8.11.2015

TGIT

There is nothing special about today, but I thought I would do a midweek TGIF regarding the past 7 days!

The high of my week was a trip north to the redwoods with my brother and his girlfriend's family. We had a good time hiking, playing games and hanging out, and on the way home we stopped and took a nice dip in the Russian river to top off the weekend.

The low of my week was a bit of a crazy busy workweek last week along with some ongoing work drama.

A book I am reading is The Boys in the Boat, except that I got the hardback from the library and then left it at home since I have been riding my bike to work and it is actually due today, so I am not going to finish it until I check it out again.

A podcast I am listening to is the Freakonomics issue of "how to create suspense". It is interesting, as they talk about how there is a perfect number of plot twists or surprises in a book or movie in order to keep people interested.

A workout I did was this Fitness Blender workout. They have a TON of different workouts on YouTube and you can also go to their site and search by workout length, calorie burn or intensity. I have been doing one to two of the 30 - 40 minute HIIT workouts per week and I have been enjoying them!

The best money I spent was probably my mortgage. I know, it's not exciting, but it sure is no joke!

My plans for the weekend include going up to my parent's neck of the woods for some camping and to see my dad run his first half marathon!

Happy Tuesday! What was the high point of your last 7 days? 

8.04.2015

Looking Back: July

Looking back at this blog, I noticed that I am generally posting only a couple times a month, one of them being the "looking back" theme. Ah, well, such is life!! Just like everything, blogging and/or writing comes and goes and right now, I am happy with life and feel that I am getting things done, even if it doesn't include keeping up with this space! I do miss the connection that I have with many other bloggers, but I am keeping an eye on many of your blogs, even if I am not commenting!!

And now, welcome August; goodbye July.

Running: July was supposed to be a bit of a higher month for me. However, it ended up being one of my lowest months in a very long time. Lack of training, an injury and an unfinished race (sad recap to follow) meant that in July I ended up running only about 106 miles. On a good note, I started riding my bike to the BART each morning and afternoon. It's only about 1.8 miles each way, but it adds up to about 15 - 20 miles a week of biking. In addition, I am starting a 2 x per week HIIT class, which are about 30 - 45 minutes each.

The TRT

Reading: You can see the skew and maybe the reason my mileage was low when I tell you that this month I read 11 books. Okay, really I read 10 and a half. I started the Bone Clocks and just could not get into it, so I set it down half way. Some of my favorites were:

Still Alice by Lisa Genova
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy
The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes

Travel: I started the month off in central Oregon, on our annual "girls trip", which includes my friend, her two daughters and her Mom, except this year it was also her dad, her brother and her sister's family, which included three kids and a husband. It was a loud, crazy houseful but it was a lot of fun. I even took the boys trail running with me twice and they enjoyed the change of scenery (they are road runners and cyclists). I also went to Tahoe for TRT.

Otherwise: My other two weekends were spent painting and sorting and organizing around the house and then finally having a housewarming party, which was a hit. It was fun to finally get all the friends together, especially since there were some friends I haven't seen in a while, due to all the running and working and home stuff. I ended up having a lot of extra beer, but I am sure I can find a home for it!

If you came to my housewarming party, what kind of drink would you bring? What book should I put on the library wait list? 

7.17.2015

The Big One Elizabeth

Eleanor Roosevelt said to, "Do something every day that scares you". 

In less than 24 hours, I will be toeing the line of the Tahoe Rim Trail 100 mile trail race. I would like to say I am totally prepared, because usually I am good at planning and setting goals and executing those goals. However, this time, that has not been the case. I can make all kinds of excuses, but the bottom line really is the fact that I re-prioritized my free time and running took second seat to several other things in my life. 

I am scared, Eleanor. 

Flume Trail in Winter

Marlette Lake in Winter

When I signed up for this race last December, I was in my running prime. I had just placed in both a 50 mile race and a 50k race. I was ramping up my training and I was running up the hills with gusto! I had thoughts in my mind that I may try to place in a very important 100k in March and that maybe I would even get a sub 28 hour at TRT. 

Then I got injured, ramped up my hours at work, bought a house and started drinking heavily. Okay, that last part is a joke, but seriously, I started eating worse, exercising less and in no time at all, it was July and I had not even completed half of my necessary training.

What will this mean for me tomorrow? 

To start off, I am going into this with the thought in my mind that it is just a really long two day hike. The cutoff time to finish this race is 35 hours. Even the very fast guys do it in no less than 18. To finish in 35 hours, I would need to keep my pace just under 3 miles an hour. So, I could walk a lot of it and still finish in time. 

