The Accomplishments of Others

I’m a little under the weather this weekend. At first I blamed it on allergies (even though I’ve never really been allergic to anything) because they are scalping and reseeding the grass here in the desert, which leaves the air dusty and full of all those things that makes allergy sufferers go wild. I finally decided, since my stuffy nose, sneezing, headaches, and watery eyes, seemed to have a progression from bad to worse, that I probably have a cold.

With the exception of the cross country meet on Saturday, I have been laying low for the last few days. Of course the meet required that I wake up at 3:00 am, be at the school by 4:30, ride two hours on a school bus (in each direction), and coach my team, but other than that I haven’t accomplished much this weekend.

For that reason, I decided to focus this post on the accomplishments of others! Many of my friends, acquaintances, blogging friends, and others that I stalk follow were quite busy this weekend. So, starting locally and moving globally, here are some of the things that I didn’t do this weekend.

The Accomplishments of Others

My girls cross country team competed in the Inland Empire Championships this weekend, which pits the high schools of Riverside and San Bernardino counties against each other. The team did very well, finishing seventh in their division, and our lead runner was awarded for being the sixth fastest sophomore in Riverside county! She ran 19:28, finishing fifth in our divisional race.

Inland Empire

My friend Liz completed her first triathlon today! I’ve written about Liz’s journey before, she has lost over 100 pounds and just started training with Alan less than a year ago. I’m so proud of her!

Liz

This is Liz finishing her first 5k last July. It’s been a year of firsts!

Tina Muir, who is a blogging friend as well as being an elite runner, completed the Chicago Marathon on Sunday, finishing as 30th woman overall in 2:45:51. I’m looking forward to reading her recap.

Chicago

Many of my real life and blogging friends ran marathons today too. Krissy and Lauren also ran Chicago. Monica and Kristen both ran Long Beach. My IRL friend Marina ran the Long Beach Half Marathon (at age 62 she ran a 1:38, 38th woman overall!).

On the relay front, real life and blogging friend Tiffany ran the Ragnar Trail race at Vail Lake, as did friends Sandy and Tommy. Speaking of Ragnar, my Dirrty Dozen teammate Jamie completed the Dick Collins Firetrails 50 miler.

Amanda, who owns the only triathlon shop in the desert, made the podium in the Bonelli Olympic Distance race. Nice job!

I am absolutely sure that I missed many of my friends’ accomplishments from this weekend. I’ll blame my cold, which has left my head foggy and my energy low. If I missed yours, please let me know in the comments.

Congratulations to all who had a PR, a BQ, a first race, or just got out there and did something. I salute you from my sick bed!

7 Weeks Until Rock and Roll Marathon. How’d That Happen?

My Training for Rock and Roll Marathon

As you may guess from the title, my upcoming race, the Rock and Roll Marathon in San Diego, is kind of sneaking up on me. My training has been, well, erratic is a good word, and suddenly realizing that the race is only seven weeks away is a little frightening. And ironic, since I am coaching a runner for this race (and she’s right on track with her training).

7 Weeks to Rock and Roll Marathon

Just a random house in the La Quinta cove where I live. I love the artwork in the yard.

I’ve been doing pretty good with increasing my long run distance. Two weeks ago I ran 16 miles, and last week at the Ragnar Relay my mileage totaled up to 17 miles (which I am definitely counting!). I’m up for 18 next weekend, even though I working on Saturday and will have to do my long run on Easter.

7 Weeks to Rock and Roll Marathon

At Starbucks. She hangs in the back.

What has been challenging me has been getting in a second longest run of more that six miles, and speed work. Because of my work hours (I work at 5:30 am on Monday, Thursday and Friday), I need to fit my training schedule into the other four days of the week. Ideally, I’d love to run every other day, to give my body a good chance to recover, but that isn’t going to happen, so I’m trying to make the best of a Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday schedule.

The basic plan is:

Tuesday: Speedwork
Wednesday: Second longest Run
Saturday: Long Run
Sunday: Recovery Run

That is the basic plan, except on the weeks that it isn’t. For example, this past week was:

Tuesday: Still beat up and tired from Ragnar, chose to sleep in a little, didn’t have time to run before work at 8:00.

