Monday, January 31, 2011

Brazen's Coyote Hills 10k - January 29, 2011

I absolutely  *love* Brazen events!!  My first experience with them was exactly a year ago.  They are in constant contact with you once you sign up for an event, letting you know any and all updates, parking arrangements or changes to the course.  This event had very limited parking so most of us had to park about a mile from the start.  No worries though.  They had shuttle service for us.  And GOOD shuttle service.  I think we waited less than five minutes for a shuttle on each trip.  Their tech shirts are very cute and being tech shirts, I will wear them again.  Every finisher, regardless of the distance gets a medal.   They give out "goody bags" filled with stuff you will actually use.  All for a very reasonable price. Even though their races are considered small, the race directors make you feel like you are at a big event with their arch at the start/finish, music playing loudly and your name being called out when you cross the finish line.  They even use timing chips. 

If you are ever considering doing a Brazen event, sign up - you will not be disappointed!

Now, onto my day.

I had to miss my group training ride for the Cinderella Challenge to do this run but I ended up doing a portion of the ride with one of the ride leaders on Friday.  The climbing portion!  Whatever, I don't think it hurt me in the run.

Stacey was my running partner this time.  I know, right now you're thinking how jealous you are.  You should be!  She is so fun to hang out with.  Since I haven't gotten up to "speed" yet with my running, I know she's one person that will never complain that I'm running too slow or argue when I want to walk.  Even though she could go faster, that's never her plan when she runs with me.  We always know it's going to be a fun time no matter how long it takes us.  Actually, we both agree that the longer it takes us the more fun we get to have together.  Awesome, right?  
Staying warm before the start

In front of the big hole in the ground
We had two aid stations which we had to stop and look at.  I didn't carry my own water this time, so I had to get a cup of water at each one anyway.  Even though I wanted to shove a few bags of cookies or chips into my vest, I didn't. 

Did I mention this run was in Fremont?  Oh, I guess I didn't.  Needless to say, I knew a bunch of people that were running it.  Probably every woman there in her mid-30's to mid-40's from Fremont, I knew.  Well maybe not, but almost.  When I finished, a girl walked up to me and told me she reads my blog but never comments.  I was so touched that she introduced herself to me, it was so sweet.  HI KATE!!! 

HSE Lori loves me.  The feeling is mutual. 

Christy, RBR, Me & Lori

RBR, Punk Rock Runner, Me and Katie

The course was alright.  Just one little bit of single track for us 10k runners and quite a bit of pavement.  For a 10k I won't complain.

I was very happy to know I am able to run 6.2 miles again, at a steady (yet slow) pace.  I was never a fast runner anyway so the 12:something/mile pace we kept is okay for today.  I normally run ~10 minute miles.  It will come, I'm sure of it.  I just have to work up to it again.  I have faith, at least, that I will get there again.  I was feeling so good after the run that Stacey and I have already signed up for this 20k in a few weeks.  Exciting!!

So remember, you see a Brazen run that interests you - SIGN UP.  You will love it, and them!

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

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Once upon a weekend.......

My elation about Spike spilled over into my fun-filled weekend I already had planned.  The good news just made everything so much easier!

Saturday morning started early with my Cinderella Challenge training.  We met, ready to roll at 8:00 a.m.  This week's ride was 35 miles but included a couple of good climbs.  The first was out to Alum Rock Park in San Jose.  The second climb was a road connecting to Mt. Hamilton Road which was a fun descent.  I remember doing the Alum Rock ride with the Fremont Freewheelers last year and it was hard.  I felt much stronger this time doing it.  That made me very happy.  The weather was absolutely perfect for riding!

On the way home from the ride, Sara called me and said she and Sterling were going to Garin with Bella for a hike.  Okay!  I drove home, changed clothes real quick, grabbed Boomer and went over to Garin for a three mile hike.  Unfortunately I forgot my camera.  The cows are back and that's always a happy sight for me.  They are still fuzzy.  It always makes my time out there more enjoyable when I can see the cows happily grazing.

