Wednesday, May 26, 2010


This post will not be about running and will not contain any photos of beautiful single track trails or cute doggies.

This is about how I feel TODAY.

For the people that have followed me for a while, you know a little of the the history of me and my Dad. For those that haven't known me very long, this previous post (Single Track Junkie: "The Visit") from last year will explain a lot. I haven't seen him since last year, but we have talked on the phone on a semi-regular basis.

My Dad invited me to his house yesterday because his brother was visiting from Washington and his sister from Arizona. I agreed to go because it sounded important to him that I be there.

What I didn't know, before hand, was how important it would be to ME that I be there. The last picture in my head of my Dad, he is a 55 old man. He is turning 75 this year.

I wanted to be there early, before everyone arrived so he and I could have some alone time. As soon as he opened the door, I could see the tears in his eyes. He gave me a huge hug and held me for a while. He told me it was so good to see me. I truly believed him.

As we sat in the living room talking, I was looking over his shoulder at the shelves with framed pictures on them. The last picture he has of Sara is from preschool. There were no pictures of me, except the one I gave him last year when he was in the hospital. He has no wedding photos of me and Keith.

He pulled out an old box of pictures and wanted me to write on the back of them, what grade I was in. There were a ton of pictures in this box of my oldest brother's kids but again I noticed the lack of Sara pictures. All those years he missed out on seeing my daughter change and grow into a young lady. He truly has missed out on a lot. He realizes this. And so do I.
I know we both played equal parts in the time lost. He's not the same man he was 20 years ago, I'm not the same woman. We were both stubborn. We were both wrong. We have both suffered! It wasn't worth it.
On the drive home, I was thinking back to when Sara was 17 years old and her father brainwashed her into moving in with him for her last year of high school. After a year of pure hell prior to her actually moving, she only lasted 2-1/2 weeks before she moved back home. But, this devastated me beyond what anybody can ever imagine. It took me into the deepest, darkest hole I've ever been in.
I couldn't help but wonder if my Dad ever had feelings like that after he and I had our last argument on the phone. I hope not.
He gave me a birthday card (tomorrow is my birthday). The first one I have received from him in a long time. There was a very nice hand written note inside. After dinner he brought out a strawberry pie and they sang happy birthday to me. Every time I looked his way, he was just looking at me, smiling.
I'm a little sad today. I remember last year after seeing him in the hospital, I attempted to run the Diablo 25k. I had to turn around because my emotions got the best of me. It's good today that I can identify my sadness and deal with it immediately.

Thanks for listening.

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

Monday, May 24, 2010

Garin with Aron (because it rhymes)

Scott (Master Shop Tech) asked me to join him on a ride Thursday morning. He came over to my house and we rode up through Niles Canyon and then went up Calaveras into Milpitas and back. Total ride was 40 miles. As we were approaching Calaveras, I warned him that I would be slow going up it. He said he would be too. I asked him when the last time was that he rode up Calaveras. He said NEVER. I had no idea. He does a lot of mountain biking so even though I was able to stay with him, for the most part, I'm sure he was hanging back a bit. My quads were a little sore from the seven mile trail run and the class the night before. We were on the same road that the Tour of California was on just the day before!! It was cool to know that. The babies in the Bald Eagle's nest are trying to take flight. We stopped and looked at them for a few minutes. When we were coming back from Milpitas, the head wind was miserable. Wind serves no purpose and I really wish it would go away.

Saturday morning, Aron (runner's rambles) and her Emma girl drove down to run at Garin with me. We met at 8:00 (before the wind picked up) and introduced the dogs to each other. After things were established between the two, we let them off leash and started our run. The two of them got along quite well, although Emma lead most of the way. Considering she had never been there before, she did that quite well. Emma is probably three times bigger than Boomer but she had no trouble keeping her lead spot.

This was the third and final attempt at getting a good picture of the four of us. I fell into Aron the first time. Dogs just can't seem to learn how to look at the camera.

Emma sneaking off to see what she can find.

And, Emma coming back as soon as she hears her name. Such a good girl.

