Sunday, November 29, 2009

Turkey Day in Palm Springs - Thanksgiving SoCal Style

Yes...I'm alive, just a victim of a busy holiday week in which I had to work the first three days (GAH!), and since there's no justification in boring everyone (including myself) with the details of it all, here's the story of our Turkey Day, mostly in pix.

This year, my side of the family decided to rent a house in Palm Springs and spend the holiday together there.

My kids had the whole week off, but I didn't, so Walter took the kids up there on Tuesday, and I followed the next day.

(running note...I did the SDTC Turkey Trot on Tuesday night. I estimated that I'd finish the two mile/8 lap trot in 22:15. I finished in 19:46. So, I guess I have no skill at all for estimating how fast I run. Congrats to both Edith and Stoney for coming withing 4 seconds of their estimated times. Both won turkeys!)

The drive to Palm Desert on Wednesday, which should have taken no longer than three hours but ended up taking over five, wasn't much fun, but when I got there I discoved the house was lovely and the weather was perfect, even by desert standards...

Just a little place in the desert...

Day 1 - Thanksgiving
Walter agreed to run for awhile with me on Thanksgiving morning (in some attempt to offset the amount of calories to be shortly consumed), but we took our sweet-little-time and by the time we started running, it was almost 9:00 and getting pretty warm, so I pretty much nixed doing the 10 mile run I'd planned on doing for Alissa's Virtual Turkey Trot, especially since that also meant that I'd be gone for a couple of hours, and I did have some cooking to assist with.

In fact, I'm not really sure how far we ran, or for how long, because about a mile in, of course, my Garmin, which was not fully charged, died. Best I can figure from MapMyRun is that I ran somewhere near 5.5 miles, and it took about an hour...which seems a little fast, but I was running with Walter, so I suspect that while we were running together, we were running faster than my usual plodding pace.

Anyway, by the time I got home, the kids were in the pool.

Cousins taking a break in the spa

85º outside, pool heated to 90º, so the kids spent the weekend in the pool/jacuzzi.

Bro-in-law getting some "work" done poolside.

Walter and I enjoying a moment on the pool-deck.

My sister with "the bird" (yes, she was cooking in a bikini!)

Yes, it's a stick of butter on top

We did "dress" for dinner...and opted for paper plates, so much easier on the cleanup.

Walter...cleverly alternating wine with Gatorade. He swears that it wards off hangovers...hmmmm

Day 2 - Recovery

Day 2 of the Virtual Turkey Trot...I was defintely in recovery mode due to the stuffage and wine from the previous day, but I ran another 4.5 miles miles anyway, giving me a two day total of 10 miles and a two day time somewhere under 2 hours. Since I was running about as fast as a stuffed turkey, I stopped to take some photos of my environs.

Nice horse trail that I ran on...very forgiving on the knees and feet

Me and some grapefruits...I'm talking about the tree...geeesssshhhh people!

Later that day, we went to hit some golf balls. That's Walter, DramaGirl, Cousins and Bro-in-law, who was everyone's favorite golf coach!

OK...some words about golf ettiquite. What is up with the dress code rules? We went to a PGA West "private" courses...just to hit some balls on the driving range and were told we couldn't because we weren't wearing colared shirts...WTF is up with that? I mean, I guess I understand the dress code on the course, but on the DRIVING RANGE?

Whatever... If nothing else, Palm Springs has golf courses every other block, so we found a muni-course where they didn't care about our t-shirts (or that my 6-year old neice was wearing flipflops).

Yes...Palm Springs has A LOT of golf courses...oh and drug stores. If you ever need a golf course, or CVS, or Walgreens, or RiteAid, then Palm Springs is your kind of place.

Cousins watching movies on the bed. What is a better end of day than that?

Day 3 - Packing up and the drive home

After a very leisurely morning we finally had to pack up and get back home.

What is a "last morning" without lots of "last" family photo shots?

