Friday, December 31, 2010

How did you spend the last day of 2010?

This is where I spent my last morning of 2010.  Baker Beach in San Francisco was part of my six mile trail run with Rene' and Boomer.  Last year we met for a run along this same trail, just a few days earlier.  I think we're going to make it an annual thing.  My foot was a bit sore for a lot of the run.  Luckily, it's mostly downhill (except a few steep stair climbs) on the way to the Sutro Baths and we did a lot of hiking on the way back.

In the picture below, way over to the left side is where we are heading back to.

While we were out today, Rene' was able to hit her 1,000th mile of running for the year.  Just in the nick of time, eh?  We were counting down and as soon as she hit the 1,000th mile I congratulated her and snapped a photo to commemorate it.  Good job girl. 

I have been rolling my IT band since Tuesday and today it didn't bother me at all.  However, I'm sure the varied terrain is what really made a difference.  I am looking forward to trying a run again on flat ground to see if it acts up.  I will continue to roll it though, no doubt. 

I am excited for 2011.  I have already signed up for a PCTR event, a Brazen Racing event and on January 15th I'll start a 10-week training program for a 100-mile bike ride taking place April 2nd.  AND, Sara's getting married in Jamaica.

Thanks to each and every one of you that have stuck with me this year.  It was one hell of a year for me and I just can't say enough, how difficult it would have been without all of you and your support.  I'm serious! 

Happy New Year everyone.  May 2011 be a year filled with nothing but greatness for you.

Until next year.............

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Everything takes time, right?

One thing I have not mastered is patience.  I used to wake up and pray for it each day and somewhere along the way, I have stopped.  I need to start doing that again. 

I'm coming up on three months post-op.  I know, I can hardly believe it either.  I have never, ever taken this much time off from running. NEVER!  Yes, I have run a handful of times in the past few weeks but I want to be running more.  I want to be able to run as long as I want to!  I guess that's a lot to ask for.

This morning I took Boomer and Bella over to the Alameda Creek Trail with a plan to run 4-5 miles.  Right about a mile in, my left IT band started yelling at me.  I tried to run it off but ended up having to stop and massage it a little bit.  That did help but I ended up only being able to complete three miles.

Oh, and I wore my Garmin - just because.  I thought I was slow before?  Ha!  My comfortable pace this morning was 12:07/mile.  Smokin', eh?

Yes.  Everything takes time.

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Such a busy time of year

Today is Christmas Eve and I'm up having my first cup of coffee before work.  I get to work 9-5:30.  I'm okay with it because I'm all done with my shopping and now I can help out some manic last minute shoppers get their lists completed.  At least the day should go by quickly.

My friend Andrea had her baby last week, after 14 hours of labor.  Little Kathryn Diana entered the world on Thursday at 9:01 a.m., weighing in at 6.2 pounds.  Yesterday Sara and I were lucky enough to meet and hold her.  I had truly forgotten how tiny a newborn is.

Saturday my husband woke me up with a cup of coffee and asked me if I wanted to take Boomer to Garin for a hike early before we went to the Dickens Fair in South San Francisco.  I gladly hopped out of bed when I saw the rain had let up and we took the boy out for a (muddy) 3.5 mile hike.

While we were there, my dear friend Jana that used to live across the street with the two big black dogs showed up. She was in town for one night, emptying out her storage shed. She took the doggies out for some exercise before driving home to Seattle. She walked with us back to the parking lot to say goodbye. Naturally, Spike jumped right into my car as soon as it was opened. Remember when he used to run across the street and dive into my car before we'd go hiking? I miss those dogs a lot!

I'm back to moving every day and it makes me happy.  I am able to walk two miles without any problem.  I attend "Body Pump" classes twice a week at the gym.  I do the Elliptical instead of "Camp24" or "24SET" classes though because I just can't jump around that much.  I have not run since last Thursday but that is only a timing (working tons of hours) and weather issue.  Believe me, I am dying to run again.  Work should slow down after next week and life will be more back to normal.  I already have one running date planned with Rene' on New Year's Day.  I will start off the year right! 

