Friday, February 26, 2010

Lucky Charms IS NOT fuel

I gave the Fremont Freewheelers another shot yesterday morning.

First impressions: (I'm going to be honest here.) These people are weird! Their clothes are WAY too tight, they have WAY too much crap on their bikes. Some of them are wearing backpacks. (Perhaps I am a *bit* of a minimalist) A lot of them don't look like they could walk a mile, let alone pedal 25-35 miles. The ride leader showed up in a pink cape and yellow feathers all over her helmet with flowers growing out of it! The group was celebrating her birthday, which was Monday. The schedule said the ride started at 9:00 at Don Edward's Refuge Park, so of course I showed up eight minutes early. Two people were there. Within 15 minutes, another 23 people showed up. A few of them I recognized as customers from my store.

Let me back up just a little bit. A few weeks ago, while I was at work, I met a girl that was a member of the Fremont Freewheelers and we chatted a little about the group rides. She recommended I go to either a Tuesday or Thursday morning ride. A couple of weeks ago I showed up for the Tuesday ride and nobody else was there. With my work schedule, this was the first Thursday I could join.

Okay. After everyone checked in and introductions were made, we were ready to roll at 9:30. Because I met Vanessa at REI, she introduced me as such. WELL, from that point forward, I was the REI girl. People were rolling up next to me all day with questions about REI. At least I didn't feel like an outsider. I felt very welcome with this group. I also felt like it was a total PR day for REI though.

We rode over the Dumbarton Bridge and regrouped. That was at mile FOUR. As we were climbing up and over the bridge, I easily passed the majority of the group, calling "on your left" as I did so. I wasn't trying to, it was just my comfortable speed. As soon as we regrouped on the other side of the bridge, suddenly I am known as the "fast REI girl". I'm okay with this. A couple of miles later, we regrouped again. Mile six, mile 10, mile 12, mile 15, etc. We regrouped A LOT! I get it. Let's make sure we are all together. But, c'mon! We are adults. I can SEE the rest of the group. Let's GO! We rode all the way over to Portola Valley and did a few great climbs along the way. We had a "coffee stop" at mile 17 in Palo Alto at The Prolific Oven which actually turned out to be the birthday celebration for the group leader. I was hoping for a protein smoothie of some kind but this place doesn't serve them during the "off season" so I *had* to settle for a brownie. This "coffee stop" lasted almost half an hour. At 1:00 p.m., (2:25 actual rolling time) we were back at the car. The ride was 26 miles total. 3.5 hours is a very long time to cover 26 miles. I started my morning off with a bowl of Lucky Charms, thinking it was going to be a 25-35 mile ride with a coffee stop - half of that would be 12-17 miles - that would take an hour, give or take - I could refuel then. WRONG! At least now I know. Eat a bigger breakfast AND carry fuel!

Will I ride with this group again?

By the end of the ride I had chatted with probably 15 of the group and they are nice people. Only one man I can see butting heads with - an older guy that is a 'Mr. Know-It-All' type. But, that's alright, I can ride away from him. LOL So, the answer is YES! I will pay the $20 annual fee to hook up with some of them for group rides during the week. What's great about the Fremont Freewheelers is they have a ride (two or three on weekends) every day of the week! So, that will take care of my riding by myself problem, right? And hopefully, after a few more rides, I can acquire some phone numbers of the faster riders and we can hook up outside of the group rides.

Wednesday I tried the running thing again. Much better than Monday! But, how could it have been worse? Boomer and I hit the Alameda Creek Trail for a 5.5 mile run. It felt great!

The trees are blooming and it smells SO nice. This trail does have pavement, if you go beyond the two miles, in the western direction. I just stay on the dirt portion, next to the pavement.

Our turn-around point. He's waiting for me to tell him which way we're heading.

Tell me please, how bad of a gangster are you when you're spray painting snowmen underneath overpasses? Hmmm? And, P.S. Mr. Gangster - I totally adore snowmen!

