Monday, June 28, 2010

The Foot

I went to a Podiatrist today to talk about a.) my bunions, and b.) the pain in the bottom of my foot I was having.

Pretty encouraging doctor visit, I will say.  Both can be fixed.  One easier than the other. 

The pain in the bottom of my foot is indeed tendinitis.  It's caused by the second metatarsal being overloaded because of the way my first metatarsal pushes over.  In other words, my big toe is pushing toward my second toe and causing the tendon to become inflamed.  The fix?  Modify my orthotic with a little pad. 


He could clearly see I have bunions, that was an easy diagnosis.  (Right now my main concern is my right one - it is the one giving me all the pain.)  How bad are they?  Clinically, they're bad.  After getting X-rays however, medically they are not *that* bad.  In other words, they look a lot worse than they are.  That my friends, is good news.  The fix?  Surgery!  My bunion will be cut off, the big toe broken (cut) and straightened and two screws inserted.  Now if that doesn't sound fun, can you tell me what does?  This surgery will have me out of commission for FOUR LONG WEEKS.  I'll be able to put weight on it in a week but can't do anything "active" for at least four weeks.  I will wait until the fall to have this done. 

I have a running date with a friend and her dog in the morning.  In the mountains, of course!

"MED2010" Accountability:
06/25 - 3.35 mile walk, Yoga class
06/26 - 2.5 mile walk
06/27 - 2.5 mile walk
06/28 - 3.35 mile walk, 13 mile bike ride, Yoga class

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

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Well, what do you know?!

My life has not come to an end in this first week off of running.  Shocked?  Me too!  No, not really.  I have been doing so many other things, I haven't even missed it.  Yet.  I still have a week to go.

I went to Garin twice this week to hike with Boomer and Bella.  Sara and Sterling have been working very long hours and I hate to think of Bella being alone all day so I usually end up picking her up and taking her out with us.  It's warming up slightly here in the Bay Area and the hills are dry and brown.

The blackberries are beginning to ripen.  I like to eat them right off the plants.  They're so delicious!

Yesterday after I left Garin I was craving another one of my green smoothies so I stopped at my favorite little fruit/vegetable stand and the owner was kind enough to cut me two fresh heads of romaine lettuce.  This is enough for two salads and two smoothies, I'm sure of it.

Bella sits in the front seat and leans against the seat back, just like a person.  She was pretty exhausted this particular day. 

Today I went on a very enjoyable 40 mile bike ride with Stephanie from REI and her sister Michelle.  We met at the Sunol Train Station, went up Foothill to Castlewood and then up to Pleasanton and out to Livermore toward Del Valle.  We kept a nice pace of ~16 mph.  We had some rolling hills, a few short, steep ones and a strong wind at times.  I pushed hard up a couple of the steep hills because I could see the top and knew I could.  I feel like I got a great work out but I didn't feel like I needed a two hour nap when I came home (like I do when I ride with the bony-ass boys).  I think I have found a great riding partner in Stephanie.  I just hope she feels the same way.  I won't give up on the bony-ass boys completely though.  They do make me push myself to the limit and I need that to get better too. 

It was a little awkward when we met in the train station parking lot because the Fremont Freewheelers were meeting there this morning at the SAME TIME.  Quite a few of them rolled over to say good morning to me and I had to tell them I wasn't riding with them.  When the three of us pulled away, a bunch of them pointed and shouted out smart remarks to us.  Everyone, including us, laughed.

"MED2010" Accountability:
06/20 - "24SET" class, 2 mile walk
06/21 - 5 mile hike
06/22 - Pilates class
06/23 - 3.5 mile hike, "CAMP24" class
06/24 - 40 mile bike ride, "24LIFT" class

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

Saturday, June 19, 2010


I have heard those dreaded words, yet again, from a doctor:  You just need to stop running.  I looked at her and said, "you *can't* just say that!"  She told me that's the only way it's going to get better. 

What is IT, you ask?  Tendinitis on the bottom of my foot.  I have flat feet which has caused bunions on both of my feet.  The right one is a lot worse that the left one.  The tendinitis is on the metatarsal bone, under my right foot and is extremely painful when it flares up.  It is aggravated by my running, especially on flat surfaces.  So, I am to take a week or two off from running and when I start up again - STAY OFF FLAT SURFACES!  In other words, stick to the beautiful parks I love to run in anyway.  I will admit I have been lazy lately with my running and doing a lot of it along the Alameda Creek Trail, which is flat. 

This is not the end of world for me.  I can manage this.  Yes, running is my first love but I am able to do so many other activities right now that not running for a couple weeks is not going to take me into a deep depression like last year.

