Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hurray for Hulu

In my quest to find an alternative workout today, I came across a little something I thought I would share. You know by now that I am a Jillian Michaels fan, love her workouts, love her online program. Well, with the assembly this weekend, we are doing a semi-long run tonight. You probably know from a recent post that I am not a huge fan of running in the evenings as I am tired by 5, but sometimes you have to do what works, and this weekend, tonight is what works. Normally I do not workout on long run days, but I had already dropped a workout this week on Monday (the day after our last horrific long run I did not workout), and heading into 3 days of sitting, I wanted to get in some sort of workout today, although not my normal full routine.
Which brings me to Hulu, and Jillian's mini-workout videos! Yeah! I was so excited to find these!
They are perfect if you are just starting out and want to ad to your workout slowly. You could easily start with just one video, then ad another the next workout, ect. Or, if you are looking for something a little quicker than your normal routine, or if you want to target one specific area of the body. For me, being used to just seeing a picture of the move, it is nice to see her execute each exercise so I can see the perfect form, stance, ect.
I did these 4 today and managed to totally avoid most of the lower body, which was my goal.

It felt like a decent workout and went quicker than the usual workout.
Now, on to more important things! Assembly prep will be in full swing the rest of the day. Little book bags to be packed, 12 outfits to put together (Brian's on his own : ) Shoes to find...Bub's pairs seem to be intent on divorcing each other and moving to separate countries. It sometimes takes days to search them down and reunite them. And finding his ties....impossible. I've given up on his socks matching, so don't look too closely! Random fact - This is our first convention in 8 years w/o any diapers to change!!Oh, and I promised 20 little toes and fingers that they would have pretty new polish by, let the fun begin!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Banana Brownies

See Sis in Laws post here....then make them!! Sooo yummy, easy, and pretty guilt free as far as brownies go. Yum! The kids are loving them!

Monday, June 21, 2010

22 Miles of Ups and Downs

We've gotten 2 long runs in since this post. We decided to still get up to 24 miles for our long run. So long runs went/ are going like this - 18, 18, 13 (See Jane), 20, 22, District Convention, 24, 2 week taper, 26.2.
We did our 22 miler last night after meeting, finishing up just after sunset. If you are familiar w/our area, it went like this - Started at the kids school off San Simeon to Ygnacio trail, out and back to Treat, then to the Canal trail, to Iron Horse, to Stone Valley where we turned around and did the reverse - Iron Horse to Whole Foods potty, then continued to the Canal trail to Heather Farms where we turned in and headed towards the Chevron on the corner of Ygnacio and San Carlos. (got kids dinner and treats, Beth some sugar and Gatorade and a potty) Then when Em finished dinner and could ride her bike again, headed down San Carlos about 2 streets, then turn rt up behind the hospital and connected into the Ygnacio Trail, followed it all the way back to Citrus where we re-enter the school neighborhood and make our way back to the car.
This was not a fun run. For one, I am definitely and early morning long runner. Starting at the end of the day after doing, well, just the normal stuff of being a mom w/3 kids and meeting and meals and the time we get home from meeting on Sunday, I'm ready for dinner and bed. My legs were still sore from, well I actually am not sure, but they started the run tired. Plus, I have over 700 miles on my current shoes and the past 3 long runs have had a lot of pain in my right foot. It starts in my foot, then knee, then hip, then because it effects my stride, my other hip, knee, foot start to have pain. Ad to this the joy of running with stomach cramps and having to hit potties along the run, and i said, it was not a fun run. Several times along the first 5 miles I said to Brian I really didn't see being able to run 22 miles tonight. Maybe we could run 13 today and 9 tomorrow? Maybe we could run 5 today and 17 tomorrow? Being supportive as always, he started throwing out options. "If we run to x, it'll be 10 miles, if we go to xx, it'll be 8 miles, how far do you want to go?" Hearing any options made me mad(because even though I knew I couldn't go 22 miles, I didn't want to hear options for less than that) and I didn't want to make a choice right that second. I just wanted to run until I couldn't go any more and then turn around. So we kept going.
As always, it was more of a mental block than anything. I know I can finish 22 miles, even with the deck stacked against me as it felt last night. But if I'm not mentally in the game, it feels impossible. I really couldn't imagine finishing the run as bad as the first few miles felt, I just knew it wasn't going to happen. But, once we crossed through the tunnel under Ygnacio and I knew we were in the final stretch, it felt so good! My body felt awful, but the satisfaction of knowing I didn't' let myself quit felt amazing. As we headed up the hill we were rewarded with an amazing sunset, as well as the kids getting to see a bunny rabbit eating next to the trail which is always a treat. Then there's the moment you come around a corner and see your car parked there waiting for you and you know how close you are to being done. Last night I even let out a big WOO HOO! THERE'S THE CAR!! Pure joy : )
When we got home around 9, I really just wanted to go straight to bed. After my stomach issues, eating was the last thing on my mind. But as always, Brian is the voice of reason. Of course you need to refuel after a long run, even if your stomach is begging you not to. I am powerless against his offer to make his Ginger Chicken. So he cooked, I made an awesome tent for the kids, got them settled in for bed while watching Walle on the DVD player in their tent, showered, and had a great dinner! Life was good!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Toy Story 3

