Friday, December 24, 2010

What Child Is This?

Do you believe?

My grandson does!

Evan did this all on his own and asked me to send it for him. I hope Santa gets this letter in time, only because Evan composed this letter today, Christmas Eve.

May your days be merry and bright!

Last Saturday's Song:

Christmastime Is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio


Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmastime Is Here

Got the tree up! 


I went for the more traditional tree this year, (meaning: Evan helped me decorate and I pretty much left everything where he put it -- all on one branch and lopsided) with multi-colored lights and old ornaments from years past, not the mostly blue and white glam tree with pearl garlands I put up for the past four years. (meaning: I decorated it by myself.)  Having Evan help me decorate is a bajillion times more fun.



There has been no running since the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon .  I'm taking a self imposed hiatus from running, at least until after Christmas.  My shins, especially the left shin, were not too happy with me and are pretty sore.   Even though  I'm not running right now, I have been in motion, non- stop, since returning from Las Vegas.  Work has been extremely busy, not just with the work load, but with the physicality of it.  On the surface it looks like I would be at the computer all day, but we spend plenty of time trekking up and down the long hall at the office.  I also try to get out and walk for about 15 minutes at lunch, just to get some air.  I'm also putting in over time hours, which is amazing to me.  I can't ever remember the office being as busy as it is. I still have my Wednesday morning sessions at Rehab United, where there is no rest for the weary, and the assisted stretches (that seem so unnatural and I need to find my happy place) are still part of the protocol.  Needless to say, I'm exhausted.

Jill hosted a bloggers Secret Santa gift exchange.  After a crazy/busy day at work it made my day to receive mail that wasn't a bill!  I was super excited to receive a pair of Dry Max running socks from Ginny at Happy Feet 26-2. I put running socks on my wish list every year at home and at work, but never receive them. I guess non-runners probably think socks aren't that exciting, but I love me some running socks!  I was planning on taking a picture of the socks, but I've already worn them with my work shoes (which ARE running shoes, just black and grey) and they're now in the laundry. :)  Thanks, Ginny! 

In the midst of all the busy-ness, we had to put down one of our cats this past week.  We adopted Cruiser as a kitten from the ASPCA when my son was 4 years old .  My son is now 23.  Yes, 18 to 19 years is super old for a cat.  He was a gentle kitty, but would defend his "family" if need be.  In his later years he gave up being hissy at the dog and they would often just hang out together.

R.I.P. Cruiser  -- 1992-2010
Good bye, ol' man.

Since my crazy week pretty much wiped me out, I attempted to get in the holiday mood by watching Christmas movies while wrapping gifts.  I watched Elf, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, and Polar Express.  Elf is one of those movies you don't need to think much about, it's just silly with a touch of warm and fuzzy.  National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is sort of a must see for our family every year, just because we experienced "Jelly of the Month Club" ("the gift that keeps giving all year" instead of a bonus)  and having the eldest person say the blessing ("I pledge allegiance to the flag...")   Polar Express was my grandson's choice and I actually stopped what I was doing to relax, sit close with the kiddo, snuggle with a big blanket and watch the movie.  Next on the agenda is (maybe) baking some sort of Christmasy cookies.  We made Rice Krispy treats last week, but that really doesn't count.  (PS: Chopped up crispy bacon pieces mixed in the Rice Krispy treats is actually pretty good. - My son's idea.)  

Oh, hold on a second... My new Dry Max socks from Ginny are out of the dryer!

I'm still in my warm Christmas  PJ's, and I'll probably be this way ALL DAY...  HOWEVER, check out my new socks!!!!  Sweet!

Last Friday's Song (December 10, 2010):
Nothin' But a Good Time - Poison - Run-DMZ


Friday, December 10, 2010

Nothin' But A Good Time

Another half marathon in the books.

If you've ever run in a Rock 'n' Roll series event, the expos are pretty much all the same. This year we arrived on Saturday instead of Friday, and other than the t-shirt, the swag wasn't that great. Friday swag is usually better than it is on Saturday. Of course, I wasn't there for the swag or to cruise the expo, which was inconveniently moved from last year's location of Mandalay Bay to The Sands. This new location made for an unnecessary trek up Las Vegas Strip to retrieve our race numbers. We wasted a lot of time getting from point A to point B, especially since we had no direct transportation and did not want to use a taxi just to get to the expo since we were trying to watch our expenses. So much for resting up before the run.