Wednesday: Ran six miles, including a slow half mile with Penny (at almost 13, she’s getting slower and slower, but I don’t have the heart to just leave her, so we struggle through a short “run” before I head off on my own). I’d like to get this run up to eight or nine miles, but that means I’d have to get my butt out the door earlier since I have to work at 9:00.

Saturday: I made this a cut back run simply because Alan and I needed to get it done and head to San Dimas, where he was announcing a triathlon on Sunday. I ran 12 miles.

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We ran part of our Saturday run with some of the cross country team. Did I keep up? Um, no.

Sunday: I was tired (and really wanted to bag the whole run and just sleep while Alan worked), but managed to run five slow miles on the trails around Bonelli Park in San Dimas. I made it even easier by stopping to take a lot of pictures (it was so pretty!).

7 Weeks to Rock and Roll Marathon

That’s the start line of the triathlon over my right shoulder. Such a pretty venue.

That totals up to just about 23 miles, not where I want to be seven weeks out from my marathon. So…

Here is the plan for the upcoming week:

Tuesday: Tempo Run at half marathon pace.
Wednesday: Eight miles
Saturday: Three miles before I work in the morning.
Sunday: Long run, 18 miles.

The following Sunday I’m running a half marathon (not La Jolla as it turns out, but the Run Through Redlands, with its much flatter course), which will take me into May and 20 milers! See! It’s happening so fast!

Scenes from the Week

As I mentioned, Alan was announcing a triathlon at Bonelli Park on Sunday, so after we finished our run on Saturday we showered, packed and headed to San Dimas, which is about an hour and a half away from home. They put us up at the Best Western, which is a pretty nice hotel (last year we had a Dog Rescuer moment when we stayed there). We checked in, headed over to Bonelli Park so Alan could let the race director knew he’d arrived, then back to the hotel to hang out until dinner time.

Somewhere during that time, my stomach started to hurt. I felt like I must have eaten something that disagreed, but I’m not sure what. I just know it had me lying on the bed with a pillow under my tummy for about an hour. I did start to feel better, so we decided to go to dinner (it takes more than a stomachache to make me skip a meal!).

We went to Casa del Rey, which is walking distance from the hotel and has a small vegetarian menu. The wait was about a half hour, so Alan and I decided to eat at the bar. We both ordered the vegetarian burrito with no cheese.

7 Weeks to Rock and Roll Marathon

Beans, rice, avocado, and salsa. Yes, it was good!

The nice thing about eating at the bar is that it is fast (and you get to watch baseball). The downside is you have to sit with other people who sit at bars, which that night included one gentleman who was extremely inebriated. He was obviously a regular, he knew all the servers by name, and was quite friendly. From the time we first sat down, he seemed to be getting ready to leave, but when we left, he was still there.

One funny little story. When we first arrived, we sat about three chairs down from this man, who was the only other one at the bar. A little later two other men sat down, then an attractive woman. Our drunk friend bought her a drink, asked her name, and was quite flirtatious (and she didn’t seem to mind). Then he turned to me, now only two seats away, and asked my name. I told him, then he turned back to his little crowd, and in a matter of seconds, was calling the other lady Debbie. Loudly. It was hilarious.

By the way, the burritos were great. And huge! We brought more than half home with us. Just as I was finishing dinner though, my stomachache started to come back. It hurt so bad I could hardly stand up straight as we walked home. I spent the next hour before bed lying on my pillow again. I guess it was just gas, but that sounds so crude :-).

Fortunately it was better by bedtime, and I woke up on Sunday feeling just fine. I went out with Alan to the venue, with the plan to take a run while he was working. I did, but it took me a while to get motivated to get going. It was just so nice and warm in the car!

Bonelli

I finally took the plunge, but I was still cold, so I kept my sweatshirt on and took off on the trails, heading to an area across the reservoir from where the swim was taking place. It really is very pretty, so I took a lot of pictures, which was probably the reason I couldn’t get warm. Even after two miles, when I was back to the car, I was still cold. I took off my sweatshirt though, and ran three more miles, this time on asphalt around the park, but even then, I didn’t really warm up. I was happy to finish and get back in the car!

