Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Christmas, Baby

Besides my computer blowing up, everything is quite well.  I had a ton of pictures to post and a lot of stories to tell, but my computer blew up.  Really.  Our computer is currently being fixed by our computer wizard friend and I hope it returns soon.  I suck at blogging via iPhone or iPad. I've  been posting over at Facebook, but for those of you not on Facebook I'll post a brief outline.


We flew up north to Monterey to celebrate my niece's wedding.

Anne just before the ceremony
Anne and David exchanging vows
Post wedding photo op - My sister Donna, My daughter Renee, Me, My sister-in-law Ellen
Renee caught the bouquet!

Besides attending the wedding, we spent a lot of time at the beach, which was just a short walk away.
Spending time with my favorite 9 year old!

Soon after the wedding, hubs and I celebrated an anniversary.  When we first thought of this particular anniversary, Hawaii seemed like a good place to celebrate.  The bulk of the expense that would have gone toward a Hawaiian vacation went toward getting my family (all 5 of us) to and from the wedding up north, plus hotel rooms.  Instead, we took the day off from work and  spent our wedding anniversary in our own hometown, and enjoyed perfect weather without going too far.

Celebrating 30 years of marriage at Crystal Pier., San Diego, CA.

I'm sort of running, but very inconsistently.  I have been able to spend more time running with the track club, but I'm slacking on putting in the miles on my own. I have a half marathon in early March, so I'll get myself in gear soon and put in more weekly miles. 

I'm about to have neck issues from being on the make-shift computer area that Hubs assembled.  The monitor on a TV wall mount, and I have to look up to see what I'm entering.  I will close for now and I hope to get in one more post before the end of the year.

Happy holidays, friends!  Wishing you peace and love for the holidays and always.



Song from Monday, November 26, 2012:
C is for Cookie - The Cookie Monster

Monday, November 26, 2012

C is for Cookie


Narins's Stem Ginger Cookies and  Mixed Berries Oat Cookies.

I'm not a self proclaimed foodie, even though Hubs says I am.  I do like to eat and I know what I like, and if that makes me a foodie so be it.  When I was asked to review a food product, cookies in particular, I was all over it.

Stem Ginger Oat Cookie

Narin's makes a variety of oat and gluten free and vegan food products, such as crackers, hot cereal and cookies.  I was sent a box of stem ginger oat cookies and a box of mixed berries oat cookies.  The cookies were light, crunchy, oaty and delicious, but I became quite fond of the stem ginger cookies, even more than the mixed berries cookies.  The stem ginger flavor was very robust, and I love ginger. I discovered that the stem ginger cookies could be easily eaten alone or in addition to a bowl of ice cream, or in my case coconut milk ice cream -- to which I ended up making stem ginger cookie and coconut milk ice cream sandwiches with almond slivers on the side.

If you're a berry fan, then the mixed berries cookies will be right up your alley.  These would go perfect with a nice hot cup of herbal tea on a cold day.  The berry flavor is pleasant, but more subtle than the stem ginger.  I also tried to pair these with the coconut milk ice cream, but the mixed berry flavor is better by itself.

Someone else wanted to scarf down my creation.  See those eyes behind the plate???

Yes I would buy Narin's products, especially the stem ginger cookies.  Now I'm curious about some of their other products such as their "Oaty Bakes."

Song from Thursday, November 15, 2012:
She's a Rainbow - The Rolling Stones - Miss Rachel


Thursday, November 15, 2012

She's a Rainbow

The Color Run came to our town at the beginning of this month, and my sister and brother-in-law joined us for the festivities.

Pre race photo op.  Look how gleamingly white the shirts are!
The Color Run  5K is a fun run, meaning no clock, no chips.  It was quite the event and there were two  time slots for the event, at 9 AM and 2PM.  We opted for the 9 AM start.  If you look carefully, you just might find us in this random group shot:

Trust me.  We're in this photo.  Hint -  We're the ones wearing white...  j/k.  Hubs is wearing his dayglo yellow hat
The Qualcomm Stadium parking lot isn't the most scenic place for a 5k run, but it was big enough to handle this size of an event. At certain points in the run we were pelted/squirted/sprinkled with dyed cornstarch powder by voulenteers. It was like running through a fog, but a colored fog. I think the first color we ran through was yellow. The color gets everywhere. My brother-in-law really doesn't run, so we did a walk/run. We had so much fun. Good clean fun, um, no, good messy, colorful fun.

A colorful bunch!  

We were multi-color dusty when we were finished. We tried to brush off as best as possible before leaving, but the cornstarch dye stuck to anything and everything that got sweaty or wet, and stuck in every nook and crannie imaginable, even if it was covered... 

Post run breakfast at the High Dive.  I actually washed my hands before taking this picture.  That's my sister  in the background still covered in blue.  One of the servers asked if we were attacked by Smurfs. 
After a a shower and a few hours to recoup, Hubs and I attended ANOTHER fun run.  We attended a BEvERage Mile fundraiser AKA The Beer Mile.  It was supposed to be a BEER mile, but not all of us can chug  a12 ounce cans of beer each quarter mile, equalling four beers.  There was an 8 ounce per quarter mile margarita option.  I chose the margarita option. The first 8 ounce chug was not too hard, but after a quarter mile run the next thee chugs and runs were brutal.  I won my division -- The Classy Lady Division...  I'm not quite sure how I feel about winning an event where you drink booze and run, but I did.   Here's my classy trophy and shower loofa prize for winning:

Even after a shower I STILL had dye imbedded in my fingernails.  
All proceeds went to the MS Society.  

