My Birthday, Samuel Time, and My Dad

My Birthday

So, Sunday was my birthday. Since I got to pick our activities for the day, we went to visit my son, daughter-in-law, and, of course, Samuel! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate.

SamuelIt was also exciting that they had just moved into their new house! They had it built in a new development (which is much closer to the desert, hurray!), and just got the keys last week and moved on Friday! So the house was still full of boxes, the walls are bare, but they are so happy to be into their first home.

house 2

houseYes, that is my birthday wine in the foreground.

So we got to play with Samuel.

Samuel 2

And with the granddogs (Chloe will also be celebrating her first birthday in a couple days. Can you tell which dog is the puppy?



They took us to lunch at the Earth Bistro, a cute place in Temecula that has vegan options for us and gluten free options for them. A win-win!

Earth Bistro

Samuel 3All in all, just about the best way I can think of to spend my birthday.

My Dad

My dad and I shared the same birthday, so I always like to take some time to think about him on “our” day. He would have been 88!


How was your weekend? Any fun events or family time? Want to come to La Quinta to run a 5k with me? Did you guess which dog was the puppy?


Family Time! Plus a Workout Recap

Family Time

My sister Lisa was visiting from Texas this weekend. For a sad reason actually. The father of a friend of hers had passed away, so she was here to support her friend and attend his memorial service on Saturday.

On Sunday we gathered our family together and met for lunch at about the halfway point, in Temecula. I got to choose the restaurant, so I chose the Earth Bistro, which I knew had options for everybody.

Alan and I left the house about 10:30 for what should be an hour and a half drive, but halfway to the freeway we realized that high winds were kicking up some serious sandstorms. My new car is still perfect and I did not want to get sandblasted, so we decided to go the longer route, through the mountains. That wouldn’t have been too bad, but we seemed to get stuck behind the slowest drivers on earth, all of whom ignored the “slower traffic use turnouts” signs. Sigh.

But everything was good when we finally arrived. I was so excited that in addition to my sister, who I haven’t seen in over a year, both my sons, my daughter-in-law, my youngest son’s girlfriend, my niece, her boyfriend and his son, and of course SAMUEL, were all there. We were quite a crew.


Here we all are!


Samuel, his beautiful mom, Sarah, and my oldest son, Nathan.

My Boys

I just love this picture of my boys.


He’s a handful!


A candid shot, so it’s not the best. That’s my niece Brynne on Alan’s left, her boyfriend Eric and his son in between them.


I took on the chore of chasing Samuel when he got tired of sitting still. Tough job but someone’s got to do it.

Samuel is really walking now. I saw him just two weeks ago, and he was working his way there, but what a difference 14 days makes! There’s no stopping him now!

He even says a few words now too.


Of course the Earth Bistro has some great vegan options, including this pizza. Alan had a veggie burger, and we had some great appetizers including stuffed grape leaves, flat bread with hummus and a couple other dips, and roasted potatoes.

All in all a great family day. Hopefully a year won’t go by before I see my sister again.

The Week in Marathon Training

I was pretty happy with my marathon training this week too. After my great cutback run last weekend, I increased the distance this week, so my long run was 16 miles, which I ran on Saturday. For the first time Alan and I got our schedules straight, so we ran about half of the run together. I’m a little ahead of him in distance though, so we said goodbye at his halfway point. It was still good, even though the last couple miles were challenging.

I also managed a tempo run, even though I would have preferred it to be a little longer. I ran 2.5 miles at half marathon pace.

On Sunday, we took the dogs out for our recovery run. This was a bit of a challenge for me, since I’ve been doing my long runs on Sunday, then taking Monday off. Taking a run the next day, slow as it was, was tough. The dogs loved it though.


Running makes Penny smile. Penny makes me smile.


Buddy wanted a little Cytomax boost.


The drinking fountain wasn’t working, so Alan worked on it. I guess that is working now.


We bumped into our friend Dottie, who’s running Boston in a few weeks. Alan, who’s run it twice gave her a few course tips.

