Thursday, April 30, 2009

Betty Buys a Bike

Overheard at the bike shop this afternoon as Betty was shopping for a new bike.

"I'll get it down and you can just throw your leg over on it."

"Do you have anything with a tire that's wider than a tampon?"

"You go there and they measure your twat."*

"Ya gotta build up a butt callous."

Oh joy...a whole new sport for me to giggle at...


_____________________

*Apparently there's a custom bike-seat shop in town that takes measurements of your hips to build a custom bike seat.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Burps, Farts, and Shiz...The La Jolla 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Yes...I know it took me a couple of days to get the actual, official, La Jolla 1/2 Marathon Race Report written, but I decided to spend the remainder of Sunday basking in the afterglow of a race run on little sleep, and the effects of several mimosas...in other words, I napped.

Oh, and I still had papers to grade... Oh yeah...THAT

So...onto the report...settle in w/a cup of coffee or sumthin' as this could take awhile. I have LOTS of commentary, and even a few pix, about the day.

Pre-Race Stuff
First, I gotta LURVE Penny, who was sending me multiple text messages the night before the race wishing me good luck...that was so sweet of you. We gotta do another race together!

I also gotta figure out a way to get some friggin SLEEP the night before a big race. I tried to go to bed early, but...well ya'all saw the posts, laundry, organization, fretting about nonsense. I was posting silly updates to the blog, and on FB all night. After I FINALLY went to bed at about 11:00 or so, I SWEAR, I woke up every hour to look at the clock. The night before a race, I live in fear that I'll oversleep and miss the start, or picking people up, or (in this case) leave people waiting for me. So I was awake at midnight, and at 1:30, 2:30, 3:34, 4:20, 4:31, 4:45...GAH!

Finally at 5am, I got out of bed, stumbled my way to the coffee pot, got dressed, made sure I had all my gear. I decided to forgo the iPod and carry the iPhone instead. Then I made sure Walter was awake because he was taking me to Betty's house.

The La Jolla 1/2 is a point to point run. We could have taken a shuttle to the start of the race (last shuttle left at 5:30am) or we could have taken a shuttle at the end of the race back to the start (I heard later the lines were ENDLESS).

We chose option 3. Betty's daughter (D1) was volunTOLD that she got to drive us up to the start of the race, then Walter met picked us up at the end...thus NO SHUTTLES (YAY!)

In truth, Betty drove and D1 slept in the back seat.

We got to the Del Mar Race Track, where the race started, in good time. I'm glad we drove directly there rather than taking the shuttle. It probably gave me at least another hour of pretend-sleep, and it was way less stressful. Alberta was texting us that she was already at the start. Thanks to the beacon of the day-glo, florescent, lime-green race shirt, she was easy to spot.

Once at the start, we stood in the porta-potty lines.

Waiting in the porta potty lines...yeah that light cloud cover? It's just lying to us.

After the porta--potty biz, we warmed and stretched up a bit. I still laugh that I run a little bit BEFORE I run a long way. Then we checked our gear and sweatshirts (great decision BTW, as the morning ended up getting rather warm). Once we revealed the florescent, day-glo, lime-green shirts, I heard an "Alice?"

It was fellow runner-blogger, Lisa from Discovering the Meaning of Stonehenge! We finally got to meet in person. The lime green shirts pay off again! Lisa and I found out that we are practically neighbors (which I sorta figured from reading her blog, and knowing that she's a regular at Lake BP). We also got to talk about neighborhood schools. Her oldest is starting kindergarten at the same school where DramaGirl went and Turbo goes now...how cool is THAT?

Me and Lisa...I *heart* meeting blogger-friends! Doesn't Lisa look like she'll BQ soon...

The race started in two waves, and Lisa and her friend took off to be part of the first wave (or at least at the front of the line in the second wave). So, as the first wave, the competitive runners, was lining up, we decided to hit the porta-potty lines again, since we were in the second wave (for recreational runners and walkers), and cuz there's nothing that I LURVE more than:
  1. Running out of the porta-potty and starting a race immediately.
  2. Being the last one of 6000+ runners to use the porta-potty.
* Note on Porta-Potty etiquitte...the shiz goes IN the hole, not around the outside of it. I mean I can understand if someone is squatting and misses a little bit of the hole (yeah, you could use some TP and scoop it in, just to be polite), but to MISS THE HOLE ENTIRELY?

REALLY?

I mean REALLLLLY?

GAH! (and no, I didn't take a picture, although I thought about it. I did, after all, have the iPhone with me, but the lighting was bad...that and, as I later told Betty, I do draw the line at taking pictures of someone else's shiz...She was glad to know that there is a line)

The race had started, so we exited the porta potty and started running....awesome!

Part 1 - The first 5 miles
We started the race a good 11 minutes after the gun time. But this actually turned out to be a great thing because it was really not crowded at all. So many times in a large field, I feel like I spend the first mile or two just trying to jockey for position. Not this time. There was plenty of room. Alberta, Betty and I started together (speedy Mik and Elsie, in her fabulous running skirt...well...they sped off).

It was a glorious morning. Sunny yet cool, although I worried some about the sun as there was absolutely no cloud cover. The first two or three miles rolled by before I knew it.

