Saturday, December 26, 2009

Eight miles on the Coastal Trail

I got to run with a new blogger buddy today! This time it was Rene' @ Run Rene Run....

I have met Rene' once before, at the SF One Day I volunteered at in October. She ran to Crissy Field that day so we could meet in person. We got to chat a little and she invited me to join her on the Coastal Trail for a run in the future.

Today was that day! She went for a swim in the cold bay water this morning so we agreed on meeting at The Presidio at 1:00 this afternoon. It started off as a clear beautiful day, 51 degrees. From The Presidio we headed down to Baker Beach where Boomer got some off-leash time.

After Baker Beach we ran through a very nice neighborhood Rene' told me was called "Sea Cliff". Super nice homes with gorgeous views of the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge. This neighborhood led us to Lands End where the trails got a little bit more narrow but also gained quite a few steps.

We ran down to the old Sutro Baths, along some very steep cliffs. I actually had to leash Boomer at this cliff because it was straight down and he was being a little curious.

I see a heart in the middle of those rocks. Do you see a heart?

We turned around when we got to the Cliff House Restaurant at Ocean Beach.

This is when the rain started coming down. Not terribly, but enough to have Boomer stop and wipe his face with his paw a few times.

Even though I kept Boomer on a leash for about 75% of the eight mile run, he was such a good boy and had a great time. He didn't care for the waves crashing on the beaches but other than that, he was so happy being out on the trail with us.
So, another successful blogger meet-up in the books for me. AND, another friend to add to my list. Rene' is so comfortable to be around. Since I haven't been running a lot lately I knew I would be slower than her but she made it seem like that was no big deal. I could run when I felt like it and hike when I needed to. She made it enjoyable by being so kind. She's so darn cute too! I was shocked to find out she is closer to my age than I thought. She looks about 15 years younger than me for God's sake!
Lucky for me she swims and cycles too so that will give us a chance to enjoy some other activities together as well. Thanks Rene', for showing me such a beautiful trail and spending time with me and Boomer. ;)
Until later.............

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Feeling Blessed

I was driving up the freeway this morning with a big smile on my face. The song Oh Holy Night came on and for some reason it started me reflecting on my life right now and how blessed I truly am. I have great friends in my life. I have a wonderful job. I have a family that loves me, regardless of all the hell I put them through when I was young and stupid. I have a Mom that tells me constantly how proud she is of me. I have a husband that loves me and respects me, he doesn't restrict me or try to stifle my "spirited" personality. I have a relationship with my daughter that I think a lot of mothers and daughters would love to have. I hope you have many reasons to smile today too!! ;)

So, why was I driving up the freeway this morning? I was meeting Aron in Berkeley so I could take her to Rodeo Beach for her first trail run. Yippee! It was very, very chilly. The sun was shining but the wind, which you can't SEE here, was whippin' and it was a cold one.

The RDs had to change the course due to one of the trails being closed for maintenance. I wasn't sure how it was going to be different for us doing the 8k because I had never ran the 8k here before. We ended up having to just do an out and back on a fire road. 2.35 miles up and 2.35 miles down. All open roads, no single track trails. :( Not my idea of showing someone what trail running is all about.

This was the closest we got to a single track trail, right along side the road:

I was a bit saddened by the course change but there wasn't much we could do about it. On the way there this morning, Aron and I had just talked about how we didn't like "out and back" courses. LOL
Aron did so great, as I knew she would. We walked the second section out the "out" part because it was a climb but I have no doubt at all she could have run up it. I think she is definitely light enough and a strong enough runner where she would be able to hop right on up that hill.
If ultra-running is in your plans Aron, I think you should go for it. Don't be afraid. I'm going to say right now, I think you would be a leader in the field if you were to some day soon enter a 50k. I'm just sayin'.
We finished in one hour and a few seconds. We hung around for just a few minutes (because it was so cold) and then I drove her back to her car. We were able to talk more and I am so thrilled to know Aron a little bit more now. She is such a sweetheart of a girl. I smile as I type that, just so you know. A real sweetheart!!! I get to add her to my list of "great friends" and one more reason to feel so blessed in my life.
Aron has a few days off during the holidays so I am going to try like heck to get her out to Chabot or Redwood Park (with the doggies) for some REAL trail running in the next couple of weeks. Keeping my fingers crossed!
Until later.............

