Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happiness All Around!

Behold.....happy running moms!!

Boys happy to have another year of playing together before they have to start Kindergarten.

And two happy girls, off to another year of school!
Both came home very happy and pleased w/teachers and classmates.
Sophie instantly found a friend and was gone w/o even a goodbye.
Em was thrilled to have"'high school desks w/the chairs attached to the desks!"
Woo Hoo to the perfect start to another school year!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Routine Needed!

Within 24 hours I will have my routine back!!!
Woo Hoo!!

School starts tomorrow and I am so looking forward to getting back to my normal routine!!! Yes, things are more hectic and exhausting the first month back to school, but it's 'normal'. My day has structure, I know what's happening at what time and which chunk of time is for running, which is for cleaning, which is for working out, study, laundry, cooking, ect. Everything has it's own time.

I am so looking forward to my Tuesday morning runs w/my Beastly Runner friend! Can't wait for our run tomorrow! We are both frazzled mom's of 3, and I think we don't just like our runs together, we really NEED them!! It will be another year of pushing the jogger stroller, though, as we have decided to keep Bub home one more year. He is 4, but could have started this year. We registered him, went and found out his teacher, school clothes shopped....vacillated hourly as to the right thing to do. He really wanted to go, knows the teachers, and is at home in the school setting.....but he is still very young and would be in the same class w/6 year olds. So when we were down to the wire, we made the call to pull him and wait another year. We will keep in in some sort of class all year so that he gets more experience with listening and following directions and working w/other kids (w/o screaming, yelling, or growling at them). He starts gymnastics next week, and Soccer in September.

So we send the girls off to 2cd and 4th grade in the morning.....and then I will happily hit the trail for a run and welcome back my crazy normalcy!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Brazen Racing's Summer Breeze

Yesterday was Brazen Racing's Summer Breeze run. Our family would be running the 5k. There was also a 10k, and a half marathon. We all had goals of going all out and seeing what happened. This is a flat course for Brazen, so there would be a lot of fast PR's set amongst the hundreds of runners who came out. I was amazed while watching the runners come in how fast everyone was. I was trying to explain to mom how even though it seems like the majority of the runners had finished and there was just a trickle of what you would think was slower runners coming in....they were still finishing their 13.1 miles well under 2 hours.

As for our family, well, we have been slacking in the running department the past few weeks. No excuses, just the reality of this being a typical post marathon month and we always seem to slow down in the weeks following running a full marathon. We have still been running, but not nearly as much as we like to. I had no idea where my 5k time was at. It has been almost 2 years since I have been able to really run a 5k, I usually run w/one of the kids, so my finish time is dependant on their 7 and 9 year old legs. My PR is 22 minutes, my slowest is 27 minutes. I was hoping for a happy medium in the 25 range. I had also checked last years result and knew that if I could hit that, I could possibly place in my age division, which has been an elusive goal for quite some time. (actually, it has only ever happened once, in a 25k)
Em and Soph have placed in every Brazen race they have run, so we had been trying to explain that this is a much faster course, probably more kids will run it than would normally do a trail run, so today may be a 1 medal day.
In the end, we all pushed hard. You will see in the pictures how Soph felt about her run. She never seems to enjoy it as it's happening, but when she sees the finish, crosses, and gets her medal, it's all worth it and she says she had fun. She finished in 47 minutes, and came w/in 22 seconds of setting a new PR.

Emma goes hard. She only has one race gear, and it's full throttle. I passed her going opposite directions a few times on the course and she looked determined. She didn't' PR, but did finish in 35 minutes and took second in her age division.

Brian ran w/Soph, so I was able to put my legs to the test and see where they are speed wise. I pushed hard and am terribly sore today, but unfortunately, my legs have come to love slow, long runs. They were wishing they were at mile 23 of a full marathon, and not at mile 2.9 of a fast 5k! This run reminded me of all the reasons I really don't enjoy racing 5k's. They are just too fast for me. I did not feel well the entire run. Every step was a push, and I was fearing that my mom wouldn't just get to see me finish, she may get to see me pass out.
In the end, I finished in 29 minutes. 9th out of 40 in my age division, 78th out of 400 overall. I felt like crud, woozy, and dizzy. Not my favorite distance. I felt good about where in the pack I finished overall, but not about my time.