Most of the first five miles were rolling hills...gentle ups, gentle downs, with one pretty steep climb as we exited downtown Del Mar (my comment to Alberta..."I wasn't expecting that!"), but I felt strong and was mightily entertained by the people around me, including some guy who was running in a velor tracksuit (he had to have just died going up Torrey Pines) and some woman who wanted to befriend Alberta and me and who (and I mean this in the nicest way possible...)just wouldn't shut up!

Don't get me wrong. I talk to people along the route regularly...but for the most part, these are pretty short, amiable conversations...not lengthy monologues about how many marathons her 75 year old neighbor, who started running when he was 40, has run (Answer = 103) or how many 1/2 marathons she has run, and she started at 42 (Answer = 62), or how today is a glorious day (agreed) and how we should just thank the Lord that we live in such a beautiful place (agreed), and how we need to take care to hydrate (no argument) and on, and on, and on...

As chatty-lady left us, we started to descend into the Torrey Pines State Park area...

I have one word...beautiful (and yes, I do think about how amazing it is that I live so near to such a beautiful place...). I NEVER take pictures during a race. I did on Sunday.

Alberta...who by the way is just a stud and is running with a broken toe and a knee with some torn ligaments. I have no idea how she was running, but I get it.

Yeah...I cropped the picture so that you didn't have to see my ass at this angle. I have the blog. I get to crop pix so that they show me at my finest...or at least not at my worst...but look at the view!!!

You can't see it in this picture, but this was at about the point where we could literally see two dayglo, florescent, lime-green shirts about 1/2 way up the hill...yeah, see that hill? We're going up it.

Mile 1 - 10:49:51
Mile 2 - 10:58:21
Mile 3 - 11:28:50
Mile 4 - 11:14:82
Mile 5 - 11:04:29 (includes the photo slow-down...hahahaha)

As we got to the bottom of the hill, and entered the state park there was an aid station. I took a Gu Roctaine (awesome shiz...I LOVE IT).

Part II - The hills
There's no other way to put it. That hill it a bitch...and I was the hill's bitch on Sunday. By the time we got to the hill, it was nearing 9am, and it was getting warmer. As I've written about before, in about a 1.5 miles, you go from sea level to 450ft above sea level. I'd say I went about 1/2 mile of the steepest part, then realized I could walk faster than I was running, so I power walked. I knew I still had a fair way to run, so there was no need to completely burn out my legs. I actually passed a couple of runners as I walked.

As we got close to the crest of the steepest part of the hill, Alberta and I started running again. I always think that it's funny that when the hill goes from the 15% grade to about a 4% grade, it almost feels like you're running downhill...easy, right?

It was about here, that I did a double-take as I caught sight of Yaz (I think we both did). I asked her if we were having fun yet and she chided me for not complaining more bitterly about the hill. I wish I'd taken a picture of us.

One of the things I'd read about this race from the track club site and in talking to people was about the lack of water/aid stations in the past. And I'd given some thought that morning to running with my fuel belt (even though I hate it). But in truth, there were plenty of aid stations...about every 2 miles or so. AND there was both water and Vitalyte at every station. I don't think I've ever been in another race, including the Rock and Roll Marathon, which had energy drink at every aid station...so kudos to the race organizers. There was an aide station both at the bottom of the hill, and at the top.

I'd heard from some other runners that last year a guy died at the top of the hill. I don't remember if that was true, but I do know that last year, the weekend of the La Jolla 1/2 Marathon was an amazingly hot weekend (see this link for my whining about the heat last year during a 18 mile marathon training run, which I did the day before the La Jolla 1/2 (which I didn't do)). In any event, it was smart that the event organizers took note of this and offered the correct kind of aid. The AFC 1/2 should take note as that race NEVER has enough water/aide stations and its in August and people just suffer. Running is hard enough without getting dehydrated along the way.

Speaking of hearing. I ran a good portion of the race without music...which is unusual for me. In fact, I don't think I listened to music at all until I ran up the hill. First of all, I was running with Alberta, and we were talking. Also, the race organizers for La Jolla have notices everywhere that headphones are FORBIDDEN (YIKES!).

I was certainly entertained by the burping and farting after each aid station...who needs music? What a symphony!

Mile 6 - 13:36:95
Mile 7 - 11:45:73
Mile 8 - 11:36:74
Mile 9 - 10:52.75 (Wow!)
Mile 10 - 11:55:22

Part 3 - Down, and Up and Down Again
Coming off of the Mesa at Torrey Pines, there's a right turn onto La Jolla Shores and the most rediculous downhill ever...AGain. YOu drop from about 380 ft to sea-level in 3/4 of a mile. It's crazy... Some people flew by me. In fact, this is where I lost Alberta, who, broken toe and all, just left me in her dust. I just have no ability to run fast downhill. It hurts, and to be honest, I get nervous that I'm going to fall on my face. I mean after all, I can barely navigate briefcases in my office without falling over. In fact, Mile 11, that steep 3/4 of a mile is one of my slowest miles (11:26:65).

This was the only time during the race where I noticed some soreness in my PF and Achilles...so I took it easy.

But at last, I was on level ground at La Jolla Shores. Once again, I almost wish I had taken some photos, but despite the 13+ mm uphill and the slow descent, I actually thought I could be close to my 1/2 Mary PR (2:29:48) which I got on a pretty hilly course in October at the Nike Women's 1/2. By the time I got to the La Jolla Shores, I knew I had about 2 miles to go and about 22 minutes to do it in. It'd be fast, and there was this one last, little hill, so I didn't stop to take any pix. But trust me, it was beautful.