I do want to point out that I really DON'T drink that much, but it seems like every time I post I talk about drinking just about as much as I talk about running.  That sounds awful, but to put it in perspective, my blogging has dwindled down to monthly instead of weekly or bi-weekly.  

I also have a product review, but I'll save that for my next post, which will be VERY soon.  

Song from October 3, 2012:
All I Really Want - Alanis Morrisette



Wednesday, October 03, 2012

All I Really Want

Fall rolled around last month and so did the heat.   It's not that  bad, really, but when you don't have an air conditioner, most of your fans are broken, and the stores have replaced their summer promotional items (like fans) with Christmas decorations, it kind of sucks.  Last year we had virtually no summer and I guess this is Mother Nature making up for slacking off.  Temperatures have been in the 90s and 100s, even in my neighborhood, which tends to be at least 10 degrees cooler than the rest of San Diego county.

Enough about the weather...

I've been fortunate to be on somewhat of a winning streak, so to speak of.  Over the past few months I've won a Pitter Potter hydroponic planter, Shark Attack pops (like Otter Pops, but with alcohol for adults), a pair of Mizunos, and won two entries to be a guest of Sam The Cooking Guy at a local fundraising event/competition called "Chef Showdown."  

Photo op with Sam.
My date -  Hubs, of course!
A few people have joked with me that I should try playing the lottery...  I must say that I've enjoyed my wins.  I've continued to get a lot of use out of the hydroponic planter and have replanted twice.   The Shark Attack pops came in handy when we had an evening of heat and humidity. You know I"m a sucker for running shoes, but I'm really liking my Mizuno Wave Creations.  I've already logged a bunch of miles on those babies.  The most fun was definitely being a guest of Sam the Cooking Guy.  The Chef Showdown proceeds went to benefit the Center For Community Solutions and Domestic Violence Awareness Month.  The venue was Liberty Station at Point Loma -- outdoors.  There was a silent auction and an actual auction.  There were several booths and tables set up by several local restaurants and spirits companies.  We received small plates with "bites" of food, but there was so many bites of food that we were stuffed.  I must add that the bites were over the top delicious. We did get to know Sam briefly, but we spent more time with one of his assistants and his assistant's girlfriend.  We chatted so long that we barely paid attention to the actual Chef Showdown competition which was like a version of the shows Chopped or Iron Chef.

I went ahead and joined the track club's Whatever fall program.  I wasn't able to join the summer program because I worked most weekends.  I did attend twice with Hubs, who did join for the summer, but it wasn't enough to fit in any actual training or decent runs.  My Fall Saturday work schedule is somewhat spread out due to the doctor's schedule, which gives me more opportunities to run with my track club friends on Saturday mornings.  With  me joining up with the track club for fall means that I'm officially off of my running hiatus.  I'll be back to half marathon training soon.  I haven't decided if I'm going to run the in Carlsbad half marathon in January 2013 yet, especially since I'm just getting back to adding miles.  I don't even know if Carlsbad is sold out yet. My next half marathon is the San Diego Half Marathon in March 2013.  The fall runing program will get me back on track.  I must add that the long sleeved tech t-shirt is very nice, and I especially like that it says  "Run For Darrel" on it.  This fall session is dedicated to Darrel, a long time track club member who was very ill with cancer.  Darrel was still with us when the shirts were ordered, but, saldly, by the time the shirts arrived he had succumbed to the cancer.  I feel very priviliged to have known Darrel, and I really like wearing the shirt in his honor.

Run For Darrel

Finally, Hubs had complained that we took no vacation time to do anything this summer.  I took a look at the Humphrey's Concert by the Bay line up and Alanis Morrisette was added.  We booked the dinner, room, concert package.  We ended up with one of the rooms just adjacent to the stage and IMMEADIATLY called friends to hang out in our room to catch the show.

"Souleye" opened for Alanis Morrisette.  Not a bad  view from the room, right?
Monday night is kind of tough for most people, but    two really good freinds came out.  While the were there at the show, they saw two of their freinds sitting in the back row and told them to come up, which was wonderful because they are huge Alanis Morisette fans.  Michael and I had awesome seats down on the floor, second row center, and we were so fortunate to get that room so our friends could enjoy the show.

I have to laugh because there are signs saying  "no recording devices allowed," but  security didn't enfore it.
I just wanted to share some of my end-of-summer highlights, and to remind myself that there are a lot more highlights to come, especially when things get tough.

Song From Thursday, August 23, 2012:
What Doesn't Kill You - Kelly Clarkson

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What Doesn't Kill You

Oh yeah, I have a blog.

I honestly didn't mean to neglect my blog for two months, but I've been sort of busy and sort of not busy.  I guess not concentrating so much on running also put less emphasis on the need to blog, since my blog tends to center around running.

