Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Haiku

This fresh brand-new year,
I will learn to use my wings.
Watch out -- here I come!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Sports Chalet sale!

If anyone lives near a Sports Chalet, they have all Go Fit products (including kettlebells) on sale for 25% off the normal price. So if you're looking to pick up a kettlebell, now may be the most cost-effective time to do it!

Monday, December 29, 2008


Big thank yous to everyone who provided wonderful suggestions for my dinnertime dilemmas. I'll comment more specifically when I have time, but for now know that your wisdom is appreciated, and as a result, here was tonight's dinner:

Jerk Chicken (pre-marinated from Nugget Market, Tim and Austin ate this)
Steamed broccoli (everyone ate this)
Tater Tots (the kids and I ate these)
Salad (Tim and I ate this)

Believe it or not, my family LOVES Brussels sprouts (Austin's just ok with them), so it wasn't quite as much of a setup for disaster as it might have seemed for me to cook them. And the dinner recipe wasn't chosen to impress. It actually didn't take that long to make and I chose it because it looked like it had a lot of flavor, it was reasonably healthy, and it seemed like something my family would like. (I used to make a honey and curry chicken dish that everyone loved until I made it too much and they OD'd on it.)

I'm considering starting a different blog to record dinners -- what works, what doesn't, and what I learn. If I go this route, I'll let you know in case you want to play along!

Last night ended with us watching a scary movie, and Tucker unable to sleep. So I spent most of the night on the floor of his room and then I was unable to sleep. So I'm heading off to bed now.

Kettlebells with Tracy

Tracy Reifkind is teaching kettlebell swing classes in Palo Alto in January. I took her class in Healdsburg in September and it was wonderful! Here's a video from the Healdsburg class. I'm in the pink t-shirt and black shorts. There are more videos on Tracy's website.

If you've ever wanted to learn to swing a kettlebell, get yourself to Palo Alto to learn from one of the best.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The problem with dinner?

(Warning -- this is a free-form stream of consciousness post, and since it's from my point of view, may not be very fair to everyone involved. But it's what's going on for me...)

The ultimate problem may be that I'm asking for too much. What I want is for everyone to like and eat what I cook. I'll even settle for 3 out of 4. But it rarely goes that way.

Tonight I tried a new recipe: Curried Chicken Flatbread with Chutney and Yogurt Drizzle. Sounds good, right? I also made some roasted brussels sprouts with apples and walnuts (another new recipe). So I started on the veggies, mixing up the dressing (olive oil, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt), trimming the brussels sprouts, prepping the apples (thick slices) and chopping the walnuts. Mixed all and put into the oven.

Now onto the flatbread. There was an option to make your own dough, but I opted for a thin-crust Boboli. Started cooking the chicken (seasoned with garlic and pepper). Made the sauce (chutney, rice vinegar, curry powder). Chopped the veggies (scallions and jalapenos) for garnish. Once that was in the oven, started cleaning the kitchen.

Tucker comes downstairs with his hand covering his nose. The smell is making him nauseated. This irritates Tim (who knows how frustrating dinners are for me), but I don't take it personally. I start scrambling some eggs. Then grab the veggies out of the oven. We sit and eat.

Tim and Austin LOVE the flatbread. Apparently the flavor is wonderful, and the yogurt, scallions, and jalapenos that top it perfectly offset the rest of the dish. Veggies are another story. Recipe called for putting whole brussels sprouts into 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. I should have known that wasn't long enough, but it was written down so it has to be right, right? So brussels sprouts were undercooked. Apples and walnuts tasted good, and I'll try that recipe again, halving the sprouts and cooking a little longer.

The big problem here is the takeaway. I feel discouraged after yet another failed dinner. And I'm hungry, as I didn't even cook something I could really eat. And I'm lonely because I was all by myself during dinner prep. (Tim offered to help, but I just couldn't bring myself to ask him. In retrospect, it would have been a nice way for us to spend time together.)

I feel like no matter what I try, I can't get it right. If I cook anything with beef, Tim doesn't like it, as he's kind of done with beef. When I do "normal" foods -- straightforward basic flavors -- the kids don't really care for them. Actually, it feels like Tucker doesn't care for much of anything these days, and maybe that's something I need to remember, as the truth is that 66% of the people who COULD eat the dinner LOVED the dinner. And the loneliness is my own fault. So maybe I've come to my own answer here. The good news is that as discouraging as this whole dinnertime thing is, and as much as I'm tempted to just grab a box of cereal and some soy milk, and say "So what are y'all havin' tonight?", I'm still in there trying. And that has to count for something, right?