I wound my way through La Jolla, by the Beach and Tennis Club, by some lovely man who was showering runners with the hose, one last water stop. I could see Alberta ahead of me, and I though I might be able to catch her on the last hill, which I powered up. To be honest, I couldn't believe I was running up the last hill (mean little hill at mile 12, where you go from sea level to 150ft. Most of the time, that's no big deal, but in the 12th mile, it is). But I ran it, ran past those who were walking.

Finally, I got to Prospect, made a right and thought I was going to vomit...but there's still about 3/10 of a mile to go...all downhill...all steep...all cobblestone...so I slowed again... GAH! Hate steep downhills!

Mile 11 - 11:21
Mile 12 - 11:26 (seriously...look at this. This includes the really steep downhill...al
Mile 13 - 12:31 (damn hill)
Mile 13.18 - 1:41 (look ma...very little swerving!)

I'm pretty sure that if Alberta hadn't been there already and demanded to get her medal, (she was worried that she wouldn't get one if she claimed it after the 3 hour clock time...I think that may have been oxygen debt or something like that) I may have just lay down on the ground and cried...Even though I didn't PR, I was pretty pleased with the run, how strong I felt through most of it. I could tell by the Garmin, that with the exception of the one hill up and hill down, I had run a pretty good race for me, especially considering that even a month ago, despite anything I ever wrote on this blog, or said, I secretly feared that I wouldn't be able to run at all due to the PF thing and the IT band thing.

I am a LOT of talk...

I was 7 whole minutes faster than I was when I ran (injured) at Carlsbad...it makes me wonder what kind of time I could get on a flat course.

The Herd - Official Results

Betty - 2:45:21
Elsie - 2:25:40 BTW 22 in her division...you go girl!
Mik - 2:13:03
Alberta - 2:30:46
Alice - 2:32:30
Edith - maybe she'll post her unofficial time in the 5K. She signed up the day of the race and they told her they couldn't time her...WTF is up with that? Like I said, it's a pretty low budget race.

Post run highlights and pix
  • Walter, DramaGirl and Turbo were there at the end of the race. There's almost nothing better than having my kids and DH cheering for me at the end. As I ran by Walter, he smiled at me and I shouted back, "hey, I'm still moving."
The herd...post run w/medals and still "glowing"
  • I had a moment of absolute panic at the end of the race when Turbo decided to walk back to the car ahead of everyone and we had about 15 minutes of not knowing where he was. I even walked down to the Children's Pool (where the seals are) about 1/2 mile away...yeah, I let him know I did that extra walk AFTER running a 1/2 marathon. When Walter found him at the car, he was just pleased with himself for finding it, and that he beat everyone else there...GAH! 12!
  • I need to remember to grab a banana, or orange, or bagel after I leave the racing area. This is the second or third time I've done that. After a race I can't stand the thought, if not the sight of food (bleah), but especially in the bigger races, it usually takes awhile to get to the car and get out of there, then I find myself, about a half-hour or so after a race really REALLY REALLY wanting a bagel...and kicking myself for not grabbing one
  • Had a great time at the post race Mimosa Party...poolside...with the herd (even Edith, who ran the 5K at the last minute) showed up with her two boys, which made both DramaGirl and Turbo very happy...but especially DramaGirl, if ya know what I mean)
Betty works out some kinks on the foam roller...poolside with coffee and a mimosa

Betty's hubby joined us...Yay!

Elsie and Mik...Mik decided to have one mimosa, then switched over to Guiness.

Guiness sipped out of the with the really classy-elegant acrylic cocktail glass...

So...two 1/2 marathons down, one to go for the triple crown, the America's Finest City 1/2 in August...It's always a joy to run 1/2 marathons in August.

PS...went to the track club workout tonight w/Betty and Elsie. Treated 7x 800 repeats as a recovery run...hahahahahaha. Actually, it felt great!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

La Jolla 1/2 - Race Results

I'll write a full report later, but unofficial time was 2:32:34.

Absolutely beautiful morning to run.

It's mimosa time now.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

A Few Pre-Race Jitters and Details

Ya know...It's not like tomorrow is my first race...or my first 1/2 Mary...but it is my first race since I got hurt in January, so maybe that's why I've got a few jitters tonight.

Well...that and I just discovered my Race Ready shorts (you know the really stylish ones...the ones with the pockets on the outside on the butt), which I LURVE, were with my workout gear...and, let's just say, they'd been there awhile...eeeewwww!

Not particularly attractive, and I soooooo need to put extra padding that accentuates my ass, or that draws attention to it, and no...that's not my ass.

But the shorts are comfy and when I want to carry Gu, a iPhone, maybe a water bottle...and I don't wanna wear a belt, they're perfect.

And right now they're in the wash. GAH!