Friday, December 18, 2009


Tomorrow I am taking Aron (runner's rambles) to her fist PCTR event: Rodeo Beach 8k.

This will be the first time for her to experience trail running!

I'm very excited.

I'm also a little nervous.

It's a big responsibility, don't you think? What if she doesn't find it fun? What if, because she accompanying ME (back of the pack old lady), she finds it boring? I mean, the girl is FAST! She just qualified for Boston. Yah, she's that fast.

I'll let you know how it goes. I'll take a lot of pictures for you too.

Until later.............

Monday, December 14, 2009

What a week!

The last time I posted was about my ride with RBR and the REI Christmas party. I can't believe all the stuff I have done just since then. OMG!

I worked Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday morning, very early, Sara and I flew down to Disneyland. She loves Disneyland and has never seen it decorated for Christmas. Her boyfriend paid for her airline ticket, park admission and the hotel room. He had no desire to go with her so she was generous enough to invite me and I gladly accepted. It was beautiful. We had a great time together and the crowds were minimal. The fireworks were spectacular. I have never seen any show as nice as that one was.

We flew home Thursday afternoon and I worked until 9:30 on Friday night. Saturday I did some Christmas shopping. After sitting down and figuring out what I need to buy, it's really not that bad. I can say I'm almost done already!
Saturday night Keith and I went to Victoria's 2009 Sugarfest. How could I possibly turn this invitation down? The invitation stated we were to dress in our favorite fancy clothes, bring a dessert and come have fun. Okay! It was so great to see all the fellow trail running people in "clothes". Some of them clean up quite well, I must say. The funny part was seeing the women (myself included) walking around in high heels. You could tell none of us do that for a living. Well, what I mean by that is none of us wear them to an office on a daily basis!

The beautiful hostess, Victoria

My Angel Island 50k buddy, Theresa

The man I adore so very much!

Last night it was family time on the train. We took the Train of Lights through Niles Canyon. We bought these tickets quite a while ago and were so happy it didn't rain. It's been raining pretty good here for the last few days. Sara's boyfriend Sterling was supposed to go with us but ended up being scheduled for work. My brother, Steve stepped in at the last minute and took our extra ticket. It was a nice evening. ;)

I'm scheduled for work Monday through Friday again this week, starting in the morning so I can't see getting any running in. I have a PCTR event on the calendar Saturday. An 8k with "someone that just qualified for Boston." That should be fun!! I am thinking I will have to go the gym in the evening to do some classes this week, just to burn some calories. It's not my first choice but it works.
I hope I don't go crazy this week!

Until later.............

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cycling with RBR

Check it out! We actually did it. Stacey (Run Bitch Run) and I went on a bike ride. I had a meeting at work Sunday morning until 10:30 a.m. so Stacey drove up and met me at the store. We were THIS close to canceling again. It was very tempting, considering it was 45 degrees.

From the parking lot, we went up Auto Mall to Mission Boulevard and north on Mission to Mowry. I took her on a little tour of Fremont, pointing out (non)interesting places along the way. We rode by my daughter's house and then I took her to my house so she could meet my husband and see Boomer again.

We hopped onto Paseo Padre from Mowry and headed south. This was my first "real" ride with my new clip in pedals and shoes. I was feeling very comfortable clipping in and out on the ride. I think having toe clips (baskets) for the last few months helped because at least I was used to having to "get out" of something every time I stopped and "getting back in" when I started up again.

We got to the top of Paseo Padre, in the Mission area and Stacey wants to stop so she can take a picture of the view. By the way, where the hell IS that picture? Hmmmm.

Anyway. I unclip my right foot, no problem, and we stop. Uh oh. Suddenly I realize I'm kind of leaning to the left. Before I know it, I'm crashing quickly toward the pavement and I can't get my left foot out of the clip. Crap! Down I go. As Judi says, "I did a tip over!"

Do you think I could get a hand back up? Please? Nope. Stacey needs to take out her camera first and snap a picture. Of course! I certainly should not have expected anything else. She said she heard and saw the whole thing. I landed right on my hand but nothing serious. At least I have one fall out of the way. She says it takes three falls to be a "real cyclist." I dried my tears (not really) and we took another picture before heading down the big hill and back to the store. We were able to complete an 18 mile loop and we didn't freeze to death.

