Thursday, September 27, 2007

Singing in the Rain!

Water came from the sky!

If you live somewhere that it rains, then the concept of a little shower isn't a big deal. After a year in San Diego, rain is a surprise to me. When I moved here, I didn't notice the absence of precipitation. Of course, not noticing the lack of rain is why my front yard looks like the valley of death. It didn't occur to me to water the lawn.

Last week's training was kind of a bummer because for the first time in 10 months it rained during a training session. It was drizzling when we got there and I refused to get out of the car. Then it slowed to a mist and I was willing to get moving. Steve tried to convince me that it was good training for Dublin because it is likely enough to rain during the marathon. I gave him the stinkeye for even suggesting it.

About 5 miles into the training distance, the skies opened up and it rained. It rained sort of hard for a 5 whole minutes.

During that 5 minute mini-cloudburst, I had one of those surreal this-is-Southern-California moments. We walked by a TV news crew doing a live broadcast about the rain. The broadcaster was dressed in full storm-gear regalia. Imagine what the guys on the Weather Channel wear when they broadcast from a hurricane. That's how this broadcaster was dressed. Of course, the guy holding the camera was wearing the same sort of thing I was wearing: shorts, tee-shirt, and sneakers.

I now live somewhere where a rain shower is news.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

You Say It's Your Birthday

Someone in this photo turns 40 today. (It's not me!!!! But it will be soon enough.)

Happy B-day Blyss! Here's hoping that your forties are filled will good times and good friends.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Scotland Revisited

Gosh, beautiful.This post is just for my traveling compadres. Whenever I think of the Scotland trip, I think of how Carla once described it: "The perfect mix of people, places and personalities. I wouldn't change a thing. It's too bad we could never duplicate it." She's right. That trip was an absolute gift. Roger, Carla, Leia, Ru, me, John

It's hard to believe how different all our lives are from three years ago when we took that trip. There have been so many good things - 6 marriages, 1 baby one the way, at least 10 job changes, 3 major moves. Sadly there was also the passing of our fabulous host, tour guide and raconteur - Ru's father.

I'm going to steal a little bandwidth from Larry's server and link inCupping my bum, and biting something else!  No wonder his dad is hiding. a few pics. He'll forgive me. (I hope!)

The first photo is practically a postcard photo that Roger took of Dunnottar Castle outside Abedeen.

The second photo is a bunch of us at Dunnottar.

The third photo is all of us in a pub in Oban. Ru's mom is in the shot, but his dad is sort of hidden. And is Ru cupping my bum? IRoger, Ru, Me and John don't remember that!

Photo 4 is one Larry took of me and the other boys.

The fifth photo is one of Carla and I. I love this photo so much. I had that photo posted next to my desk in my office for a long time.

The last photo is one we asked a stranger to snap for us. It was our last night in London, just before we hopped on the London Eye. If you look closely you can see that I'm wearing the crazy sandals that Tina and I bought in London. I'm still wearing mine, Tina!
my evil twin and I
It was a great trip. I miss you guys.

P.S. To my Scotland Trip Compadres: There are planes that fly from where y'all are to San Diego. Come visit me!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Amazing Suitcase

Last night Steve and I were talking about which suitcases to take with us Ireland. I am a devotee of the carry-on bag. It doesn't matter how long the trip is, I only take my carry-on suitcase. Checked baggage seems to get lost and I hate waiting for bags when my flight lands. More importantly, I don't like to have to ask for help with my suitcases. Too many bags makes shuffling through the airport difficult.

Steve asked if I could really squeeze two weeks worth of clothing into a tiny bag. Everyone who went on the Scotland trip is laughing and laughing. That trip was longer than two weeks and I squeezed everything into my carry-on. My companions joked that the bag had some sort of compression function, because it seemed an endless amount of items could come out of that bag.

With all that stuff meticulously compacted into that bag, it was ridiculously heavy. I'm very strong and I would have had a hard time heaving it into the overhead bin. Luckily, on every leg of the journey some poor, sweet man would generously offer to lift it for me.

The conversation always went like this:
Sweet Man: Let me put that in the overhead bin for you.
Me: Oh, I couldn't ask you to do that. It's so heavy.
Sweet Man: Puffs Chest w/ Machismo Oh, then you should definitely let me do that for you.
Me: Taking a seat and getting comfortable Gee thanks, I appreciate it.

Then the poor, sweet man would practically give himself a hernia trying to heave that thing into the bin. This was always to snickering amusement of my traveling companions. And I was truly thankful. I could have lifted it, but I was grateful that I didn't have to do so.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


Last week was sort of dud for workouts. I didn't do much of anything. The weight training I did do tweaked my IT band. Again. Will that thing ever heal completely?

Yesterday was a recovery training session, so it was short: 12 miles. I had a great day and a good steady training partner got off to a rougher start, but rebounded. Actually, my times weren't too bad considering I was nursing my IT band a bit. The only times I was over 14:30 were on my warm-up and cool-down.








































Monday, September 10, 2007

We're Going to Ireland

After much hand-wringing, calendar flipping, and a few calls to American Airlines our airplane tickets to Ireland are booked. We are one step closer to the Dublin Marathon.

Task Completion: 100%

Saturday, September 08, 2007

All Aboard!

Today's training session was the train walk - we get on the Amtrak train in Solana Beach and ride to Oceanside. Then we walk the 18 miles back to our cars.

Last season, I found the train walk to be a real challenge. I was good for the first 14 miles, but then I was very tired. Today I had plenty of pep at the end. In fact, my fastest mile of the day was mile 18. That's good yo'.

