Friday, November 30, 2012

It's Laundry Time!

She made it home safe and sound!!
Everything's wet, stinky, and her feet are shrively and white and she says they've been hurting for 3 days...I need a laundry line to hang her up on : )

Blow Me Down!

Holy's 3:20 a.m.
Our house is loud in a storm - the windows shake and rattle around, they whistle but it's more like a low rumble like a train approaching in some rooms, in other rooms they whistle loud. The rain is blowing sideways and hitting the windows, which is really loud. The trees outside are loudly getting blown around. You can hear the wind coming down the valley behind the house that acts like a funnel for wind coming down off the Mt.
Things started getting loud about 1 a.m. and then I debated for 2 hours if I should just get up or try to sleep, finally got up.
If it's this loud here......imagine being a 10 year old, in a small, old cabin, up in the Santa Cruz Mountains. I wonder what it sounds like up there. The whole coast and SC Mts are under a flash flood watch through tomorrow, which I'm not worried about for her, it just means they were supposed to really get dumped on tonight.
We got a call last night that the kids will be getting back about an hour earlier than originally planned today, I'm already anxiously awaiting seeing the buses pull into school safe and sound! I will be the crazy mom out there waiting with hot cocoa and baked potato soup, her favs!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Time to Roll out the Red Carpet in Marin, It's North Face Time!

The Endurance Challenge - San Francisco, CA
Ah, North Face. The North Face Endurance Challenge Championships are again being held in Marin this weekend.  Always a highlight in the trail running year, it's uncommon for so many of the top athletes to converge on one race like they do at North Face.

The Red Carpet is to the Academy Awards as North Face is to trail running. Everyone's there.  Well, not everyone. Just the best of the best, everyone who's anyone in trail running, a few amazing race directors (Sam! I think he said this is year 6 of his doing the 50k), and a bunch of mere mortals who come out to run the same courses these "greats" are covering, and then a bunch of paparazzi's who show up just to get a glimpse of the amazing athletes...perhaps using their kids running of the kids race as an excuse to show up and take it all in. We had grand plans of running the 26.2, but the week we had budgeted to sold out. 3 days before payday.  It's for the best as now I am rather relieved!!

Above is the 50 miler elevation chart - 10,059 ft of elevation gain. (thinking of Brian's post...I wonder what the total toenail loss count is for this race when all is said and done??)

I mentioned the courses - a 50 miler, 50k, 26.2, 26.2 relay, 13.1, 10k, 5k, and kids race take place over Saturday and Sunday. All these courses have insane amounts of elevation. This year is a bit unique as we have a storm that's getting a lot of hype coming in tomorrow, lasting through Saturday. These athletes come from all over the world and have seen a lot of different terrain....but a cold, wet, windy, pouring rain, muddy Marin Headlands has the potential to be not just difficult, but more like running on another unlike what most have experienced before. These trails are difficult under beautiful clear skies...the hills, stairs, (they go up Dipsea Trail's stairs this year) switchbacks, roots, downed trees, creeks....North Face visits Marin for its championship race because of it's infamous trails that are known for their difficulty and elevation change.  This year it has the potential to be epic!

We will be there Saturday afternoon, watching the finishers, and the kids will be running the kids race. (It's less than a mile but they get the same medal as the 50miler finishers...can't pass that up!)
Whatever you are running this weekend, think of the beating these guys are going to be taking and find your inner beast mode!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving Break

There were hours spent playing in the garage.....

putting this puzzle together....


playing Operation.....

exploring Rock City on Mt Diablo.....

making a trip to the Summit of Diablo....

Brian's trying to point out a section of Brazen Racing's 50k course.....

more hiking with the Beast and family......

It always goes by fast, but this break was especially relaxing, slow paced, and a nice reboot for the entire family!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

She's About to Get Soggy!

My girl is about to get hit with the first of 3 storms that are supposed to be pretty nasty. She'll be riding it all out in a forest of Redwoods in a cozy cabin....or more likely they'll be out in the woods playing in the rain with banana slugs, the camp mascot. Today they had great weather and it was beach day, so at least they got that in on a dry day.  I'm sure she'll still have fun and is enjoying every second of her camp experience!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Like Mother, Like Daughter

I think it is normal as we age to find ourselves thinking from time to time, "Gah....I'm turning into my mom!"  That's not a slam to our moms, we just have moments when we realize we are more like our mom than we may have realized.