We chatted for a few more minutes in the parking lot before parting ways. I haven't committed to anything yet BUT I will say she has got me thinking of doing something next spring that will require me getting MUCH more comfortable with open water. We'll see where this goes. ;)
Sunday night we went to City Beach for REI's Christmas party. Tons of games to play, lots of food to eat and plenty of holiday cheer being spread.

We were able to get our tree today. Three cheers for us!! We have it up with the lights and topper on. We can't decorate it until tomorrow night when Sara is available to help. She insists it is tradition that she is here every year to hang ornaments with me. I will wait for that. Not a problem.

Other than that, nothing else is crossed off the list. Baby steps, right? Baby steps!
Until later.............

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is it just me?


1. Made a list of what to buy for who for Christmas

2. Purchased Christmas cards to send out for the business

3. Purchased cookies to give to our business accounts

4. Committed to a day that I will deliver said cookies to our business accounts

5. Put up ONE Christmas decoration. Keith did put our lights up though. Go Keith!

6. Thought of one single gift I might want to receive for Christmas

7. Committed to a day we will get our Christmas tree

8. Purchased Christmas stamps for mailing Christmas cards

9. Planned a day to take my Mom shopping so she can buy her gifts for everyone

Am I the only one like this?

I am having so much trouble getting into the Christmas spirit this year.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Update on Spike!

Jana left a comment on my post about Spike's injury. Knowing that most of you probably won't go back and look at that post, I want to post it here.

Jana says:

"Wow!! Thanks everybody for the warm wishes and thoughts!! I am very glad to have had JoLynn with me, she really saved the day. Spike is doing great, the hardest part is keeping him calm so he doesn't rip out his staples."

I actually saw Spike outside last night, in front of his house. If he didn't have the big cone on his head, you wouldn't know he was injured so badly a week ago.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Therapy on the trails

Wow. Has it really been a week since I have posted on my blog? I have no excuse besides being busy. Or lazy. Or tired. Pick one.

I haven't been exercising enough, I can tell you that. It's affecting me in a very negative way. Not exercising does bad things to me, mostly mentally.

Yesterday I decided I HAD to go somewhere and get a good trail run in. That was exactly what I did. Boomer and I picked up Bella and drove up to Oakland. We parked at the Skyline Gate and took off.

I don't know the area extremely well, especially from that staging area but I figured I could make my way back to my car without a problem. I only had to ask one person, just to make sure I was heading the right way. ;)

It was so gorgeous on those trails. I spent 2.5 hours there and had an absolute ball. I saw two other runners the whole time I was out there. The smells, the silence, and the scenery were all things I needed.

Coming back on the Stream Trail, the dogs had to be leashed so I had trouble running the easiest portion of the entire route. It's very difficult running while having two dogs on short leashes. It really didn't matter though. I was happy just being there.

I've gone on a few hikes and many walks over the past week. No cycling. No running. I think the time just flew by without me really taking note. It's been colder than I like. And, I've been working a lot of morning shifts.
I know I need to run on the trails to keep my sanity. Watching Boomer have fun makes me smile and lifts my spirits every time I am out there. How silly I was to forget all this.
Until later.............

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We had good intentions. Honestly, we did!

The above picture was taken in May of this year, on Mother's Day as a matter of fact. It was the first (and only) time I had met Stacey, aka Run Bitch Run. We met at Garin very early that morning for a run and to show her the park. We enjoyed a beautiful ten mile run that day.

It has taken us this long to get together again. I know, entirely TOO LONG!

We made a plan to meet here in Fremont at 7:30 and drive to Sunol where we would do a 25-30 mile bike ride. I was so excited and really looking forward to spending time with her again. I arrived at our agreed upon place and got out of my car to give her a hug and get her bike into my car. Uh, brrrrrrrrrrrr! It was COLD. It was 50 degrees and WINDY.

Ugh! We got Stacey's bike and all of her gear into my car and jumped into the front seats, slammed the doors and looked at each other and started laughing. "Boy, it is FREEZING out there!" I started up my car and noticed the temperature had dropped to 49 degrees. OMG! Now it's in the 40's.

