Monday, January 14, 2013

So long to one of the herd...

We lost a supporting cast member of the Hefferblog this week.

This frequent, if unmentioned, Hefferblog guest never received a pseudonym. We simply called her "The Pilot.

The earliest photo I could find of the Pilot - January 2004
The Pilot has made numerous appearances in this blog. Most of the photos feature it's backside.
Daisy, Lucinda, Mona and I tailgating before a Journey concert October 2011 

Mik, making sure that all the luggage was secure. Getting to the airport to go to Tahoe - January 2010 
In the last few years, the Pilot became the "go to" car for cycling events because we could fit four bikes in the back and still have seating for four people.
From last April's Gran Fondo 
Many of the backside photos of the Pilot, also include Betty's backside since she would usually take over loading duties. This was from the Gran Fondo April 2012
Other appearances featured the inside of the Pilot.
DramaGirl and Millie, our designated drivers in Napa during the Napa to Sonoma 1/2 Marathon - July 2011 
Betty really never liked being in the second row, but was willing to bear it anyway, like for this short ride to the bay - September 2009
Clarence and a couple of bikes - June 2009
But the Pilot did more than cart around heffers and their bikes. The primary purpose of bringing the Pilot into our lives back in 2003 was to cart kids around.
At least 7 of these kids got to Turbo's 8th birthday party at a San Diego Gull's Hockey Game  - February 2006
Ski trip to Mammoth with the cousins - March 2008
Same kids, same trip, two years later - December 2010
Birthday parties - Drama Girl and Friends - September 2009
Turbo - Excited after a day of Skiing at Big Bear - February 2008
DramaGirl and Turbo, on the roof of the Pilot at Snow Valley - January 2009
I don't care if you eat in the car! - November 2012

Certainly, the Pilot has gotten us to early morning races
Walter driving a whole herd, and a few other friends, to the Rock and Roll Marathon - June 2008
And also dropping us off at the Rock and Roll 1/2 Marathon - June 2010
Many have slept in the Pilot
DramaGirl - napping after an unknown event - April 2007
Mik and Alberta, snoozing after Surf City Half  -  February 2010
 And mostly, we (my family, my friends) have had many, many, many adventures in the Pilot
DramaGirl was oh-so-thrilled to wear the cummerbund and be our designated photographer  -  Napa to Sonoma 1/2 Marathon weekend - July 2011 
On our way to see a show DramaGirls, friends, and moms (Ally and AJ I think) -  September 2007
Unloading Skis and Snow (we like to call it Dirt) Valley - January 2009
Parking too close to the Pilot... June 2010
Using the back seat to change into dry clothes after running in the rain - December 2008 
Riding bikes with DramaGirl and Turbo - April 2009 
On the Vegas Strip - April 2009 
Passing time as we drove to the Grand Canyon - July 2010
One of the last heffer-adventures during my 50th b-day celebration. I don't know it but I'll be going to see REO speedwagon at Rincon with the WHOLE HERD!!! August 2012
And of course, I braved teaching Cori how to drive in the Pilot (although we quickly learned that a teenager really doesn't need a car that seats 8 people... June 2011
Recently, the Pilot started having some mechanical problems, with almost 120,000 miles on it, that's not too surprising. The night of REO Speedwagon, we had to call AAA to charge a way-dead battery, about a week ago, our mechanic told us we needed to replace the engine mount. We wondered if the $700-$1000 repairs would start to become more frequent occurrences, so we decided to trade it in on a newer car...maybe one with some more "modern" features.

So, as we cleared out the back of the Pilot, looked under the seats, dug through the nooks and crannies to make sure that we weren't leaving anything of value behind, I admit, I got a little teary. I mean, I was ready to trade it in for a newer model, but still...that darn car held a whole LOT of good memories...
Emptying out the backside - one last time
Walter with our girl. He looks pretty broken up about it, doesn't he?
Note, we took all the last shots from the Pilot's good side, hiding the dented bumper on the driver's side, dented thanks to DramaGirl's new driving experiences....
So long old friend. It was really one good ride!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Happy New Year!

Wow...  Only 22 posts last year. I don't have anything really to say about that other than, I am still hanging onto this blog anyway. I'm not sure why. I guess I am afraid of losing the mojo that came along with starting it. People who have met me in the last five years are surprised to hear me talk about my life before blogging/running. They assume that because I run, ride, workout now, it's always been that way. Nothing, of course, could be further from the truth, so like a baseball player who is reticent to give up his lucky bat for fear of losing the ability to hit a ball, I am unlikely to give up my "lucky blog" for fear of being sloth-like again.

That being said, I was really flattered over the weekend when one of my young cousins, who has started running called me to ask me (the family running expert!) for advise about her shin splints (yeah, if there's something I can give advice about, it's running injuries!)

So, it's January again. Five years ago, I started writing about my adventures with the herd as we embarked upon running our first (and so far only) marathon. To be honest, the last 4 years, I've been pretty much going non-stop. This year, I really slowed it down. A LOT. This past year, I ran in only THREE (3) organized races, but set a PR in two of them (the Carlsbad 1/2 Marathon last January, and the SuperRun 10K in February. Most of the year was somehow dedicated to cycling. Betty, Mik and I rode in four organized rides including the Bike the Coast Century in November. Elsie decided that riding was not for her, and sold her bike. Wilma joined us occasionally.

I'm not sure about this cycling thing. Betty loves riding, but I'm sorta MEH about it, especially the longer distances and especially THE HILLS (hate 'em). It takes a long time to ride a bike 100 miles, and even longer to train for it. I'll continue to ride this year, but I'm not sure I'll do another century for awhile.

That being said, we are looking into again doing the  Senorita Century (the 60 mile course) in March, because I almost NEVER mean it when I say, "I won't do THAT again!"

I've also been working out with a personal trainer since June, which I've rather enjoyed. I certainly enjoy seeing something that resembles arm and/or (gasp) stomach muscles. If I were to have a resolution for the new year, it would be to have some mad ab musclez... and to have calves that are thin enough so that I can wear boots.

I feel like I'm sort of stuck in a place right now where I'm not sure what my next big goal should be. This leaves me feeling a little disconcerted. Since it is January, I have joined the San Diego Track Club's Rockin' and Runnin' program again. Right now, several of us (Betty, Mik, Elsie, and Edith (!!)) are signed up for the San Diego Half Marathon in March, which is the week after the Senorita Century. So March is also looking to be a pretty crazy month.

I keep thinking that maybe I'll run another marathon this year, but we'll see. I am pretty sure I won't be able to convince anyone other than BBJ to run it with me.

I also think about blogging regularly again. My biggest regret for 2012 is that I didn't blog enough. Instead, I put together an end of year slide show for the herd. It's long (about 12 minutes), but it definitely highlights some of the adventures this past year. I'm not sure if the audio will work... if you want the original slide show, click on this link to my dropbox account public folder. (It may take awhile to's a huge file!)