I'm signed up to do a 20k race in Oakland hills tomorrow. A storm is blowing in here with force right now. I'm not sure if I (or my running partner) am committed enough to pull this one off. We'll have to see how it goes the rest of the day and tonight, with the rain.

MED2010 Accountability:
02/23 - 1.5 mile walk, "24SET" class
02/24 - 5.5 mile run, "CAMP24" class
02/25 - 26 mile bike ride
02/26 - 3.5 mile walk
Until later.............

Monday, February 22, 2010

Some updates

This first update is SO exciting to me. Most of you remember me doing my little triathlon last September, but for those new followers, you can read about it here: Single Track Junkie: See Jane Run's Triathlon 2009 Report. Anyway, I was notified last night of a new comment on my blog post regarding the rescued woman from that event. This is what the nice lady said:

"This is amazing to see... i am actually sitting with the "rescued woman" in my living room right now. She is my mother in law...we are all so moved to see the incredible response, prayers and support so many strangers have given her. Thank you for caring so much. We are grateful to have her here with us now!"

The next update is about the "no show" at the Show N Go I went to a couple of weeks ago. The president from the Fremont Freewheelers emailed me with an apology but unfortunately, no explanation. Not his fault though. He explained to me about the Show N Go's and how there isn't really a "leader". If more than two people show up, then they decide where to go. There's no email list either. So, it was just one of those days that nobody else felt like going for a ride. I was going to try again last week but I picked up a shift at work instead. I will definitely give them another chance.

Keith and I planned a little get away this past weekend, with some friends. We went to South Lake Tahoe and stayed here:

It was right at the bottom of Heavenly Ski Resort, where the Gondola takes you up mountain. It takes you STRAIGHT UP the mountain. Great view but kind of scary really.

I haven't been to Heavenly for well over 20 years. You can get some spectacular views of the lake, on a clear day. In this picture, you can see the day started off with blue skies.

It was VERY COLD up there. You can see I'm even using the chin strap on my helmet to try and keep my chin warm. The wind was blowing pretty hard.

Our friends, Brian and Cheryl:

Then, THIS came in and it started snowing and got even colder. A couple of runs after lunch and then I was done! I can't stand being cold. Hate it!

We were going to drive to Sierra-At-Tahoe on the way home and ski there Sunday but the weather didn't improve at all. It snowed a lot more Saturday night and on Sunday it was supposed to continue so we packed up and left for home at 10:30.
The Bay Area is expecting a lot of rain this week so when I woke up this morning, I knew it would be wise to get a run in. My plan was to run six miles. As soon as I started to run, I knew I was in trouble. Each leg felt SO heavy, with each step. I was having trouble running 1/2 mile without stopping. Seriously! I'm not sure if it was the box of powdered donuts I ate yesterday, or the heavy Mexican dinner I had Saturday night but I felt awful. Ugh! I walked/ran three miles total. I did discover this little gem of a trail which made me smile.

Some days are just better than others, right? I'm usually ready to run, no matter what but today it felt like a chore. Not every day is perfect.
MED2010 Accountability:
02/18 - 2.5 mile run, "24SET" class
02/19 - 3 mile run
02/20 - 4 hours of skiing
02/21 - 1 mile walk (I know, pretty weak!)
02/22 - 3 mile run
Until later.............

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Six weeks later.......

I made it through my "work schedule from hell" five days, without getting fired! I even took on an eight hour shift yesterday for a friend who was sick. That made it six straight full days of work during one of our biggest sales. Can I hear a Hallelujah! Planning ahead and making sure I got enough exercise is what made life a little easier for me. Don't underestimate the power of endorphins, people! They are the key to wellness.

Today was my day off and I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I went for a trail run with Boomer. I was going to drive up to Lake Chabot but I slept in instead and stayed close. Boomer and I went to Garin.

Boomer tried his rabbit hunting skills. Some day, he will flush another jack rabbit out of one of these tubes. He's convinced of this anyway.

My leader, scanning the hills for what's up ahead.

We are heading down to that trail below.