It was so nice to see Aron again. I really enjoy her company and conversation. After our run we went to Starbucks for some lattes and a couple of mini treats. Thank you Aron, for spending the morning with me. I hope we can do it more often this summer. ;)
I haven't been able to go to as many classes at the gym these past two weeks, because of my work schedule, and I miss them. This morning I went to a Step & Sculpt class. I find it challenging only because I am not familiar with the name of the movements so I have to keep an eye on the instructor. It's a good workout for the hour though and that's really what I'm after.
I am driving up to Sacramento tomorrow to have dinner at my Dad's house. It will be the first time seeing him in this kind of environment (outside of a hospital bed) in almost 20 years. I will definitely have to get a run in first thing in the morning. If I'm lucky, I will be able to go to a Pilates class too. I hope the time with my Dad goes well. I can't stay too long/late because, well, I have to drive all the way back home. I will be going up alone - both Keith and Sara have to work.
"MED2010" Accountability:
05/20 - 40 mile bike ride
05/21 - 2.5 mile walk
05/22 - 7 mile trail run
05/23 - 2 mile walk
05/24 - "Step & Sculpt" class, 3 mile walk
Until later.............

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Tour de REI 100k

Bright and early Saturday morning I made the two hour drive up to Sacramento with Scott and his girlfriend. Scott and I were two of five people from the Fremont REI store doing this ride. The Sacramento REI store hosted the ride which took us to the Roseville store then the Folsom store. We arrived at 8:30, we were supposped to roll by 9:00. While we were putting on our gloves and helmets, we looked at the large group of local riders in front of the store and suddenly they were rolling. It was 8:52!!! We had route sheets but being in a strange city holding a piece of paper with street names on it isn't all that helpful. Scott and I finished getting ready, hopped on our bikes and tried like heck to catch up with someone. After taking a wrong turn, right off the bat, we were finally able to see a jersey in the distance so we felt better. By the time we got to the first store (17 miles), we were able to take a breather while we waited for the rest of the group to catch up. Each location had a nice "aid station" set up for us with liquids, fruit and muffins/bagels, etc.
Daniel (one of the bony-ass boys) and Scott (Master Shop Tech @ my store)

The second leg (17 miles) from Roseville to Folsom was pretty hilly. It had a few hard climbs. I stuck with Scott the best I could and he was so sweet - he was constantly checking to make sure I made it through lights and if I didn't, he would wait for me. Such a great kid!

The last leg was 27 miles, along the American River. It was a bike/running trail mostly lined by trees. Flat. No hills. BORING! I was getting pretty tired of just pedaling. By about mile 52 I was ready to get off my bike. It was hot too - 84 degrees. But, of course I finished. Right along side Scott. There was a big BBQ in the back of the store and they even had veggie burgers! We stuffed our faces with food and drink (and Oreo cookies) and were back home in Fremont by 4:30. Oh, and Ellen got quite a few compliments on her make-over.

I tried out my new "road" shoes yesterday. I never run on roads, I always run on dirt paths so I just call them my "flat running" shoes. Anyway, I am so happy to be running in Saucony's again. My store wasn't selling women's Saucony brand shoes until recently. They feel SO GOOD!

I worked 11-7:30 yesterday so Boomer and I got out early for a 5.5 mile run along the Alameda Creek Trail. Doesn't he look sleepy?

The running path is turning into a single track trail quickly, with all the rain we've been getting.

Today I didn't have to work and when I woke up the sun was shining bright. Boomer and I picked up Bella and went to Garin for a seven mile run. When I got back to my car, the first rain drop of the day hit my windshield. I LOVE when the rain holds off just long enough for me to get a run in. ;)

This single track trail is disappearing - it's so overgrown at Garin right now.

I've never seen a cow with this kind of pattern. So cute!

It's still a little muddy on the covered single track. Boomer sunk in at one point.

And then there were these cows!! They would not move out of the way and they actually threatened to come toward us. I had to put the dogs on a leash and hike up a hill and go completely around them. I tried to get them to move by tossing a stick into the middle of them and I accidently bonked one on the nose. I felt SO bad. I would never hurt an animal and I felt horrible that I actually hit one. He was the only one that moved away. I've never had that kind of trouble, especially when the dogs are with me. The cows usually scatter away when they see the dogs. Oh well.

