Monday, August 31, 2009

No I Haven't Dropped off the Face of the Earth...

But I did go to Vegas...does that count?

First...last week was hellish...too many things to do, too little time to write, blah, blah, blah. I actually had at least three interesting topics to write about last week too! Some of them will come later (I have some fabulous photos of my PTs to post later this week). DramaGirl turns 14 this Wednesday, so we took her and some friends to see Wicked on Friday night. (It was AWESOME!)... Oh started. Classes are too full. I forgot my keys on Monday. I'm still living at a construction site. We had a whole scene with Jerome's furniture and their absolutely, incredibly, bad and awful furniture delivery and customer service.

A typical week. You all know how it is...

But mostly I didn't post much last week because I was also SOOOO afraid that I'd slip up and somehow write something about going to Vegas for the weekend and then I'd ruin THE SURPRISE that Betty has been planning for about a month as we took Momma on a surprise trip to Vegas to celebrate her 60th birthday.

Momma thought we were going camping in Catalina. She also thought none of US knew where we were going. The hints flew furiously last week as she tried to give clues as to where we were going. (Wrigley, The Four Preps (none of us knew that one), Buffalo, Golf Carts...

But the surprise was for her when we took her, blindfolded, to the airport (because we had other surprises, we told her)...and then caught a flight to Vegas!

In any event, please forgive this post of memories and photos from the weekend. (I'll be back to regular running/cycling posts soon... but this one is for Momma and the herd).

One liners from the weekend:

  • We're not going camping are we?
  • Betty putting the cow-print scarf over Momma's eyes, then leaving her to get in the car herself.
  • D1 hiding in the back seat to drive the car home.
  • Southwest will open a new line for you to check your bags if you have a blindfolded person with you.
  • ALSO...airport security will let you take a blindfolded person through the security checkpoint so long as she isn't struggling or distressed (we didn't do this, but we asked if we could have...good to know!)
  • Do you need this purse?
  • Where are the sponges?
  • The trillogy (I have no idea what that is about now, but I wrote it down on my iPhone notepad).
  • Forgot my driver's license and debit card at home. Walter (Aka...the best husband in the world) drives down to the airport to deliver them to me.
  • Momma asks, what did you do with the car?
  • Coffee..finally, at 8:00 am
  • First Bloody Mary - 9:15 am
  • Damn airport dog! (A "bomb dog" nearly took a bite out of my arm!)
  • First stop in Vegas? - food and mimosas by the pool.
  • How loud can we be?
  • Butt tattoos
  • Pool time
  • Stories from "The Night Before"
  • The IceMan Cometh
  • Damn it's hot (107ยบ)
  • Red Hats
  • Dinner at Table 10 - YUM!
  • Soda and bitters (best hangover cure ever...for the Friday night girls Alberta and Daisy)
  • If Emeril were here, I'd kiss him on the mouth!
  • 12 women in red hats...on the strip. What's up with the red hats? (definitely made it easier to find each other in a crowd)
  •'s still hot! I'm not walking all the way to Caesars...Madge and I hop in a cab .(sorry girls)
  • Bette!
  • Sing along with Bette
  • Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy (yes, I know all the words. It was one of my first records!)
  • You are the Wind Beneath my Wings (are you crying Mona?)
  • Is Elsie napping?
  • Karaoke (dare I post any of these)
  • My feet hurt! Walking barefoot through the white trash is THAT?
  • I can't get my Spanx off! Thanks Clarence for helping out.
  • Yep, it's 12:30 and I'm out
  • Next morning...what time is checkout?
  • Breakfast at Margaritavilla - do they serve much coffee here?
  • A little sour creme?
  • Onion rings
  • Cooling off
So happy birthday Momma. It was a great weekend. We love you! And I'm SOOOOOO glad we didn't go camping in Catalina (not this weekend anyway!)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Reason I Blog and not Vlog

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This morning the herd (Betty, Edith, Elsie, her calf, Mik and I) did the End of Summer Fire Run as did fellow bloggers Irene and Lisa.

Irene, Lisa and me before the race
The Fire Run is a local, low key, event with no chip timing, and quite frankly, I don't think they get the non-chip timing very accurate. The "official" race results say I finished the 4 mile run in 47:23. My Garmin says 42:40...In fact, as I crossed the finish line, I saw the clock turn to 43:00. Now, I'm willing to concede some seconds or so since I started near the front, but five freekin' minutes? No Way!

