Tuesday, March 31, 2009

She's baaaaaaaack!

My dear friend, Christy. Today was her first "trail run" since her accident in January. She's been hiking a lot and then running on flat surfaces for about 1.5 weeks. I was thrilled when she said she would join me this morning at Garin for a run. Boomer and I met her at 8:30 with absolutely no plan in mind - just to enjoy the morning and the conversation that I had missed for so long now. It was a bit chilly starting off but, as usual, it was plenty warm after we completed the first mile which is mostly uphill.

We ended up completing 7.25 miles. It felt SO GOOD. The time just flew by with our mouths going non-stop. I knew I had to get a good run in so I could enjoy this later:

I called my donut date to let her know I was going to be five minutes late and I couldn't believe what she said. SHE FORGOT! Well! I'd been looking forward to (my donut) seeing my friend for a couple of days now, and she forgets? I have been working every Tuesday for a month and in all fairness, (not everybody is as anal as I am about appointments) I didn't call to remind her last night, so I guess I will forgive her. However, I DID stop and get my little sprinkled cake donut and enjoyed it here at home. Wow, was it ever delicious. You know the "roll your eyes up into your head" good? That's how good it was.
Until later.............

Monday, March 30, 2009

A spring in my step

I did, I had a spring in my step the entire six mile run. I felt so strong today. Both of my ankles finally feel normal again. My legs felt light as a feather (and we know they ain't!). The hills that were steep six months ago felt like ant hills to me today. All of this really took me by surprise because of skiing Saturday and being on my feet for eight hours yesterday at work.

Boomer and I went to Garin this morning. We played around on the northern end of the park this time. Scenery is a bit different - no bridges for one thing. More fire roads, less single track. But, the single track is absolutely breath taking.

Today while running, I saw turkeys, a black cat, a Jerusalem Cricket, black beetles, horses, another snake, and of course cows. What I didn't see was another person (or a mountain lion, THANK GOD!). One cow tried to cop an attitude with me. I faced it head on, pointed my finger at it and shouted, "NO!" The cow took a step back and let us run on by. Good cow!

I was thinking today about how lucky I am. I don't have to work 40+ hours a week like a lot of you guys. I don't have any little babies at home anymore. I have a very supportive husband that knows how important running is to me. I have the perfect dog for running the way I do. A week ago I was running in the Marin Headlands with the Golden Gate Bridge in sight. Two days ago I was skiing at Squaw Valley at Lake Tahoe. Today I'm running around in the mountains, less than 20 minutes from my front door.

My first of three days off was excellent. I only work part-time, yes, but I don't always have three days off in a row! I will have my Tuesday donut date tomorrow (first time in a month), but only after getting some type of run done in the morning.
Until later.............

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Love/Hate Relationship

Spring skiing - some people love it, some people hate it. I have reasons to love it and hate it. I love it because it's warm enough that you, and a lot of people around you, don't have to wear a ton of clothes and stuff all over your face and head. You can actually recognize your skiing buddy.

Unless they're disguised like this:

And what's better than wearing ski boots and clothes while having lunch at a ski resort and watching people swim?

Aaaaaaah, I can answer that. It's watching men at work!

Keith and I drove up to Squaw Valley this morning. We got there a little after 8:30. It was already 33 degrees. The snow was good (for a while). No ice. We went all the way to the top and got in quite a few nice runs. We broke for lunch about noon. After we finished lunch the wind started picking up so we headed back down toward The Village. It was getting pretty soft by this point. I'd just be coasting along and all of the sudden one ski would want to come to a complete stop. This is the part of spring skiing I hate. It's very uncomfortable and hard on the quads. Good cross-training I guess. We did just a few more runs and were back at the car by 2:15. These were the last two comp tickets I had for Squaw Valley. I didn't want them to go to waste so I'm glad we made the trip. However, this may have been our last ski day this year. We'll have to see. I still have one Alpine Meadows ticket and one for Northstar. We MAY go back on Easter. I like wearing my bunny ears on the slopes. :)
I'm stuck at work all day tomorrow but then I'm off for three days. YAY!
Until later.............

Friday, March 27, 2009

Early evening stroll

I worked all day today and (almost) missed out on a beautiful day. I got off at 5:00, came home and grabbed the boy (along with a friend for me and one for him) and we went over to The Alameda Creek Trail and enjoyed a nice early evening three mile walk. Aaaaaaaaah, it was so lovely! Gotta love daylight savings. I'm happy I don't have to miss an entire day's worth of light right now. I was going to just have dinner and do my two mile walk around the neighborhood afterwards. Everybody was happier with this.

Keith and I are going to Squaw Valley to ski for the day tomorrow. It's supposed to be near 50 degrees. Woohoo!

