Friday, April 30, 2010

May already?

Finally, a nice warm day again - perfect for a run in the mountains. It was Garin today, for 5.5 miles. That makes us extremely happy!

My daughter is in Chicago with her boyfriend, visiting his family so guess who's staying at grandma's house? Bella!!!

She loves it here, no doubt about it. She gets to go on all the walks, hikes, and runs that we go on. Oh, and the home cooked meals too.

They just finished clearing some cattle off this trail for me.

This is the second biggest snake I've ever seen. The biggest one I've seen was on top of Mission Peak. He was about five feet long. This one looked like he was holding a dozen mice inside of him. I'll admit it, he gave me the creeps. The dogs got leashed until we got down to lower ground after spotting him. I'm not taking any chances.

I am not running near the mileage I was a year ago but today I was thinking how grateful I am that I can run ANY amount of miles at all. It was almost a year ago I was told, "You probably won't be running any more. You have severe arthritis in that knee, bone-to-bone, no cartilage left." I thought my life had come to an end. But look! I've realized I like to do so many other things and I am stronger today than I was back then. Don't get me wrong, running is where my heart still is and being on the trails is where I'm happiest. Hands down!! I've just become more appreciative of running and I make every run matter. I don't run just to get a mile in. I run because I want to. And I run where I want to. I never know when those words from the doctor are going to become a reality. I think all the cross training is helping out immensely. When I was running every day, I never took the time to do any other kind of activity. I guess I can say that finding out about my arthritis is a blessing in disguise now.

"MED2010" Accountability:
04/27 - 2 mile walk
04/28 - 2 mile walk
04/29 - 2 mile walk, "24SET" class
04/30 - 5.5 mile trail run

April totals:
Walking: 20 miles
Hiking: 14.5 miles
Biking: 151.5 miles
Running: 44.5 miles
12 classes at the gym

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

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sometimes even I think I'm crazy!

I went on a group ride with the Fremont Freewheelers Saturday morning. This 30 mile ride out to Alum Rock Park in San Jose was rated a 1 (mostly flat terrain) with a T speed (touring=10-13 mph). We were meeting at (of all places) REI in Fremont. LOL I decided to ride the four miles from home to work to make this closer to a 40 mile ride for me. About 15 riders showed up.

Once we started, I took a spot up front behind a couple on a tandem bike. These guys were hauling ass! I was having trouble keeping up with them for a while. That was until the first "hill" up Scott Creek Road. A-ha! All that weight is hard to carry up a hill. I had to stay behind them though because I didn't grab a route sheet and had no clue where I was going. Our first re-group was at mile seven. After that, we didn't stop until we got to the top of Alum Rock Park, mile 15. The route was tougher than I anticipated, with lots of rolling hills. I was with a couple of people that were keeping their pace between 16-20 mph the majority of the ride. When we got into the park I was greeted by a running creek and fields of wildflowers.

There were a lot of people enjoying the park on mountain bikes or trail running shoes, along nice trails like this:

After waiting for everyone to show up at the top, we headed back down and into Milpitas for a coffee stop. Once again, underestimating the ride time, I didn't bring along any fuel. I mean, c'mon, how hard is it to carry a Gu or some Clif Blocks on my back? When we finally stopped for food (coffee) at mile 25 I was starving!! I bought a toasted bagel with cream cheese and wolfed it down, along with a chocolate milk, in a matter of seconds. Naturally, this gave me a HUGE side ache for the rest of the ride home. Gah! I will learn. I have to, or I'm going to pass out on one of these rides sooner or later.

Saying goodbye to everyone as they pulled into the REI parking lot, I was wishing I had driven there earlier, instead of riding my bike.

I came home and let Boomer out in the front yard while I was stretching and relaxing. I was thinking about Alum Rock Park and how beautiful it was, with the trails, flowers, creek, trees. Hard to believe it's only ~20 miles from home and I've never been there. Then I remembered a sign I saw. It read "NO DOGS ALLOWED IN PARK".

What? No dogs allowed?

Aaaaah, no wonder I've never been there. No worries Boomer, no running or hiking for me in a place that doesn't allow doggies.

Thanks Mom. That's what I like to hear.

Sunday morning, Lori and her sweet pup Mikey picked Boomer and I up at 7:30. We picked up Bella and we all drove to Lake Chabot in Castro Valley where a couple other gals and one more doggie met us for a run. Yes, a place dogs are allowed!

Abbie, Kate, Lori, Me

We ran the inner loop there, which is 8.74 miles. My legs were a bit sore from the bike ride Saturday but I just kept on as well as I could. It was a beautiful morning.

After our run, Lori and I took the dogs to Jamba Juice back in Fremont and Lori was kind enough to buy me a protein smoothie and the dogs a turkey sandwich. We sat and chatted for another hour or so. Thanks Lori! For the run, the smoothie, the conversation and the friendship.