As far as the race itself and Brazen, well nothing new there. They are still the best race company around. Everything was top notch, from the shirts to the medals. There is no room for improvement in any way as far as we are concerned. They couldn't' do anything better or more efficient than they do already.

Above you can see one of many table of food. You can see more pictures on our photo site, but there was just about everything a runner dreams of eating after a hard run!

Above, that's me back there in the pink/purple top and black bottoms.
You must make the above picture bigger (click it) to see Sophie's face. If looks could kill, that photographer would be a gonner!
Here she sees the finish and kicked in, happily, to finish strong. We all had a great time.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Too Much Fun???

The fun started with a trip to Water World.
We rented a cabana and had lunch and drink delivered to us.
So nice!

We had a Lemonade stand,
the kids had been looking forward to this all summer.

We spent some time in Sausalito.

We've spent some time in Mill Valley,
which is our new love!!
We spent time at Tyler Florence's shop. Mom even did
some faux cooking in his kitchen.
There is a wonderful library in the back of the store, too.

We walked through Tyler's restaurant, which wasn't open but was in an amazing building and the food sounded wonderful.
Can't wait to visit it when it's open.
We also spent time in his in laws antique shop, Moss and Moss.
His Father in Law mans the shop and is a well known piano player. He started to play as we left and it was amazing.

We visited Muir Beach.

We spent a lot of time at Pier 39.

This face captures the greatness of Ghirardelli Chocolate, which we ate in abundance.

We, or rather, Brian and the kids, ice skated.

We have done a whole summers worth of activity in the past week and a half! We have had one down day, just to relax.
Today was an early get up for a 5k.
We all did well, no PR's, but lots of effort, and we all placed well.
More on that tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Early Morning Love

Get your minds out of the gutter, people....I'm talking running here
: )

One of the great things about having my mom visiting is that Brian and I are able to sneak away in the early, pre-sunrise hours to get in some awesome runs!

Earlier in the week we met up with my Running Beast friend and she and I got caught up on "life" which seems to have flown by the past month. We both have 3 kids home for the summer, so our runs together fall off, but it was great to meet at 6:30 and get a solid run in.

Today Brian and I ran from our house up into Mitchell Canyon. It was rolling hills the whole way, and then just beauty. Seeing the sun coming up, and how the light hits the grass in the hills, hearing the the lizards, squirrels, and birds rustling around in the brush, smelling the horse smell.....just a great 6.7 miles!! There are pictures here.

We got home at 8:30 to a still sleeping house.
Myles has his kindergarten assessment/interview today, then we are heading to Sausalito for some sight seeing. San Fran and Yerba Buena for ice skating tomorrow. Kinda fun to have an out of town visitor and have an excuse to do touristy stuff!

Hope to see some of you at Summer Breeze this weekend!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A Post Only A Runner Will Appreciate

I have no idea why this aspect of running continues to give me such a thrill, but it does! Maybe because I know the work that goes into each one that falls off.
Now you know what I'm about to say, right???

One of these toes is not like the other : )
My mom is visiting and is thoroughly disgusted right now!
Talk of saving it nearly induced upchuck.
I tried to show her the ever popular online picture of the beautiful necklace, but she wasn't' having it.
Oh well, guess its a runner thing.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Camping Pictures

We caught Blue Gill the first day....
and this is the view out the tent when we woke up every morning.

Brian always cooks breakfast when camping.

We fished and swam at this spot a lot. The kids swam all the way across one day, and another day Brian and the kids swam out and jumped off the bridge a few times.

Not a camping picture, but we see this truck all over town. Every time, Bubba gets excited to see the "Circus Truck". We happened to park in a lot where the truck was and he wanted a picture with it.
If you are 4 and can't read.....it does look like a circus truck.


Monday, August 15, 2011

We're Back!

