Friday, October 30, 2009

Hay Amores


Finally... Some of the pictures from my husband's camera.

Wednesday's song:
Come Away With Me - Norah Jones - Barbie2be


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Come Away With Me


I really wanted to get this entire trip recap in one blog post, but I made the mistake of using my husband's camera for most of the trip. He took the camera to work. GAH!

For some weird reason we couldn't get flights from San Diego into Mexico. Most of the flights went north to either Los Angeles, San Francisco, or even Phoenix, Az and Seattle, Wa. Really. San Diego is a border town. It seemed ridiculous to drive 2 hours to Los Angeles, so we opted for a short 20 minute drive to a friend's house, then another short 15 minute drive across the border to fly out of Tijuana. Easy. Smooth flights, little to no turbulence, no problems. No pilots slacking on laptops overshooting the destination...

We had one short layover in Mexico City. We had no time to leave the airport or explore the city, but the airport was ginormous. It reminded me of a Legos building...

Benito Juarez International Airport

Arriving at the little Ixtapa airport, greeted by the tropical foliage and 90+ degrees and humid weather, was the beginning of vacation mode.

"Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore..."

We took a taxi to Las Brisas Hotel. Each room has a view of the ocean. Here's a shot looking out to the patio of our room . I would have slept in that patio hammock all night if it weren't for the insects, iguanas, coati and other unusual jungle critters...

¡Cómo es escénico!

At our first evening at the hotel, we joined the parents of the groom at the hotel lobby lounge for happy hour.

Consumición de los cacahuetes en la barra de hotel.

Happy hour offered two drinks for the price of one, but they'd bring out the two drinks at one time. These margaritas were loaded, made from scratch, and not the syrupy sweet mixes you get in the states at chain restaurants. These were wicked.

¡Aclamaciones! My Spanish speaking skills were MUY BUENO after these.

What is it that they say about good intentions? I had intended to run, either at the hotel gym or somewhere, but after a few times up and down this set of stairs at the hotel, I figured I was good to go. My GPS didn't pick up a signal at all and it was too hot and humid to wear socks and shoes. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Stairway to heaven... or at least the hotel lobby.

Sure, we were there for a wedding and to visit with people, but we also spent a lot of time doing this:

My husband is one of those dots out in the water. Yes, I did join him to body surf every time we went out.

We bought Gatorade while there, in Ixtapa, thinking that it was the standard yellow lemon/lime flavor. Little did we know it was mango flavored until we had a swig of it and THEN read the label.

¿Mango? ¿Quién sabía?

Más a seguir...

Last Wednesday's song:
Mexico - James Taylor - Pat's Running Blog - Nine Oh Nine


Wednesday, October 21, 2009


Travel websites always show this:

But this is the reality:

3-Day Weather Forecast for Ixtapa MX
THU 22
Weather 1
89º F / 31º C
76º F / 24º C
FRI 23
Weather 1
90º F / 32º C
76º F / 24º C
SAT 24
Weather 1
90º F / 32º C
75º F / 24º C
Forecast provided by IntelliCast.

I wonder if it will stop raining long enough for our friend's nuptials and getting in some fun in the sun?

I wonder if I'll actually use my running shoes for running?

I wonder if my GPS will work in Ixtapa?

See you sometimes next week!

Saturday's song:

Morning - Amos Lee


Saturday, October 17, 2009


Activity: Run
Date: 10/17/09 07:26 AM
Distance: 10.02 miles
Time: 1:51:52
Speed: 5.4 mph
Pace: 11' 09 min/mile
Calories: 954

I ran with the Rehab United group this morning and brought Michael with me. My agenda was to put in 10 miles, but I wasn't planning on any steep hills. Well... There was one steep hill that I took on, going through Sunset Cliffs Park, but since I was doing an out and back (sort of) the 5 mile marker on my BiM chimed before I made it to the top of the hill. (Yes!) My pace for today's run was more in the 10:30 to 10:50 minute/mile range. I had to stop for traffic lights a few times, and when I tried to adjust those stops, it took off some distance.

