Why this isn’t a SLO Marathon Race Recap

So, I’ve been lying to you. Well, just a little. (Which begs the question, is there really such thing as a little lie?) Anyway, I haven’t told you the whole truth. Which starts with, I didn’t run the SLO Marathon yesterday.

SLO Recap

Before I get to that though, I want to congratulate Tina Muir, who ran the London Marathon on Sunday. She sweetly emailed me on Saturday to wish me luck, commenting that we have both worked so hard for this. While this is true, I have to laugh because Tina, who ran 2:41:19 (!!!!), was so kind as to think of me, who would have been about two hours behind her.

Why this isn’t a SLO Marathon Race Recap

Back to my story. I pretty much knew by last Wednesday that I wasn’t going to be able to run the SLO Marathon. I was in denial though. I really had worked hard for this. While I’d had a hard time getting my total mileage up where I wanted it, I had done the workouts. My long runs had gone well for the most part, at least until a couple weeks ago when I’d developed some exercise induced asthma issues. I did my tempo runs, marathon pace runs, and even hill workouts. I’m in good shape.

The asthma had given me some doubts though. After the incident two weeks ago it took me most of the day to recover! What would I do if it happened during the marathon? I’ve pushed through in the past, but do I have it in me to do it still? Do I even want to? Strike one.

Then Alan and I made the decision that I would go alone. I’ve told you before about Goldie, our handicapped dog. We really don’t want to leave her in the care of a dog sitter. We just don’t trust anyone enough to clean her, change her diaper, and to be there in case anything happens. Heck, sometimes she gets stuck in the dog door when we’re home, though we release her quickly. What if the sitter wasn’t there for a couple hours? We are both resigned to the idea that, for the rest of Goldie’s life our travel will be limited.

Anyway, that meant that I would have to drive to San Luis Obispo by myself, run a marathon, then drive home afterward. Um, that’s about five hours in each direction. Strike two.

I still didn’t want to let go of the dream though. There must be some way, right? I even would have invited Christina, my running partner and neighbor, but she was out of town at a wedding for the weekend.

Then last Wednesday I ran five miles, moderate pace, with a couple bursts of marathon pace. About halfway through my run I felt a weird pain in my mid-back that actually made me stop for a moment. It went away when I stopped but returned when I ran again. I made it home, but through the rest of the day I had twinges, now in my low back and right hip.

When I woke up on Thursday morning I knew right away that my marathon probably wasn’t going to happen. The pain was still in my low back and hip, with occasional random spasms just to keep me on my toes. I could hardly walk, let alone think about running 26.2 miles!

Strike three and I’m out.

I still held on until Friday morning to make the decision. My back was a little better, so I gave myself a little hope, but my wiser side took over. Back pain + 5 hour drive + marathon = Bad idea.

So, I stayed home, wished my follow SLO Marathon Ambassadors good luck, and didn’t run a step all weekend. I did, however, get to spend some time with this guy:

Samuel

Yes! If anything could make me feel better about staying home and missing my marathon it was having Samuel and his parents visit us! I took tons of pictures, but since he’s in action all the time most of them were blurry! Here are a few when he was still for a moment.

Samuel 6I don’t think Samuel realizes how honored he should be to get Coco kisses. She usually delivers them to Alan and me in the middle of the night.

Samuel 4It’s hard to explain to a two year old about handicapped dogs, but Samuel seemed to have a connection with Goldie. We just had to make sure that he didn’t sit on her.

Samuel 2Penny is obviously a good sport. She’s not used to kids but was very patient with Samuel. He is used to Chloe, their young Australian Shepherd, who puts up with all his antics.

Samuel 3Grandpa was happy that someone finally wanted to play with the finger lights he bought at Christmas!

Samuel 5Since both his parents wear glasses, Samuel thinks they’re pretty cool (the glasses, not sure about the parents). So when he found an old pair of readers lying around he thought that he was pretty cool too.

Samuel 7Nathan and Sarah just purchased a brand new Ford Fusion. On a recent trip to Orange County my son got over 90 mph! It’s a nice looking car too.