The whole crew...sans my parents, who'd already left

After lots of goodbyes and photos and hugs, we set on our way back to San Diego. Our plan this time was to go over the mountain into Temecula, then south on 15. I kept thinking I SHOULD have gone this route on my way to Palm Springs as it is shorter, but it's also some two lane mountain roads, so I opted for the multi-lane freeways (as did many others BTW). In any event, we thought that we'd go the short route on the way back.

We really weren't expecting this...

It was snowing on the pass over the San Jacinto Mountains...Carry Chains? hmmmmm.

Gotta love So.Cal - Pool in the morning, snow in the afternoon!

That's Walter after he and I discussed what we should do--turn around and go the freeway route through Riverside, or chance it. My car has AWD, so I forged ahead, then called him to let him know I though he could make it as the roads really weren't THAT bad.

In any event, we eventually made it the rain. Can you say weather? We got to experience all sorts of weather this weekend, that's for sure.

So...a big thanks to my sister for putting the whole plan for getting together in Palm Springs in motion. It was a huge success and we all had a great time!

I'm tapering this week (as if every week hasn't been a taper for me recently), because next Sunday is the Las Vegas RnR 1/2 Marathon, so Walter and I are off to Vegas on Friday.

I'm off to catch up on some of your blogs now.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Skunk, Run, Turkey Trots

Skunk Update
I'm sitting here freezing my ass off because it is November, and some genius (me) decided that running the air-conditioner would filter the air in the house which now smells of both vinegar and skunk.


Truth be told, I do think it's working, although I'm less confident that the skunk(s) have moved out yet. Walter just went to the store after moth-balls, tennis balls, more ammonia. Our plan is to do a full-scale de-skunking this afternoon (then we're leaving the house for a few hours).

Thanks to all who posted stories and suggestions about getting rid of the smell, but I do have congratulate Irene for the best comment EVAH, in which she, essentially suggested that we douche our house.


Running News
This morning, Betty, Mik, Elsie and I met with the SDTC for our weekly long run. My plan was to run a leisurely, easy (hahaha) 8 miles in a really weak-ass attempt to prepare for the Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon in two weeks.

One of the highlights of the morning had to have been the drive to the run with Betty, who nearly had me crashing the car because I was laughing so hard about mandals, socks with holes, and sweatshirts (e.g. all you need to turn on your husband on a cold morning). I don't probably had to be there.

It was one of those beautiful SoCal winter mornings. A little cool at the start, and it warmed up nicely, but not so much as to make it uncomfortable. Mik slowed down her usual pace and ran the first two miles with me (or I sped up to run the first two miles with her, or somewhere between those two options.)

You can't tell from this photo, but Mik has new shorts AND new shoes on!

Combining mad driving and photography skillz. Nice boat!

Eventually, Mik tired of our pace and ran ahead, but I was never far behind her. At Mile 3, I caught up to her at the SDTC water station, and she decided to run UP Canon (big hill we run DOWN during AFC). I decided to go the flat route onto Shelter Island, figuring there'd be no hills in Vegas to speak of.

Mile 1 - 11:02
Mile 2 - 10:52
Mile 3 - 10:53

By Mile 3, of course, it was getting a little warm, so I decided to publicly disrobe and remove the underarmor long sleeve shirt I was cleverly wearing underneath my shirt.

Good show.

The SDTC route from Harbor Island, to the aid station is about three miles, but I wanted to do 8 miles, so I decided to tack on an extra mile by running onto Shelter Island, the same area we ran two weekends ago for the Shelter Island 5K. By the 4th mile, I was starting to feel some of the effects of running with speedy Mik, so I downed a Gu Roctain (LOVE that stuff) which gave me a little more kick.

Mile 4 - 11:32 (quite a bit slower, but still respectable)

By the time I got back to the SDTC water station again, I was feeling the Gu. Irene's husband Michael was there, so he and I ran for awhile back to the start. Michael always has good stories to tell.