My new vibrator!

I got a Clarisonic, but I love calling it my "face vibrator" which is proof positive that my inner 12-year-old is alive and well.

In 12 days I will be 48 years old, and I'm still working on the habit of washing my face, morning and night. Somehow having a toy to play with is helping, and for the past few days I've been faithfully vibrating (washing) my face twice a day. It helps that it feels nice. And I think I'm noticing an difference in my skin, which is a welcome thing at any age, but especially as I edge closer to 50.

Need more to read?

Fit Bottomed Girls posted some fit links, including a great list of health and wellness blogs that I'm dying to check out. Yeah, like I need MORE time at the computer, right??? Also worth a look are the Nike ad link and the People Jam link.

I'm recovering from a quick, violent case of stomach flu. Friday night was yucky. Saturday was somewhat better, but I went to bed at 8:30 last night and didn't get up till 6:30 this morning. Today I've eaten some oatmeal which feels good, so that's a step in the right direction. If I keep feeling good, I'm going to do a slow 12 mile run, reserving the option to cut it short if running feels bad.

That's all the news from here for the moment. Have a wonderful day, friends!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Did it!

So I did the 12 days of Christmas workout. It was tougher than I expected. It started out just fine. Quads were tired during squats, but all was great until I got to pushups. Even though I did them at an incline (to a weight bench) I had to break them up. Same with pull ups and box jumps (and I only used a 16" box!). By the time I finished those 3 exercises, it was getting very tough. Did renegade rows with 12.5 pound dumbbells. Had to break up knees to elbows into 10, 10, and 10. Did thrusters with the 12.5s, and the burpees were a joke -- almost like a dream where you're trying to run, but it's like running through honey? Yeah, that was me. But it's done. Next time I'll be trying for straight sets of each exercise.

12 Days of Christmas workout

I found this on CrossFit Fuel, and think it's going to be my workout today:

120 sec of Jump Rope
110 Lunges (each rep counts)
100 Squats
90 Sit-ups
80 Mt. Climbers
70 Push-ups
60 Jumping Pull-ups
50 Box Jumps
40 Renegade Rows 10lb DB
30 Knee to Elbows
20 Thrusters
10 Burpees

Wish me luck...

Thursday, December 25, 2008


Laurie posted this quote from Kristen Armstrong's Runner's World blog regarding this wonderful season.

And here we are, a week away from Christmas, days away from Hannukah,and the pace of the season threatens to outpace us. I came to the conclusion that a great way to honor Erin, to honor each other, to honor ourselves and to honor the intended spririt of the holiday season is to give ourselves Grace. The grace to listen to our bodies when we are tired. To enjoy an extra cookie, or three. To huddle up in cold weather and snuggle our children instead of begrudging our lost workout. To take time to savor the chaos and the onslaught of relatives, knowing that soon enough things will settle back to normal and the only thing that will stand out is the reflection of how we spent our time. To hug our grandparents and listen to their stories. To let the kids wrap the gifts, decorate the cookies, sign the cards, and string the lights without our 'help.' To stretch out with a good book. To leave dirty dishes in the sink and linger at the table. To sleep in or stay up late. To include someone who feels blue this time of year. To allow our greatest gift to be our presence, in the moment and in our hearts.

Love well. Our time is now.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

3:00 pm

Just back from a 9 mile run. Julianne called me hardcore for running in this weather, but I really don't think of it like that. Here's my thinking. I have the time to do the run. I always feel better after running. And with the right layers, and a cap and a pony, running in the rain is actually a good thing.

I set out not knowing how many miles I wanted to go, but I figured on going at least 4 miles. At 5, I felt good and was just happy to be outside and running. At 8 I wasn't quite home, and figured I would finish at 9. This means that if I do a quick 3 mile run tomorrow, I'll have 1500 miles for the year, and that seems like a good thing to have happen on Christmas day, right?

Ok, time to get cleaned up and back to cooking. Tim called and both Austin and Tucker agreed that this was the best snowboarding day of their entire lives. I couldn't be happier for them!

1:15 pm

Presents are all wrapped. Stockings are filled and hidden. Nearly all the cooking and baking is done. So what's a girl to do? Go out on a lovely lovely run. It's started raining again, but with a hat and layers, rain is delightful to run in. So off I go...