I'm off to get ready for work but not before I wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas tomorrow.

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I am a *freak* for Fall colors

I go absolutely ga-ga over the colors that Fall produces.  Ask anyone.  As soon as I see the first yellow leaf on a tree, I'm pointing to every new one I see. 

I went to Garin last week to try a run again.  I am happy to say it was a success!!  I was able to run ~3 miles with Boomer.  It was absolutely gorgeous there.  With the overcast skies, the golden colored trees really stuck out.

I've been walking with a very pregnant friend of mine for the past week.  We went twice last week and once on Tuesday.  Each walk was close to TWO hours.  We walked around Lake Elizabeth and noticed this guy:

Check him out!  Is he the strangest thing you have ever seen?  He's not really a duck, but he's not a goose either.  He waddles horribly when he walks and the strangest thing is, when he is in the water, his tail feathers NEVER stop moving.  All the ducks moving along side him, they're tail feathers don't move.  When we saw him again on Tuesday, we were able to spot him in the water because he was the only one with his rear end going non-stop.

Lake Elizabeth is a very popular area for locals to walk.  Every year this tree gets more and more decorations. 

After we walked, Boomer and I went to a pet store and he picked this pig ear right off the shelf.  He carried it all the way to the car.  He was NOT going to let it go.  LOL

So, anyway.  The walking with my very pregnant friend worked!!  Her due date is tomorrow.  She phoned me at work Tuesday to tell me her water broke.  Yippee.  Unfortunately, she is still in the hospital with her labor progressing very, very slowly.  Looks like little Katie wants to be right on time and wait until the 16th to take her first breath.  I'm anxiously waiting to hear. 

I ran again yesterday.  Boomer and I went over to the Alameda Creek Trail and ran ~3 miles.  My toe felt very good.  My left IT band was making itself known though.  Probably because I'm doing more of a heal strike instead of a soft, ball of my foot landing.  I adjusted my stride on the way back and the pain subsided.  It will take my legs a while to get back to where they were prior to my surgery.  That's okay, I've got nothing but time.

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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Life Is Good winner.......

I took the names from my last post and the few that commented on Facebook, threw them in the big ol' tote bag and drew one out.

The winner is:

Congratulations Miki!  Send me an email or contact me on Facebook and give me your mailing address.  I will send out your new Life Is Good tote bag by Thursday.

I am working on a new post right now, with lots of good updates from the past week.  Look for it soon.  ;)

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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"Life Is Good" Giveaway!

Would you like this HUGE Life Is Good tote bag?


I have had one heck of a year!  I have shared with you, very openly, about the good and bad happenings in my life.  You all have helped me through some pretty tough stuff and for this I will be forever grateful.

As the year comes to a close, I am in a pretty good place in my life.  I wake up every day feeling blessed to have my family, my friends, and my health.  As corny as that sounds, it's true.  Today I feel my Life Is Good! 

Now, back to the giveaway.  How much use could you get out of a tote this big?  Think of how much stuff it could hold for you.  Probably an entire weekend of clothes for a little getaway or camping trip.  It would be a great bag for the beach or to serve as a "drop bag" at your next ultra!  It's the perfect "carry on" size for your next plane trip too. 

It's very simple.  I have learned A LOT about myself this year.  All you have to do is leave me a comment and tell me one thing you learned about me this year by reading my blog.

That's it.  Pretty easy, eh?  I will accept entries through midnight on December 13th and will pull a number out of the bag on the 14th.  Thank you and good luck!

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

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The wait is over!

Things are happening and they're happening FAST!  I'm so excited!!

Yesterday before dinner, Keith asked me to try on my ski boot.  He's been asking about skiing this year.  Inside I felt like I would probably have to sit out this season but I never expressed this to him.  Seeing as I was just able to put on a closed toe shoe about a week ago, I figured there was no way I could get my foot in a ski boot.  To my surprise, I got my foot in the boot and it felt pretty comfortable.  Yes, I felt just like Cinderella!  Now it looks like I will be able to ski very soon.