Sunday I took Theresa and Kristi to Pacifica with me to run a PCTR event

Theresa, Me, Kristi
 I only signed up for the 9k this time.  I have done both the 21k and 30k here but being my first event since my surgery, I certainly need to ease my way back into it.  I wasn't sorry at all that I was doing the 9k.  It's a tough course, no matter if you're doing it alone or as a second or third loop in your 21k, 30k, or 50k.  There's *maybe* half a mile of flat in the entire 5.6 miles.  A ton of uphill with just as much fun downhill.  It felt so good to be running like that again. 

The weather God's are being very generous to us this month as the temps were high 50's to low 60's in Pacifica on Sunday morning.  It was just beautiful.  I was happy to be at a PCTR event again.  I miss seeing all those people in that little trail running community.

After a quick lunch and nap that afternoon, Sara and I drove up to UC Davis to see Toby Mac and Brandon Heath perform.  I enjoy these concerts a lot more than Sara does but she goes with me because she doesn't want me to go by myself.  I would have no problem going alone but she insists I shouldn't do that.  I love spending time with her, no matter what we're doing anyway so I'm kind of glad she is so insistent.  Afterwards, she admitted she actually liked Toby Mac and his songs. 

We got home after 11:00 Sunday night so I was too tired to get up Monday morning at 5:15 for the 6:00 spin class.  I know, shame on me.  I had to work all day though and the extra two hours of sleep did me good. 

"MED2011" Accountability:
01/19 - Spin class, 2 mile walk, Body Pump class
01/20 - 1.65 mile walk, "24LIFT" class
01/21 - Spin class, 1.65 mile walk (x2)
01/22 - 35 mile bike ride, 3 mile hike
01/23 - 5.6 mile trail run
01/24 - 1 mile walk, Body Pump class, 1.5 mile walk

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

Friday, January 21, 2011

Miracles do happen!

Izzy, Boomer, Jana, Spike, Me.  The good ol' days when they lived across the street from me.

Thirteen days ago I got a message from my friend Jana.  It said, "We need your prayers, we have been in a rollover accident.  Sergio and I are fine but both dogs were ejected from the truck.  We found Izzy but Spike got spooked and ran off into the woods."  I immediately began praying night and day for them. 

I found out the next day that the accident happened on a two lane highway in a very small town on the border of Idaho and Montana.  They were on their way home to Seattle from her parents house in Billings, Montana.

Jana said she saw Spike running away and actually tried to catch him.  There was snow on the ground and she was barefoot and had no jacket.  She ran as long as she could and he finally disappeared into the very dense wilderness that was covered in extremely deep snow.  The paramedics took her and Sergio and Izzy to a motel nearby.  Jana's brother got there two hours later and they all went out and searched until it got too dark.  They went out first thing the next morning and hiked while calling his name all day long.

Two days later they had to made the dreadful drive seven hours away, home to Seattle.  Before they left they posted fliers everywhere, contacted all the shelters within a 200 mile radius and got everyone in the small town involved in searching for Spike.

Day after day went by and before we knew it, a week had gone by.  She told me a shelter thought they had him but it turned out to be a different Lab.  Damn! 

Tuesday afternoon I got a phone call from Jana.  She told me there had been two sightings of Spike, under an overpass right by the crash sight.  Tuesday night they loaded up Izzy and made the seven hour drive to see if they could get him.  Nobody could get near him without him running away.  I told her to go get him and bring him home where he belongs.

First thing Wednesday morning Jana, Sergio and Izzy started their search.  She hung around the overpass for hours and hiked for miles.  She put out steak, treats, dog food.  The food kept disappearing but naturally she couldn't guarantee it was Spike that was eating it.