Samuel 8We went to lunch at PF Changs. I ordered the Vegetable Lettuce Wraps and Alan wanted the Buddha’s Feast, at least until he saw all the broccoli that it came with. So we traded dishes and I got my broccoli ration for the week.

Samuel 10Grandson selfie!

Samuel 9I was sad that this picture turned out a little blurry thanks to trying to hold Samuel still with one hand and take a picture with the other. Still, they look awfully cute, don’t they? Their daughter (my granddaughter!!!) Emma Marie is due on September 2.

We had a great time and I was able to forget my failure missing the marathon for a while. And the good news is, my back is feeling much better. I’ll probably try a little run on Tuesday. I’d like to hold onto some of this fitness I have right now. I might convince Christina that a semi-local half marathon might be just the thing for May!

In other adventures, did you see my Instagram post the other day? The consensus was that this is a king snake. What do you think?

 

Anybody know what kind of snake this is? Not dangerous I hope! #snake #snakes #snakesofinstagram

A video posted by Debbe Woodruff (@coachdebbieruns) on

Thank you to all of you who wished me well, supported me and had faith in my efforts. I’m sorry that I couldn’t live up to your (or my) expectations. I promise to share the links to some of the SLO Marathon recaps so we can all see what I missed. And don’t miss Tina’s recap. She was really happy and excited about her experience and I can’t wait to read all about it.

How was your weekend? Any races, events, or family adventures? Let’s hear about it!

Marathon Training, Yoga Challenges, and Grandsons: Just a little recap

Busy weekend = mostly pictures. That and the Westminster Dog Show is distracting me. So, a little recap with a lot of pictures.

Marathon Training

What should be the biggest part of my recap is, well, not so much. I’m having schedule clashes, with clients who want to work out at 7:00 in the morning, and while I’m willing to get out there early, I’m hesitant to get out there too much in advance of the sunrise. That’s a long excuse for only two runs this week.

Running 2I did get out early on Wednesday, finishing my four miles by 6:00.

RunningAnd I did a 14 mile long run on Sunday (Saturday we had family stuff). I ran the first 5 miles with Alan and our neighbor, then took off on my own for the rest. The fire station is my perfect water stop. They have an ice machine, plus, well, firemen (though there weren’t any about on Sunday).

Total mileage only 18 miles! That should improve in the coming week. My work schedule is a little better and I have a cut back on the long run next weekend.

Yoga Challenge

Ironically, I’ve done much better with the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink that I did with running. I’ve managed at least a short practice every day since the beginning, and since I’m doing the Bringing Yoga Back challenge too (which fortunately work really well together), I’m really happy with my yoga efforts. I didn’t make it to a “real” class this week, but I practiced at home, both in and outdoors. Take a peek:

Week 2A little doggy-assisted yoga, my favorite kind.

Week 2_2While Alan worked the PS Half Marathon, I took a little run, the did a little posing.

Week 2_3Not only do I get help from my dogs, I get a lot of interest from the cats in the neighborhood.

Week 2_4I spread out my mat on the driveway to stretch after my Wednesday run.

Week 2_5I think I did a pretty good lizard pose variation, don’t you?

Week 2_6Back in the house, a 20 minute balance flow, and amazingly the dogs stayed clear (they were probably afraid I’d fall on them, my balance was that bad).

Week 2_8We traveled to Huntington Beach on Saturday for our twin grandsons’ 10th birthday party. While they played basketball, I posed.

Week 2_7I dragged Alan out for this one. Up in the trails behind our house, he took so many great pictures of my downward facing dog that I couldn’t choose just one.

Phew, week two in the books. I’m am so ready for week three!