We had to get through this family first. I just asked very nicely, "excuse me Momma Cow, can we scoot on by you and your little baby?" She stepped aside and we ran by. You can see Boomer in the far right of the picture. Evidently he ran by before asking permission.
Back down to flatter ground.

Cross the creek one more time.

Feeling pretty good, we extend our run and make a loop around Jordan Pond.

And, stop for a family photo. Boomer looks deep in thought, or spaced out here, doesn't he?

After 6.5 weeks of moving every day, I am seeing positive changes in my body and that makes me very happy. Clothes are looser around my mid section. My hips are more narrow and my butt is higher. I can feel everything is getting tighter. I've lost 1.6 pounds. I wasn't really expecting to lose weight, so I'm not concerned about that. If I do lose weight, I won't complain either. I'm using heavier weights in the classes at the gym and also two risers under my step instead of one on each side. As of tonight, Keith has completed six weeks of classes at the gym. He goes at least four times a week, sometimes five. He says he hasn't noticed any physical changes yet but he has lost three or four pounds. He's not complaining. ;)
MED2010 Accountability:
02/14 - "24SET" class
02/15 - 2 mile walk
02/16 - 3 mile run, "24SET" class
02/17 - 5.5 mile trail run, "Camp24" class

Tomorrow I get to do a trail run with Lori and her doggie Mikey. Then it's off to Tahoe to ski for the weekend. Woohoo!
Until later.............

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Staying stress-free

I haven't heard back from the president of Fremont Freewheelers about the no show last Tuesday. I don't work this coming Tuesday so I may give them another try. I'm not going to give up, I think a group would be good for me.

I did have better luck Wednesday though when Kristi let me tag along with her on a ride. I rode three miles to our meeting place and we rode through Niles Canyon together, out to the Sunol train station and back. It was a cold morning so we got a later start than we had planned but it ended up being fine. Kristi has a great looking bike. Ruby is black with lots of pink on her (wrapped handle bars, cables, painted lines, etc.). It makes me want to do the same with Ellen, lime green of course.

Thursday began a five day stretch of long hours at work. REI's winter super clearance started on Friday. Customers go crazy for this sale. I need to make exercise a priority for myself during times like this so I don't get too stressed out. I like my job a lot and would hate to lose it for telling some people what I really think of the way they act in public!

Friday morning I was able to get out for a run along the Alameda Creek Trail before going to work. It had rained during the night so the ground was soft and damp, just like Boomer likes it. He was running circles and making me laugh out loud while watching him. I felt SO good after this little run. I must never forget how much joy I get from running with this little dog of mine.

Boomer cracking up again!!

Boomer kisses are great kisses. ;)

Mission Peak getting some sunshine.

Then this morning I got a nice little treat. I sent my dear friends Christy and Lori emails yesterday, asking if they would be able to meet me for a run at 8:00 today and/or tomorrow. As of last night, neither had committed to this morning. I got up and was getting ready to head out the door when I got a message from Lori saying that she and her dog, Mikey were going to be able to meet me. As soon as we got there, her friend Lauren was there and the three of us ladies took off running down the trail. Lauren is a very fast runner, as a rule. She was very nice this morning though, and ran more at Lori's pace (which still felt faster than mine) so I was able to hang with them for four (two out-and-back) wonderful miles. They continued on for a longer run so I said goodbye to them when I got back to the Isherwood staging area. I was very happy running in shorts and a tank top. I know, February 13th and I'm wearing a tank top. I'm actually getting tan lines on my legs already. Woohoo!
I doubt I will get up early to run tomorrow morning but Keith and I are going to a class at the gym at 10:00 before I have to go to work. My daughter says, "that's not very romantic for Valentine's Day." I say it is - we are taking care of our bodies and our health so we can live long lives together. What better gift can you give to your mate than that?

MED2010 Accountability:
02/08 - 3 mile run
02/09 - 25 mile bike ride, "24SET" clas at the gym
02/10 - 20 mile bike ride, "Camp24" class at the gym
02/11 - 2 mile walk
02/12 - 4 mile run
02/13 - 4 mile run
Until later.............

