Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We had good intentions. Honestly, we did!

The above picture was taken in May of this year, on Mother's Day as a matter of fact. It was the first (and only) time I had met Stacey, aka Run Bitch Run. We met at Garin very early that morning for a run and to show her the park. We enjoyed a beautiful ten mile run that day.

It has taken us this long to get together again. I know, entirely TOO LONG!

We made a plan to meet here in Fremont at 7:30 and drive to Sunol where we would do a 25-30 mile bike ride. I was so excited and really looking forward to spending time with her again. I arrived at our agreed upon place and got out of my car to give her a hug and get her bike into my car. Uh, brrrrrrrrrrrr! It was COLD. It was 50 degrees and WINDY.

Ugh! We got Stacey's bike and all of her gear into my car and jumped into the front seats, slammed the doors and looked at each other and started laughing. "Boy, it is FREEZING out there!" I started up my car and noticed the temperature had dropped to 49 degrees. OMG! Now it's in the 40's.

We drive out to Sunol (three exits up the freeway) and as we are pulling off the freeway we see the temperature has dropped dramatically to 39 degrees!!! When I pulled over to park, it was now 36 freakin' degrees! Holy crap. There is no way in hell we are going to get out of the car and ride our bikes.

We came up with a great idea. We are going to go eat breakfast and wait for it to warm up. Brilliant idea.

We found a nice little breakfast place in Pleasanton and ordered up some coffee. We had menus but couldn't stop talking for even a minute to look at them. We yacked and yacked AND YACKED for close to an hour before we even placed our order. After about five offers, the waitress stopped asking if she could take our order and just kept refilling our coffee cups. I haven't laughed that hard is such a long time. She is so damn hilarious! Most of you know this already though, from reading her blog.

We finally placed our breakfast order and tried to eat between sentences. She told me stories about her training, her trip to Alaska, her African Safari, her animals. We talked about friendships and husbands. Oh, it was so much fun!

The check came and Stacey was more than generous and bought my breakfast for me. We were finally ready to leave the restaurant and face the day. We had no idea how long we had been there. It definitely was warmer outside. When we got back to my car, it was after 10:30. Oops! Time for a bike ride had run out. Stacey had a dental appointment at 1:00. I had to just drive her back to her car, unload the bike and all of her gear and send her on her way. :(

Next time we will be sure to plan a later start for a bike ride but I wouldn't take back the early unplanned breakfast for anything. Nothing!

As I drove away from her, my car said it was 62 degrees outside. DOH!

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

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

We all know our own child's cry

Even if that "child" is your dog.

This morning I was planning on going to Pilates and then getting my Thanksgiving shopping done. Jana (my neighbor across the street with the two black doggies) sent me a text asking if I wanted to go for a hike. Hmmm. Remembering that one year ago today was the first time Jana and I hiked together, I decided it would be nice to do that. So, we loaded up the doggies and headed over to our favorite park, Garin.

A photo from April - Izzy, Boomer, Jana, Me, Spike

After getting through the first two gates, it's a free for all and the dogs go running off in different directions. We wanted to go to the right today but Spike had already taken off to the left. Jana called for him and we suddenly heard a dog crying LOUDLY. She said it was Spike but I didn't think so. She threw down her water bottle and leashes and ran down the road toward the crying. Spike came limping out slowly, onto the road. I stood for a while, waiting for them to come back up.

Suddenly Jana threw up her arms and screamed, "SPIKE......" I ran down as fast as I could. She kept screaming and she could hardly breathe. She fell to her knees. When I got there I could hear her saying, "his chest, his chest." I looked down and saw a wide open cut with a flap of skin just hanging off.

We rushed all four dogs (I had Bella too) back to my car. Thank GOD I was driving. I had her sit in the back and told her to take the blanket and hold it against his chest, holding the skin up. I drove as fast as we could to Central Vet (about seven miles away) and called to let them know we were on our way. A technician met us at the door and took Spike right away. Jana finally broke down. I held her and let her cry.