Other than that...I've got everything else ready for the AM.
  • Race bib attached to florescent, glow-in-the-dark, dayglo lime green race shirt (Alberta, Elsie, Mik, Betty and I will be wearing them. If you're in La Jolla tomorrow, look for us. Really. We're not tough to spot).
There's the race number...the La Jolla 1/2 is pretty low budget, so there's no way to stalk me during the race. I also bought a new white hat at the really low-budget expo this morning.
  • Shoe tag on shoe
  • Race clothes set out and ready to go (well...except the shorts, they'll come out of the dryer in the am).
  • Garmin charged.
  • iPod charged (yeah, you're not supposed to wear iPods in this race, but I will bring mine anyway. After all, I know the charge up Torrey Pines is three songs)
  • Post race bag packed and in the car (Walter will meet us at the finish).
Things I'm still not sure about...
  • What to wear - the weather should be in the low 50's...nice running weather....but do I wear something over/under the dayglo-lime-green race shirt or go solo w/it. Carlsbad was roughly the same and I wore the white compression shirt and felt fine. We will be by the ocean so it could get chilly...can't decide, can't decide, can't decide.
  • Should I pitch the iPod and just bring the iPhone. iPhone also gives me photo opportunities.
  • What to check in at gear check - Betty's daughter is dropping us off in the morning, so we don't have to take the shuttle bus at 5am...this is key, we aren't even planning on meeting at Betty's until 6...but it'll still be cold at 6am...Heck, I gotta check the website. Will there even be a gear check?
  • Just checked website...there is a gear check...oh good.
Here's my shout out to everyone who is running tomorrow. Have a great day!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Not Doing What I Should Be Doing

Yeah...it's been another crazy-busy week. It's that time of year, and I've got loads of papers to grade, which I don't mind. I mean I'm an English teacher. It IS part of what I signed up for, but I'm sorta guilty of not grading some papers that I should have done about a week ago, so the pile has increased and now I've got lots...it'll take me about 4 or 5 hours to get through all of it...GAH!

Also...I really don't have any interesting running stories to write about this week. I went to the SDTC track workout on Tuesday with Elsie and ran, wondrously, 6x800 repeats WITH NO PAIN! Although since then I've been noticing some pain around the Achilles...no, not in the right foot (which is the PF foot), but in the OTHER ONE...WTF????

Got the La Jolla 1/2 this weekend, so I'm taking it easy. I'll get in a short run this afternoon. Expo tomorrow. Race on Sunday. For today, I'm hanging with Turbo and his BF. They did an overnight field trip on the Californian, so I picked them up this morning, fed them lots of food at Denny's and now they're vegging on the sofa, playing video games. And since today is NikeMom's Foto Friday, I thought I'd add this to the mix...

Boyz chillin'
FOB (fresh off the bus...do they LOOK like they're gonna crash this afternoon?...yeah, I didn't think so either)

Video game zone

Also, last week Rookie on the Run tagged me with this...and since I've got nada else today, it's a good day to answer a tag. Here are the rules: I get to throw out one question, add a new one, and tag a few peeps to do the same.

1. What are your current obsessions?
Currently I'm obsessing about when the next '80s band concert is playing. So far, the only local concert I see is Depeche Mode in August. I'm sure my brief backstage visit has ruined me for life...

2. Which item from your closet are you wearing most often?
Old Levi Jeans...they're so old and worn that there are holes in them. Today I discovered a hole in the, shall we say, crotch region...yep, I wore them anyway cuz they're just so comfy. I'll just sit with my knees together like my mama taught me...

3. Last thing you bought for yourself?

A Cliff Bar, for breakfast on Sunday...how sad is that? but it is the last thing I bought for me. Actually, it was the second one I bought for me, but DramaGirl ate the first one.

4. What’s for dinner?

It's a Rachel Ray recipe for a shrimp bread soup...only I gotta go to Trader Joes to get some frozen shrimp. It's really yummy.

5. Say something about the person who tagged you:

I can't wait until Rookie on the Run and I get to meet in person...I love reading her blog and about her adventures training for the marathon. So much of what she's going through (injuries and all) are like my experiences last year.

6. What is one item you could not live without?

My laptop. It's got everything on it...although the iPhone is coming in a close second. As soon as I can MMS with the thing, it'll be the PERFECT toy!

7. Vacation spots you must visit before you die?

I want to go to Europe, specifically Italy and see the house where my mom was born.

8. Three things to do before you die?

Having earned a doctorate and run a marathon, and by raising two pretty amazing kids...I'm pretty satisfied with my life and I really don't have much of a "bucket list," but I do want to do a tri at some point (not a full...maybe a 1/2...certainly a sprint). Before I die, I'd also like to see our property fully landscaped (we have almost an acre and it's about 1/3 done. Have I mentioned that we've lived here almost 8 years?)...Oh and that light bulb over the dining room table. I'd like to see that changed before I die too...

9. What are you reading right now?

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell. It's about why some people are successful. I love how he takes what appear to be sorta random incidents and shows how they are interrelated.

10. What is the last movie you saw and enjoyed?
I don't see too many movies. I can't even remember the last grownup movie I saw in a movie theater. The last movie I remember enjoying in a theater was probably Harry Potter...whatever the last one was.

11. What’s your guilty pleasure?
Blogging

12. What’s your favorite smell?
Fresh baked bread

13.If cost wasn't an issue and you could run any race in the world, what would it be?
I'd take the herd to run a race in Hawaii...ultimate race road trip.