It is also becoming more apparent that a bunionectomy is in my very near future.  This I'm not thrilled about.  This scares me.  Have any of you had this surgery or know someone that has?

Earlier this week I went on a bike ride with a fellow FEMALE employee, Stephanie.  She had never been up Calaveras Road before so that is where I took her.  It's about 30 miles round trip with some steady climbing and fun rollers.  She did great, and she loved the ride.  Hopefully I can get her to go out with me more often.  It would be nice to have female company to ride with.  After the 60 miles in Lake Tahoe, this ride was a breeze this time.  I still remember the first time I rode Calaveras - I was in my granny gear on all the climbs.  Not this time.  ;)

Keith and I went to Pebble Beach to watch a U.S. Open practice round.  It was cold and overcast all day.  But any day at Pebble Beach is a beautiful day!

I have a new favorite golfer.  I don't remember his name but I certainly won't forget his face.  I just call him "cutie-pie". 

I have given up on the "3 miles/day for the 30 days of June" challenge.  I had three different days already where I couldn't fit it in so I'm throwing in the towel on that one.  If I only had to do the three miles per day, that wouldn't be a problem.  But when I'm riding 60 miles around Lake Tahoe or 30 miles locally then have to go to work right after, I didn't have the time to do three miles on my feet. 

I'm loving the Green Smoothie Challenge!  Yes, I even had one when I got home from Tahoe last weekend.  I am actually craving the greens.  When I wake up in the morning I start thinking about what mixture I'll do that day.  I didn't start this challenge to lose weight, but I have lost almost four pounds since June 1.  I feel less bloated and more lean. 

And last but not least - my "Move Every Day in 2010" challenge is still going strong.

"MED2010" Accountability:
06/12 - 4 mile walk
06/13 - 60 mile bike ride
06/14 - 3 mile walk
06/15 - 5 hours walking @ Pebble Beach
06/16 - 2 mile run, 30 mile bike ride
06/17 - 2 mile walk, "24LIFT" class
06/18 - 4 mile walk
06/19 - Yoga class, Turbo Kick Box class, 2 mile walk (Super Saturday!)

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

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Meltdown on Route 89 (aka West Shore of Lake Tahoe)

After bringing Boomer to Sara's house to stay the night, Keith and I drove up to Lake Tahoe Saturday morning so we could take it easy, relax and enjoy ourselves.  It was as windy as all get out in Fremont when we left but just gorgeous when we arrived at the lake.

Wanna feel small?  Sit in a BIG chair!  LOL

We stayed at a really cute place, a couple of blocks from the lake, right at Stateline.  After walking up and down the beach, we walked over to Edgewood Golf Course and admired their beautiful grounds.  


Keith's plan was to golf Sunday while I rode around the lake and he would have loved to play at Edgewood but it's just a little too expensive.

We walked up to Harrah's for dinner at the buffet on the 18th floor.  For the first time this month, I had dessert after dinner.  I figured I'd be burning it off Sunday so why not?!  After dinner we played some cards at the tables and then some slot machines.  

I wanted to be in bed by 10:00 because I had to wake up at 5:30 Sunday morning to get ready for the ride.  My alarm went off and I was up and started the coffee.  I was supposed to meet up with the boys at 7:00 in front of Harrah's.  I asked them to text me when they pulled up since I was just a block away.  They were camping about 12 miles away.  Keith and I went to breakfast at 6:00.  I ate some oatmeal and two poached eggs.  We were back at our room by 6:45 and I finished getting dressed.

My phone rang at 7:03 and the boys said they were AT BREAKFAST and would let me know when they got to Harrah's.  Okay, I could chill for a few minutes.  8:00 I get a text saying they are at Harrah's in the parking lot and they just have to change clothes.  I get to Harrah's at 8:08 and wait.  And WAIT.  AND WAIT!!  Finally at 8:40 they show up.  I'm hungry already and too warm.  I shed my jacket (give it to a boy with a backpack on) and eat a Larabar.  We roll at 8:50.  WTF, boys?!

The ride around Lake Tahoe is 72.3 miles and starts at 6,238 feet elevation.  We take off and immediately I see the bony-ass boys are racing to the first city limit sign - they get points for reaching them first.  On this route, you pass through a lot of little cities.  There was supposed to be another old person  a fourth guy there that is closer to my age and doesn't ride as fast as the young boys but he decided not to show up.  So, of course I'm in the back from the very start.  That's okay though, I decided I was going to go at my own pace and enjoy the views.  At mile 10, Daniel got a flat tire.  A-ha!  Right ahead was our first big climb of the day so I said I would just keep going while the three of them worked on the tire.  I was able to make it up and over before they showed up.