So I’m pleased with my running, though I really want to get my weekly mileage up a bit. I’m still averaging around 25 miles a week, and I’d like to get it up to around 35. I’ll work on that in the coming weeks, probably using Wednesday as a second longest run day, and trying to get a little speed work on Tuesday.

First though, I need to get through the upcoming week and Ragnar! It starts Friday and I’m feeling pretty excited and nervous.

I’m also starting my #SpringintoYoga Challenge on Tuesday! It is my way to get back into a regular yoga practice, and requires a minimum of 10 minutes a day in April. You should join me! The details are here.

How was your weekend? Any great family events or training you’d like to share? Have you ever done a Ragnar race? What would be the number one tip you’d share? Want to join me in a yoga challenge? I could use a little more inspiration :-).

Let’s Put This Week to Bed. In (Mostly) Pictures

I have rehashed this week to death. You’ve read about my accident, my feelings about my accident, and my completion of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge in spite of the accident. I am tired of talking about it myself. So, I won’t. Except that a decent size insurance check should be arriving today so let the car shopping will begin.

We deserved a good weekend and the good karma gods delivered. If you follow me on Instagram you have a good idea what we’ve been up to (and if not, why not?). In any case, here are some pictures from the last week.

Running Girl

Goodbye Running Girl


Egg Tofu

My new discover thanks to Cadry’s Kitchen. I can’t believe how easy it is too make “tofu eggs!”


Mmmm, vegan pizza


On the trails with Penny on Saturday before leaving for the beach.

Penny and Mom


The view from our hotel room in Encinitas


Enjoying a little sea breeze, watching kids playing in the ocean, adults playing beach volleyball. Life in So Cal in February!



One of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen. Also from the hotel room.


This was about 5 minutes after the sun had set. Still amazing.

Native Foods

Dinner at Native Foods. Two weeks in a row!

Native Foods 2

Soul Bowl

Native Foods 3

Bad pic, good food. Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger.


A foggy morning on Sunday.


At about mile 9 of 10.



Finally, the reason for our trip to San Diego! 15 months old!

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We got to meet Chloe.

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Samuel 4

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Lunch at PF Changs. These pictures were much better than the food pics.

bla bla blaThe week ended on a good note. Nothing like spending time with family to remind you of what is important and how precious life is.

I guess it’s time to start looking for a new car. I have pretty much decided that I want to start by looking at another Honda CRV. It was such a good car that it’s hard to think about a different one. Unless I get a really good deal on something else!

I want to thank you again for the support, love and concern that you expressed through the last week. It truly helped me stay strong in spite of the circumstances.

So, how was your weekend? Any travel, events, or special family time?

Wow! What a Weekend!

In a nutshell, this is how I spent Thanksgiving weekend:


  • Turkey Trot (on the trails this year). Alan and I (mostly him) put it on.
  • Just two for dinner.
  • Impossible to cook Thanksgiving Dinner for two.
  • Huge quantities of vegan Thanksgiving food prepared.
  • Huge quantities of vegan Thanksgiving food consumed.
  • Bed by 6:30.


  • Work, 7:30-12:30
  • Not a black Friday kind of person, but had to venture out to buy Samuel’s birthday present.
  • Didn’t feel good after shopping (possibly a result of the night before? Not sure).
  • Went to bed early with no dinner, worried that I was coming down with something.


  • Got up feeling much better.
  • Took a three mile run with Alan and the dogs.
  • Showered, packed and got ready to head to San Diego.
  • Arrived at my son/daughter-in-law’s house around 1:15.
  • Celebrated Samuel’s first birthday with family and friends.
  • Drove to Encinitas, where we had a reservation for the night, arrived around 6:00.
  • Didn’t feel like driving anymore, so we first walked to the beach (in the dark), then to dinner.
  • In bed by around 8:30


  • Got up, went to Starbucks for coffee, then went for a three mile run.
  • Showered, packed, and checked out.
  • Went to breakfast.
  • Went to Roadrunner Sports
  • Drove home.
  • Finished doing the results for the Turkey Trot (late, I know, but I’m just one human being).
  • Dinner of vegan Thanksgiving leftovers. Ate too much again.
  • Sat down to write this post.