So, the race report...the good thing about starting near the front is that I started off by running with all the faster runners and that inspired me to run faster (my first mile split was 10:18, which is almost a sprint for me!). The bad thing is that people were passing me right and left, but I refused to be demoralized by that.

In fact, I spent most of the first mile trying to catch Betty (who did NOT wear her green shirt today), but lost her in the crowd about the mile mark. She told me later that I passed her, but since I didn't see her, I spent the remainder of the race running as fast as I could thinking "OMG! Where is she?"

Mik, Elsie, and Edith ran awesome races too. Finishing in 33:55, 40:14, and 35:26.

On the other hand, who knows if any of these times are correct.

Anyway, it was not about the time. It was about the free beer! The best part of the run is that you get two free beers at the end (so yes, we were drinking beer at 9:00am), at a local beach bar called the PB Bar and Grill. I finished the race (thirsty and having to pee...WTF is up with that?), wandered around aimlessly for several minutes. Finally got some fluids from the VitaminWater peeps (THANK GOD for them because I couldn't find the water people), located Edith. Then Mik came up and said...come on, we're at the front of the line to get into the bar (well of course they were. Mik finished 10 minutes before I did).

So...all sweaty we headed into the bar to get our two free beers.

That's where we were, still sweating from the run, when a reporter from the local NBC affiliate, noting the brightness of our shirts asked if she could interview us. Betty (who loves to promote the hefferblog. I think she's thinking it will eventually lead to free stuff for us) told the reporter that I have a blog. I, of course, point to Lisa (who else am I going to drag under the bus with me) and say "she does too!" (you're welcome Lisa). So she interviewed us about that.

Lisa looks great. My clever answer for "what are you going to blog about?" should have been, "well this of course!" but I don't think that quickly (thus the reason why I only blog twice a week. These things take me for freekin' ever to think about and write).

Elsie just killed me with the reference to her calf. I love how it takes the reporter a couple of beats to "get it." Even after the camera guy turned off the camera, she was still laughing about it.

Anyway, the race was (as I reported...) muggy and sticky...Can you imagine? God what a dork I am...see if it were my blog, I could edit that out, or at least make it sound dirty, but my ability to do that off the cuff? Not. So. Much.

I had a great time hanging out with Lisa, who shared a breakfast burrito with me, and may have gotten more than she bargained for in hanging out with the herd. She told me that her original plan was to run the race, then run back to La Jolla. Of course, as we headed straight to the bar at the end of the race (can you see how I'm all glowy in the video? That's real running-sweat peeps, no hollywood fake-misting-sweat for this girl), I looked at her and said "I don't think you're going to be running back. Let's have a beer!

She was easily persuaded. Quite frankly, she fit right in.

Anyway, it was an oh-so-appropriately named race...end of summer, which today is for me. Great race, good friends, free beer...what else could I ask for?

Classes start tomorrow (which is what I SHOULD be working on right now).

Saturday, August 22, 2009

200th post...But Nothing New Here

This is my 200th post.

When I started this blog, I never really thought about where it would lead or how long I would keep writing, but I certainly never thought about writing 200 times.

In that time, there are some entries that I think are somewhat entertaining. Loads of really boring, trite shiz. And a few that other people have apparently enjoyed (judging by StatCounter, whenever you blog about the dangers of self-massage or you drop your iPhone in a toilet, people find your blog).

But today's post will be none of that. In fact, you might think that you've already read this about two months ago.

I went for a bike ride this morning and played with a flat tire.


At least this time it wasn't me with the flat. In fact, it wasn't even really a flat tire, just an under-inflated one that we couldn't get inflated. We even tried out some of my CO2 cartridges, although we've really got to figure out how those work because I don't think we did it right.

I mean, it felt hard, but it wasn't really hard enough.

Hate it when that happens. (That's what she da dum).

Clarence, Me and Mik - again trying to figure out how to pump a tire long do you leave one of these things on?

So, for me, it was a pretty good ride. About 16 miles in 1:15 (I have no idea if that is a good time or not. I think not), but mostly I felt bad for Clarence in the last five miles were difficult. I've sooooo been there, riding on under-inflated tires. It sucks.