My hips were feeling rather sore before I finished the run, which is unusual. I don't think it's anything to worry about, but I will discuss it with Bryan on Monday. I'm thinking it's just because I need more hill work, and I will continue to be sore and become more sore until I can get in more steep hill runs -- provided those hills are outdoors and not fake treadmill ones.

Good times.

There was no reason to have a camera on me today because the visibility was just like this for the majority of the run:

Normally, there's a gorgeous view of the ocean right off of the cliffs, but this morning the fog just took over.

Yesterday my daughter turned 26. How is it possible that I have a daughter that old when I'm only 29? *cough-cough* She went out with her boyfriend last night, and today no one is home, so we're all going out to breakfast tomorrow morning to celebrate. For some weird reason we do better celebrating birthdays and major holidays over breakfast. Happy birthday Renee!

Happy race day to all of my running friends who have races THIS weekend!

Wednesday's song:
Running On A Treadmill - Oingo Boingo - Barbie2be


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Running on a Treadmill

On Monday I had a killer workout at RU. I can usually conquer what ever it is they set out before me, even if I am dripping in sweat when I am finished. In addition to my regular workout, Bryan put me on a treadmill with grade set to 10, to simulate a hill, and had me do intervals, but he wanted me to keep running the entire time, even if I went slow.

I know.

Treadmill hill intervals.


*deep breath*

Just take me now...

Under normal circumstances, it takes me a good 5 minutes on a treadmill to get a breathing rhythm down. This is at a gym with fans in front of the treadmill section and air conditioning. I'm also plugged into my iPod and have my water bottle within reach. This was not my normal circumstance.

No air conditioning.

No fans.

No iPod.

No water bottle within reach.

How prosaic!

I pride myself in that I can do just about any workout with a "bring it on" attitude and not complain, even if I am struggling. Complaining takes too much negative energy. I'm basically asking for the challenge, and I do like the challenge. This was different. I was gasping for my breath. I sweat so much it was ridiculous. I struggled. I wanted it to be over. I felt defeated. I couldn't run the entire interval session. I had to walk. Ugh. Stupid treadmill.

That was Monday.

Yesterday I decided to take on THE HILL in my neighborhood, the one with the 16% grade. I wasn't going to let that stupid piece of machinery's fake hill defeat me. I get to THE HILL and it's blocked off. Once again, I pick a day when the city is ripping up a section of THE HILL due to ruptured water pipes or for the underground wires. There's other hills in my neighborhood, but THE HILL is the one that offers the most challenge due to its distance and grade. I had no choice so I ran around my neighborhood, taking on other shorter, steep hills, but there were a lot of flat parts to get to those other hills. It wasn't quite what I wanted or needed to do, but I made sure I motored up those hills full force without giving in or giving up.

Needless to day, I'm a bit sore today, and I still have the group workout to look forward to this evening.

Bring. It. On.

Saturday's song:
Gold Dust Woman - Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks - Run-DMZ


photo from

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gold Dust Woman

Activity: Run
Date: 10/10/09 09:02 AM
Distance: 8.12 miles
Time: 1:32:32
Speed: 5.3 mph
Pace: 11' 23 min/mile
Calories: 776

I ran with the Rehab United group at the Los Penasquitos Canyon Reserve Trails, an out and back. It was beautiful. Once again, I was sans camera.

It may not look like it based on my stats, but I even ran negative splits.

There were killer hills. Dusty, steep, rocky killer hills. I was covered in dust and dirt. This was tough!


'Nuf said.