We started heading west toward Tahoe City on Rte 28.  There was a lot more climbing than I had expected.  I totally underestimated this ride.  I figured rollers, these were grades!  Long, steep grades.  I would get in my lowest gear and just climb the best I could.  Most of the time when I got to the top I could see the boys in the distance.  Sometimes they would end up pulling over and waiting for me.  We stopped in Tahoe City for lunch (a sandwich at Safeway).  This was technically the half-way point.

After lunch we got onto Rte 89.  This road was CRAP!  I mean bumpy, deep cracks, uneven.  One time I hit a hole so hard I hurt my wrist.  CRAP, I tell ya.  The climbs started getting more frequent, the temperature was rising, I was starting to feel worn out.  Quickly.  The boys were disappearing quicker and staying out of my view for longer periods of time.  When I did see them, they were off their bikes eating food, waiting for me.  I would catch up and we would roll again.  At one point, I had to refill my bottle with Ryan's water from his backpack. 


I was so thirsty and could not quench my thirst.  I had no fuel that would replace my lost electrolytes.  I didn't bring any Gu or Clif Blocks and I just had water.  I brought Larabars for my fuel instead.  Don't ask me why, I have no clue.  I should have treated this like running an ultra.  I haven't quite figured that out yet. 

So, about 50 miles in there is this very long climb.  The boys are nowhere in sight.  I can't see any of them. I'm pushing as hard as I can.  It's HOT.  I'm thirsty.  I have cotton mouth, that's how bad it was.  My legs are filled with acid, hard as rocks and they hurt.  I pull over and feel like I want to cry.  I use both lanes of the road to get clipped back in and head up the road.  I don't make it much further before I pull over again and just start CRYING my eyes out.  I hurt so bad.  I dial Keith's number.  Knowing that he's on a golf course, I was amazed he picked up.  I tell him I am having a meltdown.  He talks me through it and says he was just getting ready to drive around to that side of the lake to see if he could find us and cheer us on.  That makes me happy.  I pull myself together and start pedalling again.  I look up the road and suddenly a black bear crosses in front of me.  This makes me happy too.  If I didn't have my little meltdown, I would not have seen the bear.  I will admit, I was a little scared to keep riding toward where he went up.  But at that point, maybe a bear attack would have been welcome.  I KID!!

I get to the top of this climb and the boys are pulled over, under a tree.  They cheer as I throw my bike down lay down my bike and tell them what happened.  They explained the final 12 miles of the ride and after a few minutes I am ready to go.  For a little while, I am happily coasting down the road.  I see Keith drive by and I wave at him enthusiastically.  We approach Emerald Bay and I look at the final climb up to Inspiration Point.  I say a quick "Oh, HELL NO!" and pull over.  Keith pulls in a minute or so behind me and I load up my bike and call it a day.  That last climb was steep, narrow and crowded with cars.  If I had to stop, there was no way I could have started up again.  Keith and I pulled over at the top and I said goodbye to the boys and thanked them for their encouragement and patience.  I was asleep in the passenger seat of my car in about 15 minutes! 

As I reflect on the day, I realize mistakes that I made.  I should have drank more and something other than plain water.  I should have eaten a lot more!  And I should have eaten the right stuff.  Live and learn. 

Even though I felt like a horrible cyclist that day, I'm not giving it up!  Tomorrow morning I am taking a female co-worker up Calaveras for her first time on the bike.  

Until later............. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bittersweet Hike

Tuesday I met the Fremont Freewheelers for a "Show and Go" ride.  We did 25 miles through Fremont and Union City with one big hill off of Mission Boulevard.  Since I've been riding so much with the bony-ass boys and other faster riders, I was actually able to stay in the front of the pack for the majority of the ride this time.  That was a nice change, I tell ya.  Chasing riders all the time can get a little tiring.  I just wish they wouldn't feel the need to re-group as often as they do.  I was in the front with two other riders and we kept stopping to wait for the other NINE people to catch up.  C'mon already, they'll be fine. 

My friend Jana that lives across the street moved to Seattle this morning.  She is the one that has the two black dogs that run across the street and LEAP into the back of my car when we go out together.  I will miss her a lot.  Wednesday we went to Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland for our last hike together.  I showed her this park early last year and it quickly turned into her favorite park around.  We spent three hours on the many different trails that park has to offer.  It was a cold and foggy morning.  Makes for some beautiful pictures.