Just a quicky...
got back last night....not much to report "Planks or Fartleks" wise, but we did have lots of "Family Fun". No time for pictures, but hopefully in the next day or two....

Kona update -
He had surgery Monday, we kept it wrapped up till Friday, took the bandages off at the campsite and it was gross. Went to store, got fresh bandages, re-wrapped it. Unwrapped it at home last night, still gross. We never let that paw hit the ground, it stayed super clean, and even w/the wrapping, we kept a sock on over the top of the wrapping, just in case. The stiches site looked great, but the other side of his claw was now huge, red, pussy, oozy, and had the foxtail sticking out of it. Since he was heading to the vet in the morning (today) we gave him a bath, re-wrapped it, and left it alone. He went in this morning to have the stitches taken out, and the DR pulled out the foxtail, but left in the stitches till later this week. He was on pain meds and antibiotics for the past week, and will stay on antibiotics for another week. I am relieved to be home have him out of all the dust and dirt, but leery of our back yard, which is where he picked up the foxtail.
Any suggestions on foxtail removal from yards?? We live in the foothills of Mt Diablo, so the yard is full of them.

Fishing wise, well, everyone but Brian and Bubba caught Blue Gill the first night, and that was it. No more fish the entire trip. We took a patio boat out for a day and had some hits on the Pink Lady, which Emma was fishing with and got a huge kick out of, but that was about it. Didn't stop us from fishing every day, and spending hours swimming everyday.

That's it for now....the home from camping cleaning frenzy is underway.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Cutting the line

You know when you are fishing, usually w/your favorite lure, and you get snagged?? You try and try, pull and pull, pull from different angles....nothings working and you have to make the painful decision to cut your line??
Well, we cut the line on today. We did get Kona, loaded up the car, filled up the cooler w/ice at Safeway, headed down the road....and decided we were idiots. We don't' really want to start the vacation off with the events of today. We are all in pretty bad moods, tired, and grumpy that we weren't already up at the lake. So as fun as driving 4 hours and setting up camp in the dark sounded, we decided to get to bed early tonight and get up early and start over.
Here's to a better cast in the morning!

Houston-We Have a Problem

well, we are still here.

Kona ended up at the vets all day having emergency surgery on his paw. On Saturday we had him groomed for is big trip. Instead of the Schnauzer cut, we went short all over. Well, this revealed a large abscess on his paw. By this morning he was not using it at all. By noon he was "out" having it cut open. By 2 he was out of surgery, with stitches in the top and bottom of his paw. By 4 we will be picking him up, a few hundred dollars poorer. By 5 we should be leaving, with a dog who can't get wet or dirty, who very likely will be sick all the way to Shasta between the pain killers and the antibiotics.
And this is just the first day of vacation.

Sunday, August 7, 2011






Saturday, August 6, 2011

Chasing PR's

After such a dismal marathon time, we are hungry for a PR. Any PR. Any distance.

That said, the next race is on the calendar.

With a family member visiting us for the weekend that has never been to any of our races, we are excited first, to have a family member at a race. That is extremely rare. Second, for her to see what all the Brazen craziness is about. It's one thing to see pictures and read about Brazen here on the blog, but another thing entirely to be there in person to see and feel what all the excitement is about. I can't wait for her to see how much it means to the kids, what a race morning is like, and the look on the kids faces when they cross that finish line.

This is the only totally flat course I know of that Brazen does. While I enjoy running the 5k distance, I honestly don't enjoy racing the 5k distance. Leaves me a bit woozy. I am curious , though, to see where I am at speed wise on a flat course, going all out. My current 5k pr is at 22:49, Brian's is at 21:42. Emma's is at 33 and Sophie's is 44. It will be a good gauge for what I should pull at the Walnut Festival 5k in September, and Lafayette Reservoir Run in Oct.

So, click away, the race link is up on the left.

The blog will be quiet for a while as we are heading up to Lake Shasta to do some serious camping and fishing until August 14th.

Run, run, run....