Well, today my mom made a move that had me saying, " mom is turning into me!"

Let's just say I presented my mom with a few questions I had been asked, and she replied in an unexpectedly direct fashion.  Very much a "me" fashion that was so me it left me chuckling, while it may have left others less than thrilled.

Story of my life.

I love you, mom!! You've got some "thunder down under" as Myles would call them (formerly known as chicken nuggets).


Having photo storage issues w/Picasa, won't let me upload to blog, so for now I'll post all pictures on the photo site and you can link over. There's always a link on the left side of the blog, and here's another one for you.....but nobody likes a blog w/no pictures, so I'll fix it asap.

Thanksgiving Break pictures are getting uploaded now, as well as pictures of Em heading off to camp this morning. With everyone back to school, work, and camp the house is so quiet!!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Less Shopping, More Hiking!

If you are waiting for the traditional Black Friday Loot's not gonna happen.

We did not do Black Friday this year. We were still in bed at 9:30 actually. It was quite nice!!

We hiked Thursday with The Beast and each of our families, then spent the day together relaxing and eating pulled pork sammies and playing cards. The 6 kids spent hours playing Wii Dance and had a blast.

Today we ended up on the Mt. hiking in Rock City. Then we headed to the summit. We parked in the lower lot and had the kids hike up the last section of trail. They can now say they have hiked to the summit....and will probably tell people that...until they are old enough to realize that they didn't really.

Em is packed for camp and ready to roll come Monday morning. Not sure how she'll carry her own bag, I barely can myself!

Brian has been off for 3 days and has one left. I will do a picture post when he's back to work. Don't want to waste a second of his at home time.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Much Needed Weekend Away

Brian took me away for the weekend to Marin. We stayed at the Tam Woods Hotel. While the outside of the hotel is under a bit of construction, the inside  is nice and our room was perfect for the two of us. The hotel has a few great things going - outside fire pit and free smores kits, free bike rentals, and a free movie library. It also has a decent fireside breakfast of muffins, bagels, eggs, bananas, oatmeal, cereal, tea, juice, coffee, or you can save your leftover dinner and heat it up and eat it for breakfast next to the fire : )
Leftovers always taste better as breakfast!
The great thing about the weekend was that while Brian had things planned that we could do, nothing was concrete and we played it by ear and did what we wanted.  My instructions were to pack running clothes, and clothes to go out to dinner in.  We left Friday evening and it was pouring rain, so we checked in and stayed in. Saturday we went down and had breakfast, still undecided as to what we would do for the day as it was pouring rain still. By the end of breakfast though, it had stopped raining and was getting sunny. We had a window from about 10 - 4 that was supposed to be dry, so we hurried and changed into running clothes and headed up to Point Reyes National Seashore.
Point Reyes, you can click to make it bigger...For non CA peeps, this is across the GG Bridge from San Fran, up the coast about an hour - North of Muir Woods and Stinson Beach.

 I had never been and didn't really know where or what it was. Beautiful is what it was. We drove through miles and miles of beautiful forests, lots of redwoods and eucalyptus trees, small towns, creeks, green was just really pretty. I cant' wait to head back up there and explore some more.
Eventually we got to the visitors center and got a map and headed out on a hike/run. It was raining off and on, but not too cold.
I got a new jacket! I had been looking for a warm one that was thin enough to wear my Nathan vest over. This one is that and just happens to be my favorite colors. I'm wearing my Zensah compression sleeves w/pink socks on top. I was nice and warm, considering I didnt' know what Brian had planned, I packed pretty well. He, on the other hand was cold and wet.

Our shoes seem to have sprung a serious leak.

My favorite kind of trail...

Everything was so green and smelled so good!

This was after we had reached the top, we were running a 2.2 mile stretch of downhill, came around a corner, and saw what looked like a tunnel of fog. We both stopped and just said "wow" was much spookier than this picture shows.

My shoes are junk as far as traction in mud, I was slipping all over, thus I'm running in the grass.