Who knew Andy going away to college and parting with his toys would be SO emotional! The end of an era....

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Date Night - Scouting the SFM Course

Lately, our date nights always start with the plan of dinner and a movie. As it approaches, we both usually start feeling like we don't want to go sit and eat and then go sit and watch a movie for 2 hours. There is a place in San Fran that I have been wanting to go, but after doing a 20 mile run Sunday morning, by Sunday night, I didn't really want to get all dressed up and go somewhere. We decided to save it for after the convention so the kids can go, too. So, we headed into the city and drove the SF Marathon course and figured out dinner along the way.

After driving the course we've realized a few things. First, that we've run large parts of the course previously. Between the urban adventure races, Komen for the Cure, and our Golden Gate Park run that we do, there's only a handful of miles that we have never run, namely Haight St, and 3-4 miles towards the end through the Dogpatch area of SF. Second, that it's not the uphills that are going to hurt. They are what you make them, you can run them, charge them, shuffle up them, or walk them, you pick your pain level. It's the downhills that are going to tear our knees and quads apart. There are some very steep downhills, and some very long downhills.
Third, the first half of the marathon is by far the most scenic. If you are choosing which half to do (if you are running a half marathon, with SF you have a choice of running the first half or second half), my 2 cents worth would be choose the first half. It starts near the Ferry building, down Embarcadero, Marina District, Crissy Field, over GG Bridge and Back, past Baker Beach, Richmond District, and ends up in GG Park. It's one pretty view to the next, always something to look at, pretty, and no areas that are 'sketchy'. Yes, there is a killer hill up to GG Bridge, and then again after you come back across and off the bridge, followed by a painfully long downhill....but the views out across the ocean as you come down that hill make it more than worth it!
The second half starts in GG Park, which is beautiful, it's also all up hill. Then you're heading straight down Haight St. As someone who hates the smell of booze and any variety of second hand smoke, I am not looking forward to the odors this long stretch may involve. Haight St. sounds neater than it is, it can be pretty grungy. Then its through the Mission, over Potrero Hill, through the Dogpatch, China Basin, around the back of AT&T park, and up Embarcadero to finish at the Ferry Building. Honestly, once you leave GG Park, this isnt' real pretty. The Dogpatch area and China Basin area's are pretty industrial looking, not real pretty, not a lot to see. The last 3 miles are supposed to be our "music miles" with lots of entertainment, which would make it more bearable. Once you see the stadium and the Bay Bridge, you know you're almost done.
Overall, I think driving it made us realize it's a pretty familiar run. While it is very hilly, it's very doable. We always have a blast doing runs in the city. There's something special about running down the middle of streets that are usually packed with cars, seeing the city from a different perspective. Running across the road part of the GG Bridge I imagine will feel pretty special. Many of the reviews I have read of the marathon have mentioned how slippery the road is, especially if the bridge is fogged in, so hopefully I will manage to avoid falling.
We ended up stopping at Safeway and getting dinner. It was surprisingly wonderful. We had spicy chicken, BBQ pork, jo jo's, and a huge piece of wonderful carrot cake with delicious cream cheese frosting. Good thing we did a 20 miler that morning or I may have felt guilty! It was a wonderful date night! There are pics of the entire course here.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Shell Ridge