Now I REALLY wish I was snowboarding!

This is the view from the chairlift. Look at all that amazing powdery snow!!!

My poetry...

...was mentioned on Cranky Fitness! I didn't win the Vita Mix (which is only fair, as I already own one), but it was fun to play.

9:30 am

The house smells amazing! The pumpkin cake is done. The tortellini soup just needs to simmer for 10 more minutes, and then it will chill (literally) till tomorrow when I'll add the tortellini and zucchini right before serving. Next up is the lasagna prep, so I'll cook the veggies (carrots, zucchini and onions) and make the sauces, but I'll assemble the lasagna tomorrow.

Here's a picture Tim took on the way up to Tahoe. Thank goodness for 4 wheel drive!

He texted me a while ago saying that there's nobody on the slopes. They may have their best day of snowboarding ever!

Getting stuff done

The fam left for Tahoe an hour ago without me. :( But it was my decision. There is no way I could in good conscience go snowboarding when tomorrow is Christmas and I'm in charge of Christmas dinner. I'm a little sad, but mostly I'm relieved, as this gives me a whole uninterrupted day to get all my Christmas ducks (geese?) all in a row. So be warned -- this could be a day of much stream-of-consciousness writing.

Lasagna noodles are cooked. Cake's about to go in the oven. Next up, tortellini soup. Also on today's agenda is a lovely lovely run!

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Last Man Standing, the race report

One thing I now know is this: if your travels take you anywhere near a mall at this time of year, you should allow for some extra driving time. On Sunday I went straight from my son's water polo game to register for and run in The Last Man Standing run, a celebration for local runner Paul Kamerer's birthday.

The race shirt.

Race start time was 1:00. I cruised in at 12:55, scribbled my reg form and tossed some money along with it, then started running in the direction of the starting line, which was quite a ways away. Fortunately, they started the race a little late, but I was still on the wrong side of levee as I heard "On your marks, get set, GO!" and the race started. I wanted to scream "Wait for meeeee!" but that would have taken valuable oxygen!

So I crossed the start line a bit after the official start, but that was fine. Along the way I met the birthday boy, who was escorted by a younger woman running on either side of him. Many people were wearing party hats. There was all ages present, from high school cross country runners, to kids with their parents, to runners in their 60s, 70s, and 80s (that's my best guess on the ages).

I finished the race, and then joined two guys who were cheering people on. We chatted about marathons and ultras (one guy assured me that an ultra is WAY easier than a marathon, because you don't run the entire time -- good food for thought for sure!). After a while, they decided to go in (it was cold and raining), but I wanted to go back and see how Paul was doing. I wasn't the only one with that thought, and there was a group of maybe 30 or more runners all running behind Paul. As he approached the finish line, he sped up and we all cheered as he finished!

Me and Paul (he's wearing my gift to him -- a Zombie Runner hat).

You can read more about Paul and Pinkhouse Gym here. Paul's actual birthday is December 26th. He will be NINETY YEARS YOUNG! Isn't he what everyone wants to be when they grow up???

My new favorite circuit

In a CrossFit-ish manner, i did this today:

7 rounds for time (took 17:30)
5 pullups (resistance band assisted)
10 incline pushups
15 deadlifts (60 lb barbell)
20 stability ball crunches
25 kettlebell swings (12 kg kb)

I also walked for 45 minutes passing out flyers about Bayside's Christmas services. It's sunny and chilly today -- perfect!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Christmas at Bayside

Here's a video from last year's Christmas service at our church. I hope the song translates on the computer -- experiencing this live is truly amazing!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

More goal thoughts

It's Saturday night and I'm bored. Tim and the kids went snowboarding today, and although I wanted to go too, there was too much to do with Christmas just around the corner. So I shopped and wrapped and did laundry and straightened up. I did take a few minutes to do this workout:

5 rounds of
5 pullups (with elastic band for assistance)
10 pushups
15 dead lifts (60 pounds)
20 stability ball crunches

But other than that, it was a day of rest. Seriously, it took like 13 minutes to bang those circuits out.

So while folding laundry I was thinking more about goals for the upcoming year. In the back of my mind, I've been thinking about doing a 50 mile race in April. But it just occurred to me that if I do that, it will mess up my running afterwards. And I'm not sure I want to do that. Honestly, I think I could do a 50 mile race. It wouldn't be easy and it wouldn't be pretty, but I really believe I could do it. I just don't know if I'm willing to pay the price of the aftermath.