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

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sunol Regional Wilderness

My neighbor across the street, Jana, is home for spring break. She called me yesterday at 8:30 in the morning and wanted to know if she and her doggies could join me and Boomer if we were going hiking. Heck ya, I could go for a hike AND the company! I took them to Sunol for a six mile hike.

She has two dogs, Spike & Izzie. Spike is a Lab and Izzie was a rescue so they aren't positive what she is but part Lab sounds right. They were all over the hills at Sunol, definitely a lot more adventurous than Boomer. They loved the creek. Boomer of course didn't go in above his ankles!

This snake has red spots which you can see if you enlarge the photo. Anyone (RBR) know what he might be?

Boomer & Izzie rolled in so many poop piles. It was disgusting! So, what happens when little boys roll in poop? They get a bath with cold hose water in the front yard.
And this is the aftermath:

I just got back from a great 60 minute run with Christy along the Alameda Creek Trail. It's so nice to have her to talk to on my runs again. She doesn't go back to work for another month so hopefully we will be able to get a lot of running in between now and then.
Until later.............

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spring has sprung

I *heart* Spring
I only had to work until 1:00 today. After work I came home and changed my clothes and took my little furry son to Garin for a nice, relaxing five mile run. Fall and Spring are my favorite seasons, especially for trail running.
I was sitting on a log while taking this picture of us. You're probably thinking that is irrelevant information, aren't you?

Well, when I turned to my left, this is what was staring at me, right at the end of the log! I said hello to him, he sniffed a couple of times, then turned and walked away.

Boomer is such a great trail running dog!

Christy has the OK from her doctor to start running again. Yippee! She started last Wednesday, two months after her accident. We have a running date Thursday morning. It will be so nice to have her company again. I have missed her terribly. Don't get me wrong, Boomer's great company but he is a male and you know how well men "listen". Sorry honey, but you know it's true. :)

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

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Pirates Cove 30k - the journey......

Sometimes it's about the destination. This time it was most definitely about the journey. If you just want to see photos, you can find those in the post below this one.

I was looking forward to this run today for many reasons. One: I had never been to this area before. Two: the views looked spectacular. Three: I wanted to see a couple of my friends. Four: I'm volunteering at Miwok 100 in May and I was curious where I'd be and also what the runners would be running on.

Someone on the PCTR message boards said they needed a ride, so this morning I drove over to Menlo Park and picked up a guy named Vladimir and drove him to the race. We got there an hour before the start of the race. This gave me plenty of time to eat my mini bagels with almond butter and finish my coffee. When I got out of my car to go pee, OMG, the wind was screaming and it was pretty damn chilly. The forecast called for rain starting at around 3:00 p.m. in the north. I brought three different cover ups and knew I would choose one based on how it was there on the coast. I decided to wear my waterproof/breathable jacket. I knew it would work as a windbreaker and if the rain came early, it would keep me dry. My Marmot cap is also waterproof. I saw Victoria and Rick at the check-in. Victoria thought I was insane with all the items I had on to keep me warm (i.e. fleece gloves, ear muffs, tights, jacket). We'll see what she has to say later about that. She went out with a short sleeved shirt on and arm warmers. That was it! Well, she had something on her legs of course. LOL

The 30k & 50k started at 8:30. The 20k started at 8:45, and the 10k at 9:00. The first climb was a good one. I didn't hear until we were at the start, that there were steps on this course. Steps add a whole new element when doing this kind of event. It's kind of something you have to practice. And, I don't think the stairs at my work justify "practice." At about 1.5 miles (30 minutes for me) the damn 20k people started running by me. I couldn't believe it. They kept coming. And I kept stepping out of their way. By mile 3, I about had enough of this and I was just going to follow these fast 20k-ers right back to the start/finish. Right before the point where I could bail out of the 30k, Lisa appeared out of nowhere. We made small talk about what distance we were doing, how we felt, etc. She said it would be nice if we could run together. Wha??? Oh man! I couldn't abandon her. She went into the restroom and I stopped at the aid station. I told her I was going to head up the hill, she could catch up (no duh!). When I first saw her, she was carrying a rolled up denim jacket -- I thought she was just a hiker. Anyway, a few minutes after I left the aid station, Lisa caught up with me. As I let her in front of me on a single track, I noticed she was wearing Nike walking shoes. She was carrying a bottle of Arrowhead water in one hand and her car keys in the other hand. She had shoved her denim jacket in her waist pack.

For the next 10 miles, Lisa and I pushed and pulled each other up and down the trails of the Marin Headlands. She insisted we were going to finish together. God bless this woman. Lisa is from Bulgaria, 30 years old. She talked her little head off, telling me about recent books she's read or movies she's seen. We talked about our jobs and relationships and childhoods. I must say her childhood was more interesting than mine. It only took me about 1 miles to become so grateful she opened her mouth back there before the aid station. We hung on to each other until about mile 14, long enough to see the first 50k runners come flying by us. She could no longer run any flat or downhill portions because her legs hurt so much. She told me to please go ahead. So I did. The rain really started to come down at this point (it was nowhere near 3:00 p.m., by the way) and it was getting much colder.