Tuesday's song:
Ask Any Girl - The Supremes - Barbie2be


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Ask Any Girl

Most of us know that October is Cancer Awareness Month. I had my mammogram, along with a DEXA scan a couple of weeks ago. I scheduled two back to back appointments, just so I could get it all done in one trip, in the same department. When I get to the check in desk, in line, the desk clerk just said "up." Huh? She repeated "up" and looked at me. Alrighty then. What ever happened to "may I help you?" It gets even better. I'm called back into the room with all the equipment, change into the hospital robe and the radiology tech directs me into the machine with the squishers, but something isn't right. I'm not a radiology tech, but I've had this done before, so I knew what to expect. She kept readjusting me to the point that I was on my tip-toes, otherwise I would have been hanging from the machine by my breast. Yeah. I know! She still can't figure out why it's not working, so she has me step out of the machine, READJUSTS THE MACHINE SO IT ACCOMMODATES MY HEIGHT and does the other side, and everything is just peachy, no problems, but she kept on insisting it was my fault that she couldn't get me in the machine properly. Maybe it was my fault for showing up on her shift. I dunno. I guess someone handed out a box of bitchy pops that morning because the feel of the entire radiology section was rather tense. The DEXA scan (bone density testing) went OK, the lady there was actually nice, so maybe she's allergic to bitchy pops... Don't let my fun with a mammogram deter you from getting yours. A mammogram is just part of all the things you can do to help detect breast cancer.

Last week I had my now annual visit with my Endocrinologist. The DEXA scan results were not there, which was the whole point of my visit. He said that it normally does not take long for those results to be analyzed and posted, so I basically had forked out my copay just to say hi. Honestly. We did go over protocol and my lifestyle, and said he I was "young." Nice to know 50 is considered young. He recommended keeping me on bone builders for another couple of years and get another DEXA scan, reevaluate, and perhaps adjust the meds or go completely off of them. He did write me up a new Rx and that was that. I'm still waiting for my DEXA scan numbers, by the way.

I started looking at my running shoes and realized that the treads were shot on the two pairs I use the most. My favorites, the Asics Gel Nimbus 11's are showing the most wear, and my New Balance 905's are still decent, but with the the couple of half marathons looming I will need a new pair before November, and the NB's won't last me that long, especially with some longer runs planned. I really shouldn't be spending full price for a pair of running shoes right now, so I went looking for a bargain.

I visited the Road Runner Sport's clearance center, behind the actual store, and found a pair of Pearl Izumi's Cruise, a brand new pair, in the once worn section, for $77. They normally sell for around $110. Apparently, they don't carry Pearl Izumi's in stock, they all have to be special ordered direct from the company. I'm guessing that these were an order that didn't work out because they are a new, current model with absolutely no signs of wear.

I also found a pair of insoles for high arches for $8, and those normally run between $16 and $24.

Just for fun, I went into the regular retail section of the store and wanted to try on a few different brands, but they were out of stock in just about every shoe I wanted to try on, at least in my size. That was a surprise because that's their flagship store. Ah well. Next time. I guess with the Fall brings more run/walk events and more people need shoes, meaning even RRS *runs* out of shoes (in my size).

Running and working out are going well, except for a flu bug that I'm dealing with. If I can run and workout without throwing up then it's a good day.

Sunday's song
Wherever I May Roam - Metallica


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Wherever I May Roam

Harbor Island
(Yes, I've used this picture before.)

It still feels weird to run with another group. My husband goes one way and I go another.

Yesterday wasn't a scheduled run for the track club, but a SDTC 5k event. My husband volunteered to be traffic control and course marshal. He mentioned having to stop car traffic so that the runners could go by. This intrigued me because I was under the impression that this course was closed to car traffic. Michael said he was a little startled when he saw the runners coming up in the distance in one direction, and cars coming toward them in the other direction.