Some of you know we live atop a hill on a main drag through the area. When we leave home, we have a pretty good view of most Pleasant Hill and parts of Walnut Creek. Well today, around 4:30, we headed out to do our payday grocery shopping night. Once we headed down the hill, we saw the smoke. Judging from where it was, we knew right away it was Shell Ridge that was on fire. There were 2 news choppers up in the air, and after not too long we found the station and had confirmation. We were now headed away from the grocery store and towards Shell Ridge. We had a car full of very upset kids. Emma was in tears, worrying about the baby frogs she held up at the pond. Sophie was upset about the beautiful Gopher Snakes. Bubba wanted nothing to do with driving towards a fire : ) We headed to the trail head that we started our last hike at. There was a crowd of people, and an all out assault on the fire underway. I have never seen such an attack from the air. There were 4 air tankers circling and dropping retardant, and 2 choppers dumping water. The helicopters were picking up water at Heather Farms, that would have been a sight to see! We also saw 6 trucks headed up to the command center, and 2 tractors. It was sad to watch the exact area that we had made memories with the kids not even a month ago go up in flames. As of now, 180 acres burned. The ridge we hiked is completely black. So sad. There are more pictures here from the fire, and before pictures from our hike are here under May 15th. All of these pictures up on the ridge and the area we looked down on are now burned area. It burned right down to the back of the school, which is where they set up the command center. We aren't sure how much of the valleys and wooded area burned.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

San Fran Marathon

46 days away.....Take out the District Convention weekend and the 2 taper weekends and we have found ourselves w/3 weekends of training left. We are going into the hardest marathon we have done, with the least amount of training. That's one way to make it interesting. This whole training period could be a "what not to do" article for Runners World. We did not take into account the Circuit Assembly, District Convention, and See Jane knocking out 3 weekends of long runs. We are now left with the delima of how to get up to 24 miles in 3 runs. We have done 18 milers for the past 2 long runs. Do we go 20, 22, 24 ....back to back weekends, then head into the 26 drained? Or do we do 20, 18, 20....or hold at 18 and hit it hard 3 weekends in a row??A normal training schedule for us would be a long run weekend followed by a 15 miler weekend, then up it again, then 15 miler, then hit our final 24 miler, and taper. So to go from 18 miles to 24 would take 6 weeks. We have 3.
One thing for sure I can work on from here on out is mind set. This is not a PR course, unless this is your first full marathon, then, bonus! Automatic PR for you : ) I am not going into it in PR shape. Would I love to finally break 4:40? Yep.Do I know it is possible, having just ran a 2:03 half...more than possible? Yep. Do I have 2 other marathons this year to attempt that at? Yep. This is a fun, entertaining, sightseeing, grueling, painful date day with the hubby. This is the funnest way to get free food, drinks, a shirt and a medal. This is a fun run, a way to spend a morning with the hubby earning Crab wonton wrappers and a huge piece of cheesecake at my favorite restaurant to blow a few thousand calories at.
Finishing a marathon is always a game of mental strength, the game will just have to start a few weeks earlier this go round. Will my mind let me finish happy that I am in shape enough to finish at all, and that I had a fun experience with my hubby.....or will it get the best of me and I finish bummed about my time? 3 long runs, an assembly, and 2 taper weeks to go before we will find out!

brightroom event photography

brightroom event photography

Bubba and Uncle Shannon's pic's, with Derrick and Sawyer B in the background.

brightroom event photography

brightroom event photography

Sophie and Claire's Pic's.

brightroom event photography

brightroom event photography

Emma's pic's, she looks so determined!