Thursday morning I was walking Boomer around the neighborhood and was praying so hard for Spike to be found safe.  I felt so good.  I figured for sure, this was going to be the day Jana found him.  Late Thursday evening she sent me a text saying they left the area, drove two hours away to a cabin her parents own.  She said the weather had gotten so bad it was dangerous for anyone to be out in it.  She was convinced at this point that the sightings were not Spike after all.

This afternoon she got a call from a guy riding a snowmobile.  He said he can see Spike and he is sitting under the overpass again.  It is freezing cold and blizzard conditions.  He brought down some sausage and Spike ate it and stayed under the bridge.  Jana, Sergio and Izzy got in the car and drove as fast as they could to the small town again.  When they got there they parked a little ways away from the bridge.  Jana had some ham and a leash and walked under the bridge.  She sat down and began calling softly for Spike, once again.  Finally, she said, he came toward her, crouching down and gently wagging his tail.  His collar was no longer on him and he is "skin and bones".  She picked him up and wrapped him in a blanket.  To say she was happy would be an understatement!!  She sat with him in the back seat (with a harness on) for the two hour drive back to the cabin.  He cuddled next to her with his head on her arm the entire way.

I never gave up hope for Spike. I'd go to bed each night and fall asleep praying for him. I'd wake up every morning and lay in bed praying. I just had faith he would be found alive.  He is one of the toughest dogs I have ever met.  I have been on many hikes with him and to see him rip through the trails and brush is amazing.  If any dog would make it out of this situation, it was going to be Spike.

Thirteen nights of below freezing temperatures, in steep terrain with deep snow and blizzard conditions where wolves and bears live - this dog survived.  They don't know where he slept at night or where he hid during the day.  They have no idea if or what he ate.  What they do know now - miracles can happen!!

This proves even more how important it is to always keep hope alive.  As long as there's hope, a lot can happen.

Thanks to everyone on Facebook that followed along and prayed like crazy for Spike and his family. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Take the good with the bad

Our computer took a dump late last week.  For those that don't know, Keith and I own a business and run it out of our home.  We've had this business for 20 years now.  We use Quickbooks and Lotus Smart Suite Organizer to help us.  Well, the mother board died so we decided it wasn't worth saving.  We had to buy a new desk top computer, which was quick and easy.  Unfortunately our version of Quickbooks doesn't jive with Windows 7 which is on our new computer.  So we had to go buy a new version of Quickbooks.  It is TOTALLY different than our old version.  We don't have a calendar/schedule on the new computer now and are having a hell of a time finding a simple little calendar to put on this computer.  Once again I need to input all of our customer information.  At least this time we have the external hard drive so I can get the information easily.  It's just very time consuming to enter it all.  Fun times!

I got out for a marvelous run with Boomer Sunday morning.  It was early, it was cold, and it was foggy.  We ran for about 45 minutes, completing 3.75 miles.  It was a perfect run with no IT pain and no foot pain. 

Monday morning Erin and I planned on meeting for the 9:15 a.m. spin class.  Last time I went to a 9:15 class, the instructor was five minutes late and I was told this was normal because she drops her kids off at school and then has to drive in.  I wasn't worried about getting there any earlier than 8:55.  As I was walking toward the door, Erin was walking out.  She told me the class was full.  GAH!  I was so irritated with myself.  I forgot it was a holiday!  Instead of just going home though, Erin and I got on a couple of stationary bikes and set it on a hill climbing program for 50 minutes.  Yay us! 

Tuesday morning I ran around the neighborhood with Boomer before work.  I do love my early morning runs with him.  I'm learning I don't care where or how far they are.  I enjoy each and every one and will probably never take a single one for granted.

All in all, the bad really isn't *that* bad but the good, I find, is exceptional. 