You'd think this would be enough abuse (I mean exercise) for one person for a few days, right? Not for this girl! I got a text message from one of the bony-ass boys about a 40 mile bike ride yesterday morning and I said "YES." So, I drag my butt out of bed early again yesterday and ride the three miles to meet up with the boys. Only one of them end up showing but that's okay, we still do our planned route. We rode Niles Canyon to Polameras Canyon, into Dublin and back on Foothill Road to Niles Canyon again. OMG, this did it to me! Finally, I was SPENT! That is a very tough ride, especially with what I had done the two days prior. Bryan and I saw peacocks, turkeys, cows, goats, deer, horses (two with babies) along the route. When I got home I drank a big glass of soy milk, ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and took a two hour nap! The only reason I got up when I did is because I had to work at 5:00 last night. That was the longest 4.5 hour shift I've ever worked.

All good things must come to an end though. This morning I woke up with a killer headache and a sore throat. I took a couple of Advil and went back to bed for a while longer. It's been raining all day anyway. I am feeling better now, just a little light headed when I stand up. I'm trying to decide if I'm going to attempt a class at the gym or just take Boomer for a two mile walk tonight.

"MED2010" Accountability:

04/22 - 5 mile run

04/23 - 2 mile walk

04/24 - 40 mile bike ride

04/25 - 9 mile trail run

04/26 - 40 mile bike ride

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

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Before I forget.......

Sunday morning I went to the Iron Horse Trail in Danville for Aron's blogger meet-up. She had invited a bunch of local girls that have blogs about running. Actually, one of the girls doesn't have a blog but she says she faithfully stalks each of us. I knew a handful of the girls when I got there, but by the end of the run and coffee afterwards, I had been able to chat with all of them. We all gathered at Peet's and we talked about "everything running" while Boomer walked around and charmed each of them. Everybody was running different distances. Some ran five, some eight, and a few were running 12 - their last long run before next weekend's marathon. I didn't have my Garmin but the trail was marked very well (every 1/4 mile). Boomer and I ended up running mostly by ourselves - we took our time, I let him check out every pipe he saw. I bought a ham and cheese croissant for him at Peet's because he was such a good dog on the 6.5 mile run where he had to be leashed!

This picture is for Ron @ Punk Rock Tri Guy. He sent me this beautiful pink Punk Rock Racing tech top in the mail and I promised him I would wear it to the blogger meet-up in Danville. Thanks Ron, you really do ROCK!

Keith had a small job on Monday so after he came home I talked him into going for a hike. He was very interested in seeing the Bald Eagle's nest I saw last week on Calaveras Road. He brought his telescope and this is the best picture we could get. Keith had never seen a Bald Eagle in the wild so he was pretty excited to see this. The nest is SO BIG. There's literally branches in that thing, not twigs! We watched for a while but never saw a baby pop up. Maybe next time.

We decided to hike to Flag Hill this time. It climbs up over 1200 feet in 1.30 miles. We were heading up there:

It would be nice if Boomer would learn to look at the camera instead of us, right before it snaps a photo! Whatever!

Almost to the top now.

There's the top. We made it!

It was a nice way to spend the afternoon before the storm came in that night.
I have a run planned tomorrow afternoon with Christy which I'm looking forward to. I didn't get to hook up with her last week so we should have plenty to talk about. This weekend I have a group ride planned for Saturday morning and a trail run with Lori on Sunday. Whoot!! Oh, and hopefully another ride on Monday with the bony-assed boys from work.
"MED2010" Accountability:
04/18 - 6.5 mile run
04/19 - "Step 'n' Sculpt" class, 3.5 hike
04/20 - 1.5 mile walk, "24SET" class
04/21 - "CAMP24" class
Until later.............

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Staying Active and Happy!

I remember the days when I would blog a lot more than once a week! I guess if I slowed down a little bit, I could blog more.

I'm not sure it's worth it. LOL

I was able to run with Lauren and her kids before she moved to Texas. We met Tuesday afternoon, the day before the movers came to pack up her house. It was nice to see them one more time but also sad. I hate goodbyes. I wish them a lot of luck. For those local readers, this is another NUMMI family leaving the area.

When we all got to the parking lot, Lori and Mikey got out of their car and the dogs started running around. We were all chatting and getting ready to take off when suddenly I realized Boomer was nowhere to be seen. I called him and whistled for him. I kept listening but didn't hear his collar at all. I started looking toward the street and in different parts of the parking lot, thinking maybe he was going potty or something. After a few minutes, I passed by Lori's car and there he was - he was sitting in the passenger seat of her car, just looking at me. Lori (who has two young children) says, "well, he knows there's lots of food in those seats!" Sheesh!

Lori, Lauren, Sue, Me. Huck & Helen up front.
Friday morning, I overslept and didn't make it to my 9:00 to 10:30 class. OOPS! Keith had gone golfing early and I had to be at work at 1:00. I looked at Boomer and said, we're going to go play! We took off and headed for the hills for a run. Neither of us could have been happier about this.

