Monday, January 31, 2011

Said Run

Ok, so here is the deal on this amazing run from Saturday.....

There is a road we pass every time we leave or come home. It is gated at one end, and you cant see the other end, but what I love about this road is that it heads out into the hills, the green, cow covered hills. So Saturday, after service, with the girls on their bikes and Bubba in the jogger stroller, we headed out.
The run starts with a nice, long downhill stretch. It's not quad shredding downhill, but a slight downhill. Just enough that you can really open up your stride and pick up speed with a faster turn over w/o any knee, quad, or hamstring pain. Then we take a left onto the property of Cal State East Bay campus. Here we were now on a paved trail that curved into the hills and was a steady uphill. Just enough that you could feel the burn but still push through it to the top. The girls had a challenge getting up it, and Soph needed a boost right at the top, but they took it on like champs. At the top of the hill is the college, we circled around it (it was empty being a weekend) and headed back down the same trail. Going down was a bit steeper than the first downhill section of the run, but not painfully steep.
At the bottom of the trail we hung a right through a parking lot of the first of 8 baseball/soccer fields. This is the only way onto the closed road we had been eyeing. The road was a long, flat stretch, no cars, no people.....just hills and cows and a bit of fog in the distance. After a bit there was a paved trail off to the left and I could just make out the familiar red and yellow that is usually a play structure of some sort, so I veered left and the family followed. Behind the trees was the neatest little park! The entrance to the park was guarded by 2 signs, one on either side, warning of rattle snakes....could be a problem in the summer. There was a huge fenced off Oak tree and in the top a nesting house had been placed for a large, snake eating bird to come live. There was also a nice, clean restroom. So the kids played for 10 minutes while Brian and I figured out what this street was all about. Basically, it's just a street lined w/sports fields. I am guessing it's only opened in the summer, or when a field is rented out?? Anyhow, after 10 minutes we rounded up the kids and headed back out onto the street. The further down the street we went, I could start to tell the street was getting narrower at the end and was wondering what was going to happen. We didn't' know exactly what would be at the other end. Well, the paved road turned into a smaller, older, not taken care of paved road. Then it ran into a metal fence. There looked to be a trail off to the left, so I headed that way to see if it was passable w/the kids, while Brian went around the fence to see what was there. Brian's way won, and we headed round the fence onto a dirt fire road. That turned into a single track favorite thing! It was uphill and challenging for the girls and Brian pushing the jogger. At the top we came out where we had been on a hike last weekend. We were at the trail head that is on the other end of the street that dead ends at our back yard! So we were now back on pavement and a straight shot to home. Between us and home, however, there was a killer uphill! I have to say that Emma amazes me with what she can push herself up. She was up out of the saddle the entire climb and she just kept cranking and pushing herself up. She made it to the top w/o stopping, and I am telling you, this is a killer steep hill! I don't' know where an 8 year old gets that kind of drive and determination and willingness to feel the burn and keep going. Why would a kid do that?? I totally would have walked it at her age! : ) Sophie gave it a go and made it pretty far. I ran behind her giving her a boost for a bit before she called it done and hopped off. I am totally impressed with both of them...and my hubby w/his legs of steel pushing the jogger up this thing. Once we all made it to the top, it was nothing but fast downhill until we got back to our front door.
You know when you find a new route and are in love with it?? I am not usually that enthusiastic about anything on a cold, damp, gray day. So to have loved this run as much as I did says a lot. We will have to do it a bunch before the trail fills in w/thistles this summer. It'll be a no go for anything w/tires once that happens! Also good news is that the next day, our legs felt no pain. With all the climbing and downhill, I was expecting to feel some soreness the next day, but no. It is just long enough, and just the right amount of challenging sections. With it only being 4.2 miles, we can be out the door and back in well under an hour. LOVE IT!!
There have been so many little things, like this run, that have made us so glad we ended up moving! You know what they say, every cloud has a silver lining. The cloud that was "the move" just keeps giving!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Case of the Good Runs

I am alive and still here....we have been knee deep in Science Fair projects all weekend. This is the kids first year doing them and's a load of work and mostly for us parents seeing that they are in 1st and 3rd grade. We are heading out of town for the Surf City Half Marathon this week, so they had to get done this weekend.