Also, several times today we passed people from the run team. When a walker passes a runner, it's a pretty good feeling. It's not competitive as much as gratifying. Running is obviously faster, so when you pass the runners you know you're working some excellent walking form. Today we passed runners several times. It was especially sweet when Laurie reminded me that the runners were doing a 16 mile course.

We walked 18 miles faster than runners ran 16 miles. That feels good!

1 16:08 267
2 15:09 236
3 14:36 211
4 14:59 214
5 15:03 232
6 14:37 193
7 14:22 186
8 15:21 319
9 15:26 313
10 14:58 192
11 15:00 185
12 15:16 241
13 15:23 206
14 15:40 223
15 15:02 303
16 13:16 249
17 14:24 242
18 13:12 260

Friday, September 07, 2007

Road Trip Diary

Really, we just wanted to eat breakfast at Cracker Barrel and get a drink at the Sonic Drive-In.

Yuma, Arizona is the closest place with Sonic and a Cracker Barrel, so Jen, Debbie and I packed into the car and drove East. Of course, we picked the hottest weekend of the summer to drive to the desert - we're crazy like that. A few side trips en route made for a fun 2 days.

Here are the high points -

Went to my first Pow Wow. Apparently, it's Pow Wow season in Southern California. I'd like to go to another one when I have a bit more knowledge of what's happening.

Ate (and ate and ate) at Cracker Barrel.

Went to the Center of the World in Felicity, California. It was closed. I don't understand either

Finally made it to my beloved Sonic Drive-In. Ordered a Route 44 sized (44 ounce) Sonic-Diet-Cherry-Limeade-with-Diet-Cherry-Syrup-and-extra-cherries. Also ordered a Route 44 sized cup of the fabulous Sonic crushed ice. Oh Sweet Sonic - I've missed you since I moved to San Diego. I was crushed to discover that I did not receive a Sonic-Diet-Cherry-Limeade-with-Diet-Cherry-Syrup-and-extra-cherries. It was some mystery drink. Then I accidentally spilled the entire a Route 44 sized mystery drink on Debbie. Returned to hotel to clean up Debbie and the car. Returned to Sonic to get correct drink. Entered state of bliss while finally drinking Route 44 sized Sonic-Diet-Cherry-Limeade-with-Diet-Cherry-Syrup-and-extra-cherries.

We ran out of gas while trying to reach the Desert Tower on In-Ko-Pah Road in Jacumba, California. Called tow truck and sat down to wait. That's when I realized that my bladder is not Route 44 sized. I propose changing the name of In-Ko-Pah Road to In-No-Potty Road. Proceeded to beg a stranger for use of a bathroom. A Giant Lizard ran across my feet while I was "indisposed." The Horror!

We decide to forget about visiting the Desert Tower; proceeded directly to famed Wisteria Candy Cottage. Decide the candy isn't actually all that great. We ate it anyway.

Wrapped up trip at Mount Helix. Looked out from the mountaintop at my beautiful San Diego.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My Shins Are Freaky

On Saturday I bought new sneakers. I went to San Diego Running Institute, got measured and fitted - the whole nine yards. On Tuesday, I took my new kicks out for a spin. For the first time ever, I had intense pain in my shins. Not shin splint pain, muscle freak out pain. Just walking was fine, but as soon as I tried to get some speed going, Bam! Pain! We were doing intervals on Tuesday and I was a good 10-20 seconds slower on every interval than Steve and Peggy. (Truth be told, Peggy could have smoked us both if she'd wanted to do so.)

Tonight I took the new sneakers out for a second try. It's essential that the shoes I'm wearing this Saturday are perfect since it'll be a 18 mile session. Tonight I walked with Erica and we were flying along - no official intervals but with blasts of effort at a 10 minute mile pace. For walking that's pretty darn fast.

Guess what, no pain in the shins at all but a tiny bit of soreness in my arch. I can't decide if I should use the new shoes Saturday or not. If I don't break in the new shoes on Saturday, all I have left in one 20 mile session before the marathons. I don't want to relive the sneaker agony of my first marathon when I tried to change shoes too late in my training.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

This Just In: Fat Tastes Good

For the last two weeks, I've been making some really bad food choices. Thankfully, I'm back on track this week. Then tonight I got an urge for a taste of my childhood, rice pudding. Real rice pudding - not the horrible slop you get at buffets - was one of my favorite foods as a child. I can remember my Nana making it for me. I would sit next to the stove and watch the pot and wait for pudding.

The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. I made a batch of rice pudding for dinner.
By tinkering with a recipe, I converted it to a healthier option that was still yummy. Brown rice, egg, low fat milk, vanilla, cinnamon and Splenda. It was very tasty and creamy. Of course, it wasn't as good as my Nana's. It's hard to duplicate the taste of cream, butter, and brown sugar with healthier ingredients. Knowing my Nana she probably added some sweetened condensed milk too.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Road Trip!

Just got home. Body is tired. Belly is full. Brain is amused. A successful journey by all definitions. Photos to follow.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

It's Not the Heat

Coach Peggy wisely cut yesterday's workout short due to the brutal humidity and heat. Well, it's brutal for San Diego, but a real nice day if you live in Houston or New Orleans.

We got to Ocean Beach expecting a 13 miler, but instead she shortened it to 12. You know you've been marathon training when someone says 12 miles and you think, "That's nothing; it's not even worth getting out of bed."

It was a decent workout and we had a reasonably good pace. A little frustrating to have another short workout, but it was the right thing to do.

Yesterday, we saw several non-TNT people out running with no water, no electrolytes, no salt, nothing. It was hot and sweaty and people were obviously struggling. One thing that always impresses me about Team in Training is that we have very, very few injuries. I haven't really seen one in the last year. Part of the reason for that is the coaches are conservative and make sure participants are working out safely.