7am on Sunday when I headed out the door, within minutes, I was loving it. It was fresh, and misting enough to be comfortable. The thought did cross my mind that I must be the only crazy person to enjoy this, but it just so happened I encountered a total of 19 other runners on the road that day. When I made it out to the bluffs, the ocean was a little louder than usual, and although at times the setting could seem ominous, it was very peaceful.
After my run, I jumped in the shower and dashed out the door, with just enough time to grab a banana. Before I made my 1 hr drive back to work, I filled up my coffee mug, grabbed a banana and remembered I had a box of Kardea Nutrition bars in my car. Kardea (found me via twitter) and sent me a sample box a few months back and although I had tried their banana nut bar in one moment of extreme hunger, I hadn't actually taken the time to eat one in the appropriate setting. After 8 miles, I was definately hungry. The bar I pulled was a cranberry almond bar, and although it is small in size, it filled me up. It is flavorful, in that you can really taste the cranberry and the almonds. The problem for the most part with nutrition bars I find - at expos etc- is that sometimes they are so healthy, they taste horrible. But luckily that was not the case with these bars. They are enjoyable, and work perfectly as part of a small post run meal! I look forward to trying their two other flavors, lemon ginger and Chai Spice.
All that to say, it has been a very good few months: healthy, fun and yummy. Cheers to a happy winter to all of us runners!