Where does that leave me? One of my goals will be 1000 miles for the year, because that really works for me. But beyond that, I just don't know. I like CrossFit. I like P90X. But am I committed to doing a full P90X rotation, or a certain number of days per week of CrossFit? I love kettlebells, and I'd LOVE to get an Art of Strength certification. But as a goal? I don't know.

Honestly, I'm not in the right frame of mind to seriously decide on goals for next year. But that's what's swirling around in my head at the moment.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Goals work

I think it was February when I set my running goals for the year. I'd been tracking my miles, but with no clear idea of what I was shooting for. So at that time, I decided I wanted to do 1000 miles for the year (which I did 10 years ago when I was 37) and run a half-dozen half marathons.

These goals have worked to pull me forward and keep me on track even when I didn't feel like getting out the door. And guess what? I ran 5 half marathons and my first full marathon, and I'm just 35 miles away from hitting not 1000 but 1500 miles!!! (My last two weeks of working out, plus my yearly totals for running are on the sidebar in case you're interested.)

The thing is that whatever goal you choose has to move you towards what you want. In my case, I like that I feel athletic when I'm in half marathon shape, hence the 6 half marathons. And it just seemed fun to try to repeat what I'd done a decade earlier.

And thank goodness I run as much as I do. True confession: I bought some frosting yesterday for some Christmas cookies. Today it's gone. Yep, 1820 calories of pure sugar and trans fat (I guess they figure if you're buying frosting, you can't possibly care about the crap they put in it). The good news is that I enjoyed every single spoonful!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Comment appreciation

Ok, so about a month ago I said I'd reply to comments IN the comments. That hasn't happened. Well, it happened for a few weeks, and then -- life got in the way.

So once again I'm trying to make my actions match my words.

"Back To Running" -- all comments present and accounted for!
"Acceptance? Maybe..." -- all comments present and accounted for!
"Hi" -- all comments responded to!
"I (heart) my rope!" -- all comments responded to!

Again, thanks to everyone who takes even a moment out of your day to read something I've written, and hugs to all who go beyond that to comment. It's great to know that we're not alone, isn't it?

Back to running!

Yesterday was my first "real" run post marathon. I did 5 miles and did it technology-free, so no iPod and no Garmin. It was nice to just go out and run what felt good. And now that my underarm chafing is gone (thank goodness!) and my legs are feeling rested, running felt great.

Several people told me that after running a marathon I'd be hooked and would immediately want to sign up for another one. That's not happened yet. I'm thrilled to be a REAL MARATHON RUNNER, and I still can't believe I qualified for Boston. But I'm not feeling the need to sign up for another race at this point. I'm enjoying the freedom of doing other things -- P90X, playing with my new rope, doing Art of Strength DVDs -- and I think it's ok to be a little more free form for now. I will still be running, as I really want to hit 1500 miles for the year and with just 43 to go it seems pretty doable in the next 15 days.

What will next year hold? I really don't know at this point, and I'm ok with that. But since I am happiest when working towards a goal, I'll be working on finding a new goal soon.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Acceptance? Maybe...

(What I'm about to write makes it sound like my favorite activity is gazing at my own navel and thinking only of me. I SWEAR this does not consume my waking hours. But I had a big realization last night, and I need to write about it in hopes of helping it to stick!)

For my whole life I've felt like I was too sturdy. Regardless of my weight, I've been unhappy with the size of my "frame" for lack of a better term. Objectively, I'm 5 feet 5 inches tall and I have a medium build. But I've always wanted to be 5'3" tall and have what people would describe as a "fragile" build.

So while many of my body image issues have centered around reality (when I weighed 50 pounds more than I do now, yeah, I not only felt fat, I WAS fat), this whole "I want to change the size of my skeleton" thing has kind of made me crazy. It's led me to think of my ideal weight as in the mid-120's (10 or so pounds less than I weigh right now). And it's kept me chronically dissatisfied with my body, no matter what my size or what my weight.

So last night we had 3 Christmas parties to attend. And as Tim and I were getting ready, I started talking about this. Tim said, "You know, this is exactly like how I wish I were taller." And that was the big lightbulb moment for me. Tim is 5'10" tall and I think that's perfect. But he doesn't. His whole life he's been surrounded by guys who are 6' and over, and in an ideal world, my husband was be a critical 2 inches taller. That makes ZERO sense to me. It does not matter how tall he is. And bottom line? That's out of his control!!!