Grandsons

As I mentioned, our grandsons turned 10 on Saturday (yes, they’re Valentine’s Day boys). It was a basketball themed party, so Alan and I had a chance to throw the ball around a little bit too. It had been 20 years a long time since I played basketball, and I was playing in flip flops, but I still managed a couple free throws (it seems much farther away than it did when I was younger!), and more than a few lay ups. From my Instagram:

Yes, we did. #basketball

A video posted by Debbe Woodruff (@coachdebbieruns) on

And this:

BirthdayThey asked to do this. #10yearoldboys

Valentine’s Day

We’re not big Valentine’s celebrators. We try to show our love daily, so it’s just not a big deal. We did, however, take the opportunity to stop for dinner at Native Foods on our way home from Huntington Beach on Saturday. It’s not exactly romantic, but it is our favorite restaurant. As I told one of our smartypants Facebook friends, it feels more romantic to us than candlelight and steaks!

Native Foods 3Native Foods 2Alan ordered three(!) cupcakes, so we had ALL the chocolate! I was really well fueled for my long run on Sunday. And fortunately not too sore from the basketball.

So, that was my week in training and life. What’s happening in yours? Any races, events, family fun?

Workouts, Vegan Eats, & Christmas (and Blendtec)!

Yes, I’m jamming it all into one post. To keep the wordiness down, the Christmas recap will be mostly pictures. But, first, a couple announcements and my training recap.

A Blendtec Kind of Holiday

So much exciting stuff going on. First off, if you remember my what I want for Christmas post, I mentioned at the top of my list needing/wanting a new blender. Well, Santa skipped that one, but Fitfluential did not! I actually won a Blendtec Designer 725! Yes, I did! I haven’t received it yet, but here’s the proof:

WinnerYep, that’s me!

Small town, BIG RACE

As you know, Alan and I are training for the SLO Marathon on April 26. Our training program officially starts with the new year, so it’s time to get race plans in place. We’d love to have you join us, so remember that the prices will be going up December 31. You can still save $10 with the code WOODAMB, so hurry up and sign up!

SLO Marathon

As for my own training, I think the term “holiday training” pretty much sums it up. Yes, I ran, a little. Yes, I did practice yoga, twice, once at home, once at the studio. But, all things considered, I’m okay with that. Here are my workouts from last week:

Monday: Since it was looking to be a busy day, I did an at-home yoga class with Yoga 30 (taught by my friend April of Yoga Central) early in the morning, followed by a three mile run (because that’s all I had left).

Yoga 30
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: Alan and I planned to run in Huntington Beach while visiting the family, but I ended up with a migraine, so that didn’t happen. Put a damper on the whole day.
Thursday: Christmas day Alan and I took a little three mile trail run. After being sick the day before it felt good just to be out and running.

Christmas Run
Friday: Rest
Saturday: In keeping with the holiday run thing, we ran about 5.5 miles on the trails.

Trail Run
Sunday: Run with the dogs day. Okay, that didn’t happen. Here’s why:

Weather

The poor dogs didn’t even get a walk. I did make it to a 90 minute yoga class though.

So, not a whole lot accomplished, but with holidays, shopping, family, travel, not to mention migraines, I’m okay with my training. Back on track in the coming week, though. I’m not quite where I wanted to be by the end of December since official training starts next week, but it is what it is. I’m also thinking about joining the January yoga challenge that Yoga Central is doing this month. That should help me stay on yoga-track (there are prizes!).

Vegan Eats

Of course all of my eats are vegan, but we did get a couple chances to get out to eat. For our second visit to the Tap In Room at Whole Foods, we tried the Artisanal Vegan Cheese plate, and, Oh My God! It was good. It was actually served by the “Cheese Man,” who explained each cheese. We also had the Jackfruit Crab Cakes again, and they were good too. We couldn’t finish it all, so we took home the leftover cheese and I had it for lunch the next day. It was even better, probably because I didn’t have the gustatory distraction of the spicy sauce on the jackfruit cakes. I was happy to find out that they sell it in the store (I’d never even visited the cheese section), and I can’t wait to pick some up.

Whole Foods

Whole Foods 2We also had a chance to introduce some friends to Native Food. I tried a new menu item, the Crispy Chicken and Avocado Club, forgoing my favorites, either the Bistro Steak Sandwich or the Greek Gyro Bowl. It was okay, but I’ll return to my faves on my next visit. Our friends enjoyed their meal too, which always makes me happy. I love when non-vegans learn how delicious cruelty-free can be!

