Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

I wasn't scheduled to work today but since I absolutely LOVE the people I work with, I made these cupcakes and brought 'em in to them.

I hope everyone has/had a safe and happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Here bunny, bunny, bunny............

Boomer was able to chase a jack rabbit out of one of these drainage pipes, ONCE. And that was a long, long time ago. But every time we go running, he has to check every single one of these pipes and believe me, he knows where every one is at every park we go to.

We went toSunol Regional Wilderness East Bay Regional Parks today and ran/hiked four miles. Hopefully the rain won't be too bad for the next few days. It did feel nice and cool this morning though.

Miles today: 4
Miles this month: 101

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Golf "Lessons"

Keith and I golfed at Golf the Bay Area - Roddy Ranch Golf Club - "Best Golf Value in Northern California," Greenskeeper.og today. That is Mount Diablo in the background. That is one BIG mountain, I tell ya. Even though I like golfing and love spending the time with my husband, I couldn't help looking at Mount Diablo and thinking of running there again soon. It was a gorgeous day with the sun shining and no wind at all.
I started golfing nine years ago. Keith and I had quit smoking. Our weight went up and our energy went down. Even though Keith had golfed a little before, he didn't think it would be a good idea to teach me. (Probably a very smart move -- I still don't take direction very well from him.) Anyway, we both took golf lessons and started golfing once a week. Three years later, we were still golfing every Thursday. I ended up having to have surgery on my elbow five years ago which meant I was not able to golf for about 18 months. What I was reminded of today is the little life lessons that I apply every day but I personally learned from playing golf.

1. You must control your temper while golfing. You don't want to affect those around you with your negativity.
2. You have to be honest in keeping count of how many strokes you take. Others are busy counting their own so it would be very easy to cheat. Sometimes you may break a rule and nobody sees. You have to admit it and take whatever penalty goes along with it.
3. Golfing takes concentration. There's a lot to think about when you're swinging a club. It's important to stay (4) focused.
5. Show some integrity when you golf. Remember your morals and ethics.
6. Golf takes discipline. You have to practice to be any good at it.
7. You can't be late for a tee time so it's very important to be punctual.
8. Be kind to your fellow golfers. Compliment your partner, and others in your group, on their shots or their swing. Even if it's not a perfect shot, you tell them it was a good try. Never say they hit a bad shot, even if it was REALLY bad. They know and they don't need to hear it from you.
9. Respect the golf course and those who will be playing behind you by repairing divots in the fairway and ball marks on the green. Rake the bunkers when you are done.

And, 10. Sometimes patience can be the name of the game. This is my biggest obstacle. I pray for patience daily. Patience is usually required when someone in front of you or in your group has not learned (or is not practicing) the lessons highlighted above.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

California Livin'

I love being outdoors. If I can't run, I will find something to do outdoors. Yes, I could go to the gym and get on a machine and lift weights if I so choose. But, every day, I choose to be outdoors.

Christy and I loaded up our bikes and went for a bike ride Sunday. We rode the entire Alameda Creek Trail and a six mile loop in Coyote Hills, both which are part of East Bay Regional Park District. When all was said and done, we had ridden 30 miles. See, she too, is taking a little break from running due to an Achilles issue. Neither of us can stand not being outdoors doing something good for our bodies. And, we might as well take advantage of this great California weather.

Today, my daughter humored me by accompanying Boomer and I on a hike at Garin. She is just the opposite of me. Sitting home on the couch, catching up on television or the computer, is an enjoyable day for her. My dear friend Kimmy joined us too. Kimmy and I used to do a lot of running together. Matter of fact, in March, 2006, we flew to New York City to run in a half-marathon together. We did a 3.5 mile loop today and afterwards my daughter said, "it wasn't that bad, I guess." Sheesh! Anyway, while we were there, we came upon this critter. He crawled instead of jumped which surprised me considering those back legs. He was maybe an inch or so long. Maybe a little longer. Any idea what the heck he is?
Keith and I are golfing tomorrow, out in Brentwood. Should be another nice day in California.

Miles today: 3.5
Miles for month: 97

Sunday, October 26, 2008

SF 1 Day

Okay, I no longer think these people are silly. I applaud them. In a way, I even envy them. They are all strong, focused, disciplined, individuals. They came very prepared for the 12 or 24 hours ahead of them. They had wheeled suitcases or duffel bags, coolers, chairs, umbrellas, even some tents. Some wore hydration packs, some carried hand bottles, some carried nothing. Some came with their own crew, some came alone. They all had a game plan, a strategy. I heard some saying they were going to run the whole time, some were going to walk. Some had a specific mileage they wanted to reach. Some just wanted to see what would happen.