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

"Show and Go" was a "No Show"

I have done the majority of my bike rides by myself. It's not a HUGE deal, but it's kind of nice to have a buddy to talk to while riding. And when you fall, it's very nice to have someone there to help you up! I was going to say "IF" you fall, but...

I have known about a local cycling group, Fremont Freewheelers for a while. I have read up on them and even talked with a few people that are members. Introducing myself, BY myself, to an established group of cyclists was not something I was dying to do. But, I prepared myself to do just that, this morning. The Tuesday morning group ride meets at 9:00 a.m., less than a mile from my house. I checked the schedule last night to make sure the ride was still on their schedule, and it was. There is nothing saying "rain or threat of rain cancels" for this particular ride. Some say this and some rides say "rain or shine". We had rain here during the night but when I woke up at 7:30, the sky was clear and it was no longer raining.

So, I get ready and ride over to the parking lot, arriving at 8:52. This is what I see:

No cars. No people. Just the smell of KFC cooking across the street. I'm early though, so I do a couple of circles and then pick a curb to stop against. I coast on over to the curb and FORGET I'M CLIPPED IN TO MY PEDALS!! You guessed it - down I went! Tip over #2 for me. F&#*! Right down onto the wet pavement. Alright, it's at this particular moment, I am absolutely thrilled there were no cars and no people. GAH! I waited until 9:08 before heading out by myself. After a couple of miles, I turned around and went back to the parking lot, just to see if maybe they were very late. Nope. Still nobody there.

That's okay. I hit the road for a 25 mile ride, solo. When I got home I sent an email to the president of the cycling group to find out what happened. By the way, it's still not raining as I type this,

Yesterday was a much happier day. When I woke up, I knew I wanted to go for a run. I gathered up my ever so faithful running companion, Boomer and headed to the Alameda Creek Trail for a 60 minute run. I wanted to park at the beginning of the trail this time, just for a change of scenery. As I was driving up Mission I thought, wonder how Garin is today? Even though I had my road running shoes on, I figured what the heck! I kept driving up Mission to the Garin parking lot. Oh, I was so happy to be running there. THIS is "how Garin was" yesterday.

I stayed on a main road that was mostly gravel and turned around when it got too muddy for the road shoes to handle. I got three miles in instead of the 5.5 I was originally thinking. Just being able to run there, with the hills so green, the air so cool and the creek flowing by. It did so much for my soul. I couldn't stop smiling and feeling so grateful for this gem of a park so close to my house.
Until later.............

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Complain no more

I know I complain a lot about how I hate to run on flat surfaces but I sure have been doing it a TON of it these past couple of months. With all the rain we've been getting in the Bay Area, the trails are just too muddy to get a good run on. So, the Alameda Creek Trail and I have become reacquainted recently. And seriously, is this worth complaining about? It's not paved, there's no traffic, sidewalks or traffic lights. It could be a lot worse. This I know.

Yesterday I had a movie date planned with my daughter so I was hoping (praying) that the rain would stay away long enough in the morning for me to get a nice little run in. Why? Oh, because I LOVE Dots and movie popcorn, that's why. So, I took Boomer to this trail and ran four fast miles. My pace on flat surfaces has improved, which I guess is a positive. Yesterday, my overall pace was 10:08/mile. In November, I was averaging 10:45/mile. As long as I wear my brace, I'm also able to run without pain. Sara and I watched Dear John and shared a bag of popcorn and a box of Dots for lunch (along with a bunch of tissues). I have no idea why we do this to ourselves but we insist on going to every Nicholas Sparks movie as soon as it comes out. I was wiped out for the remainder of the day.

This morning, Boomer and I picked up Bella and met my new friend Kristi (Random Thoughts) for a hike at Sunol Regional Wilderness Park. In Fremont, it was 51 degrees and sunny. In Sunol, not so much! Thank God I brought a little jacket with me, I ended up wearing it the entire hike. The creek is getting just a little more active.