14. Do you have a goal that you are trying accomplish before 2009 is over?

Yeah...the San Diego Triple Crown (Carlsbad 1/2, La Jolla 1/2, Americas Finest City 1/2)

15. Describe one of your happiest moments.

Well, there's the obvious one about giving birth...although to be honest, while I was ecstatic about meeting both the kiddos, I was mostly happy to just not be pregnant any more. I wasn't very good at being pregnant. I was nauseous the whole time. I gained too much weight, so I was uncomfortable. The day after Turbo was born (via c-section), I was up and walking around. People who saw me were surprised that I was so energetic. I was just happy that I didn't feel like puking any more...

(yeah, I removed question 16...but I am too lazy to renumber the whole thing...)


17. What do you have an addiction to?

Fresh baked sourdough bread with real butter (yum...I could eat a loaf of it. Forget chocolate and sweets, I'm all about the bread).

18. What do you do that you would be embarrassed for others to know about?

Well...I'm too embarrassed to say, so I won't...but it's NOT related to 21 (see below).

19. What is one totally irrational fear you have?
All of my fears are completely rational.

20. Do you have a favorite training tip?
Ice...the miracle cure. If you're sore after a run, ice, ice packs, ice baths, cold pools are wondrous...who knew?


21. What's your most embarrassing moment?
Recently? OK...that would be yesterday...I share an office with another instructor. We have a cubical wall divider between us, so we can't see each other unless one of us stands up and goes around the wall. Yesterday afternoon, I was on my side and walking over to his, and I tripped over my briefcase. I knew I was going to fall, and had this moment of clarity in which I knew that if I tried to stop the fall, I might hurt myself, so I just decided to go with it, and I literally did a ski-roll into his side of the office.


I wish I had a photo to capture the look on his face as I was lying on the floor (really...I rolled on my side, and ended up on my back)...it must have looked like I was doing a side-roll, summersault or something like that. He just looked at me and said

"Oh my...are you OK?"

I just stood up pretty quickly and said something like "oh yeah. I'm fine." Then I think I said something about being pretty clumsy at times, and that I'd probably do THAT again some day, so stay tuned."

Class and elegance...that's me...

22. What is your dream job?

Anything where I don't have to walk (JK). Seriously, wouldn't it be great if I could get paid to blog? But then again, if I got paid to do this, then maybe it would become a job, and a chore, and then I might not enjoy it so much...but one day, I'd like to write a book...or at least I'd like to have time to sit down and write every day, something that would end up in a book.

23. What should you be doing right now besides answering these questions?
Grading papers...yeah, the stack is not getting any smaller.

24. (The question I added) What's the last song you added to your running playlist?
Mad World - Tears for Fears...I saw that Adam-guy do his rendition of the song on American Idol (which is DramaGirls latest obsession...) and I thought...what a great running song! So I downloaded it and added it. Yep, another 80's tune for the list.


So...I'm tagging whoever wants to play...I love these things! I hope that all of ya play along.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bikerides, Trash TV, Big Kayaks, Foreigner, and Too Much Wine

Do you ever have those weekends where you flit from one activity to the next thinking, "oh this'll be a great thing to blog about" and then you NEVER have two flipping seconds to actually sit down and blog about it?

Welcome to my weekend...

So, if I were to actually sit down and blog about all the randomness of the weekend, this blog would win the "All Time Longest Blog Ever Written Award" so, since it's Monday night, I'm gonna just post some pictures.

Friday - Bike ride at Lake PB with DramaGirl and Turbo

At the fence we stopped for a drink. I'm just glad that we made it without a major meltdown on the part of any of us.

After multiple attempts at trying to take a self portrait, finally one shot that includes all three of us!

Funny line of the afternoon...there was an older gentleman riding his bike past us (giving us the rear-view), then toward us (giving us the frontal-view) wearing, unfortunately, a really skimpy Speedo.

Why?

Turbo looked at me, laughed and said "That's just wrong mom."

I gotta agree with that!

Friday night - Real Housewives of New Jersey/The Cougar Viewing Party

I have nothing to say about either one of these shows, other than I'll probably watch the Housewives again, because it's just too trashy and fun, and because they call their breasts "bubbies," but The Cougar was just too creepy...way beyond trash.

We did have some fine trashy snacks though.

Orange fruit candy (the fruit course), cheeze whiz in a can, Vienna sausages, and the mandatory pastrami-wrapped cream cheese pickles (I'm still swollen from the sodium intake).

We made a special plate for Elsie. Vienna Sausage with tomatoes...cuz we are so mature... I knew she'd never eat a Vienna Sausage. She cringes whenever I order shell fish. I tell her I don't want to know where it comes from or what it ate when it was alive.

Saturday - Take it easy day

Nothing to report - I did move the pool furniture out on the deck and cleaned it off. I did not go run with the SDTC because they ran in Oceanside (which is just really, really, really, far) and since this is supposed to be a 1/2 Mary taper week, I really didn't need to run 17 miles.

We did have some wine with our friends Jean and Tom...for those of you who are keeping count, that's two nights in a row drinking wine for me...

Sunday - Torrey Pines taper run

Elsie, Betty and I decided to give THE HILL at Torrey Pines one more go. The difference between the previous weekend, and this past weekend (well...in addition to the wine), on Sunday it was relatively warm. As usual, the heat HURT.