Native FoodsAnd Finally…Christmas

Alan and I actually had three Christmas celebrations, one with each side of the family, then our own on Christmas morning. But, as promised, I won’t get too wordy. Just a lot of pictures (and maybe a little explanation here and there).

MinervaWe took the same friends for their first visit to Minerva Street, the desert’s version of Candy Cane Lane. Even though the youngest “child” was 18, they all loved it! So did I!

DebbieOur very nice neighbors brought us a huge gift basket. Obviously they don’t know us very well (yet), but it was a great bring-along to our family Christmas.

Gift BasketOur first Christmas, in Huntington Beach with Alan’s son and his family. The grandsons scored!

Watkins

Watkins 2

ElvisWe traveled home on Christmas Eve. My migraine finally cleared enough so that I could at least decorate the tree. We didn’t actually put any presents under it though, what with our little terror, er, terrier, Johnny B. Goode, being such a chewer. At least he didn’t eat the tree. Maybe because it was blessed by Elvis.

Alan_LilyJust because Santa didn’t bring a blender doesn’t mean I didn’t get exactly what I wanted. Now I’ll have to have some fancy adventures on the run that are GoPro-worthy.

Go Pro

NathanMy son Nathan and my beautiful daughter-in-law Sarah. I’d even say she was glowing…

ChristmasMy youngest son David and his girlfriend Melissa. Awake and smiling here but both were recovering a bit from a Christmas Eve celebration the night before.

DavidMy niece Brynne, who was there with her boyfriend Eric and his son Zach.

Brynne

SarahThere was some fancy underwear.

SamuelI guess Samuel doesn’t quite know what to do with his yet.

Samuel 2I distinctly heard Samuel, son of Paleo parents, say “yum” after he took a bite of the vegan turkey roast. He looks pretty handsome in his new robe, doesn’t he?

So that was my week. Got it done in less than 1,000 words. How was your holiday?

Favorites: Yoga, Candles, Vegan Wellington & Turkey Trotting!

Wow! It’s Friday again! The weeks are flying by, the holidays are looming, and I haven’t prepared my Holiday Wishlist Gift List. Remember when you were a kid and the last weeks before Christmas seemed to last forever? Not anymore!  While I never have been one of those people who have their shopping done in November, I’m hoping to at least get my list done soon. I don’t want to be always be running around at the last minute.  In the meantime, I compiled a list of some of my favorites that I want to share with you.

Old Town La Quinta Turkey Trot

Delray_turkey_trot_logo 2There is no better way to start off Thanksgiving Day than with a Turkey Trot 5k. My husband is the director of our local race, the Old Town La Quinta Turkey Trot, which is celebrating its 16th anniversary. If you’re visiting or live nearby, we’d love to see you out there. If you can’t make it to our race, I’m sure you can find one closer to your home.

 

 

 

 

Vegan Thanksgiving Wellington

WellingtonSpeaking of Thanksgiving, there is still time to order your Thanksgiving Wellington from Native Foods! I always choose to give turkeys something to be thankful for on Thanksgiving, and this delicious, plant-based puff pastry filled with seasoned seitan, yams, stuffing, and kale will make everyone happy.

 

 

 

 

Yoga Central is going Global!

Yoga CentralEven though I’m not the most consistent yogi, one thing has never changed: my love for my favorite yoga studio, Yoga Central in La Quinta. It is owned by my friend April, and she, along with her staff, are the most amazing instructors! Now, the classes at Yoga Central are available 24 hours a day in the comfort of your own home through Yoga30!  Here’s how you can get access to my favorite studio and teacher: Got to Yoga30 and select either Yoga Central as your referring studio or April Jones as your referring teacher. By doing this you are affiliating yourself with Yoga Central, but you are free to choose any class or teacher on the site.