We drive out to Sunol (three exits up the freeway) and as we are pulling off the freeway we see the temperature has dropped dramatically to 39 degrees!!! When I pulled over to park, it was now 36 freakin' degrees! Holy crap. There is no way in hell we are going to get out of the car and ride our bikes.

We came up with a great idea. We are going to go eat breakfast and wait for it to warm up. Brilliant idea.

We found a nice little breakfast place in Pleasanton and ordered up some coffee. We had menus but couldn't stop talking for even a minute to look at them. We yacked and yacked AND YACKED for close to an hour before we even placed our order. After about five offers, the waitress stopped asking if she could take our order and just kept refilling our coffee cups. I haven't laughed that hard is such a long time. She is so damn hilarious! Most of you know this already though, from reading her blog.

We finally placed our breakfast order and tried to eat between sentences. She told me stories about her training, her trip to Alaska, her African Safari, her animals. We talked about friendships and husbands. Oh, it was so much fun!

The check came and Stacey was more than generous and bought my breakfast for me. We were finally ready to leave the restaurant and face the day. We had no idea how long we had been there. It definitely was warmer outside. When we got back to my car, it was after 10:30. Oops! Time for a bike ride had run out. Stacey had a dental appointment at 1:00. I had to just drive her back to her car, unload the bike and all of her gear and send her on her way. :(

Next time we will be sure to plan a later start for a bike ride but I wouldn't take back the early unplanned breakfast for anything. Nothing!

As I drove away from her, my car said it was 62 degrees outside. DOH!

Until later.............

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We all know our own child's cry

Even if that "child" is your dog.

This morning I was planning on going to Pilates and then getting my Thanksgiving shopping done. Jana (my neighbor across the street with the two black doggies) sent me a text asking if I wanted to go for a hike. Hmmm. Remembering that one year ago today was the first time Jana and I hiked together, I decided it would be nice to do that. So, we loaded up the doggies and headed over to our favorite park, Garin.

A photo from April - Izzy, Boomer, Jana, Me, Spike

After getting through the first two gates, it's a free for all and the dogs go running off in different directions. We wanted to go to the right today but Spike had already taken off to the left. Jana called for him and we suddenly heard a dog crying LOUDLY. She said it was Spike but I didn't think so. She threw down her water bottle and leashes and ran down the road toward the crying. Spike came limping out slowly, onto the road. I stood for a while, waiting for them to come back up.

Suddenly Jana threw up her arms and screamed, "SPIKE......" I ran down as fast as I could. She kept screaming and she could hardly breathe. She fell to her knees. When I got there I could hear her saying, "his chest, his chest." I looked down and saw a wide open cut with a flap of skin just hanging off.

We rushed all four dogs (I had Bella too) back to my car. Thank GOD I was driving. I had her sit in the back and told her to take the blanket and hold it against his chest, holding the skin up. I drove as fast as we could to Central Vet (about seven miles away) and called to let them know we were on our way. A technician met us at the door and took Spike right away. Jana finally broke down. I held her and let her cry.

I went outside and called Jana's husband to let him know what was going on. About this time the technician came out and told us we could go into a room, the doctor would see us now. He had been able to examine Spike quickly and give him some pain medication. He let Jana know what needed to be done. Spike was going to have surgery immediately. They will have to sedate him to clean out the wound, shave the area and staple it up. He also has cuts on his feet, thighs and under his belly, that all need to be cleaned up and looked at. He's pretty positive it was some barbed wire. Hopefully he will be coming home early this evening or late this afternoon.

Say a little prayer for Spike. Poor guy. A park he's been to SO MANY times in the past year just ripped him up. He just wanted to go have a little fun on a beautiful day.

Until later.............

*UPDATE* It's 5:30 and Spike is home. He has 18 staples in his chest and four stitches in a foot. He has to rest and behave himself for a few days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love my job, but...............

I love my days off MORE!!!

Me and Bella Bean

I had today and yesterday off. It was supposed to rain Tuesday night into today but I never saw a drop.

This morning, Boomer and I picked up Bella and went to Sunol Regional Wilderness Park.

Baby cow hanging out in the shade. Tons of babies there today.

Boomer teaching Bella how to hunt for rabbits.

We hiked for close to two hours, five miles. Long enough to wear the furry kids out. Since they run all over the hills, they put more miles on their legs than I did.