Here's what I"ve been up to while not running as much:

Beach Body Ultimate Reset

As a lot of you already know, I've been dealing with bouts of fatigue for over a year.  I knew I needed to become more proactive since medical tests were coming up inconclusive.  I needed to clean up my nutrition, but I really needed a fresh start with guidance. I did a 21 day cleanse.   I did a little research and decided to take on the Beach Body Ultimate Reset -- UR for short.  I was a little skeptical at first, and was concerned that the kit I purchased would have some sort of stimulant in it.  As far as I can tell, there were no stimulants in any of the provided supplements.  If anything, I was weaned off of any kind of stimulant, including caffeine and alcohol.  I selected UR because I was able to eat real real food through out the entire 21 days.  I know jucing is the big thing right now, and a lot of people have great success with it, but I have this thing about enjoying what I'm eating, and enjoying crunch and certain textures, which is something that I couldn't get with juicing.  The UR kit came with 6 different supplements, a guide book with recipes, a guide to cooking DVD (for those who never really cook) and a "motivational" DVD.  Oh, also included was a macrame hemp string bracelet as sort of a "belonging to the club" thing (I guess), which I never wore or even took out of the package.  Week one was all about not eating any processed foods and gently being weaned off of animal proteins.  I did have some fish, chicken and eggs that week, but most of the foods centered around fresh fruits and vegetables/legumes, certain whole grains such as quinoa and brown rice, and a lot of water.  Week one is also about eliminating dairy, but I'm already dairy free and have been for years.  Week two was no animal proteins and a lot more vegetable based proteins.  Week three was a lot more fruit and vegetables, but less plant based proteins.  Before you get bent out of shape about the lack of proteins*, I did supplement not having protein with Braggs liquid aminos, especially that last week.  The supplements included with the kit also coincided with each week and the elimination of certain foods, so I wasn't taking all 6 supplements at the same time.  

I began UR the day after the 4th of July food fest holiday.  On the 4th of July I ate Slutty Brownies as if I were never going to have another ever, ever again, and I also had a few celebratory beers and a lot of junk food.  Everything changed the next day, and I was committed.  I did have a couple of days with being extremely tired and had headaches --  probably from no caffeine and no processed sugars, but I did OK after that, and never once felt deprived or super hungry.   The goal of the UR was to feel better and figure out what could be the possible culprit of my fatigue, but in the process I lost 9 pounds.  Weight loss was never the goal, but I knew I would drop some weight, maybe 3 or 4 pounds.  I'll take the 9 pounds weight loss, and that's reasonable and healthy weight loss for me.** Now that I've been almost 4 weeks post UR,  and eating relatively clean with a once a week free day, I've discovered that foods made with processed white flour may be the culprit. I had a few big bites of my husband's carne asada burrito, (which, by the way, was ridiculously delicious and made with one of those ginormous flour tortillas) and felt as if I had a hang-over the next morning.  I had carne asada without the tortilla from the same restaurant, which is why I think it's the processed white flour causing some of the fatigue. 

In addition, there was supposed to be no strenuous exercising during UR. I did run twice, which was difficult at best and probably not the best idea, but I did go for walks and had a few easy sessions at Rehab United.  I also had a few home projects that kept me busy.

This program will probably not be easy for people who have never set foot in a kitchen.  There's a lot of prep involved,  and some of the recipes require marinating for a few hours.  After the first week I made sure I prepped food a few days in advanced, especially on the days I had to work.  Who wants to grate carrots every day?  The food processor was my best tool and such a time saver.  I did discover that a lot of important information was not included in the material I received.  I had to find information on Facebook, such as shopping lists, where to buy certain foods,  substitutes, how much to eat of certain foods, and general support.  I understand that the Beach Body company is rewriting the book to accommodate these needs.  The participant portal on the Ultimate Reset site was also impossible to access, until I contacted tech support --  but I never used it.  I'd give the program itself an A, but the way the book is written and the lack of information readily available, I'd give that part a B-/C+.  I shouldn't have to search several sites for basic information, it should be provided.

Home Projects

We didn't rent the big, industrial sander.  It took several weeks to sand one floor with a small belt sander and a small vibrating sander.  Good times.
The floor is done, but that pink has got to go!
Hubs painting the first coat.  It took three coats.
It's not pink any more, but it sure looks naked!  Color might come back, just not as intense.
Another room.  This was my grandson's room.  It was white, had a car bed and car decals on the wall, plus a zillion Legos and Hotwheels cars everywhere.  Now it's a guest room.  It's reeeallly blue, but with white curtains up it looks pretty   and tranquil -- now everyone want's to hang out in there.   We threw an air mattress in there to make sure a queen sized bed would fit, and that will be the next purchase.  I'll post a picture when it's complete.

My Dad's House

I know I had mentioned about an intervention regarding my dad's living conditions.  My sister and her husband put everything in motion and the process has begun.   Last week was the big exterior clean up with a team of gardeners to clear the over growth, and hubs and my brother in law worked on getting the old junk out of the back yard and garage, which was hauled away while my dad was at baseball game with friends.  My sister and I worked on clearing off the family room floor.  There were enough yellow and white pages phone books, magazines and newspapers to fill up a jumbo sized curbside recycle bin

This is just a fraction of the junk taken out of my dad's back yard.  There were old lawn mowers, broken patio furniture, termite infested wood, etc...
I didn't take a before picture, but his floor area was COVERED with newspapers and magazines.  We stood and marveled at the floor for a while because it was so clear.  Even my sister's dog noticed since there was now a place for the dog to lay.
 This week the house was power washed, and this weekend the exterior painting begins.  After the painting is finished, we're going to see about getting the kitchen remodeled.  Oy vey.  That kitchen NEEDS an overhaul.