We did managed to get in an awesome, amazing, mind blowing 4.2 mile run on Saturday! Yes, it was really that good!! And it started from our front door! It is a loop we will repeat probably hundreds of times now that we have found it. Pavement, hills, trail, fire road, single track, up hill, down hill, a park, bathrooms, cows, electric has it all!

We are amid dinner chaos and trying to get the kids calm and in I will post more on that run and some of the pictures tomorrow.

Hope you all had a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Surf City Half Forecast

So far, extended forecast is sunny and 70's!!
Looking forward to a great, sunny, warm, entertaining, beach front, surfer-lined, surfboard medal earning run!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Welcom to our family, CANNONDALE

Brian has a new son.....his first "real" bike. Its a mid level bike as opposed to the entry level bikes he has had. I would not even call the $200 Target bikes he goes through 'entry level'. He put somewhere around 1000 miles on his last 2 bikes. -Edit**Hubby would like me to clarify that he put over 10,000 miles on his last 2 bikes, not 1000.**
With his new commute, he's riding 10 hours a week, 16 miles a day, some serious climbs and descents.....time for an upgrade! Ad to that the fact that he blew out not just his tube, not just his tire, but his metal frame of the back tire on Friday coming home from work. He also had been throwing spokes left and right, and had several gears that were shot.
Combined these facts with his wife's amazing talent and love of cleaning earning a full refund of our deposit on the old house, and said deposit arriving in the mail on Friday....and you have the perfect weekend to do some serious bike shopping.
He looked at a few on Saturday and was torn between 2. He revisited one on Sunday, realized it was no good for climbing. The bike guy set him up on a Cannondale and he took it out for a test ride and loved it. (of course he loved it! If you've watched an Ironman or a road race, you see Cannondale all over the place) He had been opposed to the brand, calling it the "Nike" of the bike industry. He was wrong.
Shout out to Sports Basement yet again for amazing service and staff. Ryan in the Bike shop set up his bike for him and spent a lot of time tweaking and adjusting things. He also told him how he and his wife got into triathlons and how his wife became an Ironman.
Brian called to tell me how great of a ride into work he had this morning, shaved almost 10 minutes off his commute! So.....I would like to introduce to you the newest member of the family

Meet Cannon....or Dale....or Ondale' ???So much could be said about the picture much. I will just say it is good that we don't have any desire to have more children.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Hike

We have been having some amazing fog, yes, fog can be amazing! In our general area, we have very few foggy days every year, like you can count them on one hand few. The past 2 weeks however, have been very foggy. Not just in the morning. It has been lasting all day. Well, it finally lifted yesterday, and we have now had 2 wonderfully sunny days. I thought I would share a few pics from the recent foggy days, they created a strange beauty. These first 2 are from our 8 miler that is our regular run.

The rest are from "The Hike"....the one we set out on when Bubba hit his head. We set out again on Monday and got it done! It was chilly and very foggy. These are the hills behind our house. It is so nice to just walk out the front door and be able to relax into these amazing surroundings! I'm sure we will spend a lot of time exploring the nooks and crannies of these hills this summer.

There are more on the photo site....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Olympia?? Who's that??

Uncle Randy! I see you on my Statcounter...I'm expecting some witty comments soon! (but clean so I can post them : ) I hope you and Aunt Nancy are doing well! We are throwing around the idea of coming up this summer....maybe running the Seattle Rock and Roll Marathon....if we do make the trip we would love to get together!
Love and miss you both,
Me, Bubba, my Mom, Aunt Nancy, and 3/4ths of Uncle Randy

P.S. I know how much you love your picture being taken, so in respect of that I am posting this one w/only part of you, and no "birds"..... you must not have seen this being taken : )

Monday, January 17, 2011

Yesterdays Adventure

So we have been telling the kids we would take them for a hike in the hills behind our new place. We set out yesterday around 2:30 on what was to be the first of many hikes in said hills. Here's how it went......