The bridge where the leashes go back on, freedom ends here.

So, I went for a bike ride on Sunday, mainly to tackle that hill on Paseo Padre again. Well, I went for a bike ride, 20 miles, but I actually avoided THAT HILL. Don't get me wrong, I tackled a lot of hills, just not "the one". I went down Mission to Warm Springs, up East Warren (a pretty good hill in itself) and then back home on Mission. Yup, I wussed out! I WUSSED OUT! However, when the ride was over I had forgiven myself.
I did better yesterday. I went for another 20 mile ride. I took Paseo to East Warren and planned on taking Paseo back so I could do the hill. I thought of a dozen different routes I could take back home, to avoid it, but in the end I DID IT! I made it up and over the big hill without stopping. I'm trying to stand up more instead of shift gears. It seems to be easier when I stand up. I have ordered myself some pedals (clips) but they are on back order so I'm just waiting for them to come in. Then I need to get shoes. I'm still using toe clips. I can only imagine how much easier it will be to get up the hills when I get new shoes and pedals.
Now it's back to work for a couple of days. I feel rejuvenated though. I'm glad the rain stayed away, just for me, for my days off. ;)
Until later.............

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seeking Serenity

I received a text Monday night from Kirstin, a co-worker, asking me if I was available for a run Tuesday morning. Um, of course!! I love this girl. She is such a sweetheart, a very nice person to be around. As we began our run at Garin, it appeared she had some things on her mind that she wanted to unload. I was more than happy to be there to listen. Boomer and I picked up Bella on our way and the four of us had a great time on a 60-minute run.

I will say I was a bit disappointed in my arthritic knee that day. I'm not sure if there was just too much flat or if it is indeed getting worse. I will say the pain was a little too much for my liking. I do know on Saturday when I ran with Christy, about half of it was flat and by the end my knee was pretty much hurting with every step. I'll have to see how it feels the next time I run I guess.

I had Wednesday off too so I took advantage of our dry weather and went for a bike ride. I had a lot of trouble getting motivated because it was an overcast morning. I finally got out and headed up Mowry to Mission and went south to Grimmer. I took Paseo Padre back home. I was dreading Paseo because of the hills that are on it and now I know why. Okay, I know the picture doesn't look like any big thing, I can see that NOW. However, when you are on a bike, the hill you see here is pretty damn steep!! I won't lie. I ALMOST made it to the top without stopping. I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest and a lung would have followed. I'm probably going to give it a try again tomorrow morning though. This time I hope to make it without stopping. ;) The ride, round trip was about 15 miles. I want to make it longer for tomorrow.

At least going for a ride allowed me to feel good about baking chocolate chip cookies that night. I saw an interesting recipe Rich's blog: Sotally Tober is Runnin' to the Finish Line. He says he follows the Nestle Toll House recipe but adds 1+1+1. What does he add? One extra cup of flour, one extra egg and a small box of instant pudding mix. His favorite flavor to use is french vanilla. I cooked up a batch and I must say, they were delicious!!! I had to take a lot to work (they never complain when I bring my extra homemade goodies) and they were a big hit there as well. Give the recipe a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Today, Keith and I picked up Bella and took both doggies over to Isherwood staging area and walked along the Alameda Creek Trail. The sun was starting to go down as we were heading back to the car. Boomer and Bella got some really good racing in. It was cute to watch and made us laugh. That's always a great thing.

For my daughter's birthday last week, we bought her two tickets to see Wicked. Naturally we bought two for ourselves also. The tickets were for last night. We took BART to San Francisco and didn't get back home until after 12:30. I honestly don't remember the last time I was up that late. LOL She and Sterling seemed to enjoy the show a lot. We were so glad! I loved seeing it again. I still laughed my head off at Glinda. Man, she is HILARIOUS!!
Our computer completely crashed a week ago. We could recover NOTHING. All of our business information is gone. GONE! All of our customer's addresses, phone numbers, contacts, A/R - GONE! That's a big hit for us. I've got some information put back in but there's still a lot to do. Gah! Not a good time for this to happen considering I have to send out Christmas cards in the next few weeks.
I can't even tell you how many times I have recited The Serenity Prayer this week. It does work! Well, along with exercise and chocolate chip cookies.
Until later.............