We didn't get any exciting or blog-worthy photos of the expo or of our carb load dinner with a few of the RU group. A few of us dined at Chin-Chin (Asian) located in New York, New York.

Race day. A 4:30 wake up was on the agenda. Luckily we had the foresight to purchase a couple of coffees from Starbucks the night before and put them on ice to have with breakfast (biscotti) the next morning. Iced soy latte actually tastes great. 5:30 am rolls around and we're just a tad late meeting the Rehab United group for the warm up and stretch, but we were there just in time to get in something before heading out to gear check.

The Rehab United Run Fit group.  I forgot my mustache.

Waiting at the start. Cher sang the national anthem. We could hear her but never saw her.

Me & Hubs. I'm not much of a beer drinker, but after running it was pretty good. Hubs came in at 2:38, a PR, finally under 2:40.

My shins and ankle were a little sore for the race, and I really started feeling those sore spots at about mile 7, and that's where I slowed down. My official half marathon personal record time is 2:13:11, and my unofficial half marathon time is about 2:02, which was a training run, just months before the broken femur back in 2008. I knew I would come nowhere close to those times. I just wanted to do better than last year's time of 2:29 and change, and I did. I'm satisfied with 2:25, considering the broken foot and shin splints this year.

One bonus to this years run is that it wasn't freezing.  Early morning temps were probably in the mid 40s, and probably rose to the mid 50s by the time we finished running.  It was perfect running weather.  By the time the concert started, I'd venture to guess that it was about 60.  Last year the cold kept people from staying in the post-run concert area.  This year it was packed, but it could have been that Brett Michael's Band was the featured band.

The hat. 

Brett getting the crowd going.  This guy just doesn't stop.

Can  you say "animated?"  We got a kick out of watching this guitar player. 

Even with the thousands of people at the post race area, we did not see anyone we knew from our group or otherwise, even though they were all there, somewhere.

One advantage to attending the expo is that we picked up red rubber wristbands, which gave us free admission to XS, a club located at The Wynn hotel. This club was pretty swanky.

Part of the deal was free drinks from 7pm to 8 pm. After that, the prices skyrocketed.

During the race I kept looking for Dawn. Last year I found her on the marathon course around mile 6 as I was running.  This year I never saw her, and kept thinking I'd see her at the post race concert, but never did.  While Hubs and I were hanging around at XS, talking to Tobie (who we just met -she ran the marathon), Dawn walks right in front of us. 

Dawn, me, Tobie.

Hmmmm... Extra hands? Dawn?  LOL.

Michael bustin' a move with Tobie and Dawn.

Hubs making friends...

After a few hours at XS, we were done.  We never saw any one from RU, even though they said they were there, but we did bump into a few running buddies from the San Diego Track club.  For some odd reason there are no pictures of our track club friends.  I only had a couple of drinks, but I was done.  I think the lack of sleep contributed to my "tipsy" state. Wearing 4" heels didn't help matters, either.

When it was all said and done, we had a pretty good time, even though we spent the entire time in Las Vegas on very little sleep.  By Monday morning I was ready to go home.

Yeah, I was done.

I'll be taking a running hiatus for the next two to three weeks, but I'll be doing a lot of hill walking.  I'll start up again after the hiatus because the Carlsbad half marathon is in January.  No rest for the weary.

Yesterday's Song:
Mystery Achievement - The Pretenders


Mystery Achievement

The minimalist race report.

Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon.  2:25:18. 

I'll fill in the (major) gaps later.

Last Friday's Song:
Tuff Enuff - The Fabulous Thunderbirds


Friday, December 03, 2010

Tuff Enuff

I spent one pain free week, then I tweaked out my left ankle at my very last Run Fit class. Doh! It figures, that with the Las Vegas Rock 'n' Roll half marathon THIS Sunday, I go and do something to throw things off. It's not a serious ankle tweak, it just feels off. With an already slow training season, this ankle tweak just means I'll be slower. Ah, well.

Since I trained with Rehab United for this race, I'll be wearing one of these bright yellow tech t-shirts:

For some reason I couldn't get the lighting just right, but the lettering is bright blue.Our group should be easy to find.  I think there will be about 25 of us this year.

I still need to pack. Gloves and scarves will be in the wardrobe.  It's going to be a wee bit too cold for this Southern Californian.

Sunday's Song:
Walk With Me  - Neil Young