On the good news - home remodel front, I've got floors!

Bar/counter isn't finished yet, but the floors rock! Now I need new furniture!

Tomorrow morning, I"ll be up at O-Dark:30 again because we've decided to do the End of Summer Fire Run (a 4 mile run) from La Jolla to Pacific Beach. This will entail leaving a car in PB, then driving to LJ to register and run the race since almost none of us (except for Edith) are pre-registered, but it's a chipless-fun run, so no worries!

Race report to follow.

A huge shout out to Mel at 2nd Chances who is doing her first Tri in the morning! Go Mel!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

PT and my AFC

Four days past the AFC 1/2 marathon and I'm happy to report that I'm walking like a normal person again, and in fact, I feel better than I have in several months.

Well...that's not entirely true. I've had this enormous knot in my neck and shoulder that has made it nearly impossible to look to the left without turning my entire body to the left, but I'm pretty sure that the knot is stress-related and as soon as school starts, and as soon as this remodel is done, I will have time to run again (since I'm now whole) and the knot will go away.

So, other than the stress-knot, my physical health is entirely due to my physical therapist, Brett. I credit him and his team 100% with not only newly tightened ass (and as Elsie has told me before, it is ALL ABOUT THE TIGHT ASS) but also with getting me to a place where I could run the AFC 1/2 at all...and that four days later, I feel pretty darn good and ready to run again.

Lunges and squats...who knew?

Also who knew that PT could be such a freakin' workout?

So, here was my PT/Workout this morning at Rehab United. I got there and warmed up for 15 minutes on the elliptical. Then I stretched for about 15 minutes using this crazy contraption...

Then did walking lunges across with an 8 lb. medicine ball, four times across the room twisting over my front knee, two times across the room while lifting the ball over my head, and two times across the room twisting away from my front knew.'s a big room.

THEN I did some more single-leg squats standing on a wooden box (Another woman who was there told one of the PTs to "get your hand off my box" the other morning and I nearly fell off of my box)... Anyway, I did two sets of 10 squats on each leg...but I should add that each "squat" is actually four squats...with my free leg going to the front, side, back, and behind.

Tricky bastards...

OH and THEN, I did some thing where I stepped up onto this 18" platform and did a knee lift...while raising a 5 lb medicine ball over my head...ok...two sets of 10 of those puppies.

Then I did some more lunging stretches with twists holding a bar. 10 to each side (on each leg).

Then I did something called a BAPs. It helps to strengthen my previously floppy ankle.

This is a BAPs Board. I'm really good at it now. But when I started, I really had no ability to work my ankle around to move the board.

Then I think I finished off with a crazy new set of lunges where I held on to some ropes which are tethered to the wall and do some MORE single leg many as I could do in 60 seconds, without stopping. (OUCH!). Oh yeah...two sets of those.

Oh...and today was a "light workout" (so said Brett, who says he now reads my blog. We'll see...)

I leave PT pretty much a sweaty mess.

Honestly, it's a wonder I can sit right now...or rather that I can stand from a sitting position.

But here's the crazy part. I can do both.

And it is working. Clearly it worked in helping me to run the half marathon, especially considering the minimal amount of miles I actually ran before the race.

So, what's ahead? This weekend, I think the herd is going for a bike ride on Saturday and then on Sunday, a few of us are talking about doing the four mile End of Summer Fire Run. It's become somewhat of a tradition that some of us run the AFC 1/2, swear off running for awhile, then a week later do the flat and fun End of Summer Run which starts at La Jolla and ends in Pacific Beach.

Then we try to convince a cab driver to load all of us into a single cab and take us back to La Jolla because for the last two years the bus/shuttle service has been downright lousy.

It's a tradition, so I gotta do it. Right?

Finally, speaking of traditions...Three years ago, Betty convinced me to run a half marathon with her. I thought it was the craziest damn idea I'd ever heard in my life. But Betty can be persistent, so I ended up doing it...and a runner was born. For each of the AFC 1/2s Betty and I have run through the 10K mark together.

So here are Betty and I at the 10K mark for the last three years. (oh yes...pilfered race photos...).

2007 - we really had no idea what we were doing...
Damn it was hot last year. We don't look so happy do we?
This year... Just happy to be here!