And what's something that's out of my control? The size of my freaking skeleton!!! So today, rather than feeling "too big" (begs the question "Too big for WHAT?") I'm just happy to be healthy and happy and strong. And those things are NOT negative. Yeah, I have a medium build. But that doesn't make me unfeminine or mannish or anything else negative.

Maybe it's time to let the Serenity Prayer apply here:

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change (the size of my skeleton!!!),
The courage to change the things I can (what I eat, what I do),
And the wisdom to know the difference!


Friday, December 12, 2008


I'm still here. But life is crazy busy. Tonight is Tucker's 13th birthday party. Last night was Tim's work Christmas party. The party was tough as I'm still tired after the marathon. Believe it or not, this comes as a surprise to me. I expected the training to be tough. I expected the race to be tough. But I thought I'd be back to running a day or two after the marathon. The good news is that my underarm chafing has subsided to the point where I can now wear deodorant (thank goodness!) and wear regular shirts instead of tank tops. Lower body is still sore, but this gets better every day.

In a surprising unwelcome development, an old snowboarding injury has come back to haunt me. Maybe 4 years ago I caught an edge while learning to snowboard and fractured my tailbone. It took 6 months for the pain to go away. Now the pain is back. And I know the only thing I can do is to let it subside on its own.

Today I have 4 clients which is a great thing, as I love what I do, and a tough thing, as I need to plan 4 workouts. Guess I'd better get crackin', huh?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I (heart) my rope!

I used my new 40' long rope with two clients today and they both LOVED IT! Here's a video showing a rope in action.


  • Still tired, still sore from the marathon. Did P90X shoulders and arms today and that was fine, but I still have no desire to work my lower body at all. Does anyone know when you're supposed to start running again?
  • I have lots of favorite Christmas songs for lots of Christmas moods. Favorite upbeat song? Merry Christmas Baby by Lou Rawls. Sexy brass section and an edgy celebratory feel. Anyone else care to share a favorite holiday song or two?
  • Got a good night's sleep last night and it felt great.
  • FRUSTRATED that I have so little energy. I do understand why, but that doesn't mean I have to like it!

The Last Man Standing

I got an email today about a 90th birthday celebration run. Here's more:
Paul Camerer is the oldest man (or woman) still running in races actively in Sacramento.

He turns 90 years old in December. When the members of his garage gym asked him how he wanted to celebrate, without a pause, he said that he wanted everone in Sacramento to join him for a 5k Run. Will you please join us on Sunday, December 21st (the last Sunday before Christmas) at "The Last Man Standing" annual 5K Walk and Run and pot luck?

Would you please also support the birthday celebration as follows:

1. Forward this invitation to your run/walk friends.

2. Include this in a newsletter of a group that you belong to.

3. Print and distribute to others.

Let's have a big party. Look at the picture below on the race entry form (entry fee is $10). Paul, aka "Pinkhouse" crossing the finish line as the runner on the last leg of the team division of the California International Marathon. Look for him at the finish line again this year and let him know that you are going to run with him at his 90th Birthday Party. Let me remind all of us who are younger than Paul but want to be running when we are 90 this: it is an honor to be able to run with a member of the Sacramento running community for the past fifty years (lifetime member of the Buffalo Chips), a decorated World War II officer, a retired Folsom High School teacher, and a volunteer to the Sacramento running community running aid stations for race directors whenever asked.

Please let me know if you're a Sacramento-area runner who would like to participate. The entry form is a crack up! I tried to include it here, but had formatting issues. If only you could see it, you'd see the age groups:

0 - 69
70 - 74
75 - 79
80 - 84
85 - 89
90 - 94
95 - 99
100 and over

And of course, the Waiver and Informed Consent section of the official race registration form:

WAIVER and INFORMED CONSENT: I am aware of the hazards inherent of choosing to get fit and run to celebrate Paul Camerer’s 90th birthday. The side effects of training and finishing may include more energy, increased metabolism, sense of wellbeing and happiness, loss of body fat, more friends, and being with my loved ones. I indemnify and release my parents and all others because it isn’t their fault. In case of emergency, please contact my friends and family and ask them to continue to support my commitment to participate in the LAST MAN STANDING 5K. If found off course, please send a run angel immediately to re-direct my efforts. I have read, understood, and agree to this release.