Then around the 6th mile, I don't know what happened, I just felt "The Zone," that beautiful time when you're able to run effortlessly. I was completely surprised by it. I mean, I haven't run more than 6 miles since AFC. I still have no idea where the energy or the desire came from, but since I was feeling it, I said "bye" to Michael (who was, admittedly, doing a recovery run having run the Silver Strand 1/2 Marathon the week) and took off.

Mile 5 - 11:13
Mile 6 - 11:12
Mile 7 - 10:46
Mile 8 - 10:35
Mile 8.08 - 10:00

For me? Wow. I mean where did THAT come from?

Maybe that 2:20 1/2 marathon finish isn't so crazy after all? (now don't get ahead of yourself Alice).

Afterwards, we headed back to Elsie's for some breakfast and laughs (no mimosas this morning, too much to do today, and I'll admit that after getting up early/running/mimosas...I'm pretty worthless for the rest of the day.) Got home, stuck my legs in our, now 56º pool (the ice bath) and I'm feeling pretty good right now (other than the frozen ass part).

It's Turkey Week!
I'm going to do my longest run (10 miles) this Thursday or Friday as part of Alisa's (Ambition Aspirations Make Great Accomplishments) Virtual Turkey Trot.

And the SDTC Turkey Trot on Tuesday (whoever most accurately predicts their 2 mile finish time wins a electronics allowed). My kids are out of school all week; unfortunately, I'm not. GAH! (there had to be a GAH in here somewhere, right?)

Hope everyone is having a great weekend! Now off to battle the skunk.

Friday, November 20, 2009

We have a concert going on under our house...

We live in what is called a "semi-rural" part of San Diego County, and for the most part we have a pretty Liaise-faire relationship with the all the wild and semi-wild animals that live in the canyons and valleys around us. In other words, if they don't bother us, we don't bother them.

So I pretty much ignore the squirrels that eat my flowers; I look the other way when the gophers chew mounds through the lower part of our property (since most of my plants are "mature" now, they seem much less interested in chewing the roots); I completely stay out of the way of the foxes that I sometimes see early in the morning, and as for the feral cats? Well, let's just say I let them have their run of the yard. In fact, I give them credit for keeping the squirrel and gopher population down.

I'm a great believer in the whole circle of life thing.

But, I draw the lines at two types of living creatures that I just as soon leave to the professionals--bees and skunks. Bee swarms scare the living begeezus out of me (that humming thing they do....AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKKK!!!!!)


Two nights ago, Walter discovered that a skunk had decided to make itself at home underneath our house, and rather than IMMEDIATELY call in the professional skunk removers, he decided, as he puts it, to, "convince the skunk that it didn't really like our house."

I swear. That's what he said.

I'm not completely clear on exactly what the plan was, but I'll tell you the result...

At about 4am, an angry skunk, that had been trapped under our house instead of blocked out, decided to let us know about it's displeasure at the current living situation.

Anyway, we woke up this morning the the wretched stench of skunk wafting through the house.


Now, to make sure that the beast is really gone, we've opened all access points, and in order to further "convince" the little beast that it really doesn't want to stay here, we've got a radio blasting music under the house AND for added emphasis, we've tossed a couple of tennis balls soaked in ammonia down that way.

I guess that's one way to get rid of unwanted tenants.

So, if anyone knows of a good way to get rid a house of the skunk smell emanating from underneath the house, please let me know. Right now, I'm trying bowls of vinegar, which I've read from the Internets, will soak up the odor. I hope it works. I've got a splitting headache.

The only good thing that's come of this is that I didn't have to cook tonight, and I won't be doing any midnight snacking. Nothing dampens an appetite like eau-de-skunk.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Night of Feeling REALLY SLOW!

Wow...I haven't done an actual running-workout post in quite awhile, have I?