Bonelli 2

I went back to the hotel to shower and check out, then went to pick up Alan when he was done. Oh, I did a little shopping before we left the venue, picking up pair of Zoot compression sleeves for a pretty nice price. I guess that got us in the shopping mode, because we decided to stop at the Cabazon Outlet stores, which are about an hour away from home. It was Alan’s idea, I’m really not a shopper, but I was willing to go along (and forced myself to buy a cute outfit from the UnderArmour store).

7 Weeks to Rock and Roll Marathon

I love the lacy detail on the back of this shirt. So pretty.

It feels good to be back home. I have several weeks in a row where I’m spending at least half the weekend either on the road or at work. It is quite a challenge to train, travel, work, write, cook, and, um, you know, clean, with all that is going on. Something’s gotta give, can you guess what? (hint: it starts with a “C” and ends with an “N.”)

So, how was your weekend? Any training, races, or other competitions? Any shopping? Do tell!

The Dog Rescuer: Called into Action in San Dimas

I have written more than a few times about my husband the Dog Rescuer. There was the time we rescued two pitbulls in the middle of the summer, and miraculously drove almost directly to their home.  Or the time two dogs wandered up to us as we picked up a U-Haul the day before Thanksgiving and the Turkey Trot. There was the time he became the Calf Rescuer. Not to mention the rescue of our own dogs Lily , Olivia,, Goldie, and Buddy. Oh, and the kittens that he has cared for when their mothers could not. We have lots of stories.

Dogs know. Cats know. Somehow, even calves know that Alan will go above and beyond to make sure that he gets them home safely. Or, if that’s not possible, to make sure that they have a loving new home, sometimes our own.

It happened again over the weekend. We were in San Dimas, where Alan was announcing the third race in the Los Angeles Championship Triathlon Series at Bonelli Park. I will have a full report of the weekend, including the triathlon, my own training, our adventures, and our food, over the next couple days.

In the meantime, since we got home late on Sunday afternoon, I just want to tell you the story of Coco, the Dog Rescuers, and, what I can only call good karma.

Dog Rescuer

The triathlon was on Saturday, so Alan and I arrived on Friday afternoon. After checking in first to the hotel, then with the race director at Bonelli Park, we decided to go to dinner at a nearby Mexican restaurant which had a vegetarian menu, easily made vegan by eliminating cheese. It was only about a third of a mile from the hotel, so we planned to walk. We hadn’t even left the hotel property when we saw a dog, alone, across the street from us. It did have a collar, and looked cared for (and slightly overweight), which was a good sign. It was scared of us, though, and as we approached started to head up the street.

We followed slowly, not wanting to scare it anymore. Heading toward us were two women, and when the dog saw them, it ran across the street, thankfully not getting hit by a car on what was a fairly busy street. One of the women didn’t hesitate. She put down her purse and followed the dog across the street, leaving the other woman to grab her purse. Alan and I also crossed the street after the dog.

We tried to approach carefully, not wanting to scare the dog into running farther and farther away. Alan suggested that I go order the dinner, and he continued to follow the dog, along with the other woman.

I did so, and while I was still waiting for the food, Alan showed up. He told me that he and the woman finally cornered the dog, but it still didn’t want to be approached. At that point, the other woman, pulled up in her car, and just happened to have some food. That was all it took, and the dog was easy to catch.

Now, let me introduce everybody. The woman who didn’t hesitate to chase the dog with Alan, was Megan. The other woman, who pulled up with the car, was her mother, Barbara. The dog, who was female, was named Coco. I was the blogger who didn’t get a single picture of this whole event.

Dog Rescuer

While Coco did have tags, no one answered the phone. When Alan and I took our dinner up to our room, we left Megan and Barbara with the dog, hoping that the owner would call back quickly. Because, you see, both of them were competing in the triathlon the next morning. In fact, when the three of them had finally caught Coco, Barbara turned to Alan and asked him if he announced the Desert Triathlon. Small world.

The next morning, I was helping out with registration, when Megan and Barbara checked in. They told me that the owner didn’t call until 10:45 the night before! He’d been working, but he was so grateful he started to cry. Fortunately, the hotel had finally let them bring the dog into their room so they didn’t have to wait outside for the hours until he called.

