Saturday, February 28, 2009

PCTR's Sequoia 20K

Real quick, here are some stats for the 20K (12.4 miles) today. A measly 1,960 feet of elevation gain. Lots of nice, rolling hills with a few long, steep ones. Compared to the last time I ran this course, I feel like I was able to run a lot more of it today. That's a good thing. I stopped a bit to take pictures. It is an absolutely beautiful park. I twisted one ankle, once. It was quite muddy, but the wet kind of mud. Not the kind that sticks to your shoes. I wasn't able to take advantage of the down hill sections, which I'm usually good at. I was just too afraid I would fall in the mud. It was colder than it was supposed to be. Thank God I did bring a warm pull-over to wear before and after the run because I ended up wearing it for the majority of the run. I also wore ear muffs and fleece gloves for a while. I finished in 3:00:09. I was very happy with that time. ;) I'm pretty sure I didn't come in last too. Yeehaw!
Please click on the photos so you can really see how pretty this course was.

I was lonely driving up to Oakland this morning. But of course, as soon as I got to the starting area I saw a few friends and met some new ones. I still wished Christy was there. After the run I hung around and chatted with Victoria for an hour or so. When I got home I made a HUGE turkey burger and took a nice long nap. Keith had been golfing with Christy's husband and when he got home he told me we were going to dinner with Christy & Steve. That made me happy. I still got to spend some time with Christy and talk to her about the race.
My ankle is a little sore. I should ice it and perhaps I still will do that before heading to bed tonight. I do get to rest tomorrow. Well deserved, I think.
Until later.............

Friday, February 27, 2009

What's better than a bouquet of flowers?

Three window boxes full of them

I haven't run since Monday. Since my ankle was a little sore from twisting it on Saturday, I elected not to run on Tuesday. Then I went skiing Wednesday where my ankle was not an issue at all. I worked all day yesterday and today. So, I haven't run since Monday. I know a lot of you get your booties out of bed when it's dark and cold to get a run in. I just can't get myself to do that. Not running since Monday has put me in a slightly cranky mood come 5:30 tonight. After leaving work I had to go to the bank and also the grocery store (where, by the way, people need to learn how to count to 15!!).

Anyway, when I pulled in the driveway I saw that Keith had put beautiful tulips in all the windows in the front of the house. This brought a big smile to my face. I'm not so cranky anymore. ;)

I am running PCTR's Sequoia 20k in Oakland tomorrow. Christy still can't run so I am going solo. My goal? Same as it always is -- I don't want to come in DFL. I'll let you know how I do.

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

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Free Ski Day

Yippee, REI employees got to ski for free at Sierrra-At-Tahoe today.

It snowed on us for most of the day but the snow was incredible to ski on. We were able to get in almost five good hours on the mountain. Keith was able to go with us because I had a comp ticket to give him. So, we drove and filled up our car with three other employees, Scott, Erin & David. We left Fremont at 5:30 and got to Tahoe at 8:30. We are very fortunate to live close enough to be able to do Tahoe as a day trip.
Keith was taking a picture of us and Erin started to fall. We caught her and Keith caught this photo. LOL

We got Erin back on her feet and took another picture.

This was the second free ski day for us this year. In order to get a comp ticket for the day, you need to show your most recent pay stub and a photo ID. I have had an extension on my driver's license four times (16 years). All I need to do is mail in my money and they send me a renewed license, with the same photo. I hardly ever have to show my ID for anything anymore so I never really think about what it looks like. Well, this guy who welcomes us and gives us our comp ticket, he made a comment last time we were there. Wow, that's some cool hair! Look at those eyebrows. Ha Ha Ha Ha. Whatever dude, get over it already.
Guess what? He was there this morning. And he brought a friend. Mmm huh. As soon as I walked in, he says hey you came back. (Heck yeah, I'm not gonna pass up a free ski day). He takes my driver's license and he hands it to his friend. They crack up. They keep looking at the picture, looking at me, looking at the picture, etc. I guess it is pretty bad, huh?

I have made two appointments over the last year to get a new picture taken but something (anything really) came up and I didn't feel like spending my precious time in my local DMV. After today, I am having regrets about these missed DMV appointments. Then I notice my driver's license expires this year. Hmmmmm, this could be a good thing.
The question is: If I get notice of an automatic renewal, should I pretend my driver's license caught on fire and get a new one, or not???