Tonight I did the San Diego Track Club Tuesday night workout. Since Daylight Saving's time ended (or did it begin? I can't ever keep track of which is which, all I know is that by 5:00, it's freekin' dark now...which I hate). Anyway, since the time change, the track club Tuesday night workouts have moved from Balboa Park to a local high school track, which is near my house, and which is where I used to teach (quite convenient!)

I like track workouts. A. they're fast and by that I mean that they're usually over in an hour and a half or so; B. it's USUALLY an opportunity to see some of the herd mid-week.

Tonight, "A" would be true. "B" would not.

The workout tonight was to do 10 x 400s with a partner. It sorta worked like a relay. I would run a 400, then my partner, then me, and so on....10 times, and since none of the herd was in attendance, my partner was....

Santiago! I love this picture, which was taken during one of the marathon training runs, because the expression on his face makes me imagine he was thinking "get that damn camera out of my face or I'm throwing my elbow your way!"

What's a sure fire way to run harder and faster than you ever intended? Do a partner run with a guy almost 20 years younger than you.

So, it was a good workout, the complete opposite of what I was intending when I started. I certainly ran faster and harder than I would have if left to run at my own pace. I wish I knew how fast I was running, but even though I've owned my Garmin for more than a year, I still have no idea how to record laps automatically. Let's just say that the one lap that I did time correctly said I was running a 8:42 pace.

Yeah, it was only one lap, but I mean SERIOUSLY...WTF is THAT?

Oh...and just for giggles, we did 8 x 100 strides afterwards...and some crunches...and planks*...and something called an elvira...or something like that where you sort of sit with your legs in the air and twist back and forth. Three counts = 1...we did 25 of those.

So....I suspect I'll be a little sore tomorrow. I'm wearing the Zenzah sleeves as I write.

Highlight of the night? When the really fast runners were done and doing their cool down, I got to pass a couple! ( least my fast pace was faster than their cool down pace...this, by the way, is not ALWAYS the case with me).

So, thanks to Santiago for pushing me and for being my running partner tonight. We'll see what I'm saying about it tomorrow.

Damn herd for not showing up...

In other running humor, today I recieved this...

To which I say, "Predicted finish time is: 2:20:00? BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA"

That's pretty funny. I have to wonder what I was thinking when I registered and put THAT down as a finish time.

I'll write in a future post about ACTUAL expected finish times, but trust me, it won't be THAT!
*In the interest of full disclosure. I suck at the planks and could only hold one for about 30 seconds.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Shuffle Success!

Because I know you all have been waiting with baited breath for the iPod Shuffle Retrieval Report (iPSRR or pisser...which is, now that I'm writing it down, both funny and accurate).... here it is...


First...thank you for all of your suggestions. They all helped immensely in thinking through the problem. I also should have been more specific in my previous post about the location of the iPod. It would have been more accurate to say that it fell between two cabinets. I have one of those stovetops that is separate from the oven and it sits on top of one of the cabinets, so moving the stove wasn't an option as the stove-top is rather permanently affixed to the cabinet. Really, the only way to get to it was from the top.

To do this required two yardsticks (provided by my GENIUS FRIEND Jean), some tape, hangar wire, a paperclip, and DramaGirl to hold the flashlight.

This was necessary because the Shuffle had gotten pushed underneath one of the cabinets. When I looked this morning, I couldn't even see it. I used this to hook it and to get the thing out from underneath the cabinet.

So, basically, I taped the hangar-wire to the yardstick. I really have to hand it to Jean, who both suggested and provided the yardsticks. It really helps to have friends who teach elementary school and who have access to such things.

It was Jean who also identified that, although my idea to use sticky-tape to pull the Shuffle up through the opening, was reasonable enough, she wondered how I was going get it through the opening, which appeared to be no wider than the iPod and was probably narrower.


So, this morning, I tried tape on the end of the yardstick and it almost worked. As a matter of fact, I had pulled the Shuffle up and ALMOST had my fingers on it. But, as Jean predicted, lying flat, the shuffle was wider than the available space and it fell back down the hole.