My poor boy! Little did I know when I woke up this morning that it would be the last day I would see his sweet face without a scar running across it : ) We got all of 2 houses down the street and he ran into the tailgate of a truck that was down and sticking out of a driveway.
Remember that post I did about how holding your kid down to get vaccines was the worst parent job ever?? Not true. Talking him through getting 2 sets of stitches is way worse. It was my first time seeing the process and it's pretty gnarly. He got about 6 shots in each cut, then the rinsing out of the cuts, sticking a long Q-tip in and cleaning them out, then the sewing with what looks like a fish hook.....he was so brave though. He had no problem getting strapped into the blue board, screamed amazingly loud during the shots, but then did ok. I think he read my latest Runners World mag about having a mantra you repeat to keep yourself going during long runs...his was "I want to go home" over and over again.
That's one way to meet the neighbors, right? The man came out and felt terrible!! He said to bring him by when he gets cleaned up and he can play catch w/his 2 Labs and that he would take him for a ride in the yard on his quad. Really nice guy. Really nice neighbors all the way around. I had the lady right next to us show up on the front porch in her apron with freshly baked apple brownies!
So it wasn't the adventure we had planned, but an adventure none the less! A huge Thank You to the Valvick's for letting us drop the girls off on the way to Urgent Care! They had fun.
Maybe we will try the hike again today??

Friday, January 14, 2011

Home Sweet Home, Runs, and Workouts

So you already know that we moved last weekend. One of the joys of renting is not having the guarantee that the land lord is actually paying his mortgage. Although not a great situation to find ourselves in, Brian and I certainly understand not being able to make ends meet and the pressures that go along with that. I know our land lord felt awful about about the situation. We loved the house and treated it as if it were our own. We went through extra efforts to make sure "we left it in better condition than we got it" to quote the property manager after his final walk through. The full deposit is in the mail, and if you have ever rented a place, you know how hard it is to get your full deposit back.
So now, on to the new house. Love it! The kids have settled into their rooms w/o any drama. We walked to the park behind the house yesterday after school. That seemed to be a hit. The girls have taken to hanging out in their rooms w/the doors closed, which is new. They have never just hung out in their rooms I am taking that as meaning that they love their rooms and are totally comfortable in their new surroundings.
Here are a few pictures..

The left is the room before furniture, right and middle is how it looks now.

I was looking around here thinking if you didn't know I was 33 how old of a person would you think lives here? Sometimes I think I decorate like an old lady, but you know what? I love how cozy and homey it feels. I love hearing my wall clock tick- tocking away. I love having Great Grandpa's radio cabinet in the corner, and Great Grandma's table in the family room. I think I love the feeling of having older pieces around, dark red velvet curtains, tons of may be over the top and "old", but I love it. There are lots more house pictures on the photo site, including the kids rooms.

On the running front....after a week and a half of NO runs we did a 3 miler yesterday on Brian's lunch break. We usually don't do 3 milers. We rarely go out for less than 5 miles......yesterday, 3 felt harder than it should. I am telling myself I am just stiff from the lack of running in the past few weeks. Really, though, it is the lack of running, the addition of a few lbs, the fact that there is no training schedule up on the fridge....combined these and there you have it, 3 miles felt hard. There is only one solution, and that is to keep pushing and not letting the mental aspect of realizing how far you have slid since being in 'marathon shape' take over. I know what comes with dwelling on where you are now and that fact that it's not where you would like to be, or where you were. Nothing comes of it. Progress happens when you focus on where you want to be, and start making it happen today, right now. Really. You want to be healthier? Get up right now and give me 10 jumping jacks. There, you made a healthy choice, and have started to be who you "want to be". See how easy that was? Tomorrow do 15 and the next day do 20. Progress. Only we can make it happen for ourselves. (is this called a tangent?? Not sure....back on topic now) we have an 8 miler planned for Saturday afternoon, and a 13 miler Monday morning. I am anxious to see how 13 feels seeing that we have the Surf City Half rapidly approaching on Feb 6th. I will openly state I have no time goals for this one, it will not be a PR run for me, but I would like it to be as fast and painless as possible : ) I will be finishing up my California Dreaming Race Series w/this half, so that is what I am really looking forward to, getting some big bling and my jacket! Oh, and hanging out in Southern Cal for a long weekend isn't that bad, either : )
So, today was a workout day, got it done, loved it. My new workout room has a ceiling fan in it. This is only a problem if I forget its there and jump into it or throw my weight up into it during Jumping Liberties. The room also has great light, 2 large mirrors (although Matt and Sabrina still have me beat w/the sideways mirrored closet door....Great idea, right??) and a sliding glass door. Today we have great weather, so I was able to open the slider and turn the fan on high and go at it in full on sun and great cross breeze and it felt great! I am looking forward to many great workouts in this new room!
So there you go, all caught up. If you live in the San Fran Bay Area, get out there and enjoy this coming week of 60+ degree weather and sunshine!
We will be out there, making progress happen!