Last night I went to a "Body Pump" class at the gym.  In this class you lift a barbell the entire time, there's no cardio.  I did this class  a couple weeks ago and tried to use the same weight I used prior to my surgery.  Not a great idea.  I couldn't walk very good for about five days and going down stairs was impossible!  Last night I used a lighter weight and felt good this morning.

So well in fact, I went for a run at Garin!  A 4.25 mile run.  Yeehaw!  I'm not sure who was having more fun, me or Boomer.  I was SO happy to be running on my favorite trails again.  I wonder if you can imagine the joy I felt while running through those hills with Boomer bouncing happily nearby.  Aaaah, this is what I've been waiting for.  What a feeling!!!

I promise, Boomer wasn't as bored as he looks here

My friend HSE Lori came by for a visit yesterday and as we were chatting she told me I have handled my recovery since my surgery a lot better than the month before my surgery.  I was pretty manic during that time.  I was so worried about never being able to run again, putting on 100 pounds, losing motivation and never wanting to run again, etc.  Sometimes I was so consumed with the unknown that I couldn't do anything else.  I struggled with headaches, lack of sleep, mood swings.  Gah!

All I can say is I'm glad it's over and I'm super happy to be slipping back into my active lifestyle!!

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

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Quality time

After I posted last week about trying to eat right so I could get down to my comfy weight, a friend gave me an entire month's supply of Nutrisystem food.  This food had been in storage for "a while" but seeing as it is freeze dried I figured the shelf life would be pretty much indefinite.  I was wrong!  I spent all night Tuesday puking my guts out and Wednesday in bed recovering.  This scared me because I was hosting Thanksgiving.  I woke up Thursday feeling well enough to do what needed to be done.  Thank God!

I walked Boomer over to the junior high school in my neighborhood that morning and let him off leash in the field.  There is a track in the back and I decided I would try to run a lap.  I ended up running (I use that word very loosely, by the way) three laps and felt pretty good about it.

Sara came over early in the afternoon and we spent time together, preparing the Thanksgiving meal for my little family.  I try to show her something new to make every year so maybe when it's her turn to host a holiday meal, she will remember what to do.

Friday night Keith and I went to a movie.  We watched "Burlesque" with Christina and Cher.  Very entertaining movie! 

Saturday night Keith took Sara and I out to dinner.  After dinner, Sara had me hand address her wedding invitations.  She needs to get them out early because the wedding is in another country.  People need to plan.  I loved the time we had together, sitting at the table talking while I was doing this favor for her.  It brought back memories of she and I sitting at that same table, every afternoon together, working on her homework and talking about her day in school.  After the invitations were addressed, stuffed and stamped, I asked her to tell me about her engagement night.  I wanted to hear all about the moment Sterling proposed to her, how she reacted, what she felt, etc.  It was awesome to listen to her relive the evening and how excited she was to get home to tell me.  It also occurred to me how happy I am to "be present" during this very important time of her life.  For many years I was "absent" so to be able to experience everything right now, with a clear head, is a true blessing.

Sunday I got to spend some quality time with this awesome chick again.  She picked Boomer and I up at our house and drove us up to Oakland where we had a great time hiking.  I knew it was going to be wet so I decided to wear my waterproof hiking boots instead of my trail running shoes.  Probably not my best decision.  Right off the bat, my foot was hurting because my boots were too tight.  It was a fun time anyway!  Boomer had a blast in the cool weather and wet dirt.  He played with a few runners until I called him back and he came sprinting as fast as he could.  RBR was very patient and didn't rush me up or down the trails.  She just followed nicely behind me and made me laugh enough to forget about my uncomfortable shoes.  It's nice to know that even though I can't run right now, someone still enjoys my company enough to drive a total of 50+ miles to hike with me.  Although, as you can see, the park itself is well worth it.

