Thursday, June 29, 2006

What good kids!

Okay, so Tina and I haven't been going to track workouts on Thursday's. Instead we've been doing our own track workouts based on what we remember having done before. Tina asked coach about this the one time she went to track workout and he said she could call him ahead of time to find out what we should be doing. The justification is that with gas prices so high and all, it's quite a trek to go to track. So Tina called coach.....and heard nothing back. What happened to "Go Team"?? Okay, maybe he was out of town or something.

We decided to do circuit drills, as we know that the team did this one week while we did intervals. So this should even the score.

1 warm up lap

1 lap
25 squats, 15 crunches, 15 push ups, 25 squats
1 lap
15 supermen, 15 push ups, 15 R leg squats, 15 left leg squats
1 lap
Repeat 5 items above and then 1 cool down lap

Wow, burning legs! At least I know it's doing something, right? What good kids Tina and I are to torture ourselves like this when no one is looking. Okay, so those people watching/playing/coaching/umpiring the softball game may have been watching us, but we weren't being supervised. Good, good TNTers we are!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Schwimming pool

Since I had a very important appointment (to get my hair cut) this evening, Tina and I hit the pool at 6:30 this morning. I am most impressed with Tina. She actually got up and out to meet me at 6:30 on one of her 'in between jobs' days off!! I don't know that I would agree to that!

We paid our daily use fee and noticed a board that said 36 laps=1/2 mile. We could do that right?!? Uh, no. We started swimming and as usual quickly discovered how fast one can become breathless. Or snort some water up the nose. Or both at the same time. We did manage to increase our 'mileage' to 26 lengths of the pool. We were taking a rest, a very brief one tho, after each 2 lengths. Oh, I had bought some goggles and this was the first time I used them. I give them 5/5 stars!! Awesome job on those Speedo! Okay the only drawback was the suction-like action on my eyeballs, but they didn't leave rings and no water seeped in, so I guess they were just tight enough.

By the time we finished our laps, the pool was really starting to fill up. Also, one of us had to get to work! So I headed to the showers and Tina hit the gym for some weights. I need to call my trainer and see what kind of a deal he'd give us if Tina and I did tag team training sessions. That way we can both get our bods in shape and it's much easier to force yourself into the gym if you have a standing 'appointment.' I usually am glad I went, it's just getting in there that seems to be an issue.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Coyote Hills....Quarry Trail....Where are we???

So Tina, Bam and I set out to find a new running route. We need some variety, for God's sake! I saw a map on the web of a different route out at Coyote Hills, which was supposed to be 5.5 miles and looked fairly straight forward. So we got to what we thought was the starting point and took off on the 'Quarry Trail'. The first part was a little hilly, but not bad. Then there was a big downhill and the thought was...oh crap, we're going to have to run back up that at the end! Oh well, nothing to be done about it now. We got to where the 'new' trail met up with our usual trail and it was a bit longer than we thought. So we decided to take a short cut across our usual loop. If memory served us correctly, we would cut about 1/2 the loop off and end up with about 5 miles total. Well, our memory was fuzzy, so we missed the turn and ended up doing a significant hill twice plus some stairs. Then another loooooong hill. Long story short, we did 5.4 miles in about 1:05. Not the fastest, but there was also a lot of headwind and many hills. No matter which way we ran there was headwind. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

Oh yeah, Bam was once again a little monster pulling me after ground squirrels. Once Tina and I were both sure that I was going down. Somehow I saved it. I think Bam gets so tired toward the end of the run because she's pulling our combined weight so much of the time. And I'm so tired because I'm holding back our combined weight! Wild girl!

Monday, June 26, 2006


Here's one disadvantage of buying the first year model of a motorcycle....there are very few after market accessories. Luckily there's a Kawi 650R website where people talk about modifications they've made. I go there to get ideas about where to get the parts I want to swap out or add. One thing I've been wanting to change for some time is the windscreen. It needs to be just a bit taller, or shaped differently, to deflect more wind at freeway speeds. Another 650R owner on the website posted about a windscreen for our bike that she bought from a company out of Canada and she posted pics. It looked nice, and better yet she said it made a huge difference at higher speeds.