So, after swearing at the shuffle, the hole, and the whole silly scenario for awhile, I went to get a pedicure to ponder my next move some more.

After the pedicure, I was walking around the CVS pharmacy, looking for inspiration, and it occured to me that the shuffle has a clip (duh). If I could hook something through the clip, it wouldn't be lying flat any more, and THEN I could get it through the opening.

TA took three tries, but I hooked it and pulled it up!

High fives for DramaGirl, who's assistance with the flashlight was essential.

Oh...wait, maybe you came here for some running news? Yes, I ran yesterday with the herd, 6 miles at about an 11:30 pace, but felt pretty good afterward. Today, however, I'm pretty sore, but it's a good sore. It was a really fun run around Elsie's neighborhood, so we ended up there for yummy pancakes and mimosas.

There's a fabulous report complete with pictures on Anne's blog.

Last, shoutouts to everyone who ran this weekend including Irene and her husband Michael who ran the Silver Strand 1/2 Marathon, and Penny who ran a 1/2 in Malibu, and Jess who ran her first 10K after childbirth yesterday!

Have a great week everyone!

Friday, November 13, 2009


When I was in school, one of my professors introduced me to the concept of "mindshare." Her goal was to get more of mine. (What can I say, I was distracted...). It was her justification for what I considered an unholy amount of homework.

To explain the concept, let's just say the grand total of all  ou think equals 100%. A certain percentage of the time you think about your family, your work, your play, running, blogging, etc.

The following pie chart illustrates what I've been thinking about this week.

Yes, thinkin about what and when I will eat and drink next consumes a great deal of my thinking.

Most of my mindshare this evening has been spent trying to figure out how to retrieve my iPod shuffle from a most unfortunate spot.

See that little green corner. That's the shuffle, which has sadly fallen through a ridiculously narrow spot between the stovetop and the cabinet. At least it's not in water...

So, who has some ideas for how to retrieve the sucker. I've tried double-sticky tape on the end of a long stick.

I made the long stick by taping together the cardboard part of three hangers. Go ahead, call me MacGyver.

I also tried a magnet, taped to the end of the wire part of the hangar, until I cleverly realized: 1) the iPod shuffle is NOT magnetic and 2) putting a magnet next to it was probably not such a wise idea.

So, maybe I recsind the MacGyver comment...

I also thought about using the vacuum cleaner, but the space between the stovetop and the cabinet is really narrow and the hose won't fit (That's what she dum dum).

Oh, and it's not my fault that it's down there, other than I left it on the counter.

So, if anyone has any really clever ideas for how to retrieve objects from small spaces, please let me know. Walter has already nixed my drilling holes in the cabinets though.
* In all honesty, I really thought I'd lost the shuffle on the plane last Friday when I flew to Oakland. I just couldn't bring myself to share with you that I'd "lost" another music playing device. I didn't discover it's whereabouts until today, which is why I didn't spend the entire FREEKIN' WEEK trying to figure out how to get it.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Drink Wine and Race

First - We Drink Wine

Saturday, Walter and I invited some friends to a wine tasting that we'd won a couple of months ago through a silent auction at a San Diego River Foundation event.

BTW...I NEVER win things at silent auctions because I always get outbid, but somehow at this auction I won two things. The best part is that we didn't have to travel far because the San Pasqual Winery has a local tasting room. Funny thing is that I've ridden past the tasting room on several occasions as it is located just around the corner from My Bush (which I had to point out to Walter).

Here we are...learning about a garage like atmosphere. No fancy-shmancy stuff...just the wine.

Afterward, we went to dinner at a family style restaurant in Pacific Beach called Mamma Mia. Walter discovered it. To be honest, at first I was a little nervous about the place. I think its always a little risky to suggest a restaurant that you've never eaten at. But we were lucky. This place was wonderful...very authentic italian food, served family style.