Boomer with RBR

Yesterday morning I went for a nice long walk with a friend that moved away in March.  Bill was a Supervisor at REI in Fremont but moved to Montana to help open a new REI there.  This was his first trip out to the Bay Area since his move.  We spent about 90 minutes walking along the Alameda Creek Trail, catching up on our lives.  At one point, Boomer got out of our sight.  I *think* he followed a female runner down the trail.  This caused a little bit of anxiety for a few minutes as we each went separate directions calling out for him.  Eventually, he appeared on the trail, walking toward me with a "what are you yelling about?" kind of look.  Even though Bill and I have kept in touch via emails and texts often, it was great to have some time to visit.

Tonight I headed out in the cold to take Boomer and Bella for a walk.  I decided I was going to do the two mile loop around the neighborhood.  They were so excited to be out, they started pulling me right away.  I ran a little bit, just to keep up.  It felt pretty good so I KEPT ON RUNNING!!  I ran the entire two miles with the two dogs.  You all *have* to know how great that felt, right?  Tomorrow is two months since my surgery.  Two months!  And I ran two miles.  Yeah, I'm thrilled!

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Change is coming

I feel frumpy.  I feel sluggish.  I feel like I look old.  Why?  Because I have continued to eat my candy and desserts while stopping any and all cardiovascular exercise over the last seven weeks.  Even though the scale only admits a two pound gain, my body feels like a ten pound gain.

What am I doing about it?

Last Monday I cleared out my pantry of all things bad for me.  Yes, the 90% off Halloween candy I had just purchased went to the break room at work.  The Girl Scout candies and nuts?  To the break room they went!  I started eating the way I'm supposed to eat, cooking my healthy meals, and saying no to sweets and "extras."  As many of you know, when I say I'm going to do something I do it.  I would like to lose a total of ten pounds.  In 2007 I lost 25 pounds on Nutrisystem and kept within five pounds of that weight for at least two years.  Over the last year I have slowly added a pound here and there.  Some have left, and some have remained.  I want to get back to that "net 25" pound loss.  So that's what I'm going to do.  It will get much easier when I can start doing classes at the gym and running also. 

I'm sure my "feeling frumpy" is mainly due to my limited footwear choices.  Some of you may think it would be fun to wear sandals everywhere you go but I'm not talking about sexy, strappy sandals.  I'm talking about these chunky Chaco sandals:

I miss wearing my cute shoes and being able to choose which ones would match the outfit I put on.  I just have to be patient and hang on a few more weeks until a regular shoe fits comfortably and doesn't irritate my incision. 

Alright.  Enough complaining.  Onto some good stuff. 

Last week I got to meet a Blogger friend face-to-face.  Lauren was in the Bay Area for business and asked if I could meet up with her for an early morning hike.  She was staying in Walnut Creek so I picked a park near her hotel.  Boomer and I hit the road at 5:30 a.m. for the hour drive north to meet Lauren at 6:30.  I had originally said to meet at Diablo Foothills Park but when I got there the gates were closed.  I went back down the road and saw a sign for Borges Ranch - 3/4 mile off the main road.  I sent Lauren a text and she found me.  We hiked around for a little over an hour.  I had never been to this park.  I thought it was beautiful and the views were awesome. 

She had to head up north for work so she didn't have a ton of time.  It was fun chatting with her and getting to know more about her.  My list of 20-something-year-old friends just keeps growing.  I love it!  Keeps me young, I think.  Lauren said she will be up in the Bay Area more often so hopefully next time I can take her running on the trails.

I was able to go for a 3.5 mile walk this morning along the Alameda Creek Trail.  But then I worked an eight hour shift and tonight my foot is swollen.  I probably should spread the time of my feet out a little bit more than that.  Live and learn.