A Few Things.....

I know I have been sporadic with my posts, as well as topics....hasn't been much talk lately about planks or fartleks. I apologize, and thank those of you who continue to check in daily. I see you on my stat counter, and though I have no idea who most of you are, I refer to you as my "cities" in Canton, Pasco, Acworth, LA, Pleasanton, Concord, Walnut Creek, Pleasant Hill, Reno, ect....I see you and know that you are here on a regular basis checking in. Thank you for hanging in there the past month and a half.
That said, this is another random post : )

First, for those in the Bay Area, this weekend should be gorgeous!! The weather is supposed to be clear and in the 60's, which is a heat wave compared to the past few weeks. Should be a great weekend to get out to one of the State Parks! All California National parks will have free admission this weekend, Jan 15-17. Here is a short list of the biggies that would make for a great weekend -
Cabrillo National Monument
• Death Valley National Park
• John Muir National Historic Site
• Joshua Tree National Park
• Lassen Volcanic National Park
• Lava Beds National Monument
• Muir Woods National Monument
• Pinnacles National Monument
• San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
• Sequoia National Park
Whiskeytown Unit National Recreation Area
• Yosemite National Park

Second bit of randomness - Our friend Micaela H. of Drifter and the Gypsy has launched her photography site. You may remember that she has done a few photo shoots with our girls for different projects. She is absolutely amazing and I look forward to watching her over the next few years to see where her talents take her. I will say that I nearly spit my coffee out when reading her bio today and seeing that she we born in 1994. I know her age, but man, seeing it in print makes me feel really old. Anyways, check out her new site when you have a minute. There are quite a few pictures of our girls in the "Moments" and "Projects" sections.

And a third bit....Emma, the 8 yr old, was supposed to be on her first field trip of the year today, and I with her. She has been so looking forward to it. They had a fundraiser earlier this year to help pay for it, and well, it was kind of a big deal. She was going to hold a gopher snake, and it's all I heard about all week. Well, she started puking at 2 a.m. this morning, and again at 7, then the runs set in... and not "runs" as in "miles". We got some toast, bananas, and Pepto into her and she said she was feeling ok. I so badly wanted her to be able to go that I was willing to go for it up until the last minute and see if she would make it. We headed to school and getting out of the car she started to lose her stomach again and said her head feels funny when she stands but when she sits she's fine. ARG!!! I feel so bad for her, I know she is so disappointed. She is currently snuggled into her bed in her room watching Noggin. Hopefully it passes as fast as it came on!!

Ok, that's it for me. I am working on a decent post w/before and afters of the new house and possibly something health/exercise/diet/running/racing related since that is what this blog is supposed to contain, right??

I leave you with this lesson I learned yesterday...If you are working out in a room at home that has a ceiling fan, make sure you are positioned in the room correctly before doing anything that involves jumping.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Blog Situation

Having technical difficulties....could this be any uglier???
I am working on getting it back to normal.....
update....I finally got the background back, but now cannot find the edit tool to change font colors, size, borders, ect......
Anyone have input???

Monday, January 10, 2011

Florida.....or Flo-rida??