Song from Thursday, June 21, 2012:
Thicker Than Water - Cobra Skuls


*People are funny.  You go without any kind of animal protein for any length of time and people are suddenly concerned with your protein intake, or act as if you're doing illegal drugs.  Sheesh.

**  I wasn't counting on such a significant weight loss, so I didn't take before and after pictures.  This was a very healthy weight loss and I do feel better. My clothes certainly fit better.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thicker Than Water

A street construction area sign posted in front of my house yesterday.  Not very clear.
The construction isn't only going on outside my house, it will be going on within myself.

I have not run since the SDRNR Half Marathon on June 3.  This makes it a record for me not running in a non-injured, non-sick state of being.  I need the break, but I'm also feeling like a slug since I haven't really cut back the calories I eat when I run.  I had no plan in place for after the half marathon, especially with nutrition, but I've been doing a little research since then.

I've been looking for some sort of "cleanse" that wasn't too extreme.  I don't want to be a slave to the restroom.  I wanted something where I could actually eat real food in addition to whatever supplements I would need to take.  I also don't want to feel deprived.  I have come across something that sounds doable, but I won't post about it just yet.  I plan on doing this "cleanse" after the 4th of July.  I'll post about it when I'm done, just so I can give a fair assessment of it.

I'll also be  looking into doing some sort of exercise regimen, probably incorporate a lot of what I used to do before I became more serious about running, which was weight training, but more of a HIIT workout. On my cardio days I'll probably run, but only for 20 minutes worth of high intensity intervals.

The whole reason behind this reboot is because I feel like I've lost a lot of strength.  It wasn't that long ago that I could bust out 50+ push-ups with no problem, but now I feel fatigue at 10.  It's not just the push-ups, it's every thing else as well.  If I don't take care of myself now it will be harder to get everything back later. In addition to losing strength, my head just isn't in the whole workout, running, fitness thing.  I know this is all normal and we all burn out at some point. I'm just hoping to reignite whatever it was that kept me going.


The house is quiet with my daughter and the kiddo moved out.  As much as I enjoy my grandson's cheery voice, I'm enjoying the quiet time in the evening.  I do miss them, but I've wanted them to be out on their own for a while, and because it was time.  I think they'll be fine. The kiddo is set up with swim lessons and summer school.

We had an intervention of sorts with my Dad.  My dad is 83 years old and still lives in the house our family lived in for many years.  The house is too big for my dad and, due to his macular degneration, he really can't see what needs to be fixed with it, and there's plenty. He doesn't want ANYONE  touching his stuff, not even a family member, but we need to get a crew in there to start making repairs and a housekeeper to keep it clean and tidy.  Right now it's a matter of baby steps and we're trying to get a contractor to at least get started with painting the exterior of the house. Herding kittens is easier than dealing with my dad.  My dad is in denial and doesn't want to discuss his living conditions, but wants to go on another cruise instead.

The City of San Diego is finally replacing the sewer lines in our neighborhood.  The old cast iron pipes were from the early 1900s, perhaps even earlier.  The pipes seemed to systematically burst, one right after the next.  Thank goodness they're replacing the pipes on our street before that happened, and I felt our street was ready to have some sort of sink hole happen at any second.

New pipes!  I hope they get rid of the overhead power lines next...

I've been in back in Mizunos for about the past year, the Wave Prophecy, and have purchased a second pair. The first pair has well over 200 miles on them and are not ready for retirement, but I have the new pair just in case.  I like that I've been able to wear a shoe for running and not have to think about how it feels -- No hot spots, not weird rubbing, no blisters, no discomfort, no "wearing them in to get used to them" time. These just work for me.

I've been contacted by Mae at Mizuno News and the Mezamashii Run Project to discuss joining the Mezamashii community and enter to score a pair of Mizunos.

If you're interested in an invite, and, perhaps scoring  a pair of shoes in their giveaway, click on THIS LINK then click on "apply for an invite."  I'm not a part of the Mezamashii Run Project (yet) since I just applied, but I hope to be, and I also hope to score a new pair of Mizunos.

6/27/2012  EDIT - I won and selected the Mizuno Wave Creation!  (Not my first choice, but MY Wave Prophecies weren't included in the choices, but, still, I won a pair of running shoes!)  Woo hoo!  They should arrive around July 20. 

Song from Friday, June 8, 2012:
With a Little Help From My Friends - The Beatles, Joe Cocker - Run With  the Black Knight


Friday, June 08, 2012

With a Little Help From My Friends


The week of my aunt's services was also the same week my daughter and grandson moved out and the same week leading into half marathon #19.

My daughter did not move out in one fell swoop.  The first day she rented truck and moved her larger items, then slowly boxed and moved everything else in the days to follow.  I was so consumed with my aunt's passing and the upcoming half marathon that I didn't have time to digest that my daughter was FINALLY going to be on her own, with her son.  Hubs and I had some concerns at first, such as her finances, but she needs to learn and grow and make her own decisions.  This move was long overdue.  It didn't hit me that both my daughter and grandson were gone until that first Saturday morning without the sounds of my grandson's cheery morning voice and the voice of my daughter inquiring about his breakfast desires.  The house was way too quiet.  It was a little bit sad that I didn't get to see them off the way I wanted to, but before I had the chance to become overly melancholy, they were back at the house for another carload of things to move.