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

Monday, November 15, 2010

So much stuff

Last week my work schedule had me all tied up.  It is lightening up now that I can work full days.  That doesn't quite make sense, does it.  I am now working less days, but longer hours.  I have a little more time to breathe.  I spent two days cross training in the winter sports and cycling departments at work.  One day I learned all about skis and snowboards and the next day I learned everything I need to know about bikes.  I got to test ride a few nice bikes too.  This really got me in the mood to ride!  I will be taking my bike in this week to change out the pedals (go back to my clips) and should be riding soon.

I received an email from Stacey Thursday asking me if I was free any time over the weekend.  We made arrangements for a "walk" and coffee Saturday morning.  She drove up to Fremont and I took her to Sunol where we hiked and talked for a little over two hours.  The weather was absolutely beautiful, the conversation was nothing but stimulating, and the park did not disappoint. 

After our hike I took her to my favorite deli in the Mission district of Fremont.  We had to end our visit shortly after lunch so I could go home and get ready for work.  Otherwise we probably would have ended up at a coffee shop where we'd *still* be sitting and chatting away. 

Sunday was spent with my daughter Sara, shopping for her wedding dress.  Believe it or not, she found THE ONE she saw on the designer's website six months ago that she really wanted.  She made an appointment at the only dress shop in the Bay Area that carried that particular one.  Prior to that appointment though, we went to a dress shop in Pleasanton that carried dresses by her designer and she tried on at least a dozen dresses, just in case THE ONE wasn't what she had been hoping.  It was a ton of fun and I took a bunch of pictures.  We ended up ordering her the dress from the cute little shop in Pleasanton.  Now she gets to wait until March to try it on in her size.

Sara has been engaged 10 days and she already has her wedding date/time booked, the announcements ordered and shipped, the invitations ordered, her bridesmaids dresses bought, my dress bought, and now her dress ordered.  I guess it pays to be a planner, eh?

Today I received a message from an out-of-state blogger friend.  She's in the area for one night and wants to meet up with me in the morning.  I'm thrilled I have the day off and Boomer and I get to meet her.  I'm going to a park I've never been to also.  I'll be sure to share photos afterwards.

Oh!  I went in for my final post-op appointment this morning.  I had x-rays taken and the doctor tells me my fracture is 90% healed.  Yippee!  He said I can start going for longer walks.  (He never asked how much I'm walking now so I didn't tell him.)  He also said I shouldn't "jump or run" for another four weeks.  I don't know about that.  We (I) will have to see how I'm feeling in two weeks. 

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

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Good news all around

I couldn't stand it any longer.  It had been five weeks without any single track under my feet.  Friday, the dry spell came to an end.  I took Boomer to Garin to tackle my favorite 3.25 mile loop.  I originally thought I would stay on the fire road, just do an out and back to Jordan Pond.  Once I got to the pond however, the single track was right there, tempting me.......

We went onto Dry Creek Trail and completed the loop.  I just couldn't help myself.  Here is some of the beauty I've been missing so much.

You understand completely, don't you?

Last week was such a busy week.  It started with Halloween, then the Giants winning the World Series.  Tuesday was election day and Wednesday was Sara's birthday.

My little girl is now 24.  So hard to believe!
We spent the day together in Danville.  We had lunch outside on the patio at a very nice little restaurant and then went to Pinky's where Sara got a pedicure and I got a manicure.  In the evening we got together with my family for dinner.

Sterling and Sara

Friday night, Sterling took Sara to her favorite restaurant in Capitola to celebrate her birthday.  While they were there, he offered her THIS:

She said YES!
I worked that night and didn't get home until 10:00 but they were waiting for me to get home so they could share the good news.  I'm so happy for her and to have Sterling join our little family.  They have been together over five years so we all figured they were going to get married.  It's so exciting to know they ARE now!  They're planning on June in Jamaica.  She has spent all weekend visiting family members and telling them.  When she and I went to church this morning, she barely had a voice left.  It's great to see her so happy.

So, that's my good news - I'm back on single track trails and Sara is engaged.  Woohoo!

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