After a crazy fun few miles of down hill, we were done. On the way home we stopped at this great little spot, the Farm House deli/bar/restaurant/hotel. One of those small spots you would normally drive by, but ended up being a highlight of the weekend.  You know you have found a gem when you order diet coke and they ask if RC Cola is ok instead.  Brian had fried oysters and I had chowder and fish and chips.  We were sweaty, muddy, and generally gross all the way around, but this place was comfy and homey and nobody seemed to notice.  The food tasted extra good having just come in off the wet, cold trail. This place is 1.2 miles from the trail head at the visitors center, so it makes a great place to hit up after a day of exploring.
This map is on the side of the building, I'm pointing to where we are.

You can tell by Brian's shirt how sweaty and stinky we were...or at least he was.

I love the tin roof.

 After that, we headed back to the hotel. It was rainy and windy again and our window of dry weather was gone. We never did roast smores or rent bikes, it was just too wet. We thought we wanted to go see a movie, but once we got showered and changed and warmed up again, we didn't really want to go back outside.  Eventually we ended up going out to dinner, getting our favorite slice of carrot cake from Safeway, and watching a movie back in the room.  After a lazy Sunday morning, we got packed up and headed home.
It was a perfect, relaxing weekend away.  We've never left the kids with a sitter for 2 nights. Ever. It's only every few years that we even leave them overnight for 1 night, and usually that has involved running a marathon, and not just for a relaxing get away. So this was incredibly overdue, and once our sitter recovers from her exhaustion, we'll be hitting her up again!
Thank you, Brian!! It was a perfect weekend!

Last Week's 1 Run

Looked like this -

Weird people have more fun

My weekly Thursday run w/the Beast started with a beautiful sky

Looking down into some Walnut Creek neighborhoods at all the pretty fall colors

MY mountain, yes I'm possessive

Oddly, this is one of my fav pictures ever. Myles made me antennas to wear for the morning, they only looked "right" with my Mickey ears hair, any other hair made them look even more ridiculous. I did indeed wear them all morning - to school, taking care of last minute fundraising stuff, running laps w/Sophie's class, to the gas station, Target...but look at my glasses. The clouds are so perfectly reflected, and I have on my favorite shirt. Love this pic!

The Beast w/Diablo in the distance

Does this dear not look totally fake?? He was just posing under the tree, you can sort of see the ears of another deer on the other side of the tree. It made for a neat picture.

Blog, what blog??

I know, I know....I'm putting together a weekend post as you're reading this.....
Last week was just a lot of "life" stuff and not much of anything else, thus no posts. I don't want to post just to post...not my style.

But, I will have one up today with lots of pictures : )

Monday, November 12, 2012

Pictures From Last Weeks Runs

 I was only able to run Tuesday and Thursday of last week. Actually, I had Monday open to run, but I was still tight and a smidge sore from Sundays 10k. I've gone a nice long stretch now without any twinges, tweaks, or injuries. I think a large part of that is spending 99.9% of my time on the trail (unpaved), and in part because I have finally learned to not run when I'm tight and sore. So anyways, I waited until Tuesday and headed out of Castle Rock, up Buckeye to Briones to Diablo trail, and back down Little Yosemite.  It ended up being 5.2 miles with 1210 ft of climbing.
 One thing you can't see in these is that I had on my Pandora for the first time and it was on my Alabama station. It made for the perfect run!!

Look at all the baby green grass coming up! Wont be long until the golden hills are green.

Hard to see but there's a horse coming down the trail towards me.

Ground squirrel

The trails were still marked from Sunday, coming down a "no" trail turned it into an "on" trail, lol.
 These next few are from my Thursday run with the Beast. It was her week to pick where we ran, so we ended up in Briones.  This is the same trail where Brian got his horrible case of poison oak a few years back, and where we took the kids to look for CA newts.  It ended up being another 5.2 miler with 1541 ft of climbing.

Aahh, there's Mt Diablo over there across the valley! The Beast looks so tiny in this picture!

Not a lot miles wise this week, but both runs had a decent amount of climbing and because of that felt longer than 5 milers.  This week will be wonky for runs, too. The kids are home today, I'm in service tomorrow morning, in the class room Wednesday looks like I'll be hitting the trails Thursday and Friday.
I'll post more pictures from the week on the photo site, and a few videos of running to my favorite Alabama/Alan Jackson songs, too.