It was a beautiful day. Since I was run/walking, I took lots of pictures. Here are Betty and Elsie with Torrey Pines State Beach in the background

Random signs in the state park...I mean is nudity such an issue that there needs to be a sign that tells it's prohibited? (Although, this may have been one of the trails that leads down to Blacks Beach. I, of course, wouldn't know about THAT)

I took this shot on the way down the hill...nice shot of the trees

Wait a FREEKIN' MINUTE. I think this guy is Elsie's BOYFRIEND!!! (Fo-Reals! Although she hasn't let us meet him yet...what's she afraid of anyway?, she did "accidentally" run into him during our run on Sunday, and in going through my pictures today I realized that I HAD AN ACTUAL PHOTO OF THE GUY! Is it him Elsie? Is it? Is it? Don't try to deny...

Of course, when we found out that Elsie had run into her new boyfriend, we had to leave a note on his car (cuz again, we're so mature that way).

We also took note of the BIG KAYAK hanging out of the back of his car

Sunday Night - Foreigner!

One would think that a bike ride, a trash TV viewing party, friends over for wine, and a taper run would be enough for one weekend...but noooooooooooo, I had to go to see Foreigner on Sunday NIGHT as well...

Yes, the maturity of a 12 year old, and I sometimes think I'm still 25 as well...WTF? Oh, and I think that all of April has been '80s month for me anyway, so why not go to Foreigner concert...

Mona, me, Edith, and Daisy (who makes a blog appearance) with our iPhone Zippo lighters during "Blue Monday."

Dolly and Momma - rockin' (or Momma is wondering what she did to end up in this place)

The view from our seats (beginning of the concert)

The view after Mona and I decided to get closer to the stage (actually I just credit Mona who has amazing persuasive powers and convinced the security guy that the band NEEDED us near the stage...)

OH YEAH! Me, Mona, and Edith, backstage with the lead singer after the concert because some random woman gave Mona and I some backstage passes...

May I just add that this kind of thing NEVER happens to me. Again, it was the pretty, young, chick that I was hanging out with...but still, I'll take it!

So, I was VERY tired today, and I'm VERY tired tonight, and I'm STILL singing Foreigner songs in my head...

Thank goodness today was Monday. I needed some REST!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Math

OMFG...so Marcy, (who's pretending that she's gonna retire from blogging on June 4, 2009), has recognized me with her Blogger of the Week (BOTW) designation.

Wow. I mean. Wow. Lil' ole me?

And in an even GREATER HONOR, I also got to share some of that web-space recognition with Jessica Alba's ass-tattoo*...

Now how often in my life will I get to say THAT?

Soooo...here's me

In my office...wearing my "Seriously?" look

Here's JA's ass (thanks Marcy, borrowed from your blog)

Leave your comments regarding the tat on Marcy's blog :-)

So it's finally Thursday afternoon, and that means I'm done teaching for the week, and that also means that like Carly, I have about a gazillion blogs to catch up on because this is the first time all week I've had a moment to sit down and read/write/think about my or anyone else's blog...(I just wrote "sit down" and looked up at JA's bow simultaneously...quite. disturbing. moment. really.)

So, when I read Marcy's blog about being BOTW, I had an initial moment of PANIC, because my last blog entry was posted all the way back on Saturday, and although it does include a picture of a dead whale, and a great insult, AND it references after-run mimosa drinking, to be honest, it's not one of my finer attempts at blogging...so the pressure for today is GI-FUCKING-NORMOUS

And, I was gonna post today anyway, and the post today is about MATH**.

In the heffer-sphere, the email conversation this week has been about the upcoming Race for Literacy. It's a little 8K run around Balboa Park on May 3. It's not chip timed, but you do get to run down the 163 freeway (downhill - toward downtown San Diego - the opposite of the uphill route of the Rock and Roll Marathon). In fact, it's mostly a downhill race. I had one of my fastest mid-distance pace times EVER when I ran last year. AND the proceeds go toward improving literacy improvement in the county, and we bloggers LOVE literacy, right?

I've run this race every year for the past four years with a group of teachers from the high school where I used to teach.

This year, some of the math teachers in our group (BBJ and Santiago for example) are balking at a running a race for literacy. BBJ said in an email that he was holding out for a race for numeracy.

WTF?

Betty's email response to BBJ about how we all do mental math while running got me to thinking about how much math I do when I run.
  • How many races should I run in a season?
  • How many miles have I run so far?
  • How many miles to the next water station?
  • How fast am I running right now?
  • How slow am I running right now?
  • How much longer until I'm done?
  • How many calories have I burned?
  • How many more calories do I have to burn in order to share pancakes with Betty at breakfast?
  • If I run my current pace, for x more miles, how many more mimosas can I consume that will be equal to the number of carbohydrates in a Gu? (I think that's an algebra problem)
So...since every run is a numeracy run, I think all the math teachers ought join in... Edith already is (I haven't written about Edith in awhile and she HATES it when I forget about her.), but Edith is a chick...maybe it's just the dude math teachers that are being lame...(yeah, I'm callin' you out boys...)

Finally, today's TiART at the Runner's Lounge is about runners who blog -- how and why. Today's post is a bit of a snapshot which really sorta captures my how and why. I started this blog a little over a year ago, mostly to ramble on about stupid shiz like this as my friends and I were training for our first marathon. Mostly I've recounted the random things I think about and see on long runs and races. I post silly pictures of us before, during and after running. I rant about rotten roads, dead creatures, how I hate running in the heat, how I started to enjoy running up hills, my aches and pains (plenty this year), OH, and I retell stories that my friends (who are all waaaaaaaaay funnier than I am) tell me after we run...oh yeah, and I write about the mimosas we drink afterward

Since then, I've written about a bunch of other shiz as well...sometimes I write about my kids, my husband (who is running the Race for Literacy with me...so not not a dude thing; just a math-dude thing) my family, teaching...but usually in light of how these things interact (or sometimes interfere) with my running.