Half marathon Friday evening was the track club's annual pasta dinner.  It's so much fun to see that everyone cleans up so well. John Bingham, better known as "The Penguin," was our guest speaker.  I never laughed so much at one of these pasta dinners.  He was hilarious. Sometimes that evening track club friends Michelle and Cathy were discussing PRs, and we all made a pact to break 2 hours.  I've never made a pact to break a time barrier.  I guess I'm committed.  The good thing is that we didn't give ourselves a time frame to break 2 hours.  Both Michelle and Cathy are within close reach of that goal, but I have my work cut out, even though it's not an impossible feat.  I was close at one point, with an unofficial 13.1 mile training run clocking in at 2:02, and ( post surgery) official half marathon time of 2:13 and change. 

Saturday and race day eve, Jill  (Run With Jill)  came into San Diego and we planned to rendezvous for an early dinner at PF Changs.  I know, not the most original place in town, but at least it was centrally located and relatively easy to get to, except for the unusually dense traffic that day at the mall that afternoon.  Mary (Journey of a Running Green Girl) and Jill's daughter Abbey also joined us.  During the course of conversation, Jill mentioned that she would run with me.  I was a little perplexed because I'm currently running the slowest I've EVER run due to on going fatigue issues, and Jill is faster than me - even at her slowest, but I wholeheartedly welcomed her company. No one has ever offered to run an entire half marathon race with me.  Ever.

Race day - Sunday morning, and my friend Rich is at our front door at about a quarter to 5 AM.  I bribed Rich into driving us to the marathon starting area with a bag of whole bean coffee and the use of my car.  I'm pretty much good to go, but as usual, Hubs is still fumbling around with something.  We probably leave the house just a couple of minutes before 5, and shortly thereafter text Jill that we're on our way to pick her up at her hotel.  Getting to the hotel and driving to the starting area was relatively seamless since we went the back way, and was way less congested than if we took the main route to the start.   We had time for a photo op with the track club and a short warm up run, which I cut even shorter because I wasn't quite awake yet.  Jill stayed with me. 

I didn't stick around for the track club stretch, I wanted to dump my stuff at bag check and find a port-o-potty.  We lost hubs somewhere after the warm-up run since he ran the entire warm up run and did the group stretch, but I knew we'd see each other at the end of the race. 

Jill could not get over how many people there were.  I don't think this was the largest San Diego Rock 'n' Roll event, but it was still pretty crowded.  Even though Jill was slated for corral 3, she joined me in corral 10.  Hubs was slated for corral 19.  FYI - there were over 40 corrals.  It wasn't long until we were off and going.  Jill asked if the crowd would ever thin out.  It became a little less crowded as we went, but by crowd standards it was the usual busy SDRNR race.   Jill kept me posted with pace, which was fine at first, but I became fatigued and I just didn't want to know any more.  I wasn't racing, I was just checking off half marathon #19. Jill stopped to take photos along the way and easily caught up with me since I was going THAT slow. There was a rare port-o-potty stop for me somewhere into mile 6, but it only took a minute and a half off of my already slow pace, so no major loss there.  Jill did a lot of sight seeing on the race and also notice that there wasn't a lot of rock 'n' roll music being played until we passed a band playing "Freebird."   During the race I was trying to spot my cousin's wife who was going to be somewhere into mile 7 cheering on her running group. Apparently, I did "see" her, but she had a straw hat and sunglasses on, and I didn't recognize her.  I later found out through Facebook that she was there and I looked right at her, but she said nothing to acknowledge me.  She probably thought I was some crazy runner until after I passed.  Ah, well.  A really cool thing to note is that one of my track club friends, Kelly, was running people in at the end.  She ran with Jill and I for about a half mile stretch before the finish line.  Kelly is pretty chatty anyway, so it was fun to hear her talk and tell corny jokes. (Q - What did the doe say when she came out of the woods?  A - "I'll never do that for two bucks again!"  LOL.)  After a few turns towards South Shores Park, just adjacent to Sea World,  I sort of picked up the pace for the finish, just to make it look good at the end.  Jill was right with me.  We clocked in at 2:33:01.

Done.  Check.

The race weather was rather humid and a little warm, but once we stopped running the marine layer remained and cooled the temperatures way down.  For whatever reason the race peeps were being stingy with mylar blankets. We made our way through the usual post race medals, photo ops, water and food.  We still had to wait for Hubs who insisted on getting his free beer.  Jill was cold and left her jacket in the car with Rich.  Luckily I had an extra jacket in my bag.  As soon as Hubs was done we walked to meet Rich at the volunteer parking lot area and took Jill back to the hotel, then we weaved our way back home around road closures.  (I live near the marathon route.)

At the SDTC tent.  There is a chilly Jill behind me!

Certainly, there are a lot of details that I left out, but each race is definitely a learning experience.  I've learned that running an entire race with a friend did help me.  I was so ready to walk somewhere before mile 10, but with Jill next to me I kept running, albeit slow. I've  also realized that I still have it within myself to have faster, better races because I was able to pick up the pace at the very end.  I just need to get back to basics and get strong again.  I also need to work on getting excited about races.  Yes, the head isn't quite there, either. Once I get my head and body in sync, then I'll be back at it.  I believe I have a sub 2 hour half marathon in me, still.   

I also realized that I got out of the habit of taking pictures.  I guess I had just assumed that someone would always be taking pictures, which IS true, but there were a lot of missed photo ops from my perspective.

This race was also my last race of age 52,  as I always celebrate my birthday about a week after the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll event.  I'm looking forward to 53 and for all the exiting things life has to offer.

