Thursday, March 19, 2015

Birthday Blog

I love Birthdays! And not just my own, but I am particularly fond of my own. You should be too! Well, not of mine, but yours. Anyway, I currently celebrated yet another birthday. It is amazing to me to think that I have made it this far. More so, that I am the age that I am.

Monterey getaway, had to stop at the Aquarium of course!
Selfies at the shore!
Hiking at Point Lobos!
Favorite German Restaurant - Stammtisch in Seaside.
So fast. Too fast it all went, but that is how it goes, right? This year, birthday celebrating did not disappoint! Thank you everyone for all your birthday wishes! Ever notice that the official birthday song is a very monotone sound? Is that because we are just plain sick of singing the Birthday song, or it naturally just a downer type song. Perhaps it is time to update the Birthday Song...Thoughts?

Birthday Beers back in my own stomping grounds!

Celebrating dual b'days with my mom wouldn't be complete without an ooey gooey Chocolate Cake!
In other news, I spent another year cheering and spectating at the Way Too Cool 50k race. Like years past, it was a great day! Congrats to all the runners and all the PR's to be had! 
PRs all around!
Penny the Pup Cheering on the runners

Monte too!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

Owls on the Run

I participated in the Getty Owl 5k race in Sacramento on Sunday, February 22. 

The race supports SMA that stands for Spinal Muscular Atrophy and is an inherited disease that causes progressive muscle degeneration and weakness. 
The course started and finished at Crocker Park that is right across the street from the Crocker Art Museum.
I used this race as a time trial to see my improvements from the track workouts I have been doing the past couple of months. The course was relatively flat with a couple of tiny hill climbs. I can't say that I felt a 100 percent going into this race, but I wasn't completely craptastic either. A good in between, I would say. 
I was hoping to average a 23 minute finish at this race. This by no means is a 5k PR for me, but I am slowly trying to get back my 5k groove. Hence all the intense track workouts I have been putting in. Much to my disappointment, I crossed the finish line in 24:43, four seconds faster than the Folsom Christmas Carol 5k I had ran back in December. That course held more steep climbs to boot. I will take that three seconds faster, I was just hoping for more. Perhaps it just wasn't my day. I did finish 11th female overall and took home a 2nd place Age Place win. Despite the disappointment of my performance, I had a really fun time at this well organized race.
Shiny medal making me squint.
After the race, my friend Jessica and I went for brunch at the Fox and Goose and then enjoyed the Crocker Art Museum. A fun day in Sacramento indeed!
Dressing up fun at the Crocker -- Toulouse Lautrec Installation

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Running Parade

Last weekend, UMM and I headed out to the Sausalito area for a run weekend!

Our first stop was running the ninja loop with friends. This is the second year we’ve met up with friends through the SFM ambassador program. Perhaps this might turn into a tradition. The forecast called for pouring rain, but really, we only got rained on for exactly one minute. It was a heavy rain, but I welcomed it as it was unusually humid that day and of course, I had dressed for the rain and the cold so I was quite hot.
Kevin, UMM, Penny the Pup, Meg, Paulette, Kristin, & Matt
It was so wonderful to see everyone and awesome to be out on the trails. Some of us did the full ninja loop, while myself, UMM, Paulette, and Kevin took a shorter route. And by shorter, I mean by a mile? We thought we had shorted the loop by three miles, but perhaps we took a wrong turn somewhere. No worries as we were all able to regroup at the parking lot all just the same.

I don't know what we are doing, but why aren't we enjoying the gorgeous view at this very moment?
Family picture!
Photo credit by the lovely Paulette

Love this picture taken by Matt G.
Beautiful Humid Day!
We then parted ways, where the five of us - Paulette, Kevin, UMM, myself, and Penny the Pup headed to the Marin brewing Company. The beer was delicious, the food satisfactory, but you can’t beat the wonderful company!

Penny the Pup making friends at the brewery.
On Sunday, UMM and I awoke to the sound of rain. We dressed in our race/rain gear and headed out to the Coastal Trails Golden Gate Trail Race. UMM was going to race the marathon, and I was running the 5 miler. I had UMM’s oversized rain jacket on and the hood covered much of my face. I resembled Kenny from South Park. I was bummed to learn after the fact that so many of my friends from the Bay Area were also running in the race. With my head kept down looking at my feet most of the time and everyone in rain gear, I did not recognize a single person. Oh well. Glad to hear through social media channels that they all had wonderful races!