We were almost back to the car and I saw something in the middle of the gravel road, I thought was a tarantula. Again, I put the dogs on a leash and quietly snuck by the dried up BANANA PEEL laying there. LOL The way it was laying, it looked just like a big, fat, hairy tarantula. I don't like spiders of any kind so to me it was freaky. Freaky, I tell you!!
"MED2010" Accountability:
05/13 - 2 mile walk, Pilates class
05/14 - Touring San Francisco, including a 2 mile hike on the Coastal Trail
05/15 - 62 mile bike ride
05/16 - (Two) 2 mile walks
05/17 - 2.5 mile run, 2 mile walk
05/18 - 5.5 mile run
05/19 - 7 mile trail run, "CAMP24" class

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

Friday, May 14, 2010

Mini Tour of San Francisco

I have had a nagging sore throat for three days now. My throat feels like it is on fire. It is my only symptom so I have pretty much gone on with my normal daily activities. EXCEPT, this morning I called in sick to my class because when I woke up my throat was so sore and it felt swollen. And I had a headache. Keith brought me a couple Advil and a cup of coffee and I fell back to sleep for 45 minutes. When I woke up, my throat felt a lot better. Not perfect, but better.

Since I had the day off of work, Keith and I decided it would be nice to go to San Francisco for a little sightseeing. We decided we would make it a "family day" and brought Boomer along too.

First we drove up to Coit Tower. We didn't go in though. I want to save that for my birthday when the kids are with us. I just wanted to see it up close today.

We drove down the hill into North Beach and bought a couple slices of pizza for lunch. Pizza in North Beach is the bomb!!! If you've never grabbed a slice of pizza to eat on the go while in SF, you need to put it on your "to do" list.

We left North Beach and drove to Crissy Field so Boomer could do some running around on the beach and we walked around for a little while.

From Crissy Field, we drove to Fort Point, an old army fort built in 1861.
We saw a runner touch these hands and then turn around and start running the other way. We got curious so we did some research when we got home. It's very interesting to read what they are about. (HOPPERS HANDS - Who is Hopper?)

So cute that they even put up paws!

We went into Fort Point, one at a time. No doggies allowed inside.

We drove under the Golden Gate Bridge and parked on the other side. We hiked down the Coastal Trail about a mile.

We took the "sand ladder" down to Baker Beach.

Boomer is so funny in deep sand. He's not used to his paws sinking when he walks. It was hard for him to run down the steps.

He prefers running in the hard packed sand!

We hiked back up the trail to the car, dumped the sand out of our shoes, and drove home.
A tired puppy is a happy puppy

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

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

New things

Ellen got a make-over!! Green handle bar wrap and cable housing.

I went riding Saturday morning with a deaf woman. I met her at REI - she was shopping for cycling stuff and we started "talking." She sent me a text and we set up a date. She does read lips, that helps. But it doesn't help a ton when she's literally FLYING through Niles Canyon and I'm trying to tell her to turn right to access Foothill Road!! Oh my gawd - I thought my lungs were going to fly up out of my throat, trying to keep up with her. I like riding fast, no doubt about it, but being forced to ride fast is a different story. LOL
When we stopped so I could give her directions (catch my breath), I said, man are you fast! She then informed me, yes, I love to ride fast and also to climb hills. I'm training to be on a women's speed cycling team. REALLY!?! Interesting. 30 miles with rolling hills, I have never completed so fast.

After I got home (and collapsed), I got ready for a day at Great America. Sara and I went to see six different Christian Rock groups perform. Well, in all honesty, I went to see six different Christian Rock groups perform and Sara was kind enough to accompany me.
Going to a concert is not *new* to me but this is, an unfinished funnel cake. If you've known me long enough, you know I can shovel large amounts of sweets into my body without a problem. But on this day, the funnel cake won.

This is the reason Sara doesn't particularly enjoy going to these concerts. People stand up and hold their hands up and sway back and forth while they close their eyes. Yes they do, it's called "worshiping".