Our friends, Ari and Michelle sampling the calamari antipasto.

Two awesome things about the place. First, they let us bring in wine (which we had cleverly purchased at the winery) and since we ordered "family style," we didn't get charged a corkage fee.

To be honest, we're not sure what we were charged for. Here was the check.

Maybe it's Italian math? I love where it says "beverage" and the waiter just wrote "drinks."

Just in case you think we got ripped off, we didn't. There were 10 of us. We had more food than we could eat and we drank wine and we had dessert (Yes JoLynn, I saved room for dessert this time). $302? I think we made out!

Another good thing about the night is that we got home relatively early and I was in bed by 10pm. Which was important because I was up at the butt-crack of dawn to get to the Shelter Island 5K this morning!

Second - We Race

I woke up at about 5am and was pretty surprised that I didn't feel like ass from all the pasta eating and wine drinking from the night before. Hooray for drinking LOTS of water and taking motrin before bed...and also for getting enough sleep.

The plan, which was made after I got home from wine drinking, was to pick up Mik and then to meet Elsie at the race. The Shelter Island 5K is a point to point race, and yes, even though it is only three miles, we decided to leave a car at finish because we are lazy asses who didn't want to walk back to the car after our breakfast.

After finding a perfect parking lot, and some good comedy that involved watching as Elsie, trying to find us, taking a right onto a one way street, then deciding to flip a U turn (soooo wish I'd have recorded it) in front of a whole lot of cars.

Having located each other, we headed to the start. I dropped off Elsie and Mik to pick up our bibs, parked the car a couple of blocks away, and did my "warm up run" on the way to the start.

On my way in, I spotted Glenn from The Running Fat Guy! I knew it was him right away, and he is truly not a fat guy! Like all blog-friend meetups I've had so far, I felt like I was meeting an old friend. We hugged and chatted, then Irene walked up and said hello! As I still had to find Mik and Elsie (and my bib), we agreed to find each other at the end of the race for breakfast!

We did the usual pre-race potty stop (short lines at the porta potties), very little stretching, then finding a place toward the front of the field. Because this run/walk ends at Humphries by the Bay and includes a "real" champagne breakfast, there are plenty of walkers. I don't mind walkers. Hell, I've been a walker. When I run, I just prefer to be in front of them.

Elsie, Mik and I pre-race. Lotsa green.

Of course, as the race horn went off, Elsie and Mik took off. I managed to almost keep pace with Elsie for the first mile or so, but was decidedly behind her.

My race strategy, real honestly, was just to take it easy. I ran three miles yesterday on the 'mill, and I haven't run two days in a row in MONTHS. However, I guess I just have almost no capacity to "take it easy" in a 5K.

Mile 1 - Despite moving to the front of the field, the start of the race was still pretty crazy with a fair amount of bobbing and weaving, but as I was trying to keep pace with Elsie, I knew I was moving pretty quickly, and was more likely to pass people than be passed. The first mile includes a couple of turns onto some side-streets as we headed toward Shelter Island, and I tried as best I could to run the tangents. As we tut the first mile, I pulled my earpiece to hear the time. I don't quite remember what she said, but I know I hear NINE: SOMETHING, SOMETHING. I looked at my Garmin and it read 9:41. So of course, I got all excited that maybe I could come close to setting a PR. (my current 5K PR is 30:18, which I set last year in this very race).

Mile 2 - As we headed into Shelter Island, I started to think about the night before, and remembered to think of Ari, who said, as we opened another bottle of wine, that I'd remember that moment. For the most part, I felt pretty good and started thinking that maybe I wouldn't stop for water. I mean in a three mile race, do I really need hydration (in November?). I think not. Time at 2 miles was 19:25...still under a 10 minute mile, but probably not enough to break 30 minutes...darn that last .10 mile.