I may be walking a lot of it. 

I plan to start off at a run and see how far I get. There are a few gradual downhills which I know I can jog no matter what (even during the 2nd 50 miles). There are a couple steep uphills (think 1.5 miles with 1,200 feet of climbing) where I will barely make 1 - 2 miles per hour. 

What worries me the most? 

Of course I am competitive and I would like to do well, but I have mostly thrown that out the window. I just want to finish. However, the part which will be the most difficult will be the night portion. During the night, there is a loop called the Red House Loop, which is a 6 mile loop with about a 2 mile steep downhill (loss of about 1,000 feet) and then a 4 mile gradual to steep uphill. This loop is not fun in the daytime and it will be even less fun at night. 

The race motto is, "A Glimpse of Heaven; a Taste of Hell". The Red House Loop is the taste of Hell. 

On the other hand, there are many Glimpses of Heaven. So I will enjoy those and not think too much about the tastes of Hell. 

If you want to follow me, I will be running from Saturday at 5 am PST to Sunday around Noon (*cutoff is at 4 pm). The live tracker is HERE. Also, my brother will be pacing me and should be tweeting when possible (the service in the mountains is not great). You can find his twitter feed HERE Otherwise, just send good juju my way this weekend because I will need it! 

What are you up to this weekend? 

7.08.2015

Looking Back: June

June was a whirlwind of a month full of good friends and some travel and lots of money hemorrhaging! Yup, you heard me right. June was not a happy month for my pocketbook, but it was a good month for friends. 

Running: I would like to say that my training was going well and that I am totally ready for my 100 mile race in a couple of weeks, but I would be lying. June was not a great training month, although I did try to step it up a little in order to feel semi ready for the big day. In June I had no races, but I did end up running 136 miles in the end. 

Reading: While I was not running, I did read a few (four, to be exact) books. None of them were that great. They were, in order of best to worst: 

- At Home by Bill Bryson (I did not finish this one -- it was good but there were a lot of facts and I was in the mood for a more frivolous book - 3 stars)
- The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes (3 stars)
- Mother Daughter Me by Katie Hafner (2 stars)
- Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch (2 stars)

Travel: I did a lot of travel in June and much of it was in cars with other people, hence the reason I did not read as much, I think. At the beginning of June, I went to San Diego to crew/pace for a friend who was running a 100 mile race. I paced him in from mile 79 to the finish and he ended up getting 10th place! The next weekend was spent in South Lake Tahoe, doing trail work and a training run. I had a chest cold and the altitude really exacerbated that fact. It was really hard to run! The weekend after that I drove up to my parents' house to get some things from storage. It was a fun weekend with a lot of swimming and a run, but too soon it was time to load up the car and head home. The last weekend in June was spent crewing for a friend who ran the Western States 100M. He was such a champ and it was so inspiring (and daunting, thinking of myself doing the same thing in July) to see him push through and cross the finish line with pride. 

SD100


On top of that, my new category should be titled Home and Garden because there has not been a day that I have come home from work and just relaxed. There is always something to shovel, or to weed or to plant. There are things to be hung and cleaned and sorted. There is never an end to the things that need to be assembled or moved or painted. Basically I have been going to bed around 10 every night and getting up again at 4. There have been multiple trips to Costco and Home Depot and Target. I am a frequent flyer at Amazon.com. It's been busy! 

So....how was the month of June for you? What was your favorite weekend? Have you read any good books lately? 

6.11.2015

Looking Back: May

The fact that this post is being done on June 11th pretty much indicates how my month of May/June have been going. I feel like I am swimming underwater and I have not really had time to come up for air...however, it has been fun and full of friends and family and stuff, so I am not complaining! 

Running: May was a very strange running month for me. I seem to have lost my mojo. However, I had two races: one 100k in San Jose and one 50 mile race in Reno. Due to this, I still ended up with a good amount of miles. I also wen to Yosemite NP and Rocky Mountain NP for some hiking with my family and with Lisa, so I am adding these miles as well. Totals for the month were: 167 miles of running + 36 miles of hiking. 