I showed up at 7:00 a.m. to help with check in that started at 7:30. Victoria was kind enough to try and maneuver me through the streets of San Francisco via cell phone.
Me and Victoria walking a lap

This is what the runners got to see every 1.06 mile

Mike Bohi before the start
People began showing up right at 7:30. I was working with Sarah, checking in the 24 hour runners. I was listening to the different attitudes of the runners. Some were really excited while others were really nervous. Closer to the start time, they started taking off their outer layers and applying sunscreen. We could already tell it was going to be a warm day.
At 9:00, they were off. Wendell and Sarah's son, Aaron, led everyone around the first lap. This wasn't like a ceremonial thing, he was just FAST. We set up the aid station immediately because 1.06 mile doesn't take long to run and believe it or not, these people wanted aid right away. By 10:00, people were feeling the heat and some appeared surprised by it. I think when people sign up for a run like this (San Francisco in October), they don't expect heat to be a factor. Victoria and I walked a lap together after I walked a lap by myself at 1:00. I tried to give some encouragement to a guy from Orange County that was struggling a little. When I got home I continued to send him some emails and I was pleased to see he stuck it out for the entire 12 hours. I also saw that Mike accomplished his goal of 50 miles and Catra reached her 100 mile goal. For (preliminary) race results, you can check out Webcast .
I was so happy to hang out with Victoria for the whole day. It was hard to believe she was moving so well considering she just got her cast off on Wednesday. I'm hoping she and I will be able to run together, with our furry kids, in the near future. Rick Gaston was helping out with parking in the morning and then he hung out with Wendell in the (timing, email, etc.) booth for most of the day. He was actually staying through the night. He talked to me about my IT Band issue and gave me suggestions that will hopefully make for a successful recovery.
If all goes well, I will be one of "those silly people running 'round and 'round and 'round" next year.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Fright Night Classic

My friends, Steve and Christy:
Me and Christy:
Me and Keith:

Playing golf in the dark with glow-in-the-dark golf balls was an absolute blast! If you have never done it and you get the opportunity, DO IT. I tried to get some pictures of the course after it got dark but nothing showed up very well. There were glow sticks on the tee boxes and around the greens, on the flag stick and in the holes. There were some more at the 150 yard markers and red ones at the 100 yard markers. We played nine holes but not all in sequential order, in a four man scramble format. Everyone hits from the tee box and then we all hit from the best tee shot. We continue doing this until the ball is in the hole. We came in one over par. We were in fourth place, (if they had fourth place.) They only gave prizes to third place. But, the amazing thing is, none of us lost a ball! Steve tried hard three times, but luckily the balls float. And they can be seen through very thick grass. Oh, and Steve can climb a cyclone fence with ease. It was a beautiful night with tons of stars in the sky. The weather couldn't have been much better. This was the first year the golf course has done this type of event. I hope they do it again. We'll be there for sure the next time they have it.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A girl and her dog

Boomer is so happy when he's out in the woods. He could spend all day running on single tracks. What's so wonderful about him is he doesn't require a lot of water. I carry a little cup in the front of my hydration pack and he will signal me when he wants some water and then I just get some in the cup from my pack. What? He signals me? Yup. He comes up on my right side and looks up and me and licks his lips. No lie. He drinks a few ounces and off he goes. He is pretty good about staying with me (on single tracks). On a fire road, in an open area, not so much. Usually too many squirrels, (or cows, or turkeys, or wild boar, or deer). The longest run I have taken him on is 13 miles. I'm sure he could do more but I think three hours of running is enough for him. Honestly though, when he's not with me, I miss him.

We went to Garin (again) this morning and put in five miles. Even though I'm not running, I still feel like I'm getting a really good workout. And, I could say it a million times, I just love being out there on those gorgeous trails.
I work all day tomorrow so I won't be getting a hike in. In the evening, Keith and I, along with my friend Christy and her hubby Steve, are going to the Fright Night Classic at Deep Cliff Golf Course in Cupertino. We get to play with glow-in-the-dark golf balls. Should be a lot of fun. They're lighting up the tee boxes and the greens and that's it. I can only imagine how well I'm going to do. I have enough trouble on a bright sunny day.
Saturday morning, I'll be helping out at the SF One Day (Oct 25), watching those silly people go 'round and 'round and 'round. For 12 and 24 hours they're doing this. Lots of people I know are either running in it or volunteering. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone.

Miles today: 5
This month: 93.5

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Mighty IT (Band, that is)

Isn't this beautiful? This is my entrance to Garin. As soon as I get here, my mood changes. Boomer's does too because he's leash-free from this point on. I went here Monday morning to hopefully get back into my normal routine of running 35-45 miles per week. The weather was absolutely perfect for running (56 degrees) and the sky was as clear as could be. Aaaaaah, what else could a girl want?
I'll cut to the chase. My IT Band is F'd up! It has been for a while now and I have been working around it by wearing a brace, (foam) rolling it, taking Ibuprofen, stretching, and even using a different technique when running down hills. Us runners (aka "junkies", "addicts", "whackos", etc.) will do most anything to run. Even if you don't admit it, I know I'm not the only one like this. I was able to complete an eight mile run on Monday but decided I am going to take a four to six week break from running for now.
Now, seeing that I am a confessed single track junkie, it means I NEED THOSE TRAILS. I can not and will not give them up! Not now, not ever. I still go out and enjoy everything I do about running, except the "flying down the hill" part. I still get the mind-clearing silence, the leg muscles working, the quality time with my boy (um, I mean dog), the heart and lungs pumping. Boomer and I went to Garin this morning and enjoyed 4.5 miles of dirt under our feet. This loop normally takes me about an hour to finish. This morning it took almost an hour and a half. Okay, so I'm not going to be able to put as many miles in this way. But at least I still get to get out and do something.