Mile 3 - Saw Glenn, then Mik, then Irene as they headed back. I made it around the turnaround, and THIS is when I really started to feel the effects of the night before, or maybe even the effects of running the day before. I wanted to pick up the pace, but just couldn't. Mile 3 pace was 9:57, still under 10 minutes.

Finish - I picked it up through the finish. My Garmin, when I stop it, says 30:31:22. The clock says something like 30:40. I was probably closer to 30:20. I don't think it was a PR, but I'll take it.

Mostly, I wanted to get to BREAKFAST!

Breakfast with Glenn and the herd...well Elsie got breakfast right away. Mik and I had different priorities.

More photos with Irene and her husband Michael. We met a really nice woman named who was from San Francisco and who was our personal photographer for the morning.

So, it was a great morning...meeting a new blog-friend. I think that Glenn is a better people organizer than I am. He made us promise to keep in touch with him because he's organizing a pre-race pasta-fest before Surf City in February. Thanks Glenn. It was great to get to hang out with you!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Notes From Another Trip to O-Town

I spent yet another day in Oakland today..GAH! (there I got THAT out of the way. That was for you GlavEn).

Now, for my SoCal Peeps...there's this...

It's called R A I N (since we haven't seen any of it here for awhile)

And although there's almost never anything really exciting to report after a day spent in a meeting room in O-Town (although, I will admit, in a wonky-education sort of way, I actually do enjoy these meetings that I go to in Oakland once a quarter or so), we are always thankful for the SKY MALL on the flight home. It's always good for some blog-fodder.

So, here's what's for sale this month...

Just in case the Snuggie is the wrong brand for you, there's always the Slanket! (BTW, there were two other blanket with arms type products in THE MALL...I mean, just in case)

They say this is for golfers, but I know LOTS of runners and bikers who reaaaaaaaaaaaaallllllly need a foot tanner.

A Disco Shower....SWEEEEEEET!

The headline says it all..."A fun way to run with the herd." Seriously, what truck doesn't need its own set of antlers? (only 25 bucks...har har har).

I really have no words for this, but while the trailer hitch may have a sense of humor, I think the deer is getting quite a wedgie...

And though it's no Garden certainly is how I tend to feel after flying to and from Oakland in one day...

It's been, yet another, truly horrible week in 1/2 marathon training. I did run (pretty much pain free for three miles) on Wednesday. Will try to get in a longish run tomorrow, and there is, of course, the Shelter Island 5K on Sunday. CAN'T WAIT!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

No Treats, Some Tricks

I vicariously enjoyed Halloween trick or treating through many of your FB pages and blogs yesterday because last night, for the first time in 14 years, I did NOT go trick or treating, nor did I stay at home and eat my body-weight in M&Ms as I distributed other less desirable candy.

Instead Turbo, Walter, and I went to an SDSU Aztec football game. We met up with Betty and her daughter there. Also, BBJ was in attendance as was Teresa.

To be honest, and I know it's the next thing to absolute HERESY to admit this, but Halloween is really not my favorite holiday. I'm not much into dressing up (I figure I don't need a costume to look rediculous, I've always got the Zenza compression socks for that). And while I do like the candy, lord knows I don't need it.

When the kids were little, I did enjoy the whole dressing THEM up part, but DramaGirl, at 14, makes her own Halloween plans now, and until Wednesday, Turbo was still up in the air with his plans, so I was THRILLED when I suggested on Thursday that we go to the Aztec football game instead of trick-or-treating and both Walter and Turbo agreed.

Walter's enthusiastic response to go to a football game over trick or treating didn't really surprise me, but I was somewhat surprised by Turbo's quick agreement (which was aided by the opportunity to invite a friend or two). Although when I thought some more about it, I realized that Turbo was never much into the whole trick-or-treating thing anyway. Even when he was younger, he'd get tired of it after about four houses and start complaining about wanting to go home. Getting him into a costume was a nightmare (there were a few years when he was 3 or 4 when he absolutely REFUSED to wear a costume, and we'd take him door to door in his Batman pajamas.)