Yesterday I ran with the RU gang . A few of the PTs were there, including mine, but on bike. The route I selected went from a Point Loma bike shop to Harbor Island and back, which is not unfamiliar territory for me. I did take a small piece of paper with written directions in BIG PRINT with me. I really like this because I'd prefer not to deal with a map, or squint to see the small print. The track club often takes this same route, but starting and finishing at Harbor Island. I started the run with two other women, but we soon got into our own paces and I suddenly found myself pulling ahead, then running by myself for most of the time. I got to my halfway point and ran along side a few of the people in the marathon program, but that only lasted a few minutes, as they went in another direction to get in more miles.

Here's what my stats looked like:

Activity: Run
Date: 10/03/09 07:34 AM
Distance: 6.21 miles
Time: 1:05:20
Speed: 5.7 mph
Pace: 10' 31 min/mile
Calories: 599

I did see several familiar SDTC members out there while I was running. I guess they needed more than 3.1 miles.

A few minor things -- The bike shop was not open before the run, so no restroom. I supposed I could have gone into the Jack in the Box a block away, but I always feel like I have to make a purchase, as a courtesy. I had no cash on me. I had to make a pit stop at around mile 4 which slowed me way down, and I had a hard time getting myself going again, even with just two more miles to go. Once I stop, I'm done. I guess that's my own issue, but I was under the impression that the bike shop would be open for us to use the restroom, get water and get ready. The other thing was no water or aid station out on the route. One of the runners mentioned that they really needed that kind of hydration stop and was going to TRY to get one of their family members to sit out there with water and electrolytes. We're not a big group and we were told to carry our own liquids, but it's nice to have a mid way point that you have to get to, sort of like checking in. I also missed going out to breakfast. Everyone pretty much takes off afterward. They do go out after the Wednesday night workouts, which is nice, but I reeeeaaaaly like breakfast, and the establishment we go to doesn't serve breakfast at 7:30 PM.

I do enjoy training with RU, the Wednesday night workouts are really intense and fun, I'm meeting a whole bunch of people who I wouldn't have met otherwise, and when it's all done there's a big party in Las Vegas. I think with some minor tweaking, they could have a stellar marathon/half marathon training group.

My brother ran a personal record today at the San Jose Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon, finishing in 1:32:30, which put him 10th in his division. I can't even fathom being in the top ten in my division of a race that has about 18,000 participants. He wasn't expecting to PR, since his prior PR wasn't that long ago, finishing in 1:41 and change.

Facebook has been a mixed thing for me. I primarily use it to log my running, but it's certainly not limited to just running. While I prefer not to be in contact with certain people (well, certain person), I have been able to reconnect with one of my closest friends. We've known each other since the first grade, attended the same high school, and spent a little time at community college together. It's kind of funny, but no matter how much time passes when you haven't talked to a person, you still laugh over the same stupid things when you do finally reconnect. We even laughed a bit over our injuries. She told me about dropping a $2 can of pumpkin on her foot, which broke several bones and needed surgery, and I filled her in on my fun with my hip/femur surgery. Good times. We chatted for an hour on the phone last night. We were caught up with our lives to a certain point, but there was plenty more to catch up on. I must put a trip to Portland, Oregon on the list of things to do in the near future. My friend did mention a marathon in her area. Hmmmm.

Thursday's song:

Come Together - The Beatles - Tenderfoot Diaries


Thursday, October 01, 2009

Come Together

Spreckles Organ Pavilion - Balboa Park


Runner's Lounge "Take It and Run Thursday" question:
"If you had the knowledge, time and/or means by which to Organize a race - what would your "Race Info" include?

Would you chose an organization to donate to? What distance would you choose? Other questions to ponder - Location? Time? Race Expo attendees (guest speakers?)? Shirt design? Get as creative as you want...!"

I am so into this!

My dream race would benefit the Arts in schools. It would be called "The Arts Run." The Arts are something I've been passionate about for years, even though it sometimes does not come across that way in my blog. The art of motherhood sort of took over, but I'm slowly making my way back. School programs in California have been cut to shreds, and the first things to go are always Art, Theater, Dance and Music programs.