I went outside and called Jana's husband to let him know what was going on. About this time the technician came out and told us we could go into a room, the doctor would see us now. He had been able to examine Spike quickly and give him some pain medication. He let Jana know what needed to be done. Spike was going to have surgery immediately. They will have to sedate him to clean out the wound, shave the area and staple it up. He also has cuts on his feet, thighs and under his belly, that all need to be cleaned up and looked at. He's pretty positive it was some barbed wire. Hopefully he will be coming home early this evening or late this afternoon.

Say a little prayer for Spike. Poor guy. A park he's been to SO MANY times in the past year just ripped him up. He just wanted to go have a little fun on a beautiful day.

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

*UPDATE* It's 5:30 and Spike is home. He has 18 staples in his chest and four stitches in a foot. He has to rest and behave himself for a few days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I love my job, but...............

I love my days off MORE!!!

Me and Bella Bean

I had today and yesterday off. It was supposed to rain Tuesday night into today but I never saw a drop.

This morning, Boomer and I picked up Bella and went to Sunol Regional Wilderness Park.

Baby cow hanging out in the shade. Tons of babies there today.

Boomer teaching Bella how to hunt for rabbits.

We hiked for close to two hours, five miles. Long enough to wear the furry kids out. Since they run all over the hills, they put more miles on their legs than I did.

The bridge where the leashes go back on, freedom ends here.

So, I went for a bike ride on Sunday, mainly to tackle that hill on Paseo Padre again. Well, I went for a bike ride, 20 miles, but I actually avoided THAT HILL. Don't get me wrong, I tackled a lot of hills, just not "the one". I went down Mission to Warm Springs, up East Warren (a pretty good hill in itself) and then back home on Mission. Yup, I wussed out! I WUSSED OUT! However, when the ride was over I had forgiven myself.
I did better yesterday. I went for another 20 mile ride. I took Paseo to East Warren and planned on taking Paseo back so I could do the hill. I thought of a dozen different routes I could take back home, to avoid it, but in the end I DID IT! I made it up and over the big hill without stopping. I'm trying to stand up more instead of shift gears. It seems to be easier when I stand up. I have ordered myself some pedals (clips) but they are on back order so I'm just waiting for them to come in. Then I need to get shoes. I'm still using toe clips. I can only imagine how much easier it will be to get up the hills when I get new shoes and pedals.
Now it's back to work for a couple of days. I feel rejuvenated though. I'm glad the rain stayed away, just for me, for my days off. ;)
Until later.............

Friday, November 13, 2009

Seeking Serenity

I received a text Monday night from Kirstin, a co-worker, asking me if I was available for a run Tuesday morning. Um, of course!! I love this girl. She is such a sweetheart, a very nice person to be around. As we began our run at Garin, it appeared she had some things on her mind that she wanted to unload. I was more than happy to be there to listen. Boomer and I picked up Bella on our way and the four of us had a great time on a 60-minute run.

I will say I was a bit disappointed in my arthritic knee that day. I'm not sure if there was just too much flat or if it is indeed getting worse. I will say the pain was a little too much for my liking. I do know on Saturday when I ran with Christy, about half of it was flat and by the end my knee was pretty much hurting with every step. I'll have to see how it feels the next time I run I guess.

I had Wednesday off too so I took advantage of our dry weather and went for a bike ride. I had a lot of trouble getting motivated because it was an overcast morning. I finally got out and headed up Mowry to Mission and went south to Grimmer. I took Paseo Padre back home. I was dreading Paseo because of the hills that are on it and now I know why. Okay, I know the picture doesn't look like any big thing, I can see that NOW. However, when you are on a bike, the hill you see here is pretty damn steep!! I won't lie. I ALMOST made it to the top without stopping. I felt like my heart was going to beat out of my chest and a lung would have followed. I'm probably going to give it a try again tomorrow morning though. This time I hope to make it without stopping. ;) The ride, round trip was about 15 miles. I want to make it longer for tomorrow.