Prices:
$5 Day Pass
$14 Monthly Unlimited (costs less than one drop-in fee at any studio!)
$71 Six Month Unlimited Pass
$134 Annual Unlimited Pass
There is a 7-day free trial offer available on the Yoga30 site. Because this is so new, there are currently three classes available from Yoga Central, but more are coming soon, including an all-level Vinyasa, Gentle Flow, and a Hips/Hamstrings mini class.

 

Old Factory Candles

Old Factory CandlesI recently received a gift set of Old Factory Candles to try out and review. These candles are sold exclusively on Amazon.com. They are all hand-poured in the US with natural soy wax, hand trimmed cotton wicks, and premium fragrance oils. Each gift set comes with three themed scented candles that burn 20 hours. I chose to try Spa Day because I love the scents of lemongrass, cucumber, and green tea.

I love these candles. They smell so good and last forever. I can close my eyes and feel like I’m really in a spa (aside from my dogs barking at every movement). There are a lot of scents to choose from including Fall Harvest, with Pumpkin Spice, Cranberry and Autumn Leaves, Vacation which comes with Sea Breeze, Hawaiian Lei, and Awapuhi, and many others. A gift pack of three 20-hour candles costs $25 and they are eligible for Amazon Prime.

 

What are your Thanksgiving plans? Will you run a turkey trot? What is your favorite candle scent?

Cross Country, Vegan Eats and Samuel Time!

The highlight of my week:

Samuel2Of course, seeing Samuel is always the highlight of the week, but there were a few other things going on.

Cross Country Begins

Cross country practice started on Tuesday. I’m coaching the girls team only this year, so it is a different experience than in previous years. We’re losing a couple of our best runners (they’re transferring to another school, long story), but we’re also expecting a new student, moving from Washington state, a sophomore with a cross country PR of around 18:30. Last year we had a strong, young team, so I’m excited about the coming season.

Live from La Quinta - Girls Cross Country Team - Running

Our 2012 girls team.

Cross country is very time consuming though. We meet five days a week, and that includes my usual running days (except Sunday, which I keep for my own). I do get to run with the girls a lot at this time of the season, when we’re building endurance. Because of my work schedule we have two afternoon practices a week, so they’re getting their heat training early. Those practices are at 6 pm but, using this evening as an example, it is still 110 degrees at 6:30 pm, so it’s pretty tough. They need it, but we keep it short and pretty easy, especially at first. Last week we did a circuit strength workout that included a lap on the track between each set. Challenging but doable (and we stayed in the shade for the strength portion).

Samuel Time

As I mentioned, this was the highlight of my weekend. My son and daughter in law are building a house in Murrieta, and they invited us to see the progress. Well, not exactly progress because the actual home building hasn’t really begun, but they wanted us to see the location and the model. And we wanted to see Samuel them.

We met them at a little airport near their soon-to-be new home because Samuel loves to watch the planes taking off. One of his first words, “Wow!” gets used a lot while he’s there.

Samuel3We hadn’t seen him for a couple months and at that age, what a difference a couple months makes! He seems so grown up (at 19 months), he walks (and runs) so well, he’s starting to say a few words (still can’t get him to say Grandma yet though), and is generally fun and playful. Alan had a great time playing with him.

Grandpa2

GrandpaWe all piled in their car and went to lunch. Our go-to restaurant in that area is the Earth Bistro, which serves meat but has plenty of vegan options.

Samuel

After lunch we piled back in the car and drove out to their new home site. Sitting in the back seat, squeezed in between Samuel in his car seat and Alan, I really felt I needed to take some grandma selfies. Samuel helped.

Samuel4

Samuel5The house is being built in a new development, so there are only a few homes built so far. They are just opening up the sports complex/playground in a few days. So far, the lot has been leveled, the wall is being built, and I believe they’ll being laying the foundation in the next week or so. So right now, we got to see a pile of dirt. But, it’s Nathan and Sarah’s pile of dirt.