- I think I would skip the pre race expo part and leave the festivities for the day of the race, but have an optional race number pick-up on two separate days, plus the pick up on race day. This would include picking up the swag, t-shirt and timing chip. Yes, I said "timing chip."

Distance - I would offer a 1 mile kids walk/run, a 5k - 10K walk/run. Only the 5k and 10K distances would have the option of using the timing chip.

Crown Point

Location - I have three places that come to mind. Somewhere along Mission Bay in San Diego, perhaps an out and back that goes to Crown Point, with very little concrete involved. It's gotta be mostly asphalt. Concrete just slows me down and I end up more achey... OR the race would go somewhere relatively flat through Balboa Park, which would start and end somewhere near Spreckles Organ Pavilion. The third place is around the flat parts of Shelter Island, which makes for a delightful and scenic morning run.

Shelter Island

Time - probably around 7 or 8 AM.

Time of year - Fall or Spring.

T-shirt - The t-shirts would be that tech-y, dry wick fabric. The t-shirt would be designed through a student competition, and the winner would have their art work on the back, along with some of the sponsors logos below it. The front of the t would have "The Arts Run" in smaller print, somewhere on the upper left or right hand side. Posters of the artwork would be available for sale, and the proceeds would go to benefit the Arts in schools.

Swag - The bag would be one of those reusable cloth-like bags, made from recycled materials or a simple backpack. In the bag: Information about the Arts and places to go to get creative, some sort of electrolyte powder sample, lip balm, samples of sun screen, samples of unscented anti-perspirant/deodorant, flashlights, small packets of wet wipes, a small art pad with a few colored pencils/crayons/pens, coupons for stores that support the arts, like music stores, art supply stores, costume stores, dance stores, and, duh, running/sporting goods store coupons. I'd purposely leave out things like granola bars and candy type bars. Those always seem to end up smooshed or melted at the bottom of the swag bag.

Prizes - The usual protocol : Prizes go to winner(s) of the - race male and female, age group/gender/top three. Since this an Arts race, costumes will be encouraged - and prizes for the best costumes will win. There will also be a random drawing. The prizes would range from artwork, tickets to a theater/art show/performance, massages, restaurants, sporting goods stores, etc...

The race - The National Anthem would be sung live or played by a live band or musician, preferably a student (or students) in the Arts. Whitney Houston's version of the National Anthem is great, but it's time we have some of our local talent take charge of the song. Walkers would have different bib colors than the runners, and walkers would have to start at the back or at a different time. (Weaving between walkers at the beginning of a race is not fun!) Water/electrolytes at mile 2 for the 5k, and miles 2 and 4 for the 10K. Mile markers at every mile, and splits at the 2 mile and 4 mile points. Ipods and/or MP3 players encouraged. Several race photograhers would be throughout the course of the race. Port-o-Potties would be plentiful and have a water pump and/or hand sanitizer kiosk near by. I'd prefer an actual restroom, but on race day that can have quite the line.

Race Medals - Still thinking about this one. For the kids it would be great to have a finisher's medal, but for the adults I'm thinking something like jewelry, perhaps a pendant or key chain.

After the race - Champagne Brunch. All the best brunch foods you can think of made by the winning contestants of Top Chef. (Hey, this is my dream race!) It's gotta have champagne so we can have mimosas... There would be bands and/or musicians, people creating art, dancers, etc, a place for the young-uns to play/paint, color, etc... Since this is an out and back race, no shuttles are needed. My choice of locations all have ample parking available close to the start/finish area.

Guest speakers
- I find that some events really don't need guest speakers, especially for smaller local runs, but we would need someone, a celebrity type who runs and appreciates the arts, to announce the winners, hand out the prizes, and say a few words about the Arts Run.

There's so much to think about. I'm sure I left out a ton of things I would like to have at a race, but I suppose it's a start. A dream race would have to include me winning my age group, but, perhaps that's asking for a bit much...

Monday's song:
Mixed Emotions - The Rolling Stones