Reading: I read 5 books this month, mostly on my commute. This keeps me on track to read 52 books this year, or at least one a week. Here they are, in order of best to worst: 

The Rosie Project (4 stars)
The Invention of Wings (4 stars)
Still Life With Breadcrumbs (4 stars)
Where'd You Go Bernadette (3 stars)
Boy, Snow, Bird (2 stars)

Travel: I feel like May was a month of never sitting still. The first weekend I went to Yosemite with my family for some hiking and good times. The second weekend was the Quicksilver 100k in San Jose, where I had a great time running and hanging out with friends. The third weekend was Reno on Saturday and to a Mother's Day/Birthday brunch on Sunday. The fourth weekend was a trip to Auburn for some running with friends (and then I came back to the Bay Area and spent the rest of the weekend moving). The last weekend (hurray for a 5 weekend month!) was spent in Colorado, hiking with Lisa and visiting Jill. Whew, it makes me tired just typing it all out! 

Last but not least.... the reason I have been so out of touch is that I bought a house. The past several months have been a flurry of searching for houses, going to open houses, putting offers on houses, getting turned down, trying again, and then finally...one got accepted. Then it was a flurry of escrow, inspections, paperwork and such. Then it was a flurry of moving and sorting and measuring and spending money and cleaning. 

Currently things have calmed down a bit. I am "settled", which basically means I have a place to sleep and a roof over my head, but there is a list of things to do about a mile long, which is keeping me busy. 

How was your month of May? Have you traveled anywhere in the past month? What book would you recommend to me for June? 

5.08.2015

Fizzy Friday

At work we always call Fridays "fizzy Friday", since the end of the week has the normal everyday tasks as well as the wrap up tasks for the week. It is a day where unfortunately it is usually hard to get off early. Everyone is excited for the weekend and the energy level is high. This can be good if the energy is directed to the right place, or it can be a bit chaotic if it is not.

The high of my week was hard to determine. I spent the weekend + Monday in Yosemite, hiking and hanging out with my family, which was great. I also had some very good news regarding my secret project, which I will have to tell you about soon! It's been a good week!

The low of my week was the drive back from Yosemite, which was long. However, I am not very well versed in all of the Taylor Swift and Maroon 5 songs that are being played on the radio.

The book I am reading is Still Life with Breadcrumbs and Boy, Snow, Bird. I generally take my Kindle on my commute with me and read a hard back book at home. Both are okay, and I am about half way through them.

For my workouts, I completed a hike/run in Yosemite on Saturday, I hiked to Half Dome on Sunday and a hike and a walk in Yosemite on Monday and nothing the rest of the week. I have a race tomorrow and I have been "resting" for the race.

The best money I spent was for Yosemite: campground, park entry, car rental, gas and food.

My weekend plans include a trail race tomorrow and some errands, shopping, packing, sorting and organizing on Sunday.

What book are you reading? What was the high of your week? 

5.01.2015

Looking Back: April

Dear May. You are my favorite month. You are the month of flowers and of long days spent outside where it is just the right temperature. You are the month of my birth, mother's day and a long weekend. You are a month full of road trips and races and friends and family. I am ready for you. Bring it on.

Dear April. You were sweet, but it's time we part until next year. There have been fun times. Let's remember them fondly.

Running: The month started off with the Lake Sonoma 50 miler. Then I had a 7 day rest before running another race, which was a loop course and was boring as heck. Otherwise, I did not really run much, as I was basically "tapering" rather than doing what I am supposed to do, which is to be training for the big daddy in July. However, due to two long races, I ended up running about 150 miles. This is unconfirmed because my Garmin has decided to either eat my run completely, poop out in the middle of the run, or refuses to upload onto the computer. 

Reading: While not running as much, I did end up reading 7 books this month. I also started maybe 3 that I only got half way on and then put down. The books were (in order of best to worst):

All the Light we Cannot See (5 stars)
At the Water's Edge (3 stars)
Tiny Beautiful Things (3 stars)
We are All Completely Beside Ourselves (3 stars)
The Book of Unknown Americans (3 stars)
The Life List (3 stars)
All the Bright Places (3 stars)

Travel: Besides traveling for the two race weekends, I also went to Jackson Hole for some hiking (in the snow) and to NYC for a work trip, where I also met up with some friends for the weekend. Basically I was not home very much on the weekends this month! I would like to say that May will be quieter, but that is not true, as I have something planned for every weekend. In fact, as I write this, I am preparing to go to Yosemite. Vive le spring and summer!

And there you have it in a nutshell. There have been some other things going on which have pretty much consumed any and all of my free time in the past couple of months, but I cannot talk about it yet. Once it's over, I will definitely have a lot to say, but for now, mum's the word. Stay tuned.

Also, sorry I have been slack on commenting on your posts! I am there, lurking on Feedly, but not commenting. I will be back in a month or so, don't worry.... 

Did your month of April go by fast or slow? What month is usually your busiest? What book should I pick up at the library next?