At least going for a ride allowed me to feel good about baking chocolate chip cookies that night. I saw an interesting recipe Rich's blog: Sotally Tober is Runnin' to the Finish Line. He says he follows the Nestle Toll House recipe but adds 1+1+1. What does he add? One extra cup of flour, one extra egg and a small box of instant pudding mix. His favorite flavor to use is french vanilla. I cooked up a batch and I must say, they were delicious!!! I had to take a lot to work (they never complain when I bring my extra homemade goodies) and they were a big hit there as well. Give the recipe a try. I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Today, Keith and I picked up Bella and took both doggies over to Isherwood staging area and walked along the Alameda Creek Trail. The sun was starting to go down as we were heading back to the car. Boomer and Bella got some really good racing in. It was cute to watch and made us laugh. That's always a great thing.

For my daughter's birthday last week, we bought her two tickets to see Wicked. Naturally we bought two for ourselves also. The tickets were for last night. We took BART to San Francisco and didn't get back home until after 12:30. I honestly don't remember the last time I was up that late. LOL She and Sterling seemed to enjoy the show a lot. We were so glad! I loved seeing it again. I still laughed my head off at Glinda. Man, she is HILARIOUS!!
Our computer completely crashed a week ago. We could recover NOTHING. All of our business information is gone. GONE! All of our customer's addresses, phone numbers, contacts, A/R - GONE! That's a big hit for us. I've got some information put back in but there's still a lot to do. Gah! Not a good time for this to happen considering I have to send out Christmas cards in the next few weeks.
I can't even tell you how many times I have recited The Serenity Prayer this week. It does work! Well, along with exercise and chocolate chip cookies.
Until later.............

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lovely California Weekend

It was such a beautiful weekend here! It's days like these that remind me how lucky I am to live in this area.

Before work on Saturday morning, Boomer and I met Christy and Emmy at Garin for a hike. I picked a five mile loop for us to do. About a mile or so into it, I realized I could finish this loop in 75 minutes if I was running it but since we were hiking, we might not make it back to my car in time for me to get home and get ready for work. So, we ended doing a five mile trail run instead. Worked out fine for all of us.

Pretty normal to see moss on a tree but ferns growing out of it? Strange, right?

Finally at the top of the mountain. We took a moment to enjoy the view, catch our breath and then it was time to run down the other side. It was nice to have that time with Christy and catch up. It seems like a long time since I've run or hiked with her. The time goes by so fast when we're together because we talk non stop! There's no time greater than "girlfriend time." ;)

Since Jerry picks up Boomer on Sunday mornings, I made plans to hook up with Daniel, a co-worker, at the train station in Sunol for a bike ride.

We headed north on Foothill to Dublin Canyon Road. I really wanted to go back to see if the baby cow was still in the yard, the one I took a photo of a few weeks ago. We decided to turn around at the crest of Dublin Canyon. My legs were a little sore from the trail run yesterday anyway. Maybe one day this week I can head out there by myself and see if he's there. But then I have to think, "will I get upset if he's not?" I'm going to think it will be worth the ride, either way. I just took a couple of pictures on our ride back to Sunol. The leaves are beginning to fall off the trees. I know Lisa, you live on this road. There's some pretty nice homes there. I was trying to spy your car in a driveway. No luck though. LOL

This ride was not THAT difficult, lots of rolling hills with a number of small grade long climbs. Of course, riding with Daniel can be difficult no matter what. The guy is relentless on the hills and that's where I have the most trouble. It probably doesn't help that I outweigh him by 20 pounds or so! I am getting better though. I'm feeling very comfortable with Ellen. I've learned how and when to shift. She's very responsive and I'm learning to trust her, which helps me relax more. I notice I am having far less pain in my shoulders and neck now. Practically none at this point. I think it all just takes getting used to.
Today we rode 22 miles, it took almost 90 minutes. I wore arm and leg warmers and was wishing I had my beanie on under my helmet for my ears. It was 55 degrees but when you're moving on a bike, it can feel much colder.
My work schedule this week is much lighter than last week so I'm hoping to get in at least two trail runs and two bike rides. Weather permitting of course. I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Until later.............