We are moved : ) Our street name will sound totally different depending on what mood I am in!
Today is the last day of chaos. Brian took today off and the girls are at school, so we hope to accomplish a lot today.
We love the new place! It feels so warm and cozy and comfortable..not sure if its the squishy carpet, amazing heating system, new paint on the walls.....cant figure it out but it already feels like home.
We cleaned out the old place in finale cleaning of everything....we were interrupted about 5 times by people wanting in to look at the place....but that is a whole story in itself. We turn the keys in today and then it's water under the bridge and not our headache anymore.
The kids love their new rooms and yard. We had some amazing friends come help on Friday night which we were not expecting, so we were able to get a lot done including putting all our beds together the first night. Their rooms were totally together and in order by Saturday. We had some other friends here Saturday that were a ton of help since I was a little dazed by then. The hubby- friend got the kids swings hung in the back yard, while the wife-friend helped me arrange the living and family rooms and hang curtains and unpacked my kitchen while Brian and I took the truck back.
Even though it was a "moving" weekend, we had a good time and again we realize what great friends we have. We totally appreciate all of your help!
The only down side has been eating "moving" food and not getting any runs in last week and only 2 workouts. I am seeing the lbs add up quickly and find myself with a weight loss goal which is something I haven't had to really think about for 3 years now. I know our normal way of eating and our normal active lifestyle keep me where I am comfortable w/o having to constantly be on top of every calorie....but man when there is a bump in the road and our "normalcy" goes out the window, I have to stay on top of it!
Ok.......have to get the day going!!
Thanks again to all of you who took time out of your life and weekend to help us!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Time to go Dark

Sounds so ominous!

It's the day before the move and the time has come to pack the computer away for its safe keeping during it's 2.5 mile journey to it's new home.

Time to clean out the fridge, clean off the excess spackle from the walls, pack all the "under the bathroom sink" stuff, do the last load of dishes, make sure there' s no laundry in the wash or dryer, pack the stragglers in the kitchen (5 plates/bowls/cups) I stalling??? Maybe a little bit. I know once I get up and start I wont sit again until my head hits the pillow tonight.

So what better to do than one finale pre-move post!

Before I unplug I did want to say WOO HOO to all the See Janers that have said they are in again this year. I was on the fence, but when I got a $20 discount code in an email it was decided for me. You can't beat a $55 registration for a half marathon!! I am excited that there will again be a large group of sisters participating and look forward to seeing Michelle P get her groove on during the warm ups : ) I am also excited for a few newbies joining in on the fun this year.

Ok, the time has come to pull the plug....oh the pain....

Monday, January 3, 2011

This Week.... moving week! We've done about all we can until it's actually Friday and we have the truck, yet somehow I am finding things that "need" to be done. If you know me, there is always "more" cleaning that could be done, and always "more" to spackle. Spackle...addicting stuff! Good thing, too, since I am big on decorating and have a few walls that when empty resembled swiss cheese!

Workout wise, same goals as always...dont' miss any and hit them hard. Runs, getting them done. Some outside, some treadmill, but getting done none the less. I finished my first year of tracking and logging every run in my training log last week. We ended up with 1465 miles for the year.

There are rumblings of another Big Sur Mud Run team being formed by friends in our congregation. I haven't decided yet if they will be friend or foe on race day, but seeing how I secretly want to kick every other teams booty......I'm sure come game day it will be on!!!

On that note, have any of you heard of this? I got up early for a treadmill run Sunday and turned on the TV to find the infomercial playing, and I LOVE IT!! It is a lot of what my workout is now, just kicked up a few notches speed wise. While i love my weights, I also love just feeling my body pushing itself. I would love to get through it before the Mud Run in March, but for now it's on my wish list.

Random tidbits -
Kids are back to school. Brian saw Tron and still isn't sure how he feels about it. We are back to Sunday a.m. meeting, still not sure how I feel about it. However, all 3 kids did stay awake and answered, so that is a good meeting! Heater in the house broke Saturday night so we have been w/o any heat, and will probably be that way till we move out. After all, I would hardly expect a land lord who stopped paying is mortgage months ago to spend the money to fix the heat when he knows we are out of here in 4 days. We got a small heater to use in one room to take the edge off the cold. At least we live in CA, right??

Ok, you are up to date. I will try to update later this week or after we are in the new house?? Not sure.