MED2011 Accountability:
01/16 - 3.75 mile run
01/17 - 50 minute stationary bike, 2 mile walk, Body Pump class
01/18 - 2.25 mile run, "CAMP24" class

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

Saturday, January 15, 2011

I am now a Princess in training

This morning I attended my first training ride for the Cinderella Challenge, an all women cycling event taking place in April.  Fremont Freewheelers sponsors this training for women and have been doing it for the past 19 years.  Yes, there was a small fee for the training but if today is any indication of how the next 10 weeks are going to go, then I think I have invested the best $75 of my life.

It started off with an hour of education.  I learned about nutrition on the bike, proper clothing, and road safety.  Sure I know most of this but I heard a few things I actually didn't know, or just haven't thought about for some time.  The amazing thing is that these women leading the event are all volunteers, just there to help us learn!  They are committed to being there every Saturday to lead us on rides and answer questions for us.  There are a few different groups of riders.  Majority of the women are training for the 100k, while about 30 of us are training for the 100-mile option.  Women of all shapes, sizes and riding abilities showed up today.  I witnessed the ride leaders offering loads of encouragement to the women that are just starting out.  I was so impressed by this. 

I talked a friend into doing this training with me.  I never like doing stuff by myself.  Who does, really?  Why I always find these girls that are 20 years younger than me, I have no clue!  Erin is the girlfriend of my store's master shop tech.  And when I say "talked into", it really didn't take that much to do it.  She was very positive about it from the very beginning.  She's a little worried about some of the rides in the future, but I know she will be absolutely fine.  Each week the rides will get longer and have more climbing.  They're not taking us out for 80 miles of sustained climbing next week or anything crazy like that.  We will build up to it. 

Today's ride was 25 miles - a huge loop around Fremont.  Besides going over freeway over-passes, there was maybe one big hill to climb.  I *almost* made it up without stopping.  I took off my clipless pedals recently, due to my foot surgery.  Having to twist out of a pedal in a hurry might be difficult and/or painful. So, I have my old pedals with cages on and I do notice it was more difficult climbing.  But, no big deal.  I'm not complaining.  Spin classes have helped me out, I could tell that.  Especially since I hadn't been on my bike since June of last year!  For the first ride, I am pleased with how I did and how I feel now. 

I ran three times this past week.  I'm taking it slow and easy but *loving* it none-the-less.  Last weekend I ran at Garin with HSE Lori, her friend, and our dogs for about an hour.  Then, twice this week I ran for 30 minutes in the neighborhood with Boomer.  After each run I walked through the front door with a huge smile on my face.  Running is, and always will be, my passion. 

Wednesday I went skiing again.  Keith and I went to Sierra-At-Tahoe for another free day (for me) of fun. This time there were 14 of us from my store.  The snow was beyond amazing and I had the best day EVER!  As I was skiing I found myself giggling at times and thinking, "what surgery?"  My foot wasn't hurting me at all.  Last week when we went to Alpine I had to quit after lunch but this time I just kept on going.  We stayed on the mountain until 3:00.  I'm still amazed and so happy with my recovery. 

I've been moving every day, as I promised to do.  How about you?  How are you doing?

"MED2011" Accountability:
01/08 - Body Pump class, 1.25 mile walk, 2 mile walk
01/09 - 4.25 mile trail run
01/10 - Spin class, 2 mile walk, Body Pump class
01/11 - 2.80 mile run
01/12 - Ski 5 hours
01/13 - Body Pump class, 1 mile walk, "24SET" class
01/14 - 2.25 mile run
01/15 - 27 mile bike ride, 1.5 mile walk

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

Friday, January 7, 2011

"Moving" right along

One of the great perks of working at REI is coming across some awesome deals.  Because of the very liberal return policy we have, people sometimes return items they've had for a while.  When this happens, the current cost of the product can be very low.  Yesterday I was lucky enough to find a heart rate monitor, brand new, for $19.93.  I needed a new watch anyway, so I snagged it, had Keith help me get it set up and wore it last night to a "24SET" class.  I have always wondered how many calories I burn in one of those classes.  320 calories in a 52 minute class.  I wore it to my spin class this morning and found that I burned 480 calories in 65 minutes.  It's super light on my wrist and I can't even feel the heart rate monitor strap. 