Monday, February 23, 2009

How important is it?

Saturday, when I was running at Garin, I twisted both ankles, twice! There were areas that the mud had dried up but had heavy cattle traffic while it was wet. The end result was hard, uneven ground with large holes throughout. That resulted in me twisting my ankles. I really thought it was not a big deal. Last night I noticed my right calf was a bit sore but I thought it was normal muscle soreness. I guess I was wrong. I don't like being wrong.

I got ready to go for a run this morning and it started pouring rain so I did some stuff around the house, waiting to see if it would stop. It finally let up around 10:30 so I headed over to the Alameda Creek Trail.

As soon as I started running, I felt it in my ankle. Did that stop me? NO! I just took smaller steps, quicker turn-over. About 1/4 mile later, I had totally adjusted enough so that I could run with very little pain. I know it's not a sprain or anything so I kept running. We ran for 45 minutes. It is a little painful now so I am icing it. No swelling though.

I am so stubborn when it comes to running. I used to see people running with a brace on their knee or their ankle wrapped up. I would think, sheesh, if it hurts so bad that you have to wear a brace or wrap something up, maybe you shouldn't be running! But somewhere along the road, running became important to me and then I understood.

So, how important is running to me? There's nothing I would rather do! What about you?
Until later.............

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Single track is my crack

I was finally able to get back to Garin after all the rain and letting it dry up somewhat. It was still slippery in some areas but most of my trails were dry. Boomer and I had a marvelous nine mile outing! Everything is now so green and trees are blooming. The smells were remarkable.

I don't know if everybody takes the time to enjoy those little things when they're out running but it's something I always make time for. When I get into the single track trails that are surrounded by ferns and moss covered trees, it's nice and cool and the ground is soft, I stop and take a deep breath and realize how incredibly lucky I am to be there.

All the creeks were flowing today. I was glad I didn't bring my iPod. Just running along I could hear nothing but the water. That's much better than music, in my book.

On today's run I took a little extra time to enjoy everything so beautiful because it is an especially beautiful day to me. I am celebrating another 12 months of sobriety. When I look around and realize how incredibly lucky I am to be doing what I do, I MEAN IT! ;)
Until later.............

Friday, February 20, 2009

Coyote Hills? Should be Squirrel City!

After I posted this picture I took at Coyote Hills this morning, I'm thinking it looks like a HUGE pile of crap. Doesn't it? It does, huh?

Well, it would make total sense if you thought so, because the portion of my run that I did at Coyote Hills WAS CRAP. And it's really no body's fault but my own. I used to avoid running at Coyote Hills like the plague. I hated that it had "rolling" hills. However, that was a long time ago and I have gotten mucho better at running hills of all different kinds. Another reason I don't go there to run is because doggies have to be leashed. One thing I had forgotten about is the millions of ground squirrels that call this place their home. They love to taunt Boomer and in return Boomer tries to chase and, if he ever catches one, kill them. The combination of him being on a leash, me running, and squirrels taunting is not the perfect running scenario. I was kind of okay with him pulling me up the hills. I was not okay with him pulling me down them. But when he quickly jumped across the front of me to catch a squirrel that appeared out of nowhere on the right side of me? Let's just say I was less than kind of okay about that! The path is paved, not dirt. So, after almost three miles of that, I said bye bye Coyote Hills!

I took Boomer about three minutes away, to the Ardenwood staging area of the Alameda Creek Trail. Here we had a much better time. No leash, no squirrels, no mad crazy lady screaming obscenities at her poor helpless little dog. I'm sure that's what I looked like. But, I'm happy to say, we did make up. ;)

And Boomer got to go off the trail at all his favorite spots and look for bunnies, which are a lot more fun to chase than squirrels anyway.

We completed a total of eight miles today. I did some hill sprints and I worked on my speed during the last two miles. I'm hoping to get another good run in tomorrow morning. I might try going out to a park so I can get some single track therapy. I could really use some. I'm afraid it might be too muddy but, who knows, it could just be worth it.
Bella is spending the afternoon here because Sara is working at the house she's moving into next week. Keith is over there fixing the backyard fence so the pups will be safe running around together.
This picture? It's all about the apple I'm sharing with them. LOL

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

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Yippee, a break in the rain!