Hey...wanna read more of me waxing poetic and the herd? I'm being featured on the Runner's Lounge Open Mic Friday this week. You can check it out for the real story of how I became a runner, and Tom also made me send lots of previously un-blogged photos.

Seriously, thanks to those of you who suggested to Tom and Amy that I be featured. What an honor!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Triple Crown - Check

For those who follow on Facebook or who notice the Twitter feed on the right, you've seen that I completed the America's Finest City 1/2 Marathon yesterday morning. It was quite a day!

Mik, Betty and I met at Betty's house at 5am and D1 (Betty's oldest daughter) was THRILLED to drive us to Balboa Park.

Betty's playlist for the drive to the race?
  • Bad Girls - Donna Summer
  • Boogie Shoes - KC and the Sunshine Band
  • Brick House - The Commodores
Nothing like a little disco music to get the shoulders moving in the morning.

AFC is a point to point run, so we had to take a shuttle bus to the start. The traffic at Balboa Park at 5:15 was awful, so when we got close to the buses, we jumped out of the car and left D1 to drive home.

O-dark:30 - walking to the shuttle bus to take us to Cabrillo Monument - The race start

As if we were a perfectly-timed, well oiled, race running, machine, Alberta met us just as we were about to be counted off to get on the shuttle.

On the bus - Betty and Mik - I think they were unprepared for the photo

Me and Alberta - We posed. It's good being the one with the camera

At the start, we did the mandatory porta-potty drill. I'm happy to report that unlike the La Jolla 1/2, I got a PP w/o any remnants!

Mik and I in the PP line - Geez I look tired!

Mik hemmed her sweatpants using staples.

My skirt was packed and ready to go. I may frame this photo because I swear my ass is NOT that small! I also broke the cardnal rule of race running and wore a new running skirt - BIG MISTAKE!

All in all, we were amazed that the morning had gone so well. And we were REALLY pleased that the marine layer was holding. I had a moment of worry when I looked up and could see some glimpses of blue sky...NOOOOOO.

WTF is up with the blue sky? But you can see that it's still pretty thick in the distance. This was a VERY good thing.

And we're off...

To be honest, I never heard the starter's gun go off...I just knew that people in front of us started moving, so, of course did we.

Miles 1-5 - The downhill part.
  • My PF foot felt great. I was mostly worried about my knees. I knew I had probably not done nearly enough stretching and, as I've written previously, the first 6 miles of the race is a lot of downhill.
  • Completely lost track of Mik and Alberta in the first 200 yards.
  • Pulled at the compression shorts under the new running skirt for the first of, oh I don't know, 500 times because they were rolling up...GAH!
  • Saw Lisa for a few seconds about .5 miles. She wished me well, asked how I felt, and was off in a flash! I haven't read her report yet, but I'm sure she had a great day. The maroon shirts she and her crew were wearing looked great!
  • Betty was ahead of me for most of the first mile, then I went past her at about the first aid station just outside of the Navy Base Gate. I knew she'd pass me when we got to the downhill part because she runs downhills much faster than I do.
  • Damn if those water stations aren't slippery when wet...saw a few people almost wipe out.
  • Got to see my brother and sister in laws and my two little nephews in Point Loma. My SIL told me I looked good. I laughed and said "Oh yeah, this is the easy's all downhill here." My nephews (ages 3 and 4) looked COMPLETELY SURPRISED to see me.
  • The roads in Point Loma were freshly paved this year. Last year was a nightmare because the streets were so chewed up and potholed.
  • Got to see Irene who was manning the SDTC aid station at about mile 4... Sweet thing, she apologized for not taking pictures, but darn if those 10,000 runners weren't thirsty. I gave her a sweaty hug anyway.
  • As I predicted, by the time we got into the flat part of Point Loma, Betty caught up to me.
Miles 5-10 - the flat part
  • Once Betty caught up to me, we marveled at what a great morning it was. How nice it was that it wasn't searing heat...and laughed about how we'd probably never on those streets in Point Loma again. (Really, three AFC 1/2 marathons are enough...I've got other races to run!)
  • At about Mile 5, I stopped to slather some more Aquaphor (you know that little tube of stuff you get in every single race goody bag you've ever gotten? I am so thankful I carried some with me...of course I carried lots of shiz with me) on my inner thighs instead of tugging and pulling at the compression short which had absolutely no intention of staying over my thigh. I'm sure the sight of me rubbing what is essentially vaseline on my inner thigh worked for someone!
  • Once we got to the flat stretch, I started my run/walk strategy. I'd run for 9 minutes, then walk for a minute. For the most part, that and the lack of direct sun made the middle of the race quite tolerable.
  • Betty and I ran through the 10K in 1:10:52 - together for the third time :-). Betty told me she was going to walk a little bit, but I felt pretty good, so I kept running.
  • The last two years, miles 6 and 7 have been hell for me...It's almost 2.5 miles between water stations 4 and 5 and in the typical August heat it's just miserable, but yesterday, as we headed into Harbor Island, the overcast weather held, and for the most part, I felt I had my first Gu!
  • Saw Alberta leaving Harbor Island just as I was headed toward the OMBAC (Old Mission Beach Athletic Club) rain forest. I didn't even need the mister they set up this year. I also had some of their "champagne" (which was, unfortunately, apple cider...although that was kind of nice!) that was being doled out by one of my friend's husbands (THANKS ROY!)
  • Wow...even the rental car return parking lot at Mile 8.5 was repaved and not the aligator-skin-like-torture-trail of past years! AND I got off Harbor Island and still NO SUN!
  • Unfortunatly, by about Mile 9, I could feel my foot cramping up on me a little bit and I realized that I should have clipped my toenails...but since I haven't been on a long run since, oh, April, I neglected to do this. I'm sure I'll be down at least two toenails shortly.
Look at that! and I was about 6 minutes behind the gun time. You'd think a girl could run 4 miles in 45 minutes...but you'd be wrong.