Song from Wednesday, June 6, 2012:
Whatever Will Be Will Be - Doris Day


PS:  I went and signed up for a fun run, not a race, but it's The Color Run in San Diego, November 2, 2012.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

What Ever Will Be Will Be

I feel as if I've lived a few months in the past couple of weeks.  Bear with me. This is a be a two post, two parter, maybe even three, well, just two. 


During Mother's day week I changed my Facebook profile picture to my mother's picture, as I've done before.  This time it received more reaction and, because of that photo, I was able to reconnect with several long lost cousins who are scatter throughout the United States and Europe.  The timing of that photo bringing long lost family together could not have been more perfect due to the set of circumstances that followed.

One of my closer cousins had called and wanted to see our aunt who was in a care facility for Alzheimer's patients.  My cousin was without any transportation and asked me to drive her to visit our aunt.  I didn't hesitate for a second, and we went to visit my aunt the very next day.  My aunt appeared mostly non-responsive, until my cousin began singing to her in Spanish.  I'm not sure if it was a reflex or if my aunt recognized the song, but her eyes welled up with tears.  We spent time talking to her, stoking her hair and arms, and said a prayer for her.  We probably spent about an hour just being with her.  We noticed that my aunt was well taken care of, and that the staff seemed very friendly and caring.  They even had a resident cat, who visited us as we talked to my aunt.  We knew she was nearing the end and asked her to say hello to everyone in heaven for us.

My aunt passed away two days later.

My aunt Catalina was the last surviving sibling of my mother.  She was (technically) the youngest.  There was the eldest sister, Concepcion, who was only a couple of years older,  then my mother, Gloria, was born in January 1929 and Catalina and her twin sister Lucia were born in December of that very same year.  The sisters were extremely close.

Lucia's wedding photo.  My mom is seated at the front left and Catalina is seated at the front right.  We can't figure where Concepcion is.

My aunt Catalina or "Tia Cata" (as we called her) was the jokester of the family.  In photos her family found for the service, she was the one who had the silly expressions. Her own kids remembered her practical jokes.  She also loved to be surrounded with music.  Even though her body was taken over by Alzheimer's, her care takers said she would always hum or sing certain songs, like "que sera, sera, whatever will be will be."  One of my cousins would visit her at the care facility with his iPod and headphones so that she could listen to music.  The music would brighten her day, and she would perk right up.

We attended the visitation and funeral services, which were very understated, but lovely.  My cousins had white balloons to release at the grave-site service, which was quite touching.

We reunited with stories from our mothers, and what we remembered growing up.  We all remember the story our mothers told us about when they were young teens -- when a man broke into their house with ill intent, and the man had no chance against four tough sisters who beat him up in self defense. It's not that the break in or ill intent was funny, it's that the sisters had a reputation for toughness after that.  We all laughed that our mothers used the threat of a house slipper  (or "chancla")  for discipline.  You never wanted to see that "chancla" being thrown at you for any reason.

The weird thing about reuniting with long lost family  members is that you realize, even with all the differences, is that how we all looked related.  I know, duh, but their kids looked like my kids and my brother's and sister's kids as well.  Even though we were together under somewhat sad circumstances, we had a good time reuniting, and it was as if we didn't miss a beat.  We just melded as if so many years had not slipped by.  My brother in law even commented how easy it was to be around each other, which doesn't always happen when you reunite with family.  Perhaps our mother's did something right for us to all get along so well.

There were other commonalities.  Some of my cousins participate in endurance sports such as tris, half marathons, obstacle course races, and Crossfit, etc.  Another cousin's wife runs and runs long distance races, such as marathons and half marathons and lives in the area.   I had no idea. 

It's funny how Facebook had started as somewhat of a novelty for me, but being able to reconnect with family has been a bonus.  I'm glad this hall happened before my aunt's passing.  I just hope we can keep in touch.

Song from Friday, May 18, 2012:
 Changes - David Bowie


Friday, May 18, 2012

Good Day Sunshine


Earlier this month my grandson participated in his First Holy Communion.

Before the procession in front of  .St. Mary Magdaline Church

He was apprehensive and nervous about it, and, as he walked down the aisle with the other children, he looked like he wanted to hide because the church was full.  He's so different from my two kids, who always wanted to be on stage and the center of attention.  Evan wanted to just blend in. 

Deliberately NOT looking at us for a photo.

Whew!  He got through it.

More changes include my daughter and grandson are (finally) moving.  They're moving much closer to the college, which really isn't all that far away, but she felt like it was time to be on their own.  I really do want them to be on their own, but I'll probably go through some days of really missing them.  I was hoping she would move out AFTER graduating in December, but apartments close to the college are more available after graduations in June. 

My final race for the year is in a mere two weeks and I am anything but ready for it.  There has been a slew of upper respiratory illnesses going around that have taken people out for weeks.   My entire office came down with some form of this crappy illness, so has every member of my household.  I was even put on antibiotics, but it's taken me several weeks to bounce back.  My running has suffered.  A 6 mile run should normally be a nice little jaunt through the neighborhood or along the bay, but it's a struggle.  I'll make it to around mile 4 or 5 then have to walk/run.   It feels as if I haven't been running in months, not a couple of weeks.  When I initially signed up for the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll half marathon, I was hoping to gain some speed and be somewhere between 2 hours and 2:15.  I dislike not having a time goal, but it is what it is.  I now have no time goal, and, as much as I dislike this, my goal is to just finish.  I kind of feel like just finishing is a cop out, but that's the reality.  I was hoping to finish this race with a bang, but settling for just finishing will have to suffice.