I met Sara and Bella on the Alameda Creek Trail this morning. Bella had her first "off-leash" walk! She did marvelous, I must say. Naturally, she followed Boomer everywhere he went. They met lots of other dogs, wrestled each other on down the trail. They were stopping and peeing together, hopping over each other. It was so fun seeing Bella having fun and running free. We went on a 3.5 mile walk together.

This guy was nice enough to strike a pose for us.

Bella has grown so much. She is now quite a bit taller than Boomer but they weigh about the same.
Boomer found a stick by Shinn Pond and baited Bella with it. They played keep-away for a while.

Boomer was looking pretty darn tired when we got back to the parking lot but I still wanted to get a run in. I was thinking about having Sara bring him home but decided against that. He IS my running partner these days, after all. I put him on his leash so he would be able to trot next to me and we ran 5.5 miles in and around Quarry Lakes. He didn't want to go any faster than a 10:30 pace but I really didn't mind. It's the first run I've had since Saturday, the weather nice and the scenery was beautiful. I wasn't in a hurry to get anywhere. I was just happy to be outdoors doing what I love.

I work all day tomorrow but then I'm off until Tuesday night. Woohoo!

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

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

For the ladies.....

Can we talk?

What on earth possesses a girl like me to purchase a bag of miniature powdered donuts (or donettes as Hostess refers to them)? I have not had one of these nasty things for probably five years. After purchasing them, I opened them in the parking lot of Target and popped one in my mouth. As I drove to the Safeway around the corner (in the same parking lot), I continued popping them into my mouth. When I parked my car at Safeway, I popped a couple more. I closed the bag up and realized I had eaten half the damn bag.

Let me rewind a few hours.

Last night Keith and I made a batch of marshmallow treats (aka Rice Krispie treats). We polished off half the tray last night and by myself this morning, I proceeded to eat half of what was left. But to my credit, I was doing a strength workout on my Wii as I was chowing down on the marshmallow covered Rice Krispies. Oh, and I ate an apple afterwards.


Sara and I went to a movie today. This is always trouble for me. We "shared" a large popcorn and a box of Milk Duds. I think I saved the last Milk Dud for her. I'm not sure she had any before that. I know "we" didn't finish the entire bag of popcorn but we were close to it.

THEN I went to Target and started in on those powdered Hostess things.

I made a healthy turkey chili with two kinds of beans for dinner and I had a normal size portion. Then as soon as dinner was over, I made yet another dessert. This time it is like the Rice Krispie treats but I used Golden Graham cereal and chocolate chips, along with the marshmallows. Sara and I took the pups for a walk and when I got home I cut into these tasty little numbers. Why the obsession with marshmallow covered cereal treats? They're made in the microwave, therefore dessert comes quick. ;)

So, at this time I propose a question: How many of you girlies act this way, oh, say, about once every 28 days????? It can't be just me, can it? Anyone have a favorite treat (or 2 or 3) they over indulge in during this time?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Weather warning

The rain has finally hit the bay area and it is relentless! All day long, the rain is falling and the wind is blowing. Now there is a flash flood warning for all bay area counties. I work until 2:00 tomorrow so I'm hoping the rain will stop for a little while and I can get a run in. If it doesn't, I may be looking like this by tomorrow night:

Thanks to everyone who gave input on my To weigh or not to weigh post. It was very nice to have different points of view. ;)

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

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Fast & Furious

I ran a fast 4.5 miles this morning with Boomer. (Now I can enjoy Valentine treats at work)
I'm furious Boomer got jumped by two Huskies!!!! (He's okay though)
Have a happy day! ;)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

To weigh or not to weigh?

January 1st, I weighed myself. I decided I should lose five pounds. Every day in January I weighed myself faithfully every morning and every night. Why at night? (This is where the craziness begins.) If I weighed less than three pounds more than I did in the morning, I would take a sigh of relief. If I weighed more than three pounds over what I weighed in the morning, I would stress and try to drink tons of water before going to bed. I always allow for a two pound fluctuation in either direction, come morning.
When I wake up in the morning, right before I would weigh myself, sometimes I felt "lighter" and sometimes I felt "heavier". If, when I weighed myself, I was below the two pound "comfort zone", I was in a great mood all day and because of this, allowed myself to eat whatever the heck I wanted. If I was above the two pound "comfort zone", I would be in a not so good mood all day and because of this, allowed myself to eat whatever the heck I wanted. Isn't this completely whacked? Right?