Miles 10 - 13.1 - It gets ugly here
  • I knew at about Mile 10, it was going to get a little ugly. I could just feel that I didn't have much left. In fact, I was impressed that I felt as good as I did...I mean I was tired, but I've felt way worse. The Gu I took at mile 10 gave me about a mile and a half worth of energy, but that was it.
  • SURPRISE - Walter and Turbo were waiting for me on the corner of Harbor and Ash. I wasn't expecting that!
  • About two miles earlier, I realized that I had Betty's last Gu and that she was probably going to want it before 6th Avenue, so I handed it to Walter and asked him to wait a couple minutes to give it to Betty. He's such a great guy, he did. I really wasn't expecting to see him there, but it was just what I needed at that moment. I turned around to shout "I LOVE YOU!" as I ran up Ash.
  • Every year I think that I'll have a burger at OMBAC's second aid station on Ash...but every year at Mile 11 I think, "if I eat, even a bite, of that burger now, I'll just puke" so I passed it once again.
  • The run down (I think it's) India is just so damn depressing because you know that you're going in the opposite way of the park.
  • By the time I got to the bottom of A Street, I was pretty much done. My foot was cramping. My legs were tired. I started to get a little emotional (I mean, I knew I could run a freeking mile and a half...). I thought about how far I'd come, how even a month ago, I wasn't so sure I'd even be running this race, which made me sort of weepy...
  • At the 11 mile marker, I was pretty much doing a run 2 minute/walk 2 effort that was just pissing me off. So I started running for I'll run to the end of this block, or I'll run to where the hill crests. The really frustrating thing as I started up 6th avenue, is that running up the hills, although I was running slowly, wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be, but for some reason, I just couldn't keep running, and I took WAY too many walk breaks. I think this is where the lack of long run training sort of came in. I just wasn't used to running for that long. I think it was mostly just mental.
  • Funny note...observed some guy coming out of a porta-potty on 6th Avenue with his sleeping bag...WTF?
  • The 1/2 mile or so on Laurel, into Balboa Park was also pretty difficult because I just wanted to get to the corner and to the downhill part...but that 1/2 mile seemed so far...that and WTF was up with all the photographers? I mean, I know that Balboa Park is a beautiful background, but I have NO DOUBT that having run 12.5 miles I was decidedly NOT BEAUTIFUL.
  • Ahhh..the's a beautiful downhill finish... I LOVE THAT!!
Official Finish - 2:39:36

Not a PR, but not my worst 1/2 mary time either... I was actually faster than Carlsbad (where I ran with my bum hip) and only a minute slower than last year when I actually trained for the 1/2 mary...AND it's about what I thought I'd do. Of course today, I look at those first 10 miles where I averaged somewhere around 11:15 mm...and those last 3.1 miles, where I averaged around 13:30...and I get a little sad...but then I think about how incredibly little training I did for this, and what a miracle it is that I ran and finished at all.