This is a run I do NOT want to miss!

Monday, December 08, 2008

Feeling so incredibly loved!

Thank you for every single sweet comment -- they helped make my legs feel much better today, I'm sure, although it was comical even to me to try to walk first thing this morning.

I did NOT sleep well last night which surprised me. Legs couldn't get comfortable, and I have the mother of all chafing under each arm (it's been in the 40s today and I've been wearing a tank top as much as possible because chafing HURTS!). Oh well, I've been happy enough for 10 people. And I did wear my marathon shirt while out shopping and a couple of people noticed it. I came close to wearing my medal, but decided that crossed some sort of line and decided against it.

Turns out I have two years to enter Boston, and right now I'm thinking that I'd like to run it in April 2010. But for today, I'm not running at all.

I did, however, get a new fitness toy today. My 40' long rope from Art of Strength arrived. Once my underarm woes are behind me, I can't wait to play with it!

Finally, look what Tucker put on my mirror yesterday afternoon. Isn't this sweet? I think I'm gonna keep it for a while...

Sunday, December 07, 2008

California International Marathon 2008

Warning: a long-winded tired marathon runner (!) is about to write more words than should ever be in one single weblog post.

On Saturday I drove to the Expo, looking forward to meeting some people that I've only known via computer. It's quite strange to meet someone for the first time, and yet know a LOT about who they are from following their writing. But as usual, the best people are fitness or running bloggers!

Me, Laurie, and Katie (their kids were with them and are soooo cute!). Laurie's husband Jay was running CIM and Laurie and Katie were there to support him.

Me and Julianne (my blogger "daughter!").

Catra and me (Catra ran 30 trail miles in Auburn the day before the Expo!).

Michael B (from dailymile) and me (Michael is just as nice in person as he is on the dailymile boards).

Me, KK and Julianne (KK ran the 3rd leg of the marathon relay!).

I met Aron too, but fogot to get a picture. She was running the 26th CIM and she's 26 -- I think that's really cute!

After the Expo, me and the fam went to dinner at Fresh Choice. We saw a man who had a Boston Marathon jacket on and I asked him if he'd been at the Expo. He had and we talked running for a bit. He'd run quite a few marathons and ran Boston last year. When he asked what my goal time was and I answered, he looked surprised. (Guess I don't look runner-ish enough!) He told me that I had an aggressive goal for a first marathon.

We came home, played games, and I was in bed shortly after 10:00.


Got up. Did my normal computer thing. Got dressed and Tim drove me to the starting line (thanks again, Tim, for getting up so early the day after your oh-so-tough mountain bike ride).

5:50 am and nervously ready to head to the starting line.

Tim told me in the car, "You know how you've been wanting to run all week? Well today you get to run as many miles as you want to!" I kept that thought with me, and it helped me to remember that I really did want to be doing what I was doing.

So I got to the start with no problem. It seemed well organized and it was exciting being around so many runners. It was cold -- I think 37 degrees or so. Sadly, I dropped a glove about 20 minutes before the race while texting. I looked for it and couldn't find it, so I decided that maybe running with one glove would be a good thing, right? Right??? Then I found it a minute before the start and that was an even better thing. The Target sweatshirt was great, and I hung it nicely on a fence right before the race began.

I started with the 4:05 pace group, but after 5 miles, I felt good enough to go ahead and at some point before mile 10 I caught the 4:00 group. Note to anyone considering CIM: pace groups are the bomb!

The first 10 miles were easy as it was so exciting and I knew that my family would be at mile 10. When I got to that point, I didn't see them and I thought I'd missed them. I was sad, but trying to convince myself that it was ok, and then THERE THEY WERE! Tucker gave me a huge hug, Tim and Austin cheered, and I dropped my jacket with Tim and gratefully accepted the banana and ibuprofen I'd asked him to have.

Although I had my iPod with me (security blanket of sorts), I never took it out. There was a man from Canada (I called him Canada, he called me Sacramento) running nearby and we chatted off and on for about 5 miles.

Around mile 12 and feeling good!

I saw Austin again at mile 12 -- surprised and really happy. It's true that family and friends can really pull you forward. The anticipation was good for a couple of miles, and the glow of "they're here for me!" lasted for at least another mile.