I wasn’t very motivated to run in the race, but being that UMM was running the marathon, I told myself, I could always wait in the car and think about what a loser I was, or just run the bloody five miler and enjoy it for what it is. And that is what I did...Did you honestly think I would just sit in the car? Shame on you! UMM’s race started 15 minutes before mine. I watched him run in the distance for quite some time. Just running up and up and up. I wondered if that would be me, hoping not, but discovering that sure enough, up and up and up I went. I walked quite a bit of that continuous climb that brought me to a series of stairs that led me to rocky climbs. Finally, I reached the downhill part and was in heavenly bliss. The views were outstanding and had I had my phone with me, I would have captured some beautiful pictures. Instead, I flew down the hill. I love running downhill, got into a groove, only to discover that my shoe was untied. I stopped to tie it, but the laces were sopping wet just like my gloves that I was wearing. I knew that if I removed the gloves, I would never be able to put them back on. Wanting to get my groove back on the downhill, I quickly tied my shoe in a half ass manner and continued down again. Flying I was again down the hill, my other shoe soon became untied. And this continued to happen for at least a dozen more times. I finally just threw off my gloves and tied those buggers properly. In hindsight, I should have tied them properly to begin with, but you know, I just love tying my shoes over and over again! Best thing ever! For the rest of the race, I carried my wet, heavy gloves and crossed the finish line. I was happy to be done.

UMM apparently had a great race! He loved running in the rain and high winds. He placed 4th overall and 1st in his age group even despite missing a turn and having to backtrack 15 minutes!

The rain certainly did not rain on our running parade! It was indeed a fun run weekend!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Trails, Butterflies and a Wedding!

Last weekend we headed out to San Luis Obispo for a bit of wedding madness. My oldest, nearest, and dearest friend was getting hitched at the Madonna Inn. We had the pup with us so we ended up staying at the oh so fancy, Vagabound Inn that was located right next door! We left for SLO Thursday evening right after work. It was a long five hour drive, but I am glad we decided to leave Thursday night as we had Friday to play around before the rehearsal dinner. And play we did!

My BFF from 3rd Grade. That is a long time to know someone!
We woke up Friday morning and took the Madonna Bike Trail that was located just steps away from our doorstep to an open preserve that held Madonna Mountain. The climbs were steep. The trail, while rocky at times, was manageable with stunning views, and amazing fair temps weather, it was a real treat! UMM had such a great time, that he went back the next morning to explore more of the trails with Penny the Pup. I would have liked to have gone too, but I had errands to do before the wedding that started at noon.

Scenes from the trail.

Selfie from the trail.

I did enjoy my run on Friday though! After which, we hung out at Pismo Beach and visited the Butterfly Sanctuary, where the Monarch Butterflies were in full effect. It was a fun wedding weekend.

Pismo Beach.

Butterflies closeup through the scope.

Butterflies far away.

I just love the central coast area! I can’t wait to go back and visit again, hopefully sometime soon!

A few wedding pictures.

Blurry pic, but UMM caught the garter. Oh, the irony!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Holiday Running Cheer

Excited to announce that I have been included as part of the nuunbassador team for 2015. I love nuun and am thrilled to be promoting a product that I am passionate about. And thanks to nuun, I have already connected to wonderful community of runners and endurance athletes who I had not engaged with before. I love connecting with like minded people! I had many friends who also were chosen to be apart of Team Nuun. This is a tad different than the ambassador program, but our commitment to such a fabulous product remains the same and of course, consider them part of the extended nuun family. Congrats to everyone who is apart of the nuun community! It is going to be a fantastic year! 
The FTR's, otherwise known as the Folsom Trail Runners organized a Christmas Lights Run. Starting at the Fat Rabbit, we head out to a popular, over the top decorated neighborhood in Orangeville or Fair Oaks area. I am not certain which. It was a great time, and oh my goodness these people go crazy on the lights. One house transferred the whole garage into a crazy display. It was amazing and a bit much. So cool to see all just the same! No perfect group run is complete without ending the evening with the perfect beer. I enjoyed a Delirium Tremens Noel. YUMMY!
So good to see fellow SFM Ambassador Laura!
I participated in the 1st annual Christmas Carol Classic race in Folsom. I ran the 5k along with my friend Jen, while Janelle and UMM ran the 10k. I had a super fun time racing the 5k. I just so happened to finish in 24:43. 9th Overall, 2nd Female, and 1st in my AG. The field was small yes, but I will still take my winnings all just the same! In fact, we were all winners! Jen came in right behind me at 10th overall, 3rd female and 1st in her AG. Janelle placed 3rd Female in the 10k and UMM. Well, he did place 2nd in his age group, but he would have won the bloody race if a volunteer had not told him to take an extra turn thinking he was a 5k runner. UMM ended up running an extra mile right before the end, but he still managed to place in the top 10. He was bummed, but understood that it was his responsibility to know the course and anything can happen when you are racing. He is the true winner in my eyes!
Janelle, myself and Jen
UMM and I coordinated our outfits!
Hi-five moment caught!
Caption this?

All smiles!
And with that, I wish everyone of you a wonderfully beautiful holiday. We will be spending the holiday in Santa Cruz. What are your plans for the most wonderful time of the year?