HomeI think their house is going to be beautiful! We got to see the model and I loved the layout. It has a huge open concept kitchen/living/dining area, several bedrooms, an office for my son, and an office/work room for my daughter in law. And it will be solar powered! It should be ready to move in by mid-October. I’m so excited for them. It’s their first home, and I love that they are moving closer to us. It’s only about an hour and a half drive. Close enough to babysit!

Vegan Eats

After lunch at Native Foods in Costa Mesa last week,  I was in the mood for more, so I picked up lunch to bring back to work on Wednesday. So good. (Not pictured, the fries that are included with the daily special. They didn’t survive the 15 minute ride back to work.)

Native FoodsAfter our first evening cross country practice, I’d planned to stop at Z Pizza and pick up a vegan pizza. I didn’t know, until I parked in front of the restaurant, that they are closed temporarily. It was a little late to start from scratch (and I was in the mood for pizza), so instead I picked up a cheese-less veggie pizza from Pizza Hut, added a little Daiya to it and popped it under the broiler when I got home. For some reason I didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure you can visualize it.

I did take a picture of our food at the Earth Bistro. Alan had a veggie burger and I had a grilled veggie sandwich. I also took a picture of the stuffed grape leaves, which were Samuel’s, but they were vegan so I had to try one. They were good!

LunchThe other day I received the cookbook “Paleo By Season: A Chef’s Approach to Paleo Cooking” in the mail. I’m not sure exactly why. I didn’t order it or offer to review it. I don’t do Paleo, so that wouldn’t be something I would be interested in. Sarah and Nathan, however, do follow a Paleo diet, so I gave them the book. If you’re interested, you can look for a review soon on their blog, Rock like Grok.

Cookbook

On Saturday evening, a day that started with 6 am cross country practice, traveled to Murrieta to see the family, we ended the day with a party at our friend Liz’s house. It’s totally family oriented, they even showed a movie in the back yard on a big screen when it got dark. But there are grown ups there (and wine!). And she’s an amazing cook and always creates something deliciously vegan for us. This time is was enchiladas. One of the things I love the most is seeing how the vegan food she cooks (in addition to regular food for her other guests), gets gobbled up by everyone, who for the most part don’t even realize they’re eating plant based food.

Dinner

Johnny Be Goode

For those of you have been wondering. Johnny has settled in nicely. He is still a puppy and he has a lot of bad habits after growing up on the streets, but he’s a sweet, loving dog and he gets along with the pack just fine for the most part (except when he jumps on them in his exuberance). And we do have to watch out for our noses.

Johnny3

And finally, because nothing makes me smile more than watching my grandson play, I’m sharing this video so that you can smile too.

How was your weekend? Any events, great restaurants, or family time?

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Big Bear: Cooler Weather, Triathlon, Running, and New Friends

If you follow me in Instagram (and if not, why not?), you know I spent the weekend up at Big Bear Lake. Alan was announcing the Big Bear Triathlon, and I was along for the ride (and the run, a little challenging at 6,700 feet elevation and above). That was Saturday. After the event, we moved bases over to a friends house, where we spent the night and, amidst a few glasses of wine, chatted while Alan reacquainted himself with a high school friend (that’s about 45 years ago!).

It was a great weekend, but also a long one, so I hope you don’t mind if I share most of our time in pictures, with just a little bit of explanation. And, we’re off…

Bear3

We arrived on Friday afternoon. We checked into our hotel, the Robin Hood Inn, which was right across the street from the event. Nice hotel, with only two drawbacks. One, in addition to hosting the triathlon (including the post-race party), they were also hosting a Corvettes West event, so the hotel was full of partying Corvette owners. Again, all fine and good, but it meant that, to avoid the noise of their evening event, we were put in a room that faced the street, and was very noisy and hot.

BearHot, you say? You guys are from the desert, where it was 105 degrees when you left on Friday morning. Well, the temperature in Big Bear hovered in the high 80s over the weekend, pretty hot for a place that doesn’t have a whole of of air conditioning. And for a hotel room with a lot of windows that seemed to face the sun both rising and setting.

Bear4After checking in, we ambled over to the event transition area, where Alan met the race director and discussed last minute details.