And......... I still get my single track fix!

Monday: 8 miles
Today: 4.5 miles
Monthly total: 88.5 (btw - I keep this tally because for every mile I (run) in October, I donate a dollar to breast cancer research).

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Celebrating 76 years

I took my mom out to lunch today to celebrate her 76th birthday. I told her I expect her to live to be 100 years old. I appreciate that she takes such good care of her health. She practices Tai Chi five mornings a week. She teaches on the sixth day. Two nights a week she does a class where she uses swords. She is in great shape for a woman of 76.

My mom is really an amazing woman. I am the youngest of four children. I have three older brothers. She and my dad adopted me when I was six weeks old. My dad ended up leaving my mom (and family) when I was around six or seven. My mom never worked before he left. She became a substitute teacher and had to get help from welfare just so we could all eat. Even though I was so young, I remember how much she struggled. We had a lot of support from friends because she had no living relatives, except an older aunt and uncle out of state. She grew up as an only child and her parents were both gone by the time I was two. I always went to school in someone else's old clothes. My brothers grew so incredibly fast, it was very, very hard to keep them fed and clothed. (They range from 6'1" to 6'6" now) I didn't get my first "brand new" coat until I was in junior high. I grew up on a lot of beans, rice, noodles, and powdered milk. She is very proud of her four children and what we have done with our lives and we are proud of her.

I know I'm lucky to have my mom alive and living close to me. I'm so happy to be able to have our sushi lunches together for our birthdays, and just to catch up. Sometimes I think she talks too much but then I just sit and look at her and think to myself, someday I will miss hearing her voice. So, I let her talk (and talk, and talk). LOL

I hope to be able to report on her 100th birthday celebration when it happens.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I'm not strange (am I?)

The Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival was a good time yesterday. We left early enough to beat all the mad traffic. When we came home a little after noon, Hwy 92 westbound was stopped all the way to Hwy 280. That's mad.
My husband and I had plans last night to go to his cousin's house for dinner. When I got home by 1:30, I had two choices: a) take a nap, b) go for a run. I was elated being able to choose (b). I went out to Garin and squeezed in 4.5 miles.
People around me find both the elation and the choice strange. This got me wondering why I like running so much and most others in my life don't even like walking. I like feeling the muscles in my legs work hard. I like feeling like I'm flying when I'm running down a hill. I like feeling my heart beat like it's going to jump through my chest wall. I like feeling sweat drip down the side of my face and down my neck. I like breathing deeply, when I have to use my mouth AND my nose just to get enough air back into my lungs. I like the silence. I like the quality time with Boomer. I like the "I can do it" attitude I get when I run. Oh, and I LOVE SWEETS!!!

A very small percentage of the American population likes to run. I'm happy to say I am a portion of that percentage.

Miles yesterday: 4.5
Monthly miles: 76

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Rebellious Legs

I can't stand not to run. I ran the Golden Hills Trail Marathon on Saturday. I worked an eight hour shift on Sunday, golfed 18 holes on Monday. Now I was ready to run. I went out Tuesday morning for a run but my body and legs said, "Um, I don't think so!" Fine. Boomer and I walked around Quarry Lakes for an hour or so. I went out yesterday for a run. Still, the body a bit hesitant, I was able to run a couple of miles. This morning I loaded up my hydration pack and strapped on my Garmin and headed out to Garin Garin/Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks East Bay Regional Parks with a six to eight mile run on my mind. My legs are still being somewhat controlling of my body so I ran a four mile loop that I love and called it a day.
There were goats grazing on the side of a hill. Usually they are in a fenced area. Today they weren't. Boomer thought perhaps they should be in a DIFFERENT area and started running toward them to herd them there. Luckily I was able to stop him with a loud "STOP!" Right then he was easily distracted by a bunny on our trail. He loves trail running almost as much as me but clearly for different reasons.
I'm working all day tomorrow so I won't be running. My daughter and I are heading over to Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival very early Saturday morning so no run that day. I'm hoping by Sunday morning my legs will be as anxious as the rest of me to get out and run around in the mountains.

Miles today: 4
Miles for month: 71.5

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

OMG, I have a blog!

After following blogs and making friends through them, I have finally decided to create one of my own. I will be motivated to take more pictures of the beautiful places I run on a daily basis and share them with others. Hopefully I will make people want to get out and run. I run to live and I live to run. I look forward to sharing my miles with you.
Until later........