So, good deed done. Now the good karma part. Megan won the race! And Barbara, 30 years older, was 3rd overall, only three minutes behind her daughter. Pretty cool, huh?

Dog Rescuer

I found out later, as I was researching for this post, that Megan and Barbara are both accomplished triathletes, and own a swim shop in Encinitas (well, Barbara owns it and Megan manages it). And, another cool story, last year, when they were competing in the Carlsbad Triathlon, in spite of being in different waves, they both finished the race in the exact same time, to the second, in first place overall!

So that’s my dog rescuer story. I hope you enjoyed it. I’ll be back with more of the weekend adventures tomorrow.

How was your weekend? Have you ever had a dog rescuer moment?

Turkey-Free Thanksgiving & Other Updates

Wow, this week has rushed by. So much to do, so little time to write. Here is a quick update, then hopefully I can return to more regular posting. Hopefully. It’s a busy time of year.

Thanksgiving

Last Sunday, the day after the Native Foods Pre-Opening Party, I had to drive to San Diego to drop off the glider I had purchased for Nathan and Sarah. Their baby, my grandson, Samuel, is due any day now and I want them to have the glider in place when they bring him home. We had a nice visit, a lot of it spent walking to encourage Samuel to hurry up and be born. Sarah looks beautiful, feels pretty good, and is totally ready to have the pregnancy over with.

Thanksgiving vegan

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

I am thankful that my son has found such a wonderful woman, and that their baby boy will be here any day now. By the way, for my Paleo readers, Nathan and Sarah both follow a Paleo diet and have started a new blog, Rock Like Grok, to share their recipes as well as their new parenting adventures.

I finally decided on Tuesday that I would cook Thanksgiving dinner even though Nathan and Sarah wouldn’t be traveling for obvious reasons, so it would just be Alan, myself, and, briefly, my son David. It always sounds attractive to be taken out to dinner on a holiday instead of cooking a huge meal for three, but a Turkey-less, vegan Thanksgiving dinner is hard to come by around here unless you prepare it for yourself.

In any case, starting Tuesday I started shopping for everything I needed (along with about 99% of the local population!). My menu: cornbread stuffing, candied sweet potatoes, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce, gravy, and pumpkin pie. I decided to try Trader Joe’s Turkey-less Roast, not really necessary with all the scrumptious side dishes, but it appeals to the traditionalist in me. Fortunately, this year I didn’t have to hunt down the vegan marshmallows, I was able to go straight to Harvest Health Foods, where I finally found them last year.

Of course I was working Tuesday and Wednesday while doing all this. I managed to make the cranberry sauce on Tuesday evening, and planned to bake the pie on Wednesday after work. Best laid plans…

When I left work on Wednesday, I had to go with Alan to pick up the U-Haul truck that he needed to haul all the equipment for the Palm Springs Turkey Trot, which would be on Thursday morning. I wanted to pick up a few more things from the store, but first we needed to go to the high school to pick up some tables and chairs for the event.

Off track here for a moment. We almost had a dog rescuer moment at the U-Haul place again. Ironically, we were discussing how we found two stray dogs there a couple years ago as we were pulling up. At that moment we saw two (different) dogs, no collars of course, playing on the lawn. It’s a terrible place because it’s right next to a busy road. We tried to get them to come to us, but they ran away. At least we got them away from the road.

Alan drove the truck home while I finished my shopping. My plan was to go home and make my pumpkin pie. Instead, we had to head to Palm Springs, where we had early packet pick-up for the race. Palm Springs is about a 45 minute drive at that time of the afternoon. We spent a couple hours at the base of the Forever Marilyn statue, gave out a few t-shirts and goodie bags, signed up a few more people, and finally headed home, where I threw together a quick dinner. Even so, bedtime was a late (for us) 10:00, the night before we had to wake up at 2:30 to head back to Palm Springs for the race. (I actually slept until 3:00 since I didn’t have to be there quite as early as Alan.)