The herd's results
  • Mik's - 2:07:39
  • Betty - 2:45:35
  • Alberta -2:22:48
I also have way more respect for stretching and strength training. I'm seeing Brett, my PT tomorrow morning. I've gotta give him a hug for that!

The really good news is that our sub-three hour finishes in the Carlsbad, La Jolla, and AFC halfs got us some Triple Crown bling!

Our green shirts, our bling, and our beers (Thanks to Betty's DH for bringing the chocolate milk and's gotta sound disgusting to anyone but a runner).

That's my crew.

We're discussing what's next. Some of us (me) are still interested in doing the California Dreaming Series (Long Beach 1/2, Surf City 1/2, & San Francisco 1/2). I've already signed up for the Las Vegas 1/2 in December and there's that bike thing that I want to start getting more serious about too...

But for today, I'll just relax a bit and be glad that I don't have a 1/2 marathon to worry about for awhile.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I Never Thought I'd See Those Studs Again

I actually started this post, about two days ago, on my iPhone... but I never finished it and now it seems lame, so I'll just start over with the same headline, mostly because I like the headline, even though it will really have not much to do with this post... except for this...

Yeah...we remodeled our house when we bought it...I really never thought I'd see these wall studs again...

Contractors took out the floor and two feet of wall in DramaGirl's bedroom due to dry rot and termite damage!

So...I'm living at a construction site. Hopefully, we'll be done with the walls and floors by mid-week, but I'll still be living sans one shower for another couple of weeks. Until then, we are living like this... I have no idea where ANYTHING is...GAH!
That's all the furniture from my kids rooms, stacked around the house... clearly my kids have too much least the remodel is a good opportunity to weed out some stuff.
OK...enough of that topic. Onto other more interesting Hefferblog fodder, because tomorrow is the America's Finest City 1/2 Marathon!!!!  Mik, Betty and I went to the expo this morning to pick up our bibs. 
Expo notes
  • We took Walter's car, a Honda Accord. I drive an SUV (yes, I am one of THOSE moms...but it is a Honda Pilot, not a too-huge tank-car). In any event, I don't like driving Walter's car. I feel like Fred Flintstone in it. I admit it. I prefer being UP HIGHER where I can see what's in front of me when I drive.
  • I only did one U-turn, and that was in front of Betty's house.
  • There was tons of traffic and stalled cars on the road in all sorts of random spots this morning. Maybe there are always stalled cars, but when I'm not driving the FredFlintsonemobile, I can see them ahead of me and avoid them, but not this morning.
  • The Expo was small...not as low-budget as La Jolla, but not the scene that was at Carlsbad. 
  • The AFC shirts are maroon this year....kinda pretty. I do wonder what all the dudes will say about them though.
  • I almost bought a pair of leopard-print, dayglo lime green and black - running shorts from Gypsyrunner, but I'm a big chicken.
They're kinda tucked under the hot-pink, leopard skin print shorts...pretty HAWT don't you think?
  • There was a vendor that I'd never seen (or noticed) at the Expo called "DirtyRed" and I just liked the name of the company, and the clothes were cute, and the business is owned by a woman from San Diego, so I'll give her a shout out.
I posted on FB that I'm just a little freaked out about this race. I have NEVER run a race being so woefully unprepared. In the last month, I've run only four times on real pavement, and maybe another three or four on the 'mill. The longest run I've done was only 5.5 miles...and while I've done a fair amount of cycling, none of that has been recent either. And of course, there's this...