The weather has been unfavorable here in the bay area for outside activities so my Mother's Day plans of going to San Francisco to visit Coit Tower with my family had to be postponed. It's okay, I had a great day anyway. Both girls took me to breakfast, Sara and I went to church and Keith, Sara and Sterling took me to a nice dinner. I met my Mom for a sushi lunch on Monday. She's so damn busy, I was lucky to get a date with her so close to Mother's Day. I think last year I had to wait two weeks.
I didn't get to run on Monday and there's no cardio classes at the gym so I tried something *new*. I went to a yoga class! Other than feeling like I was "warming up" for a cardio class, I did like it. A LOT! Ooooooh, were my abs sore yesterday.
I have to work tonight and I won't be able to go to my regular class at the gym so I went to a *new* class at noon. It was Boot Camp. It was a very good class with lots of weights. I am sure I will be cursing Vince tomorrow as I climb up Palomeras Road on my bike with one of the bony-ass boys.
"MED2010" Accountability:
05/07 - 2 mile walk
05/08 - 29 mile bike ride
05/09 - 2 mile walk
05/10 - 2 mile walk, Yoga class
05/11 - 5 mile run
05/12 - Boot Camp class
Until later.............

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The top of the world!

View from the top of the world

Sunday night, after I put on Facebook that I had the following three days off, Lisa (Lisa's Ironman Training Log) asked me if I wanted to ride Mount Diablo Monday morning with her. My stomach dropped and I told her I would think about it. She seemed very anxious to be the first one to take me to the top of the mountain so I thought about it some more. She told me it was a climb of over 3,500 feet and the steady climb up the road was 12 miles long. I finally said, "what the heck, I have nothing to lose by trying." TRY I did! And I made it! I could not have done it without Lisa's patience and her encouragement. She told me everything she could about the ride - how far until the first rest stop, which landmark to look at to know it levels out for a minute there, a hard turn coming up, stay on the outside. She was so happy for me when I got to the top, it was awesome. THANKS LISA!!

The smile on my face is totally fake. I couldn't even feel my legs.

This is the last portion of the climb. It's about 300 feet. Lisa warned me about it. She said we could go up it but we would be standing up in our granny gear. I wanted to give it a try. I was that far, I wanted to go to the top. I started pedalling but only got half way up before I had to stop. I pushed my bike up the last .09/mile of the road. As we were leaving, there was another person doing the same thing. Lisa says it's not unusual, so that made me feel a little better.

I had another tip-over with my bike. This was #3 for me. I was trying to get back in my clips, on an incline, sideways. I got one in and was looking at my other foot when the hill took me over. BAM! I crashed down on my elbow and my upper thigh. I have a couple of pretty good bruises that will be around for a while.
I ended up getting called in to work Tuesday so I didn't get out with Boomer at all. I went to a class at the gym that night.
By Wednesday I was definitely ready to RUN. However, my bruised thigh wasn't. When I run, the junk in my trunk bounces and that was hurting my thigh. SO, Boomer and I had a lovely 90-minute hike at Garin. No snakes this time.

Fresh blackberries should be on these bushes very soon. ;)

This morning I was overdue for a run!! I decided to drive up to Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland where I knew it would be nice and cool and covered by these beautiful redwood trees.

The trails are surrounded by ferns and flowers.

It was so clear I could actually see San Francisco (on the far side of the water). If you enlarge the photo, you can see the Golden Gate Bridge on the far right.

I did take a wrong turn at one point and ended up on Castle Road, in a residential area. I finally admitted to one man that was trimming some trees in his backyard, that I was lost (because I'm not a man, and I can actually ask for directions). He was very nice and told me to turn right after the fifth house down the street and I would find a trail and after that I would hopefully recognize where I was. I did! Before leaving his driveway he refilled my hydration pack and gave Boomer a cookie.
It was at this point, I knew I was on the right trail that would take me back to my car. Thank you Mr. Upper Class Oakland Resident. :)

It was an adventure, that's for sure. I had planned on running six miles and when I was done, my Garmin said 6.25 miles so I was happy.
"MED2010" Accountability:
05/01 - 2 mile walk
05/02 - 4 mile run
05/03 - 23 mile bike ride
05/04 - "24SET" class
05/05 - 4 mile hike, "CAMP24" class
05/06 - 6.25 mile trail run, "24SET" class
Until later...........