"Final race for the year" doesn't mean I'm giving up running, it just means I'm taking a break from racing.  As much as I try to stay on course with training schedules, my body isn't cooperating.  I'm progressively getting slower and the fatigue can be overwhelming -- and this does absolutely nothing for my psyche. I'm going to switch gears and perhaps get more into where I first started, which was weight training.  I need to start from scratch and build up strength again.  I might also look at a few other options, such as yoga classes and maybe even get more into swimming.  Don't talk to me about getting on a bike because I'm not there yet, nor can I afford the expense right now.* Someday the bike thing will happen, just not this year, not now.

Remember those brand new On Cloudrunners I talked about in my last post?  I took them out on a very hilly trail run.  I was supposed to fit in 8 miles, but it took me longer to navigate down hill.  This run was EFFING hard.  I can't figure out how to post the elevation chart off of Daily Mile, but, trust me, it was killer. This is what that trail did to my new shoes:

My On Cloudrunners don't look so new anymore.
I really like these test shoes and I hope they clean up OK. I have yet to find a local retailer who sells these.

Finally, I'll leave you with a rare moment, where my little family is all together on Mother's Day. It was a very good day.

Notice how we're all looking in different directions?  (Deeper meanings, perhaps?)

Song from Thursday, April 26, 2012:
Come Out and Play - The Offspring


*I'm the type of person who takes something on completely, and getting on a bike the way I would want to requires an expense that would take away from house repairs.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Come Out and Play


The last time I ran was supposed to be a 10 miler with the track club on my day off.  I was looking forward to it  and we had perfect running weather, meaning overcast skies and temps in the low to mid 60s.  I woke up that morning not feeling right, but a lot of times I'll get past that "not right" feeling and run OK.  I only made it a little more than 2 miles before I had to turn around and walk most of the way back.  I ended up in bed from the time I returned home until the following Tuesday when I decided I needed to go into work and produce a paycheck.  Wednesday I had a session at RU and that was difficult at best.  Thursday it's a visit to the doctor's office.  I came home with antibiotics, Rx nose spray, a netti pot, and a big bottle of Tylenol.

I hope with all this rest that my IT band will ease up. It's better than it was a month ago, but still reminds me it's there.

I was asked to review the book Train Like a Mother  - How to Get Across Any Finish Line and Not Lose Your Family, Job, or Sanity by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea, authors of Run Like a Mother.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book!  I honestly didn't want to put a lot of preconceptions into this book before reading it because I've often been disappointed with running books written for women.  This book is written with real life in mind, a healthy sense of humor, and serious support and concern when needed.  It's as if you're getting training advice from your very knowledgeable running friends who know what it's like to fit in a training schedule and juggling kids, school, family, work, etc.  I like that they go over things that everyone talks about, but nobody ever addresses in other training manuals, such as going commando, race goals, running music, women's nutrition, etc.  The training schedules are very straight forward and not too technical -- they explain everything as if they're talking to you without being condescending.  I liked that there were little reminders to not skip a particular workout and get a babysitter. Both authors give their spin on explaining things, which I liked, because no two experiences are the same.  This book is a good read for the new runner with constructive tips on how to get started, as well as the seasoned runner with chapters affirming that what you're doing (or thinking) is actually right on par, or that you might need to change a few things. This book can be read in a weekend and is a good "go to" or reference book.  If I gave stars to books, I'd give this a 5 out of 5 stars.

I'm also reviewing another pair of running shoes.  This time it's On Cloud - Cloudrunner.

Yes, purple and fuchsia, but I actually like the colors, which aren't too foo-foo.  Photo from the On Cloud Facebook page.
I've never heard of this brand until I received them.  They're engineered in Switzerland and relatively new on the running shoe scene.  I've received them a week ago, and haven't run in them since I got sick, but they're very comfortable.  My only concern is that they might be too cushy, which might aggravate my plantar faciitis.  I have some miles to make up next week, and I'll be able to judge on how well they ride then.

This weekend is the La Jolla Half Marathon and 5k, which I am happily not running in, but my brother and sister-in-law will be here to participate in the 5k.  My sister, the one who concocted the whole running weekend has backed out, which sort of throws things off. My sister has participated in only two, maybe three 5ks in the past 5 years or so.  She likes La Jolla because she doesn't really race it.  She's more of a walk/runner.  That's all fine and good because she can enjoy the scenery.  I personally don't like this race.  I like the course on my own terms because it is a pretty course that goes along parts of La Jolla Shores and ends near La Jolla Cove.  If I'm in a 5k race, well, I'm in to RACE and try to edge out that lady in the red tech shirt just ahead of me. I'm far from being 5k race ready at this point,  my IT band aches just thinking about it,  and running La Jolla, with the steep hills and bumpy running surface for the last mile, does not bode well in my mind.  Hubs and I are planning to be at the finish line to see if my bro can score a podium finish.  My sister-in-law has been running for a long while, but sort of new to racing.  I'm looking forward to seeing how they fare on Sunday, then head out for brunch. 