A few highlights:

Thursday: Turkey Trot

Or as we call it now, Trot N on the Trails. Because of an issue at Palm Desert High School, where we were originally going to hold the race, we had to make a last minute change and chose the trails in La Quinta to hold the race (same course as the Gem of the Desert trail race). As a result, we had a much smaller crowd (only around 250), and I was in charge of the timing. Timing companies are pretty expensive, so with the small turn out we ended up doing the timing by hand, which is always a challenge.

Weekend - Turkey Trot

Backing up just a little, Alan was up at 2 am, and I was up at 2:30 to get ready for the race. We had plenty of volunteers, and everything went really well (except a couple timing glitches, of course). The race benefited our friend Jeff Rasmussen, who you may remember from my post almost a year ago, is dealing with a stage four brain tumor. Exactly a year ago on Thursday, he went into a coma and had to have emergency brain surgery, from which we were told he probably wouldn’t survive. Well, he actually walked the race on Thursday! Here is a link to the local news video about Jeff.

After finally finishing up and carting everything home, it was around 11:00. I really was afraid to sit down, thinking I might never get up again. So, I first made my pumpkin pie, then just kept on with the food prep. I made the stuffing and sweet potatoes, then finally took an hour for a quick nap. I finished up with the rest of the dinner, and we ate around 5:30.

Weekend - Vegan Thanksgiving Dinner

After everything was pretty well put away and cleaned up (that is one part that is easier when there are only two people), I decided that there wasn’t really anything else I needed to do, so at 6:30 I headed to bed.

Friday: Work & Upset Stomach

I had to work in the morning on Friday, but I was done about 12:30. I spent a little time writing a post (it was Samuel’s first birthday!), then we went to lunch. Since I had put off buying Samuel’s birthday present, we had to venture out into the Black Friday crowd. It wasn’t too bad. We went to Target, where our timing was pretty good, and we got out of the store with our sanity.

By the time we got home though, I really wasn’t feeling good.  I just felt queasy, though it was hard to put a finger on the cause. I decided to go to bed early, skipping dinner. I was worried that I was coming down with something, and I was concerned that it would cause me to miss Samuel’s party on Saturday.

Saturday: Birthday Party!

Fortunately, I felt much better on Saturday morning. Good enough to go for a little run on the trails with Alan, Penny, and Buddy. We ran about three miles, then we showered, packed up, and got on the road to San Diego.



It was a great party! Lot’s of family and friends, and even if Samuel won’t remember, we certainly will.

Weekend - Samuel and Teddy


Weekend - First Birthday Cake

Afterwards, Alan and I drove to Encinitas where we were staying overnight. We talked about going to Native Foods for dinner, but once we parked at the hotel, we didn’t feel like driving again. Instead, we took a walk to Moonlight Beach and listened to the waves for a while, then walked to the Roxy, which has a nice selection of vegetarian and vegan options on the menu. I was still pretty full from lunch, and chose a big salad and soup for dinner.

After that, a walk home and another early-to-bed night.

Sunday: Running and a Little Shopping

We woke up pretty early on Sunday (after going to bed so early!), and decided to go for a little run along the coast. Even though I had a long run on the schedule, I felt that a three mile run was just perfect. I’ll catch up next week.

Weekend running in Encinitas


Weekend - Running tree pose

After running, showering and checking out, we headed to one of our favorite places for breakfast in Encinitas, Ki’s. It was a beautiful day, so we ate on the patio overlooking the ocean. Pancakes for Alan, and a tofu scramble for me. It was excellent. I always order a Virgin Mary when we go to Ki’s, but this time it took a while to get it. When the server finally delivered it, I thanked her, then thought to ask, it is a Virgin Mary, right? She looked a little embarrassed, and said no, actually there was quite a bit of alcohol it it. She started to take it back, offered it to Alan (who doesn’t drink at all), then brought me my alcohol-free version. I really do enjoy a good Bloody Mary, but not when we are busy, driving, and trying to get things done.

Weekend vegan breakfast at Ki's

After that, we headed to Roadrunner Sports for a little shopping (VIPs get 20% off through Monday!). And then, finally, we drove the two hours home, where our dogs were almost as happy to see us as we were to see them.