Not that, like mama, he doesn't like the candy, but I think he figured out when he was young that we had plenty of candy at home and he could enjoy that without the effort of walking the neighborhood.

That's my boy...

The game was lightly attended...very lightly, maybe about a couple thousand people in the crowd (in a stadium that seats, oh, about 60,000), so we had plenty of room to relax and the boys had plenty of room to run around.

Which was, apparently a problem, for the stadium security, who must have been having a VERY SLOW night due to the lack of drunk college students to round up, and decided that four 11 year old boys, throwing a football around on the concourse were "out of control" and came back to yell at a few of us parents about it.

Seriously? Out of control? You oughta come back tomorrow for the Raiders/Chargers game if you want to see "out of control" (((rolls eyes))).


Turbo (Jason) and friend at the game...see how scary and out of control they are? For some reason he decided to wear a costume to the GAME? I think we was looking for some Face Time on the Jumbotron.

The other good thing about going to a college football game on Halloween night is that there are, of course, random people wearing funny Halloween costumes.

This guy in a green body suit ran laps around the stadium all night. Betty insisted we take a picture for the blog. Is he supposed to BE somebody?

Good times.

Other Weekend Treats - The Saturday Morning Bike Ride

I have absolutely no clever transition, but I did want to write a couple of notes about yesterday morning's bike ride with Betty and Mik.

Mik and I...really sweaty for a cool morning (once we got into the sun, it was MUCH warmer)
  • It is officially fall in SoCal now, which means the mornings are, well, they're brisk. So we are going to have to think about fall/winter bikeriding gear. I'm thinking that full gloves are a must.
  • In order to ride more than 25 miles, we're going to have to stick to north/south routes. We rode again alongside Route 56, from Torrey Pines to Penasquitos and back, and it was less than 25 miles.
  • I think I'm getting better at understanding what gear I should be in and when. I actually moved onto the highest (lowest?) gear when I was going downhill and kept pedaling, which made me feel more stable on the bike even though I was going fast and downhill, which is when I usually just want to hit the breaks. I'm still working on the uphill part.
  • Nothing is more motivating when going up a steep hill than being in clipless pedals and knowing that you're not going fast enough to clip out and remain you stand up on the pedals and keep going (or at least that's what I did yesterday).
  • Stats - Distance: 24.14 miles; Average speed: 12.9 mph; Time: 1:52

  • I never take enough pictures on these rides, especially on the pretty parts.
I have no idea why I took this picture...yes, it's the bike path which runs alongside the freeway...BORING!

No Tricks or Treats - Running this Week

GAH! Not so much. The foot pain seems to continue to eminate from the top of my foot, near the 4th or 5th metatarsal. I don't THINK it's a stress fracture because I can walk fine and even wear heels, although a stress fracture is certainly a possibility, but I try not to think about that. I tried to run on Wednesday morning and stopped almost immediately because it hurt, so I did squats and lunges instead. On Friday, I ran for about 25 minutes, then stopped because it was starting to hurt again.

Good thing- the pool is down to 60 degrees, so I have my after running "ice bath" ready.

All that being said, I consider being able to run for 25 minutes a good sign that it's not a fracture, but is a strain of some sort. I'll stay off of it today and tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be OK to go to the SDTC workout on Tuesday, which is back at an all weather track this week (at the HS where I used to teach, which is in East County and is QUITE convenient).

I still have every intention of running the Shelter Island 5K this coming Sunday. I mean, how can I NOT turn up for a race that ends with a champagne brunch.

In truth, however, I have nowhere near the mileage to run a 1/2 marathon in December, so it may work out that I just get a nice weekend in Vegas w/Walter. Not a bad thing.

Last Treat
Tomorrow is Walter's Birthday, so I've gotta go finish up some B-day plans that I've started but not finished. Happy Birthday Honey!