I started this blog for a small group of friends and because of it, I've made lots more. The runner-blogger community is just THE BEST. I can't wait for Thursday and I'm done teaching, and I finally get to sit down with my computer friends...and find out how their weeks went, who's doing what race this coming weekend, who's kids are bugging them, and who is making a great comeback after being hurt. We cheer each other on and make each other laugh...that's important to me. Lots of others have said it already, but I run, blog, run, blog, race, blog, repeat...I can't imagine doing one without the other now.

Oh, and for those of you who came here from Marcy's blog looking for the dead whale...here it is again

I wonder who will find my blog today because they Googled "Jessica Alba," "ass" and "whale?"

*I'll assume that ya'all read Marcy's blog...since she's got about a gazillion readers, and is one of the most popular chicas in the internets, at least according to Facebook, she is.

** Nice freeking transition, don't ya think?

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ah Hell...I Forgot to Give this a Title

Golly...I'm prolific this week! Must be Spring Break :-)

Back to running news. This morning, we (Betty, Elsie, Mik, BBJ, Santiago, and I) ran the SDTC's Low Tide Run. We ran from La Jolla Shores, up the part of Torrey Pines State Beach that is nearly impossible to get to, then up Torrey Pines and back down to La Jolla. Check out this elevation!

Both Lisa, who is running the La Jolla 1/2 and Irene have written about running the hill this week. It's daunting hill to run, and probably because I haven't run all week, I was pretty nervous about it. I wanted to do well, because this week's run mimics the most difficult part of the La Jolla 1/2.


I'm thrilled to say, it wasn't fast, and it wasn't pretty...but I did it. I ran the whole hill (I kept thinking Lisa did this. I can do it. Lisa did this. I can do this. Of course, Lisa would be just kicking my ass in her relative sprint up the hill right now, but I can do it.)

Last year for this run, it was about 80 degrees by 8am, and I was MIS-ER-A-BLE! This morning, it was about 50 degrees, and even though I broke a pretty serious sweat climbing over the rocks to get to the state park, and by the time I hit the cliffs, I was WAAAAAAY overdressed, it was WAAAAAAY better to be running in 50º, overcast weather, than unseasonably warm weather...I hope the cool weather holds for two more weeks, but I'm not optimistic about that.

Mik and Betty hovering in the car before the run because it too cold to be outside of the car.

Elsie, in the oh-so-fashionable garbage bag/warm up gear. I swear she's been a menace with lost clothing articles lately.

The run starts off at Kellogg Park (known to locals as simply La Jolla Shores). We run up the beach and if the tide is REALLY LOW, you can continue to run up the beach, but this morning, the tide wasn't REALLY LOW, and it was actually coming in, so like last year, we ended up walking over the rocks, close to the cliffs (Betty kept calling it "bouldering" which makes me giggle)

So, even though it was pretty cold on the shores, against the cliffs, it was pretty warm.

The run on the beach is one of the most amazingly beautiful things. Like I said, we run along the Torrey Pines Cliffs. It's really difficult to get to. In fact, San Diego's nude beach (Blacks Beach) is located here (nobody was nude sunbathing at 7:00 this morning...because I know you were wondering). But here's what we did see.

1. A dead seagull
2. A seal
3. A jellyfish
4. Beached whale - sad, but UNBELIEVABLY SMELLY.

In the future, when I want to REALLY insult someone, I'm going to call them a rotting beached whale. I'll know how AMAZINGLY bad that is...

Some other shots from the beach portion of the run. (My pix really don't do the beauty of the place justice...)

This is what happens when you take pictures while running...It seemed like such a good idea at the time...

Betty and I with the cliffs in the background...do you recognize the glasses? Nike sent me a new pair HOORAY!

Betty and me with the surf in the background!

So...the first 1/2 of the run went really well. Foot and hip felt fine. Certainly running on the sand, even the hard sand, helped this.

Running up Torrey Pines went well (if slow). Then we ran about 3 miles on a relatively flat, slightly downhill Torrey Pines Road. I still felt pretty good. I stopped at each water station and stretched for a bit...which slowed my overall time a fair amount, but I am able to walk tonight, so that's a good thing, right?

I also want to tout the amazingness of Gu Roctaine...that stuff ROCKS! I took one before I started the hill, and I think that's part of the reason I felt so good for the whole rest of the run. Usually when I run for 2+ hours I'll go through at least 2 Gu...I never felt a need for a second one. I like that. Each of those puppies is 100 calories, and I know I need the calories when I'm running, but I'm also getting calories from the Vitalite at the water stations. It kills me to be consuming calories on something that isn't...oh, PIE or BREAD or something really yummy, like a mimosa, or wine...I will be using it again...

But I digress a bit...back to some other fun run photos.

Down the hill - Betty at Water Station 3

BBJ and Santiago caught up with us (of course, they ran 14+ miles to our 11) LOOK! Santiago is SMILING! (of course, maybe that is because I was yelling at him to "SMILE FOR THE CAMERA!" He enjoyed that...)