Run #2 since last weekend was yesterday morning.
We set out from our house and ran towards Marsh Creek, then worked our way back towards our end of the neighborhood. Stopped at Pete's for coffee and breakfast for the kids, then ran home.
Felt great to get out and go in the morning.
Still not believing how we are feeling less than a week after, but we'll take it.
We are putting together our race list for the next few months, and we plan on trying some new, challenging events.
We are also coming up with our next long term challenge involving a series of races and PR's and weight loss.
We will keep you posted.....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Post SFM Week

It has been one of the best post marathon recovery weeks ever. We both feel really good and are not sore at all, as of yesterday. Monday we intended to sleep in and lay around the house all day, but we were up and moving well. We took the kids to the park, and did some shopping. If we sat for too long and then got up, things were slow going, stiff, and maybe a bit painful, but doable. Tuesday we left the house at 8:30 and didn't' get back home till 4, then out again for the evening, wearing 3 inch heels for 3 hours. We were still walking a bit stiff, but feeling good. Yesterday we were both up and going, got out of bed w/no pain or soreness. Today we did our first run since SFM. We wanted to keep it short, while still pushing if possible to see how things felt. Things felt really really good! We hit the reservoir for some hilly miles and the legs responded well. Brian pushed Myles in the double jogger and finished 2.7 hilly miles in 26 minutes! Emma although not in a post marathon week, pushed hard and kept up with Brian. Sophie ran w/me, and she did great. She was not enthusiastic about the whole "lets run" idea today, but it was nothing a quick stop at Target for a new running out fit couldn't' cure. I plugged her in w/my ipod, told her she was now officially a real runner due to the pink compression shorts and the earphones, and she bought it.
Aside from a few "wiggly" toenails and blisters that are shedding their skin, we are recovering amazingly well in comparison to past marathons.....which is great......but also brings on the nagging post marathon questions that always surface. Like..." if we feel so good, is it because we trained well and ran smart, or is it because we didn't' push hard enough?" "If we feel this good, could we have gone harder?" It's certainly not because we are in better shape than past marathons, this was probably the bottom of the pile as far as that goes. Then there is always the
question that arises after every marathon, or other race for that matter - "Could I do better, train harder, go faster next year?"
Some questions need to go unanswered, and in the case of that last one, ignorance is bliss!!

Monday, August 1, 2011

San Fran Marathon in Pictures

Above, Pier 39

Below, the first hill. Up, around the corner, then up more.

Below, running by Sports Basement at the Presidio. Keeping an eye on the hill ahead that does not stop till you reach the middle of the GG Bridge.

Above, heading up the hill. About half way up you get a slight break in the incline and a good view of the bridge, someone took a pic for us, then we got back to climbing up this beast of a hill.

There are tons more bridge pictures on the Dropshots site. It is one of my favorite parts of this run, just surreal to run the bridge. Below, I waited for Brian to make a potty stop and got a picture with one of the guys in the band at the aid station.

Off the Bridge now, we continue up the hill that lead to the bridge.

Now we are starting a long, pretty, but brutal downhill

Above and below we are in the unending miles of GG Park.

Above, this is a tough spot because you see and hear all the excitement from the first half finishing, which is confusing because you have run more than 13 miles, yet you are seeing the finish for the first half marathon.

I tried to maintain a positive attitude by being a dork.

Heading out of the park and down Haight Street. It is all downhill on Haight, long, and downhill. While it didnt' smell last year, this year was waves of a sweet smelling odor that was pretty sickening.

From Haight to the finish was pretty brutal. There are lots of pictures, but you'll have to care enough to go to our photo site to see them.

Above, 2 pictures up you have Bart Yasso on the mike welcoming us to the finish, pretty cool!

We finished, got our medals, drinks, (they were out of food, not even a bagel or banana in site anywhere), and sat for a bit.

There are more pictures that tell more of the story HERE. The hilly,

weirdos, ugly, tired, why am I still trying pictures. And videos of the entertainment along the course, too.

For those interested in seeing videos taken along the course of us by the professionals, you can go HERE, enter our name, and then click on video.