Speaking of spinning - I attended my first spin class Monday morning at 6:00 a.m.  I upgraded my gym membership so I can attend all of the clubs, instead of just the one.  Because of my work schedule, attending classes five days a week was becoming quite a challenge.  Being able to attend the different clubs (three within a three or four mile radius) I am now able to choose different class schedules.  So, one of the clubs offers spin classes.  Even though there are three classes (6:00 & 9:15 a.m., 6:00 p.m.) every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I am choosing to do the early one.  Why?  Because I figure it will never interfere with my work schedule.  The *only* reason I wouldn't go to this class is because I'm too lazy to drag my butt out of bed.  Also, I still have enough time to walk Boomer even if I have to go to work at 9:45.  I went all three days this week.  I like it a lot!  It is an EXCELLENT workout, and it's TOUGH!!  It should really help out with my 100-mile bike ride training, which starts in one week too.

Tuesday Keith and I went skiing at Alpine Meadows in Tahoe with a few other people from my store.  The ski resorts offer free ski days to people that work in the industry, about four days a month. 

Do you see that smile on my face?  Yeah, it pretty much stayed there ALL DAY.  I was so stinkin' happy to actually be able to ski, just a little over three months since my foot surgery.  I could not believe it.  Yes, I had tried on my boot and put it on a ski and did movements like I was skiing, here at home and felt pretty much fine.  But, to actually be moving down the mountain on skis without too much pain was wonderful.  Making left hand turns was a little bit scary at first, because you have to use the inside of your right foot.  But, I was able to make quite a few trips down the intermediate runs for over half a day.  My foot was a little sore the following day but not unbearable.  I'm going again on Wednesday.  :)

I am very happy to know that a few of you have decided to commit to moving every day for at least 30 minutes.  That's so exciting!!  Good luck to each of you.  As I did prior to my surgery on October 1st, I will again be reporting my "Move Every Day 2011" activity.  I'd love to hear about how you are doing too.

"MED2011" Accountability:
01/03 - Spin class, upper body work out
01/04 - Ski
01/05 - Spin class
01/06 - 1.5 mile walk/run, Body Pump class, "24SET" class
01/07 - Spin class, 1.5 mile walk

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

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Here I go again

I am not one for "resolutions".  I don't believe you have to wait for the calendar to change to make changes in your life. 

With that being said, I am picking up where I (sort of) left off a few months ago. 

I am continuing my commitment to MOVE EVERY DAY in 2011.   For those of you that don't know, it means I vow to move every day for at least 30 minutes. 

It can be walking, running, a class at the gym, a machine at the gym, cycling, a Crossfit WOD, a hike, skiing, backpacking, golf, bowling.  I think you get it.  Anything that gets me up and moving for at least 30 minutes every single day.

I was able to do this last year, up to (and including) the day of my surgery - October 1st.  The first few days after my surgery, naturally, it was a bit more difficult.  But you know what?  Eight days later, I walked around the block.  Three days after my surgery, I was using a friend's Total Gym in my garage to do upper body workouts.  I was doing push-ups, sit-ups and planks on my living room floor.  I got creative and did whatever I could to move my body. 

All the while, knowing I had an excellent excuse not to.

I'm not sure if I'm going to have my other foot operated on this year or not but I'm not going to let that stop me now.  I can only take one day at a time.

Do any of you think this is something you can do?  Can you commit to doing something, ANYTHING for 30 minutes a day this year?  I will do it alone if I have to, but it would sure be nice to have some company this year.  Come on and join me, you won't regret it.  ;)

"MED2011" Accountability:
01/01 - 2 mile walk, 1.65 mile walk
01/02 - 1 mile run, "Boot Camp" class at the gym, 1 mile walk

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