Tim and the kids were planning to be at mile 20, so I had that to look forward to. Tucker managed to help hand out GU packs to the runners -- that's a very Tucker-like thing indeed. And unbeknownst to me, Tim's parents were there too, but I never saw them. Wow -- my MIL made veg stuffing at Thanksgiving, and then they were out in the 40 degree weather for over an hour? I have the BEST in-laws!

I'd read about running with your head to start, your legs next, and your heart at the end, and decided to run first 10 miles with my head, then the next 13 (not 10) with my legs, so after mile 20 when it started hurting, I kept telling myself, "I only need my legs to do 3 more miles, and then I'll run with my heart." It helped.

And guess what else helped? At mile 22 -- SURPRISE! My bestest girlfriends, Laudon and Donna were there to run with me!!! I had no idea they'd be there, and it was perfect timing, as by that point, every step felt icky. I nearly cried when I saw them, and they talked and encouraged me for the next 3-1/2 miles -- probably the toughest ones on the course.

Donna, me, and Laudon around mile 24?

Right before mile 26 I gave it everything I had. And when I could see the finish line and saw that I could come in under 4 hours on the clock, I pushed. Hard.

The finish line is in sight.

The clock said 3:59:54 when I went across, and after getting my space blanket and my medal, I dissolved into tears. And then there were my family and friends and hugs all around!

Tucker, me, Tim, and Austin -- I feel so lucky!

My bestest girlfriends, Laudon (me) and Donna!


I didn't know my official time at the finish, as we had to leave pretty quickly after the finish. But the results have been posted and here they are:


What does it all mean? My chip time, aka official time, is 3:58:05 and that means I qualified for Boston! I am stunned, amazed, and oh so thankful to everyone who was here today, who sent emails of encouragement, and to everyone who took the time to write words of support via comments.

Nite nite, friends!


Clock read 3:59:53 as I crossed the finish line, so guess what? I qualified for Boston!!! Full report later. Time to get in the pool (yikes!) for some cold water on some very tired legs.

And I'm off!

My race number is 2009 which seems like a very good thing somehow.

I've run nearly 1500 miles.
I've tapered.
I met fabulous people at the Expo.
I've tweaked my outfit a bit (white Nike hat, new black running jacket).
I got a reasonable amount of sleep.
And I'm off to run a marathon and in the process become (drum roll, please) A REAL MARATHON RUNNER!

See ya on the flip side...

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Butterflies and running clothes

I have MAJOR butterflies in my tummy as I consider tomorrow. I'll be heading to the Expo in a couple of hours, camera in hand, excited to meet lots of dailymile and blogger friends!

Maybe later I'll post a picture of my marathon clothes, but for now, words will have to do. Starting at the top, here's what I'm wearing:

Dark grey Northstar baseball cap
Black UA short sleeve t-shirt
Black w/red flames Moben sleeves
Black running tights
White and orange Asics running shoes

(I'm not putting down the ugly but warm Target sweats that I'll be ditching at the start.)

Yesterday I listened to a Runner's Lounge podcast about running a marathon where I heard something I've read before, and was happy to be reminded of:

Run the first 10 miles with your head.
Run the next 10 miles with your legs.
Run the final 6.2 miles with your heart.

That's my plan and I'm stickin' to it!

I want my rope!

I have a rope on order from Art of Strength and I want it now! The rope is 40 feet long and 1-1/2" in diameter and I think it's heavy. It's probably best that it didn't arrive this week, as there's no way I could have stayed away from playing with it, and that's not consistent with tapering for a marathon. But I want my rope! (I think of it as my big-a$$ rope, but as I'm trying to clean up my language, I'm not calling it that out loud.)

Friday, December 05, 2008

Writing about something other than running

Yesterday I got false eyelashes put on at the MAC counter at Nordstrom. If you've never done this, DO IT NOW! They have lots of styles to choose from, they cost $12.00 and they will put them on for you. As an admitted mascara junkie (my goal? to look like I'm wearing false eyelashes all the time!) it was so fun having double the lashes.

If you're not wanting to try fakies, MAC also has a new mascara called Dazzle Lash. I (sadly) removed the false eyelashes last night, but awoke this morning happy to try my new mascara. I'm happy to report that I LOVE IT! It covers really well, doesn't clump, and gives a false eyelashes effect. At $12.00 it's worth a try, and I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Thursday, December 04, 2008


Whaddaya get when you combine marathon tapering with a voracious appetite (geared up for 40 - 50 miles of running per week) and a full-blown case of PMS? Yep, that's right -- it's me, FLUFFY! Don't let that smile fool you, folks. This girl is TROUBLE!