Needless to say, come January 31st I had not lost (or gained) an ounce!

I put my scale away February 1st. I'm not going to get it out for 28 days.

I have two sizes in my closet. I know if I gain or lose a pound (or five) based on how those clothes fit me. I don't think I need a scale to tell me. But, part of me thinks that (SOME) people don't weigh themselves because they are afraid to see their weight. Kind of the "what I don't know won't hurt me" attitude.

This is the longest I have gone without weighing myself on a scale. I feel so much better, not worrying what the scale is going to say. But there is a part of me that is scared to death I am going to gain ten pounds and not know it. This, again, is crazy thinking. I can't gain ten pounds and not know it! Remember, I only have two sizes in my closet.

I'm not eating food based on reward for a lower number on the scale or punishment for a higher number on the scale. I am eating much more healthy than I had been. I'm more aware of what I put in my mouth.

How often do you weigh yourself? Daily? Weekly? Does it affect you in any sort of twisted or not-so-twisted way?

I need to know.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Racing the rain

Boomer and I went for a nice seven mile run this morning. I parked inside Quarry Lakes and then ran the Alameda Creek Trail toward the west. It is so boring out there (compared to an actual "park") that I have to mix it up when I go there more than a couple days in a row. I kept Boomer leashed for the majority of our run because I need to start running at a sustained pace instead of stopping or slowing down so often to make sure he's still in sight. So the poor guy had to trot along side me the whole time. This is not his favorite way to run but he's very good when he is made to do it. He's always happy just being out there. Most people that use the Isherwood staging area of this trail end up heading east so by heading the opposite direction, we didn't have to stop and say "hi" to all the people and dogs we know. That makes me sound so anti-social but it does make for a ton of stopping and starting and it's really hard to see what kind of pace I can actually run at for a sustained period of time.
We had two more miles until we were back at the car and the rain and wind came at us! I started picking up my pace at this point. I felt like I was having to drag Boomer. I think he was trying to hide behind me. It wasn't working out well for him. By the time we were at the car, we were pretty darn wet. Boomer tried very hard to get all the water off of him. This is why he wears a rain jacket. LOL

This is his "I can't believe you made me run in that crap" look.

Little does he know, it would have been a lot worse at Garin where it's all slippery and muddy! He's just convinced I only wanted the worst for him today, I'm sure of it.
Until later.............

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Now, back to running.....

My boy and I got out for a very beautiful six mile run this morning. We started off on the Alameda Creek Trail and ran through Quarry Lakes on the return trip. I was happy I got a shot of this little guy:

The hills are a beautiful green right now. I could actually see snow in the hills behind Sunol.

I am a nut about trees that look like this:

Quarry Lakes
I signed up for another race at the end of this month. It's PCTR's Sequoia 20k on the 28th. I have my eye on a 30k in March, on the coast. And I want to do the Mount Diablo Marathon on April 19th. So, I need to start getting my mileage up and work on those hills. It's supposed to rain on and off here for a while and I'm working quite a bit over this next week but I'll find a way to fit in runs where I can. It stays light until 6:00 now so that will help. My work is pretty close to Mission Peak but going up there without Boomer just isn't the same. I may have to adjust.
Until later.............

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday at Squaw Valley

Our girls, along with their boyfriends, joined us at Squaw Valley on Sunday. My daughter Sara is next to me with her boyfriend Sterling. Keith's daughter Loren is next to him, with her boyfriend Cody.

The girls paid for ski lessons but ended up letting Keith show them how to ski. Sara was ready to give up on the group lesson after about five minutes. Keith spent the majority of the day skiing backwards down the bunny slope with one of the girls skiing toward him. By mid-day they were both making large turns and they were very excited about it.

The boys and I did a couple of long runs and we all hooked up for a nice lunch together.

When we were all tired out at 3:30, we took the cable car to the very top of the mountain. It was the first time any of us (except Keith) had been up there. Scenery was nice but the height thing was a little bit freaky. A storm blew in right about that time too so it was very cold up top. We all agreed it was worth the trip though.

I didn't do a lot today. I did take Boomer out to the Alameda Creek Trail for a little 3-miler this afternoon. Cold and windy.
Until later.............