Thanksgiving

When I talk about “us” putting on the Turkey Trot, I really mean “him,” my husband. Alan started planning months ago, with help this year from a friend of ours, Molly (who puts on the Run for Ike). All I really do is find a few volunteers and work the “day of race;” coordinate the volunteer assignments, handle registration, answer questions. Alan, of course, is the race announcer and in charge of the music, so in addition to setting up the course, he is starting the race and there at the finish line to call in the runners. I did find the time to take a couple pictures.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

We had a good crowd, about 700 runners, and everything went great. There was prize money this year, so we had some really fast runners (the winner’s time was 14:55!). This was our first year doing the Turkey Trot in Palm Springs (it’s been in Palm Desert for the last 13 years), but it was a great venue. The area around the Marilyn statue was perfect for registration and the award ceremony. We were done by around 10:00, spent a few minutes talking with the Sav-a-Pet volunteers (our race beneficiary). They adopted out three dogs! Success! Obviously I was busy if I didn’t think to take any dog pictures.

After we finished, I drove the car home, while Alan and one of our former cross country runners (long graduated, living in Long Beach, but always comes back to help), took the stuff back to the high school. I had a pie to bake! Though after it was done we had to hurry out to return the U-Haul (no roaming dogs this time, thank goodness).

Until a few years ago, my sister and I would spend our Thanksgiving together, in my kitchen, catching up, as we prepared dinner. Now she lives in Texas and can’t make it out until Christmas. So I did the cooking. You know what? There is just as much work cooking for three as there is for eight. Oh, in case you feel that Alan should have helped. He did, big time, by doing all the clean up. For me, that is the perfect trade off.

By the time we sat down to dinner, Alan and I were both exhausted. I was so tired I didn’t take any pictures of dinner, Alan was so tired he didn’t even have any dessert. Both are pretty prime examples of how tired we were. We did have some pie for breakfast though, and I managed a quick picture.

Thanksgiving

I had to work on Friday, but I got off fairly early and managed to remember to take a picture of my Thanksgiving sandwich:

Thanksgiving

I tried to finish this post on Saturday, but between my computer randomly turning off (hopefully getting a new one this week!), shopping (for myself…not quite ready for Christmas shopping yet), and a friend’s 40th birthday party, it didn’t get done. We had another early Sunday, waking up before 3:00 to drive to San Dimas, where Alan is announcing the Turkey Triathlon. Damn I’m a good wife! I’m finishing the post on my phone while he works (for the second time, having somehow lost all my new work when trying to upload).

It’s very pretty here at Bonelli park. I took a short run after it warmed up a bit and the race had started. It was quite a hilly run as it turned out, but fun anyway, even though I managed to take a tumble within the first two minutes.

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Well, that’s how I spent my Thanksgiving week. How did you spend yours? I hope you were able to be with family, eat some great food, and maybe enjoy a fun family event like a turkey trot.

Ventura Bound

I’m on my way to Ventura, where Alan is announcing the Breath of Life Triathlon tomorrow. I feel great today, probably a result of post-migraine euphoria.

Before leaving, I took Penny on a two mile run because we’ll be gone all weekend and I feel bad when she doesn’t get her run (and you should see the looks she gives me!)

After a week of feeling sluggish on the run, I felt fresh and fast this morning. Of course, these days for me that means an average nine minute mile. It was probably knowing that I had only two miles to run, but I pushed it from the beginning. It sure made Penny happy.

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This is one of those typical Life of a Race Announcer gigs. Our accommodations are at the Ventura Motel 6, Alan will be at the venue by about 5 am, and I, after sleeping in a little, will run to the Ventura Harbor, where the race is held, and hang out until the race is over.

Sleeping in is an option I don’t usually have this time of year. Now that summer is here, and the temperature is up around 108, procrastination is not an option.

The forecast for Ventura is a high of 68. That’s 40 degrees cooler! I was pulling out all the fleece when packing this morning.

After the event tomorrow, Alan and I are heading to Santa Barbara to stay with an old friend of his (who he hasn’t seen in 30 years!). I’m sure the accommodations will be a lot nicer. We plan to take our hosts to a fairly new vegan restaurant in SB called Adama, which has received some rave reviews (thanks Happycow!). The menu looks awesome.

That’s all for now. Since I am writing this on my phone and just finished driving for 90 miles, we are now approaching Pasadena, where the temperature is a cool 73. Brrrr! (Believe me, that’s a happy brrrr.)

Have a great weekend! What are your plans?