I ran 3 miles today. It felt wonderful. The worst part of tapering has been that I just don't feel like myself when I'm not moving.

The great news is that I get to meet all sorts of cool people at the CIM Expo on Saturday. I have for sure plans to meet up with Julianne, Aron, Michael, and Katie and Laurie, and of course I'll be stopping by to see Catra who's working one of the booths. And if I've missed anyone, and you're going to be at the Expo on Saturday, let me know, k?

Finally, as it's been in the high 30's/low 40's in the mornings, I went to Target today and bought a sweatshirt and sweatpants ($6.49 each) to wear in the hour before the race starts. I figure I can ditch the clothes and someone else can benefit from them, and maybe the sweats plus (just a few) jumping jacks will help to keep me warm. Anyone else have ideas of how to stay warm before a race? I'm all ears!

Ok, time to beat ... I mean FEED my dogs and get on with life!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Lucky me!

My mother is in town from So Cal! She got in yesterday and is here through Thursday night, so I have a playmate to help me through the taper madness!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

PROOF that I have too much time on my hands!

My fridge.

My freezer (where if you look real close, you can see the labels I applied the other day).

Monday, December 01, 2008

The weather for race day...

... couldn't be any better! Forecast is for a low of 41 degrees, and a high of 63 degrees. There's no mention of wind speeds, and there's practically no chance of rain. I'm going to focus on this as I go to sleep tonight and hopefully it will help to keep my head quiet.

Quieting my head

Ok, so here's how my thoughts are going these days:

"So if I run a 9:10 pace for the first 10 miles that's 91 minutes and 40 seconds, and then if I go a little faster for the next 10, that's 90 minutes, so now I've got ..." and on and on and on.

I just checked the CIM website, and I see that they have a 4:05 pace group. So here's my thinking. I want to start with the 4:05 pace group and run with them for the first 13 miles. If things are still feeling good at that point, I may try to get a little bit ahead of them, and eventually catch up with the 4:00 group. Does anyone have any thoughts on this plan? I'd sure like to make a decision and get some good sleep and some quiet brain time during the day!!!


(Note, this is not my fridge.)
I am by nature disorganized. But I'm married to Mr. Methodical. I own a LOT of organization books. In the 20 years we've been together, I've changed a lot, but it hasn't been easy.

Recently, I've been thinking about a quote I got from my niece. Remember Audrey, my 23 year old niece? We ran the SF Half Marathon together. She lives in a tiny apartment in San Francisco, and it's absolutely darling. Even though it's small, everything has a place. She had one post-it note by her computer that said, "That which must be done eventually, should be done immediately." I've been trying to practice this in my life, and it's helping.

Another lifesaving organization tool is my labelmaker. I got it at Costco quite a few years ago, and we use it a lot. I've labeled keyrings for keys that go to bike locks or bike racks or any other keys you don't use often enough to have them on your main keyring. I've labeled shelves in the linen closet. Yesterday I labeled our freezer. Now, I know that sounds kinda crazy, but we have one of those bottom drawer freezers and while I love the French door top fridge, the freezer is not my fave, as it's impossible to find stuff in it! There's a top tray where I keep Tim's oatmeal (I cook stone ground oatmeal and freeze it) and green smoothie ingredients. The bottom bin is divided into 3 parts. Yesterday I labeled them. So now we have "veggies and ice", "bread& pasta&treats", and "icky meat". Hey, a girl's gotta have fun, right?

Soy causes belly fat? Help!

I read a LOT of weblogs. I don't want to say how many, but trust me, it's lots. But I'm not on the computer all the time, because:

a) I use Bloglines so I know when someone's written something new (I'm not just stalking the blogs, randomly hoping someone will write).
b) I am a really fast reader.
c) If I don't have time to comment and don't have something to say, I don't write.

So one of the blogs I read is called Aim High. Kelly vlogs a lot (and I rarely have time to watch her posts :( ). The other day (when I did have the time to watch a video) she had a guest vlogger who was saying there's a direct connection between soy and belly fat.

In the last 6 months, I've switched from whey to soy protein, wanting to get away from all things dairy. And in that time, I have noticed more fluff in my abdomen. But I thought that was related to peri-menopause or too many candy bars. Is it possible that there's a soy connection? I'd love to hear your thoughts! (And Colette, my nutrition friend, I really want to hear your thoughts!)