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The good times continue to roll

I tackled Calaveras Road yet another time. This made three times in eight days. It's challenging but not unbearable. This time it was with the assistant manager at my store, Bryan. I rode with him on my first long ride, a couple of weeks ago. Yes, one of the boney-ass'd boys. LOL He rode down Niles Canyon and met me at the nursery on Calaveras Road where my husband dropped me off. I really didn't want to ride ALL THE WAY through Niles Canyon. We went to "the wall" and continued down into Milpitas and then back to Fremont.

From the bottom of Calaveras to "the wall" is 13.7 miles. My time getting there is getting better and better. I was seven minutes faster yesterday than I was on Friday with Jana and 19 minutes faster than the first time I did it! Bryan had to wait for me a couple of times but hey, at least he got a break. I never stopped! Like I said before, it's ten miles up a steady climb, not horrible though.

Once we got to "the wall" it was super fun down hill from there. The reward was very sweet! At one point, we were coming up to a sign that flashes your speed at you if you are going too fast. The speed limit here was 35 mph. It flashed 38 mph at me. I was speeding, on my bike! LOL After that it was a nice flat 12 miles back to my front door. The entire ride was 28.5 miles and took 2:03.

Then it was time to start celebrating Sara's 23rd birthday. First we met my Mom for a sushi lunch (she wasn't able to come to dinner with us). Then for dinner, Sara decided she wanted to go to Olive Garden. We were going to drive to The Old Spaghetti Factory in San Jose but it was getting late and we were all hungry so Olive Garden, less than a mile from home, it was.

The birthday girl

It is mind boggling to think I am the mother of a 23 year old. It seems like just yesterday she was turning two, or three. I had Sara when I was 22 years old. How can she be older than that? I think of my Mom when I had Sara and she became a grandmother for the very first time. She seemed old to me. How is it that I am actually at that age where I could become a grandmother? Everything happened so fast. I was a stay-at-home Mom from the time she was in 3rd grade. I drove her to school and picked her up every single day until she FINALLY got her driver's license, two weeks before she graduated high school. She's been out of high school for over five years. She's been out of the house for at least three years. I don't know, it's just really strange to think about it all. 23 years of my life seem to have just whizzed by without me even batting an eye.
Me and my "baby"

You Moms out there with young ones? Hang on tight!! They'll be in their 20's before you can even dream it.

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

Monday, November 2, 2009

My sanity has been saved!

Jana is away at school every Monday through Thursday so when Friday comes, Spike and Izzy, her two black doggies do not let her out of their sight. In order to be able to go for a bike ride, we knew we'd have to take the dogs for a hike first. No big deal though, it was a beautiful way to start my three day weekend!

Then I took Jana on a ~30 mile bike ride on Calaveras Road. She loved it and thought the scenery was great.

Saturday morning, we went for a 4.5 mile run at Garin. It was a nice cool, foggy morning.
Boomer doesn't look happy in this picture, but honestly, he had a good time! I think he's just WAY OVER the photo taking thing. Too bad dude! HA!

One of the many trees that have fallen down in Garin, due to the windy days we had here last week.

Saturday afternoon I had Loren color my hair. It's very close to my natural color now. I haven't had it this dark in oh, probably close to 10 years or so. What do you think of it?

Jerry, my next door neighbor, picked up Boomer early Sunday morning to take him hiking with Sophie so Keith and I went out to brunch with Sara and Sterling. I came home from brunch and took a nice nap before doing some laundry and chores around the house.

Sunday night I met Theresa for some girl time and frozen yogurt. She had been visiting a friend south of here so she met up with me on her way back home. It was so nice to just sit and chat with her for a couple of hours. We never really get that time when we're running or volunteering. At one point, my voice started getting rough from laughing so much. That's a good time when that happens!

A weekend with friends and family, a little bit of rest and lots of exercise is just what I needed. I felt much more focused today and ready to face the busy week ahead.
A few blogger buddies have also said they are in a slump right now. Whatever it is that matters to you, be it friends, family, food, sleep, exercise - make the time for it. Some things can wait until later. Some things just can't. Find what makes you happy and go do it. Your sanity can't wait and you certainly don't want to lose that!
Until later.............