The dogs had a great time together

My two dogs are looking back.  Well behaved Spike and Izzie are facing straight ahead as they have been instructed.  Goodbye doggies, we will miss you!  :(

Keith and I are driving up to Lake Tahoe tomorrow morning where we will spend the day and night doing whatever we want!  Why?  Because Sunday I will be riding my bike around Lake Tahoe (70.2 miles) with a few guys from work.  I'm a bit nervous but also very excited.  It's supposed to be 37 (feels like 27) degrees in the morning and 68 (feels like 77) by the afternoon.  I know it will be a beautiful ride.  I'm always in awe of the beauty up there anyway so seeing it as I pedal my way around for 6-8 hours should be nothing but wonderful.  I'll let you know how I do.  Have any of you ever done this ride? 

"MED2010" Accountability:
06/08 - 25 mile bike, 1 mile run (immediately off bike), 2 mile walk
06/09 - 7 mile hike
06/10 - 3 mile run, "24LIFT" class
06/11 - 4 mile trail run

Until later............. 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Nitro Trail Half Marathon - June 5, 2010

I agreed to do this run with Stacey about a month ago.  I have not run with her since May, 2009.  So long, in fact, that she was under the impression I was a fast runner.  Funny, eh?!  Of course, to her credit, May, 2009 was before two ankle sprains and my arthritis diagnosis. 

She wanted to pick me up since she gets car sick (good idea).  She pulled up right at 6:15 a.m. and out to the car I went with green smoothie in hand.  You know it's going to be a hot day when your (her) sunroof is open at 6:15 in the morning.  Luckily when we got to Pinole, which is right above Richmond, it was covered in fog.

Here we are pre-race:


This run was billed as a trail run and in all aspects, I *guess* you could say it was.  It wasn't the kind of trail runs I'm used to doing but with Stacey there, it really didn't matter!  We were there to have fun and that's exactly what we did.  This is mostly what the course looked like:

There was quite a bit of this:

And an over abundance of pavement.  Yes, pavement.  There are reasons I don't run on pavement.  One being my bone-to-bone arthritis in my right knee.  Flat running beats up my knee pretty bad too.  So, imagine what flat pavement does to it.  Not too pleasant.  Luckily, Stacey was nice enough to walk along with me when I needed to, to give my knee a break.  We enjoyed a lot of chatting, and of course we stopped along the way to take pictures.  Yes, we take our races very seriously!!


We crossed the finish line in 2:50.  Not *terrible* for a trail half-marathon but not great for one that has that much flat.  I am so happy I ran it with Stacey though.  She definitely made the time go by fast with making me laugh and being such good company.  I'm excited about our future plans together.  For right now though, they're "top secret".  ;)

Ron from Punk Rock Racing was kind enough to wait around for us to finish.  He finished in 2:08 - awesome job, Ron!  He sent me a shirt a couple of months ago but I had not met him until Saturday.  We actually met while I was in the potty line before the race started but I didn't get a picture until after the race.  He brought Stacey a shirt and hat that day so now I believe he has all the women in the bay area outfitted in clothing with his logo on it.  Not bad, Ron!  What a super nice guy he is.  So down to earth, easy going. 


This Point Pinole is not a place I will rush back to.  For any reason.  Well, unless Stacey wanted to run it again and wanted my company.  Then I would. 

"MED2010" Accountability:
06/05 - 13.1 mile run, 2 mile walk
06/06 - 3.65 mile walk
06/07 - 3.55 mile walk, Yoga class

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

Friday, June 4, 2010

Four Days In

It is June 4th which means I am on day four of my two new challenges.

Green Smoothie Challenge:  Good!  I have tried lots of different greens so far.  The spring mix I usually use for my salads - that one was a little bitter.  Today I tried dandelion greens along with romaine lettuce - meh!  I probably added too much "green" but I drank it anyway.  Twice now, I have substituted lunch with a smoothie, as well as breakfast. 

3 miles/day for 30 days of June:  So far, so good.  Tuesday I took Boomer out for a 1.5 mile walk before I went for a bike ride and was planning on running three miles when I returned.  As you will see below - that bike ride DID ME IN so I only got 1.5 mile on my feet that day.  If I would have had more time, I may have been able to get the three mile run done in the evening but I had to work that night.  Yesterday and today I have walked the miles instead of run because of my half marathon tomorrow. 

So, yes - the bike ride! 

The bony-ass boys invited me on a new ride.  Thinking that they know me pretty well, have ridden with me quite a few times, they know my capability, right?  Yeah, you'd THINK! 