Bear2While Alan was busy, I wandered around the marina, and was enchanted by the above sign. It was easy to see why it was necessary.

bla bla blaThen we headed over to meet up with Alan’s friend Cheryl. He went to high school with her, lost touch, then reconnected a few years ago through Facebook. They hadn’t seen each other in about 45 years! That didn’t seem to matter, as we all got along so well, and Cheryl and I had a great time getting to know each other.

Bear6I found a Mexican Restaurant called Azteca that had a few vegan options on the menu. Alan and I both ordered the veggie burrito. It was okay, but had too many bell peppers for either of our tastes. It did fill us up though.

Just a few words here about eating this weekend. I was not proud of my efforts. Although I had brought fruit, bars, and a few snacks, I seemed to do an inadequate job of fueling myself (and Alan too). We were either really hungry, or eating bars or snacks. I need to work on that for travel of more than one night.

In addition to that, my stomach was really upset all weekend long. Without going into too great of detail, I will say my dinner did not appear to agree with me. It got so bad during my run on Saturday morning that I had to turn around early to go back to the hotel (because I didn’t know any other bathroom options). It continued all the way into Sunday, so that ended up being one down side of our weekend away.

Bear7While Alan was busy announcing the race, I took the opportunity to take a short run. I ran along the race course (I was out there well before the athletes took to the run). As I said, I had to stop back at the hotel, but I went back out to get in my three miles.

Bear8Bear9It was so pretty up there. And while it was pretty warm by the afternoon, the mornings were lovely and fresh. Though all the layers of undershirts, gloves, arm warmers, and jackets that I had brought with me went unused (the forecast said 45, pretty darn chilly for this desert rat!).

Bear11After my run I went back to the hotel to shower and check out. Then I returned to the venue while Alan finished up.

Bear10Our friend Amanda, who owns the best triathlon store in the desert, Brickhouse Multisport, was there, with last minute gear, wet suit rentals, and, well, pretty clothes to buy. That’s her on the far right of the picture. In some of those pretty clothes.

After the race, Alan also had to MC the post race party and give out the raffle prizes to those that attended. We ourselves finally got to eat some real food (of which I didn’t take a picture). They had a garden burger wrap on the menu which was good (and we were starving). Then, he was done with his obligation. So we headed back to Cheryl’s house, where we were going to spend Saturday night.

We had another nice evening of chatting. Alan and Cheryl had a lot to catch up on, but I didn’t feel left out. We all seemed to have a lot in common, and it was fun getting to know her. I ended up cooking dinner, because we didn’t want to chance another restaurant. Using what Cheryl had on hand, I made a nice pasta with sauce.

bear12The picture of the pasta box is pretty bad, but I think it was gluten free. I liked it a lot, and will try it again at home.

Bear17Alan and I took a run on Sunday morning. We started slow because Alan’s asthma can really cause some problems in the altitude. We ran about three miles, which was plenty. From Cheryl’s house, we ran to the lake…

Bear15

Bear14

Bear16Alan had to test the water. It was chilly.

Then we ran back, past Cheryl’s house, to Snow Summit, the main ski resort in Big Bear. Obviously they don’t do any ski business this time of year (plus winter was so warm they didn’t do much then either), but it is huge with mountain bikers. The parking lot fills up early every morning, and cyclists can do their own thing, or take the ski lift to the top and ride down. There are also hiking trails. We didn’t do any of that (maybe next time), but we did stop for some pictures.

Bear18The hill we didn’t climb.

Bear21

Bear20

Bear19Afterward, it was just a short walk back to Cheryl’s, where chatted some more, then showered, packed up, and got ready to go back down the mountain. We had to take at least one more selfie though.

Bear22Then, it was goodbye to Cheryl and to Big Bear. Back to the desert, where it was 105 when we got home. At least we are back to familiar food and regular meals, so my stomach will hopefully be back to normal. All that aside, though, we can’t wait to go back.

Bear23Bye bye, Big Bear!

How did you spend your weekend? Any travel, races, events or fun family times? Share!