I'm sure I'll be fine...'s my race plan
  • The most important thing tomorrow morning is to have fun. By this time tomorrow, Betty, Mik, Alberta and I will have run all three legs of the triple crown (finishing the Carlsbad 1/2, La Jolla 1/2, AFC 1/2 in one calendar year). I haven't been particularly healthy or whole for any of them, but I have had fun at each and every race, so that's a goal for this one as well. I'm taking my camera, my phone, and a really good attitude. I'm just happy to be running because a month ago I wasn't so sure I would be able to do this at all.
  • The weather this week has been quite lovely. Unlike the last two years when Betty and I ran in just sweltering heat and/or humidity, tomorrow looks to be an absolutely wonderful running day. The morning marine layer (aka fog) has pretty much been hanging around until about 10:00 or so, which is plenty fine for me.
The sun, apparently, will come out some time between 9 and 10 am, but my goal is to be past the AVIS parking lot (about mile 9) by the time the sun comes out. That part just KILLS me every year!
  • I'm going to use a run (slowly) the first 6 miles - the downhill part. Then I'll use a run 9 minutes/walk 1 minute strategy for the rest of the race.
  • I will do whatever it takes to get up 6th Avenue (that last uphill part).
  • I don't have a time goal for this race (liar, liar, pants on fire)...OK I do...I think I can finish in under 2:45...that's my lofty goal! 

We have to be at Balboa Park before 5:30 am to get on the bus that will shuttle us out to Cabrillo monument, so my other goal is to get to bed early tonight ( THAT ever happens) and get a good night's rest.

Good luck to anyone else that is running/racing this weekend. I know I am WOEFULLY BEHIND in reading and commenting on all your blogs. Next week school starts, and my life will start to get back to some normal routine.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What a Week!

Pre-Vay-K - Demolition
As I wrote in the last post, we are in NoCal this week on a vacation...and I'll get to that in a bit, but what you should also know is that before we left, we moved all the furniture out of Turbo and DramaGirl's bedrooms because we are having the floors removed and replaced. The contractor has been removing the old floors the last couple of days. He called today to report that the floor in DramaGirl's room was about THE WORST he's ever seen...nice...

But before we left, because destruction, for some reason, makes Walter happy, he wanted to destroy a wall that is being removed as part of the overall remodel/floor replacement plan. Turbo was happy to help him.

Turbo...taking a swing at a wall as Walter watches approvingly.

This is what I get to come home to...but before we get home tomorrow night, we've had a heck of a week up here...If you really don't want to read a vacation report, read no further cuz that's all I got, but if you (like me) revel in these things, stay tuned...I'm posting the short version.

Day 1 - Sacramento
We started off in Sacramento. Don't ask why (JoLynn), but we had to stop there. We went to the state Capitol where Turbo stood in front of the Governator's office door and tried to look Governator-like...

Future Governator

Turbo and I outside the state capitol

I did enjoy touring the state capitol. I'm sorta a geek that way. I find politics and government and all of that highly entertaining and interesting. My favorite part of walking around the capitol was that I thought we might get to see the Governator himself. There seemed to be a lot of people walking in and out of his office...which in and of itself was just crazy that we were just walking around without anyone giving a hoot or holler that we were there!

I mean, I was in Washington DC and in New York a couple of years ago and you couldn't go ANYWHERE without being told to "not touch" or "not go there" or were searched with some full body cavity search contraption that blew air at you so that if you had any microscopic terrorist residue left on you the machine would sense it and OMFG you were in TROUBLLLLE!

Apparently, Sacramento is not a target for terrorists because we just strolled around the state capital and nobody stopped us AT ALL. (well we did have to go through a security thingy, but I think that was just a formality.)

Anyway, I enjoyed overhearing some lobbyist or official governator-type person telling some other underling that he had to give someone else the bad news that the governor had just signed AB625 (or whatever number it was)...and best of all. THE LOBBYIST WAS WEARING F*ING FLIPFLOPS.

God I love California!

Anyway, part of our purpose in headed toward Sacramento was to visit some friends of ours who live up here. Our kids never really get to see their kids, or us each other. It was a great visit!

Turbo was thrilled to be the only young dude

Day 2 - River Rafting
The next day we headed up toward Coloma and went river rafting on the American River...too much fun.

Don't I look like a natural at this?

I won't torture you with another picture of the elbow, but yes Irene...I just tripped and fell while walking down the street in Folsom (a suburb of Sacramento).

An's the thing I find funny about Folsom, California. When I was growing up, the only thing I knew about Folsom is that there was a state prison there (the one that Johnny Cash made famous in Folsom Prison Blues after he "shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die" and if you'll remember, I'm from Reno, so I know about these things).