All three dogs had a blast chasing the cows whenever they could. This cow though, did not want to be bothered. Kristi and I though he was so cute with his new horns pointing downward, in front of his ears. At first we thought he had really fluffy ears, then realized they were horns.

We went down to the Alameda Creek (yes, the same creek I run next to in Fremont) and met up with a couple other dogs that were so excited about being in the water. A major dog fest here!

(left to right) unknown, unknown, Bambi, Bella, Boomer

We hiked for almost two hours, a total of about four miles. I'm enjoying getting to know Kristi a little bit more. All the dogs were pretty worn out when we got back to the car. Bambi and Bella were laying down in the back of my car before we even got completely out of the park. Boomer did fall asleep once we got home and I will say, he's still lounging around. A tired dog is a happy dog, right!? Weather permitting, Kristi and I are going to do a bike ride together Wednesday. ;)

MED2010 Accountability:
02/04 - "24SET" class at the gym
02/05 - "24SET" class at the gym, two mile walk
02/06 - four mile run, two mile walk
02/07 - four mile hike

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

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hiking, biking, running, etc.

I received a comment on my last post from a new girl named Kristi. So, I went over to her blog to thank her (and check her out) and started reading back over her previous posts. A few things popped out that made me think she MUST live somewhere near me so I asked her about it. Not only does she live somewhere near me, it turns out she lives quite close. After corresponding back and forth, I found out she hikes at Garin with her dog quite a bit. We made arrangements to meet yesterday morning at Garin, with the doggies, for a hike. As soon as I pulled up and saw Kristi and Bambi there, I realized I'VE SEEN THEM HERE BEFORE! It was like seeing an old friend. We hiked my favorite three mile loop, which was incredibly muddy (but after Saturday, really, what's a little mud, eh?) Kristi did two Ironman distance triathlons last year (Vineman & Kona) and is going to do some sprint and Olympic distance triathlons this year. It's very exciting to me to have a new friend that likes to run, ride, swim, AND hike. If the weather permits, we have a hike planned for Sunday and I may accompany her on a bike ride Wednesday. Gotta love the internet!

After our hike, I took Ellen out for a great 18.5 mile ride with plenty of hills. Climbing hills, clipped in though, is SCARY sometimes. As I'm going up and I start feeling fatigued, I feel a little panic coming over me because I couldn't even twist my foot fast enough to get it unclipped if I wanted to without falling over. So, I have no choice but to keep pedaling, which I guess is a positive. Less than 30 minutes after my ride, the rain came.

When I woke up this morning the rain was gone so Boomer and I went over to the Alameda Creek Trail for a five mile run. Okay, who's happy now?

Hills of Garin in the background, over Quarry Lakes.

My favorite tree (when it's in bloom) at Shinn Pond.

Shinn Pond

No, it's not *always* about Boomer, but I do like how he enjoys laying down in the back of my car while I stretch after a run.

MED2010 Accountability:
02/01 - 3.5 mile walk
02/02 - 3 mile hike, 18.5 mile bike ride, "24SET" class at the gym
02/03 - 5 mile run, "Camp24" class at the gym
Until later.............

Monday, February 1, 2010

I "Moved Every Day" in January!!

First, I will account for the last five days of January:

01/27 - SKI for six hours! The snow was phenomenal, just perfect. AND, there was a ton of it. We had a great day skiing with a big group of Fremont REI peeps.

01/28 - walk 3.5 miles, "24SET" class at the gym
01/29 - "24SET" class at the gym
01/30 - run 6.32 miles, walk 2 miles
01/31 - bike 23 miles
So, January has come and gone and I was ONE BUSY LITTLE GIRL!!

Ellen (my bike) & I rode 55 miles together

Running: 40 miles

Walking: 31.5 miles

10 classes at the gym

Hiking: 7.5 miles

Skiing: 3 days

I am shocked at how much exercise I did in 31 days. Just from making it a point to Move Every Day in 2010!

Throughout the month, people have commented they were going to try to do this too. I'm curious now, as the first month of the year is over - did any of you Move Every Day?

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