brightroom event photography

brightroom event photography

Beth's pic's.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

See Jane Run Fun

Melissa, Michelle P., me, Tina K, Angie K, and Bekah

How are you guys feeling today? I will openly admit that was a tough run for me! I really struggled that second half to keep pushing myself. Who knew it gets that hot in Alameda, right on the water?? I've never run that course w/o wind, but I have now! I think we probably all have a bit more color in our skin that we did 2 days ago! Aside from the heat, and a few organizational issues, what a fun day! I hope you are all proud of yourselves! If your not, you should be, that was a huge challenge, and you all did great! I had a blast doing the 80's warm ups with a few of you. Looking back at the day, that was one of the highlights! Another was that I did make it back in time to see the kids race(my finish time was 2:03). Although I was too tired to actually run the mile race with them, I was able to hang out near the finish, drink my Jamba Juice and eat a bag of pop chips, and see my kids, my niece, and the Behrens kids come down the home stretch. They all looked so happy! A shout out to Claire for running w/Sophie! They all got their shirts and medals and were on top of the world. Emma and Spencer did great in their 5k also. Brian and Spencer ran it together, while Emma headed out on her own. She tripped over something and fell at one point and from what I hear she had quite a crowd helping her up. She finished in 36 minutes, which is pretty great! Sabrina A (and a few other sis's I don't know) ran the 5k as well. Sabrina, I didn't get to see you after, but judging from your pictures, you still looked happy afterwards, so I think it went well?! A shout out, too, to my amazing sis in law! She is a WA runner and was worried about the heat. We had been telling her Alameda doesn't really get that hot and that she would be fine...oops! It was very hot, and she still did amazing! She looked so happy at the end, and had some energy left for high-fiving the kids.
We hung out for quite a while afterwards just soaking in the event, talking with friends, taking pictures, getting our free stuff, and watching finishers come in. For me, one of the highlights is always watching the people finish who have been out there for a while. Although I may have finished in a quicker time, I see the determination on their faces, and I know they are pushing themselves way harder then I did, and that is such an inspiration for me to always give 100%.
We then headed home, had lunch, changed, and headed to the sis n laws hotel for some pool time. It felt great to lay around in the lounge chair in the shade. We were then treated to some amazingly yummy Mexican food and Baskin Robbins. It was a great day!
For all our pics of the day, go here.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Run, Ladies, Run

The day is finally here! Tomorrow all the nerves and apprehension will be laid to rest as it will be time to get it done! Chances are, you've either been dreading, fearing, or looking forward to tomorrow for a while now. Whatever your feelings going into tomorrow, come tomorrow morning it is time to trade them all in for excitement and endorphins! Enjoy it, all of it. Take a minute to soak it all in. Take a minute to enjoy the moment of pinning on your race bib and putting on your timing chip....You are now an official participant! Enjoy waiting in the never ending porta potty's what real athletes do! Enjoy the nerdy 80's warm ups! Enjoy being in one huge mass of people waiting at the start. Soak in how fast your heart starts to beat as they count down those final seconds to the start. Take a minute to appreciate all those people yelling and encouraging you, yes, you!! Take a minute to high five some little kid on the side of the course and see their smile! Read the signs people have come out and held up just for you to read. Some are hilarious, others can give you a boost to keep going just when you need it. Wave, or jump, or pose for the photographers, its part of the fun! And when you are getting close to the finish line, and you'll hear it long before you see it, soak in the feeling of knowing 100% that you ARE going to finish. And when you cross the finish, it is ok to cry. It's also ok to not take your medal off for the rest of the day : ) Most of all, just have fun, enjoy your day and your experience!
As for tonight....set more than one alarm! Lay your clothes out tonight, pack your bags if you are carrying one with you. Don't eat a weird dinner. Know what you're going to eat for breakfast. Go to bed early, but know that you wont sleep!
See you in the morning!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010


It's been a busy few days, or maybe week. We had our Circuit Assembly last weekend, which of course was great! Lots of reminders. It's always amazing to Brian and I how the information is not new, but depending on where you are currently in life, it can hit you in a new way, or make sense to you in a way you never appreciated it before. Anyhow, it was great, and we had beautiful weather, and little wind. Wind usually makes it uncomfortable to be outside at our assembly hall, but it was perfect this time. We walked around during the lunch break outside both days and the kids found treasures, like frogs and giant moths, and seeing a huge jack rabbit from afar running across a field.