In any event, Folsom is sorta a chichi place now, and it seems like the downtown area is trying to go all upscale, but seriously they gotta do something about those sidewalks! I was, really, just walking down the street and just slipped off a stupid, slanted, unfinished, sidewalk curb (I swear, I could sue and win...if I were that kind of person), and before I knew it I was bouncing face first into a heap of f*ing hay, which was apparently put there so that if people slipped and f*ing fell face first, they'd have something to cushion their landing. (well thanks for THAT Folsom!)

Anyway, after I stood up and DramaGirl and I scanned the scene to make sure that nobody saw me fall (and since nobody was pointing and laughing, or pointing and looking aghast with horror, or even pointing and looking like they wanted to help me), we nonchalantly brushed the hay off me and walked, ever so classily, back toward the restaurant. At which point Walter told DramaGirl she should help me brush off some more hay (because clearly he hadn't seen me fall), so DramaGirl and I went to the ladies room, washed off the blood dripping from my hand and elbow and THANK GOD our table was ready so that I could have an enormous glass of Chianti. (Yes, there is a God!)

A God who also makes some kick-ass pizza - Chicago Fire Pizza...seriously, we may go there for lunch tomorrow. It was THAT good.

Day 3 - Graeagle
The next day we stocked up on road-trip/car-trip staples so that the kids would be entertained to make our way to Graeagle...which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, north of Truckee.

Mandatory travel food

On I-80...around, before Donner Lake is the nicest highway rest-stop that I have ever been in (and trust me, I've been in plenty).

DramaGirl and I were pleased with the accommodations.

On the way to Graeagle, we saw plenty of cows...and since this is the Hefferblog, we took photos. I offered the kids money if they could get a photo of a cow running, but no such luck this trip.

Trust me, those are, not the cows...

Despite the amount of sugar consumed on the way to Graeagle, we were hungry when we got there anyway, so we went to this little diner. The food was OK, but we got fair-food for dessert.

Deep-fried Oreos...gotta say they are just OK

Deep fried Oreos make an after lunch/dinner walk necessary, so Walter and I found a trail near the place we were staying.

I hope I just walked off an Oreo

The next morning, Walter and I decided that we needed more than just a walk, so we ran a nice little route on TRAILS (hear that JoLynn and Stuart..I did a trail run...It was nice...I sorta get it now!!!!)

It was quite pretty. I took nowhere near enough photos!

Days 4 & 5 - Squaw Valley
Unfortunately, Graeagle just wasn't the right place for us, not on this vacation. To be more exact, we didn't really have the right gear for it. If we'd brought along our own bikes, our own hiking gear, our own kayaks, etc, it would have been a great place to vacation, but we really packed for a vacation where everything was just ready and waiting for us to rent whatever toys we needed...Also, the place we were staying would have been just fabulous if it were just Walter and me, but wasn't really a family-friendly kind of place, so we stayed the one night and left for Lake Tahoe (about an hour away) and Squaw Valley!

more cows

Getting to Squaw Valley requires a trip through Truckee and by The Tourist Club, which is one of my favorite dive bars of all time (and that I have a favorite dive bar in f*cking Truckee California tells you lots about me...yes, I've been here before!)

Because I didn't again want to hear DramaGirl ask when we were going horseback riding, the moment we got to Squaw Valley, we checked into our condo and rushed off to the stables for a 2 hour horseback ride.

BTW...2 hours is a f*cking long time to sit on a horse. I was pretty happy about all the other time I've been in the saddle (settle down, I'm talking about my BIKE...what were YOU thinking?)

Yeah...I look all cowboy, don't I?

Walter's Horse was HUGE (and I'm not just saying that to make him feel better)

Pretty much my view for 2 hours

I have lots more pix like the one above, including one of Walter's horse farting and peeing, but I'll spare you.

After horseback riding, we went back to Squaw Valley.

DramaGirl in the Square...those cables go to the top of the mountain. We may do that in the morning.

OK...I'm almost done here...This morning we went to Lake Tahoe

Family photo - inside the lake ... except for Turbo who can't hold still

Ah...the Lake.

It is absolutely beautiful here. We went kayaking and jet skiing today. I'm hoping the kids have had enough activies to satiate them. We're headed back to Sacramento and then San Diego tomorrow, so that I can deal with the turmoil that is certain to be my floors when I return.

Oh yeah...and that little 1/2 marathon I'm going to run on Sunday...THAT...