Garin was just beautiful that day. I took one of my normal routes, but did it in reverse.

A different time of day, a different direction - the same places take on a whole new look.

Yes, I run in a place this beautiful! How could you stay away from running if this was where you ran? Not easily!!

This morning Ellen and I met up with the Fremont Freewheelers for a 40 mile ride. We started in Niles and did the canyon, Calaveras into Milpitas, and Mission back. Over 30 people showed up, all different speeds. We stopped for a coffee break in Milpitas, where I had a protein shake. Including the coffee stop, we were out for a little over 3.5 hours. I was very happy with the pace and minimal regrouping today.
I decided before climbing Calaveras that I was not going to shift into my smallest ring today. I just pretended it wasn't there. I pedaled hard, stood up when I needed to and just kept moving. I never used my "granny gear". I was so proud of myself. Sometimes it was hard, but I did it. And, I wasn't in the back of the pack either!

This is a Bald Eagle's nest, on top of the tower. There is a family in there right now. A bunch of people were parked up on Calaveras with big cameras taking photos. You could see the white tops of their heads. It was such a treat to see this. If you enlarge the photo, you can see them too!

Here is a very FULL Calaveras Reservoir. Another treat to see, here in the Bay Area - a full reservoir.

Tomorrow morning I am joining some friends for a Blogger Meet-Up Run. Some people I know but there's going to be some new ones too! Should be fun.

"MED2010" Accountability:
04/12 - "Step 'N' Sculpt" class, 2 mile walk
04/13 - 4.5 mile run, "24SET" class
04/14 - 2 mile walk, "CAMP24" class
04/15 - "24SET" class
04/16 - 4 mile trail run
04/17 - 40 mile bike ride

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

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Turning the dial back to "normal"

I took full advantage of those 40+ hours I had this week, not being in treatment. I didn't have to work until Saturday and the few days off proved to be very beneficial in the transition back.

Let's see how I did, shall we?

Tuesday, Keith and I took Boomer on a four mile hike at Mission Peak. We "considered" going to the top but decided against it since we had a class at the gym that night.

Wednesday I met Christy at the Alameda Creek Trail for a run. As I pulled up, I saw Lauren pushing her double stroller full of kids! She's moving to Texas this week so I was very happy to be able to run with her and chat with her daughter, Helen. Normally I can't keep up with Lauren but when she's pushing over 100 pounds in front of her, she's a little slower. I was so excited when I saw her that I forgot to grab my knee brace out of my car and didn't realize I forgot it until we were almost a mile into the run. I was a little nervous about my knee starting to hurt so I had to turn around earlier than planned, making my run a short four miles. I am hoping to get one more run in with Lauren and her kids in the next day or so.
Thursday morning I met the Fremont Freewheelers for a group ride again. It was a MUCH better experience this time. We rode 31.5 miles with some good climbs, good speed and much less regrouping. We rode over the Dumbarton Bridge, over to Woodside via Sand Hill Road and then back through Menlo Park. There were 23 riders in the group.

At the top of the bridge:
We stopped at The Plantation in Menlo Park for coffee. I had a chocolate milk.

Saturday it was back to work. I had a little 4.5 hour shift. It was so great to see everyone. I was a little nervous going back but once I saw the first smile and felt the first warm hug, I knew everything was going to be alright. My inbox was FULL OF CANDY! They know how to show the love there. Oh, and they know where to bring their leftover Easter candy, yes!
After work I rushed home to change into my trail running clothes. Kristi told me a couple of weeks ago that she had a 70 minute trail run on her training schedule for Saturday and I was the first person she thought of. Aaaaaw! I decided I was going to take her up to Oakland for some beautiful single track trails. Lori had a couple hours free that day and she asked if she could join us. The more the merrier, Kristi and I said. So, the three of us, along with Boomer and Mikey, headed up to Oakland for a six mile run along the French and Stream Trails. These trails definitely did not disappoint any of us!!

If you enlarge this photo, you can see the doggies racing to the next drain pipe along the Stream Trail.

Kristi and Lori running up the last portion of the Stream Trail.

We went a little longer than 70 minutes because we stopped along the way to take pictures and give the pups water. I think our "running" time was pretty close to the 70 minutes though. I'm so lucky to have such wonderful women in my life. I love how everyone gets along with each other right away too. I've introduced quite a few of my running friends to each other and I like seeing how they chat away on our run and new friendships form.
I worked all day today. It's a very cold and rainy day here so after getting off work and eating dinner I decided to do a Wii Fit workout instead of going out for a walk. It was a fun change of pace.

"MED2010" Accountability:
04/06 - 4 mile hike, "24SET" class
04/07 - 4 mile run
04/08 - 31.5 mile bike ride, 1.5 mile walk, "24SET" class
04/09 - 1.5 mile walk
04/10 - 6 mile trail run
04/11 - 30 minute Wii Fit workout
Until later.............