Shoe Dog

I spent about three hours finishing up the results of the Turkey Trot and uploading them to Active. Fortunately, we had plenty of leftovers from Thanksgiving, which we enjoyed for dinner. And, again, I ate too much.

Finally, here I sit, trying to put words together in a fashion that you will enjoy reading, before I had off to yet another early bedtime.

And how was your weekend? I hope that you had a wonderful, family-filled holiday.

Happy Birthday! Samuel’s First Year in Pictures

Today is Samuel’s first birthday! I cannot believe how fast the time has passed, and looking back, how much Samuel has changed over the months. Yes, I know it happens over and over for all parents and grandparents, but each time it is pretty miraculous. I cherish each moment, from the first call notifying us of his arrival, to our first time holding him, to watching him develop and grow over the months, almost always with a big grin on his face.  I hope you will enjoy a few of these moments with me.

 1 year old

 1 year old

Happy Birthday - 1 year old

- 1 year old

 - 1 year old

- 1 year old

 - 1 year old

Happy Birthday - 1 year old

- 1 year old

- 1 year old

Happy Birthday - 1 year old

 1 year old

Happy Birthday - 1 year old

- 1 year old

Happy Birthday - 1 year old

- 1 year old

- 1 year old

 1 year old

- 1 year old

 1 year old

- 1 year old

- 1 year old

Tomorrow Alan and I will attend Samuel’s first birthday party, a milestone that, ironically, he won’t remember. We will though, and isn’t that what first birthday parties are all about?

The Weekend: Running, Eating (#Vegan), Family and Easter. In San Diego.


My weekly training recap post will be up tomorrow. Week 10! I had way too much going on this weekend to write. I did have a great long run, which I’ll tell you all about tomorrow. In the meantime, here is what kept me from writing, in (mostly) pictures.

IMG_4834It was a beautiful (but a little chilly) day in Encinitas when we arrived around noon. Our room wasn’t ready yet, so we headed to Moonlight Beach. We sat, looked at the ocean, admired the new construction (they’re building a new snack bar/restroom complex), then we headed to lunch at the Roxy. I had a great falafel pita, and while we were there realized that it was almost a year to the day that my son, Nathan, and daughter-in-law, Sarah, made their big announcement while we had dinner at the Roxy. After lunch we did a little shopping (any one else think about MizFit when looking at those dolls?), then checked in. We made it back to the beach for a lovely sunset.


For dinner, we headed to Native Foods. As you know, it’s my favorite restaurant and I’m so happy that the Encinitas location opened a few months ago. It was a beautiful evening, so Alan and I sat on the patio (next to a was a little chilly), and enjoyed our food. Bistro Steak Sandwich for me, Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger for Alan. We both had apple pie for dessert. Remember, in spite of the names, everything is free of animal products at Native Foods.


On Sunday morning, I had a 12 miler on the schedule. I decided to cut it back to 10 miles, because of our Easter plans, but I felt so good I ended up running 11 miles. Another beautiful day. I felt so great on the run that I wished that it was race day! I was really pleased that I ran mile 10, which is a pretty good uphill stretch from Cardiff to Encinitas, at race pace. Hurray for me!


After the run, we got a little dressed up and headed south to San Diego. We had big plans, but we stopped beforehand for a few photos. We were on Shelter Island, which is just across the harbor from downtown. Oh, the top photo is actually a statue of a surfer that is in Cardiff. It gets a lot of kidding for the pose and people tend to dress it up for the holidays.


Here’s the main reason we were in San Diego! To see my grandson, Samuel.

IMG_4837And his parents of course. And Sarah’s family. We were invited to Easter Brunch at the Bali Hai on Shelter Island. That is Samuel’s other grandma in the photo above. And Alan finally had a chance to feed Samuel. He’s four months old now, very happy, active, and has been sleeping through the night for about two months! He was a little off his schedule today, but, as you can see, he finally crashed out in his daddy’s arms.

IMG_4839More family shots from brunch today. Check out the view from our table at the Bali Hai. Beautiful, isn’t it?

How was your holiday weekend? Did you get to spend some time with family and friends?