I finished my 18.6 miles with 3,740 elevation gain in 4:48, I think. I was walking at that point and really didn't care about time. Both of my legs were on fire and my right ankle is still quite tender from twisting it a month ago. The loose rocks on the trails reminded me of the ankle. It was pouring now. I stood under the PCTR tent and waited for Lisa to come in. She came in 30 minutes later and she was drenched! She did have her denim jacket back on though. She had a cup of soup and I drove her to her car parked 3/4 mile away. She said she didn't even want to walk one more inch. This was the longest distance she has ever signed up for. We exchanged email addresses and plan on running together on her side of the bay.

Rick (365me) made his goal, shaving time off his 50k time from last year. Victoria (flirty 'n dirty) wasn't finished with her 50k before I left. I felt so bad for her being out there in that rain and cold, without a waterproof top of any kind. I hope she has a good report later. Both Rick and Victoria always have good race reports. If you get a chance, read their blogs. ;)

So, now I have yet another reason to look forward to my next organized trail run: I might meet another "Lisa".

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

Pirates Cove (Photos)

First climb Me and Victoria before starting

Top of a climb

Me and Lisa

Top of another climb

Aid station (main reason I run these) LOL

14.5 miles in

Me and Rick after finishing

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I did it again!

I took full advantage of another free ski day. Today it was at Sierra-At-Tahoe. I'm such a ski whore! Or, I just love free stuff. Who knows. My friend and fellow employee Michelle came along with me today.
When we walked in to get our tickets, where we show our pay stub and ID, THAT GUY was there and he just smiled at me. He didn't ask me to show my ID this time. He just said, "hey, it's the hair." He'll be so shocked next year when I show up and can show him a new driver's license photo. The joke will be on him. HA! Yup, I'm that important that he's going to remember me next year. Count on it. ;)

Top of the mountain, at The Smokehouse 360 for lunch. Lake Tahoe in the background.

The weather was amazing - no wind, sunny and 51 degrees. I put sunscreen on but I didn't get it up into my hair line so I'm sunburned there. I also feel the back of my head and neck is very tender. I hope it's not too red back there. It's always so attractive when the scalp starts to peel from being sunburned. Bleh! Michelle had never been to this resort and she loved it. I took her down a black diamond run, before telling her it was one. She did fantastic! It got a bit slushy in the afternoon so my legs do feel a little sore tonight. Keith didn't go with us today so I had to drive up and I figured I was going to drive back but Michelle offered to share the driving. I let her drive two of the three hour drive home while I took a nice hour long nap. I still have two comp tickets for Squaw Valley. I'm hoping Keith and I can go up a week from Saturday, so they don't go to waste. If we don't get more snow, it may be tricky though.
I'm working all day tomorrow and Friday. I'm hoping to get a little run in sometime tomorrow.
Until later.............

Monday, March 16, 2009

284 pounds

That's how much my legs weighed today!

Boomer and I went to Garin and I was able to do a six-miler but I suffered. I felt like I was having trouble lifting each foot, each step. UGH! Such a strange thing, the body is. Not a lot to say about the run but as usual, the scenery couldn't be beat.

We were treated by these deer running in front of us.

I'm signed up to run 30k here Saturday: Pirates Cove (Mar 21)
I'm super excited about it because I have never been there and it looks stunning. I am going to be so distracted by the views of the ocean and San Francisco, I'm sure. I certainly hope my legs lighten up before then.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Happy Friday the 13th

I was going to run 13 miles today, on the 13th but it didn't work out that way. I ended up running 11 instead. Boomer and I went to Lake Chabot in Castro Valley again but this time I took the bike loop which is 12 miles. I cut off on one single track trail, thinking it would take me back up to the main bike loop but I guess it didn't. Somehow I lost a mile. Which was fine, in the end. I was going to add a mile to make it 13 but as I was finishing up, I really was pretty tired. And out of water. I carried 1.75 liters in my pack but today was a little warmer than it has been so both Boomer and I were drinking more than usual. It was a great run. We had a very good time.
Even here, he was able to find tons of drainage pipes that might be harboring a rabbit.

Boomer replenishing his salt. LOL
Running through a beautiful old Oak grove.
Have you ever seen a tree grow quite this direction?
This kind of says it all. Boomer all buckled in, waiting for me to finish stretching, ready to go home. He very rarely lays down in the car. Today he slept on the way home.
Some people think Friday the 13th is unlucky, even just the number 13. It's been my favorite number since Keith asked me to marry him on June 13th and we got married on October 13th. Are any of you superstitious? Has any one ever had anything good or bad happen to them on Friday the 13th or just the 13th? I'm curious!
Until later.............