Then, came the roughest part of the run...the last downhill mile to La Jolla Shores...It is a brutally steep downhill. I tried to run it really slowly, but with every step, I just felt like I could feel all of my weight on my achilles and knees. This will be the toughest part of the La Jolla 1/2 in two weeks...mostly because it will still be followed by two more miles and one smaller climb.

Another blurry shot of us running down the hill...the blur in front of me is Betty. Yeah, another incredibly blurry running shot. I'm a photo genius, aren't I?

The crew...after the run (all at once!)

After the run...back to World Famous for some well-deserved mimosas and breakfast. You won't be surprised to know that by the time I came home, got in the spa, took a shower...it was NAP TIME.

I have so much to get ready for school on Monday, it isn't even funny...where did my spring break go?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Some Photo Friday Action for the "Guest Host"

What happens in Vegas...well it's not staying in Vegas today. Diana is hosting Foto Friday this week for NikeMom. Here are some of the shots I took of the family doing "The Strip." If you haven't ever visited Diana's website, take a look. Diana has an awesome, inspirational story...and she swings some mean kettlebells!

So...onto the Vegas Pix...

We started with lunch at The Burger Bar at Mandalay Bay

Turbo ordered a chocolate shake...yum..

Turbo and me...waiting for our burgers.

DramaGirl and Walter...waiting for the check...

Then we walked over to the Luxor because DramaGirl and Turbo wanted to see the Titanic Exhibit. It was OK... We were in Halifax (Nova Scotia) a couple of years ago, and that is where the Carpathia, the ship that picked up the Titanic survivors docked. We went to a really excellent Titanic exhibit there, so this one wasn't quite as good, but sad and interesting in a Vegas sorta way nonetheless.

Two interesting points about it were that they had a section of the actual hull in part of the exhibit. It was huge (but they didn't allow pictures, and I'm a pretty good rule-follower...the teacher in me, you know). Also, upon entering we were given a boarding pass with an actual passenger's name on it with some of his or her background. At the end of the exhibit, we could see if we survived or not (sorta maudlin, don't you think?) I was a first class, female passenger so I survived. Walter wasn't so lucky, third class, male...he had no chance. Both DramaGirl and Turbo survived too...

Then it was on to the next stop. We drove. Trust me...those hotels are enourmous...and MILES apart!

Driving down the strip...I love that amidst all the big buildings, the cheesy little souvineer shops and the Travel Lodge still are hangin' on...

Next...We stopped at New York, New York to ride the roller coaster, but I didn't take any pictures...BTW, when the roller coaster operator tells you to take off your sunglasses, if you are wearing regular glasses, take those off too...I almost lost mine in a corkscrew rollover. Walter chickened out and wouldn't go on the roller coaster with me, so I went with the kids. I LOVE roller coasters!!!!

From there we went down the strip farther to Wynn and Encore. I'd heard lots about the Wynn casinos, and I'll admit, they were nice. I'm sorta nonchalant about all of it, to be honest. I don't gamble (I HAAAATE losing money that I could spend on something important, like shoes). But I do like watching the people, and well...there is lots of shopping on the strip....mostly stores where I can't afford a thing.

DramaGirl, posing with the only Ferrari I could ever come close to affording...that is if I wanted to spend several thousand dollars on a pedal-car for my kids...

DramaGirl downstairs at the Wynn...all of those things are Parasols. There were two bars, the one upstairs was called Parasol Up, the one downstairs is called Parasol Down. It wasn't until she was downstairs that I saw the sign that said 21 and older only...OOOPS!

Turbo, Walter, and DramaGirl on the walkway over the strip.

DramaGirl and Turbo - in front of the Fashion Show Mall. I was ready for some more shopping!

Unfortunately, the boys' tollerance for shopping had ceased to exist. But the kids wanted to see the strip at night, and since it was still light out, and since it'd been, oh gosh, hours since we'd last eaten, we found another place to stop... a deli called Zoozacrackers, back in the Wynn.

I am soooooooo 13...please let me endure this photo for you.

I had no idea, but Turbo brought plastic bugs to play with in his spare time...gotta LOVE boys

Also, since it was the first night of Passover, we ordered....

Matzoh Ball Soup (just an enormous Matzoh Ball, huh?)

Chopped Liver...Yum (really, I like it...it's one of Walter's favorites. The kids won't touch it).

Potato Latkes...not a traditional Passover food, but you can't go wrong with fried potatoes. EVAH...

and of course...
Wine (it's in the rules. You have to drink wine at Passover!)

Finally, it was dark outside, so we cruised down the strip...blaring tunes and shouting out windows...nobody seemed to notice...




It was a good day. I have been in Vegas (as you know) lots these past couple of months, and I'm usually there a few times a year, but I rarely go down to The Strip.

Back in SoCal now and looking forward to tomorrow's long run with the SDTC. It'll be the first time I've run in a week, and the route we're doing mimics the La Jolla 1/2 Marathon, which is in about two weeks.

Thanks to all of you who continue to send your good wishes and prayers for my mom. I know she occasionally reads my blog...she's likely to read it today (go back and read yesterday's too mom), since there are kid-photos posted. You are all really amazing peeps and {{hugs}} to you all!