Sunday on the way home we swung into the Jelly Belly Factory for some Extreme Sports Beans. Hard to find these anywhere else, most stores carry regular ones that don't have caffeine.

We did a 18 miler on Monday, which felt great after 2 days of sitting. The weather was still great, although both Brian and I ended up a bit redder than we would have liked. I oiled up w/some Hawaiian Tropic before we got started....I don't recommend doing this! For one, it seemed to heat me up quicker, I felt the sun cooking me by mile 3. Secondly, bugs stick to the oil. There was a lot of water getting dumped on me as instead of in me trying to get the oil off. That's what I get for being so desperate for my tan that I usually would have had 2 months ago!

I had the #2 talk last night on why is Jesus called the Lord of the Sabbath. My new talk strategy is to work it up 2 weeks in advance and then just keep putting the info in over and over and over....then pray like crazy for help to 'call to mind' the info. I know if I put it in there, Jehovah will help with the words to get it back out in a coherent fashion. Also, I kept remembering something Grandpa Al told me when I was pretty young (under 10) about being nervous before giving a talk. It was along the lines of if you're that nervous, you're probably to focuses on yourself, how you look and sound....and not the information. So I tried to focus not on how limp my hair was, the huge pimple on my face, or that my skirt felt too tight on my waist a probably looked bloated, and instead prayed to stay focused on getting the information out coherently and the way Jehovah had in mind when he put that talk on the talk schedule for the year. And, that as counsel point #42 states - "my talk was informative to my audience". All went well.

One talk down, and on to the next. Brian and I will spend this evening helping Emma work up her first talk. It's on Jehovah's view of idols, and the 3 scriptures given as her source info are out of the King James. We are taking a tag team approach, I will help with the setting, typing and printing....Brian and Em will come up with the actual talk. Sounds good to me : )

We also gained a new family member last night. As of now, we are calling it Al. Al is an alligator Lizard. Auntie Jill's papa has been hunting for an Alligator Lizard for Em for near 2 years now. They live in his wood pile and he sees them often, but they are fast. Well, he snagged one on a cold day when it wasn't moving fast. He's probably 4 inches long? After school today we will head to Target to get a larger container to begin building his habitat. The kids, and Brian, had fun last night at 10 pm running around the yard catching bugs for Al. We weren't sure when or what he ate last. Once we get his new home set up, I'll post some pictures.

My sis in law and her family are on their way down from WA. Looking forward to seeing them tomorrow evening and through the weekend. Speaking of weekend, the big day is finally upon us! See Jane 13.1 is this Saturday! Again, I have to say I am so proud of all the ladies who took the leap and registered for this run. That is the hardest part in a lot of ways. Your going to come out and have a great time! It might hurt, you will be tired, but you will finish, and have fun in the process. Run safe this week, no injuries! Don't get sunburned between now and then. Have a great week. I am looking forward to seeing your smiley faces bright and early Saturday morning!

Lastly, I wanted to mention my friend Nancy up in Wa. I mentioned her in this post. Tomorrow she has her chemo treatment that marks her "half way done" with chemo point. There was no doubt from the beginning of all this that she would handle it with amazing strength, and she has. She has been extremely open and honest, posting about her journey along the way. She has shared with us all those little details you may wonder about if you've ever known someone going through this process. From dr's appts, insurance issues, what the chemo room looks like, how it feels going in, what getting her port was like, wig shopping, the day she realized she was loosing her hair, the morning she realized it was the day she would start wearing her wig to work, how she feels in the days/week after chemo....she has been brave enough and finds the strength to share it all with us. I am thinking about her as she marks her half way point in the chemo process, hoping she will be able to celebrate in some small way, even if its with a wheat thin : ) As always, Nancy, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Much love.