In a little more than a month is the San Diego Rock 'n' Roll Marathon/Half Marathon.  I'm not 100% certain, but I think this will be my last race for the year.  I almost put in for the lottery for the Nike Women's event in San Francisco in October for 2012, but I reminded myself that I do need the break, and would need to continue training and be half marathon ready.  No to Nike, and probably most other races until January 2013.

This year will be the 30th anniversary of Title IX.  Even though Title IX happened in 1972, I personally did not see any changes until I was in high school in the mid to late 70s. It also took my parents longer than that to be on board, even though my high school finally had girls track team started in my Junior year. There was no support (or transportation) to stay with the team.

Because of Title IX, my niece was able to participate on the high school wrestling team and sparred against boys and girls in her weight class. 

Song from Saturday, April 14, 2012:
Part of Me - Katy Perry


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Part of Me

Several weeks ago, Cindi tagged me for a meme. Since I haven't blogged in a while, I figured this would be good fodder until I gather up my thoughts for a more personal blog post.

Here are the rules:

The Random Eleven Rules:
  1. Post these rules
  2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
  3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
  4. Tag 11 people (can't be the person who tagged you)
  5. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag
  6. Go to their blog and tell them you've tagged them (Tag! You're it!)
11  Really Random Things About Me:

1. I have workout dyslexia.  No, not a medical diagnosis, but something I sort of coined. Certain exercises just don't translate well when switching sides from right side to left, and visa-versa.  I tend to get the arms and/or foot placements wrong trying to do the opposite of what I just did.  I've also noticed that,  unless you're a dancer or really coordinated, this happens frequently.  I see this phenomenon happen to others when I work out.  It's not just me.  PS... That's me on the far left side of the picture, front row, not having a WD moment.

2.  The songs on my run playlist aren't necessarily songs I would listen to otherwise.  Some songs are just better for running, even if those songs are head-banger heavy metal, salsa, and ska.  :)

3.  My bedroom used to be a garage.

4.  I have "Morton's Toe."  This has nothing to do with my last name, it's when your second toe is longer than your big toe.

5.   I like the way polished finger nails look, but with my job a manicure lasts about an hour upon entering the office.  If I can keep hangnails down to a minimum, then it's all good.

6. I bought art supplies last year that I have yet to use. 

7.  I have pierced ears, two holes on each side.

8.  The first car I bought with my own money was a used avocado green 1970-something Datsun 510, 4 door sedan.  I think I paid something like $800.00  for it in 1980.

9.  I lived at home with my parents until I got married.  I was 24.

10. When Hubs and I go out to dinner, I usually order something that looks like a "man" meal, and he usually orders something that looks like a low cal "girly" meal.  The servers always assume wrong and serve us each other's orders.

11.  I'm currently hooked on the Sam the Cooking Guy Livecast. It's live, uncensored, uncut, unedited, and they don't always talk about cooking.  F-bombs might fly, food gets spilled, outside noises occur (like house alarms),  and a lot of other unexpected issues such as losing my internet connection, but that's part of the attraction.  The show is "livecasted" from Sam's own kitchen.  You can comment during the show via Facebook, and a lot of times they talk about what people are commenting on.  There is always food being made at some point in the livecast, usually something pretty easy, but impressive. If I miss a show I can always watch the podcast a few days later.

My 11 Random Questions from Cindi:
  1. Who was the last person you randomly ran into at a race or during a long run?  Wendy from track club - While running at Mission Bay Park.  She was running in the opposite direction. By the way, Wendy is running in the Boston Marathon on Monday. :)
  2. What was the last embarrassing thing you did? So many...  Hmmm.  Well, my house is currently embarrassing.  It's not anything I did, but we need a roof and can't get a new one at this second, so Hubs patched it, but it looks very ghetto, especially from the front.  My house also needs paint and new landscaping.  Actually, It needs to be bulldozed down and redone.  I sometimes feel like I'm living at Sanford & Son's junk yard.  Perhaps it's not that extreme, but I never imagined living in a house that needed so much repair, especially being married to an architect. I really LOVE the location,  the property is awesome, and that this was where my grandparents retired. 
  3. Do you wear underwear when you run? Why or why not? Most of the time no, because most running shorts/skirts I wear come with built in boy shorts, and running tights are so thick that there is no point to underwear, unless it's super cold, then it's athletic type of underwear.
  4. Where is the strangest place you've ended up having to pee during a long run, ride, or race? In the bushes at Balboa Park in the canyon adjacent to 6th Avenue with many others before one of the Rock 'n' Roll races.  The porta potty lines were too long and I could NOT wait.
  5. Which color porta potty do you prefer? Blue?  I never thought about it before.
  6. What was the last random object you saw on your last run?  Glitter.
  7. What is your favorite breakfast? I love anything breakfast-y. I love fresh fruit, pancakes, waffles, French toast, eggs and bacon, huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, cereal, Pop Tarts, Cinnabons...  Breakfasts with big carbs rock.
  8. The Voice or American Idol? The Voice.
  9. What was the last TV show you watched? Rick Bayless -Mexico, One plate at a Time, airing on PBS. It was the episode when he went to visit Ensenada's wineries. 
  10. What are you doing tomorrow? Sleeping in.  It's Sunday.
I'm not sure who to tag next, since it looks like just about everyone has been tagged. If you feel the need to do this, go ahead, and just use Cindi's questions, since those are pretty good questions. I'm also being lazy. 

Song from Wednesday, March 14, 2012:
We Found Love - Rihanna, featuring Calvin Harris