I knew the first part of the ride so I took off 15 minutes ahead of them and waited for them at the summit of Palomares Canyon. That way I could climb at my own speed.  By the time they got up, I was ready to continue on down the other side.  We cruised along for a ways, toward Castro Valley before turning onto Crow Canyon.  This was a nice slight climb until we turned onto Norris Canyon. 

This was just like doing Palomares ALL OVER AGAIN!  Maybe worse.  Every time I looked at my Garmin, I was doing 3.6 mph.  At 3.4, I'm gonna tip over!  I stopped three times on the climb up this one.  It was 80 degrees and humid.  We don't get humidity here.  We did Wednesday.  When I got to the summit, the boys were riding in circles, trying to push each other over (or something stupid like that).  They saw me coming up and yelled, "good job, you're doing great."  I pointed my finger toward them and said, "don't EVEN talk to me!"  And I meant it.  All I wanted to do was call them very bad names.  I rested for a moment at the top and then enjoyed the 41 mph downhill side. 

We stopped at a gas station in Danville and I downed a Muscle Milk.  We hung out for a little while and then headed back to Fremont via San Ramon Blvd, Foothill and Niles Canyon.  It was only a 42 mile ride but it seemed like 100. 

Maybe Bryan and Daniel know my capabilities more than I do, huh? 

Here is a picture of their bony-asses.  They must get a good laugh at mine when they ride behind me.  Who am I kidding?  They're never behind me!!  HA!

Me and Ellen waiting at the summit

Tomorrow I have a trail half marathon up at Point Pinole, above Richmond.  It's supposed to be high 70's and "unusually humid".  Should be a good time!  As usual, I'll take lots of pictures and share them with you. 

"MED2010" Accountability:
06/02 - 42 mile bike ride
06/03 - Pilates class, 3.3 mile walk, "24LIFT" class
06/04 - 4 mile walk, Yoga class

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

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Commitments, Challenges, and Totals

Once again I am humbled by the love I receive from you fellow bloggers out there. I am truly amazed at the support shown by people in this other world. Thank you all so very much!

After I published my last post, I took Boomer out to walk somewhere. I wasn't sure where I was headed, I just wanted to go somewhere quiet. I drove to the furthest staging area for the Alameda Creek Trail and headed out toward the bay. We had a nice quiet three mile walk.

The next day was my birthday and what a day I had! Keith, Sara, Sterling, Loren and I drove up to San Francisco where we met my mom and one of my brothers at AT&T Park. We were lucky enough to see the Giants win that day. I was happy with my rice krispy baseball.

It was yummy - covered in white chocolate frosting!

After the game, the five of us (minus mom and Steve) went to Coit Tower.

I had no idea you could no longer takes the stairs up the 21 stories. I was really looking forward to that. The girls were thrilled to hear we were going to be taking an elevator to the top.

Anyway, we got some great views from the top.

After we left Coit Tower, we drove down Lombard Street because Sterling had never seen it. Then we went into North Beach for pizza. It was such a great day with my family. ;)

I have accepted two new challenges for the month of June which I'm quite excited about.

This is the first one - A GREEN SMOOTHIE EVERY DAY FOR 30 DAYS! I had my first one today (apple, strawberries, banana and spinach - lots of spinach). I will be replacing my breakfast with a smoothie for the month. It wasn't bad. Honest! There are so many recipes too so I can try a bunch of different ones.

The second one is "Run 3 miles/day for the 30 days of June". I move every day anyway so this shouldn't be too tough for me to do. I figure instead of walking Boomer for two miles, I can run three miles if I need to. When I first accepted this challenge, I was under the impression we were to run the miles but now Rick says we can walk if we need to - as long as we get three miles completed every day. Today I ran five miles. NO, I don't get to carry two miles over to tomorrow either.

Now it's time for my May totals. Did May seem like it was never going to end? Look how full of exercise my calendar was. Pretty darn busy!

First I will do my accountability since my last post.

"MED2010" Accountability:
05/25 - 4 mile run, Pilates class
05/26 - 3 mile walk, "Camp24" class
05/27 - 4 mile run
05/28 - 4 mile hike, "24SET" class
05/29 - 3 mile run
05/30 - 2.5 mile walk
05/31 - 3.5 mile run
06/01 - 5 mile run, "24SET" class

May Totals:
WALK: 30 miles
RUN: 51.5 miles
BIKE: 154 miles
HIKE: 10 miles
11 CLASSES at the gym

June is looking good so far. I have a trail half marathon this Saturday, I'm riding my bike around Lake Tahoe the following Sunday and then a 25k trail run on the 19th. Bring it on!!

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