So about 2 months ago, I ordered one in grey smoke. Cool. About a week after I ordered it, I got a call so they could verify the color and to let me know that it takes about 3 weeks to make and for them to get it in from France. I guess our bike has been available in Europe for a bit longer than here in the states, so they have more and sometimes better after market parts. The Canadian company actually imports parts from France. Then it would take about 3 more weeks to get it to me from Canada. Let's see 3+3=6, right? So 6 weeks? Okay, it's been more than 8 weeks! I called them 2 weeks ago and was told that it was shipped to me on 5/31, so I should have it by 6/16. Every day I come home and hopefully look by the front door to see if there's a new windscreen for me. Every day I'm disappointed. ARGH! Where is my freakin' windscreen!?!? Alas, hope springs eternal and I shall keep looking at the front step. However, patience not being my strong suit, I shall also call and harass them.

Sunday, June 25, 2006


Today was Tina's fundraiser BBQ. Small crowd, but she raised $810 for TNT! You go girl! That should put her almost at her goal! Awesome!

The food was fantastic (great job Tina & Matt), and there was more than enough to go around. A bunch of folks who said they were coming didn't show, which kind of sucks. But the folks that did show had a grand time! Callie (Tina's golden) made an appearance and snatched some garlic bread right out of thin air. Okay, it was out of someone's hand, but still a neat trick!

There was a jousting ring where two people stand on these bean bag like pedestals and then try to knock each other off with big 'ol padded 'sticks.' I say sticks, but those suckers were about 6 feet long and about 10" diameter. And heavy! A few minutes in the ring and I was wiped. Tina's memory has been clouded by all the margaritas she drank, so she thinks she kicked my butt. Alas, it was I who did the butt kicking. Until I jousted Jeff that is. He cheats, so he won our match.

Anywho, it was a great time ~ kudos to Tina and Matt!

After we left the party we did some chores at home, then had to run out to do an errand. Great time to hop on the bikes (motorcycles....not bicycles). Jeff says I'm getting better at keeping up, so that's good to hear. I thought I was making progress and getting more confident, but it's good to have another opinion on the matter. His bike is almost twice the displacement of mine, so of course he likes to make fun of how small I look in the mirror so quickly. Brat.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Working out and Running

To make up for my missed track workout on Thursday, I went to the gym yesterday. It was supposed to be a rest day, but I needed the exercise. So I did 20 minutes of elliptical machine and about a half hour of weights and abs.

Today Tina, Bam and I ran the Alameda Creek trail. Not the most exciting run since it's pretty flat and not that scenic. But on the unpaved side Bam can be off leash which is nice. We started off early. Well...early for us. We were hitting the trail by 8:00. It was overcast and seemed cool. That didn't last long. By the time we stopped to stretch at 1/2 a mile we were also peeling off our long sleeve shirts. By the time we hit about 3 miles, the sun was peeking out and it was heating up. At five miles, we started roasting. That's when we got smart and crossed over to the shady side. Why exactly were we running in the sun?!?

Bam was again a trooper. She was off leash for half the run and on leash for half. Luckily she was on leash when she saw the jackrabbit or we wouldn't have been able to catch her!

Total run....6.5 miles in about an hour and ten minutes.

After our run (and after showering!) we went to Berkeley to a shoe shop called La Foot to get Tina some new shoes. I got really good customer service the last time I was there and they come highly recommended by TNT. The last time I was there the sales person watched my bare feet while I was walking and running, tried some different shoes and really stressed that they want a happy customer, not just a sale. Well, not such great service today. We brought our old shoes with us in case they wanted to look at wear patterns and such. I think that was a mistake. Instead of watching us walk, they just brought out shoes that were comparable to the old ones. Guess they figured if we liked them before, they must be working. Arf.

Tomorrow is Tina's big summer BBQ. She's doing it as a fund raiser this year, so we're going to check it out. Supposed to be some kind of jousting activity. Tina keeps saying she's going to kick my butt. We'll see about that! ;-)

Friday, June 23, 2006


Slacked off from training again last night. We went to see Joe Jackson in concert at Villa Montalvo. We've never been there before, but it's a great venue. Very small, great sound. Also since it's been so hot the last few days, last night was really nice. Didn't even need a sweater.

The opening act was a blind guitarist named Raul Midon. He was really good. I think Jeff is going to try to find his music...maybe on iTunes. Anyway it was a really good show with plenty of comic relief from the 'drunkards' as Joe Jackson called them. One guy in particular was quite boistrous and would just yell out comments. I'm not super familiar with all of Joe Jackson's music so when another guy yelled out "What the hell's the matter with you tonight?" I thought he was a heckler. Turns out that's the first line in one of Joe Jackson's songs. To that guy: I apologize for thinking you were a total jerk.

Joe Jackson:

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

What the heck is a fielding pitcher??

So instead of doing my workout, I gave in to peer pressure and played softball with my company team. It's a coed team and there have to be 5 women. It's always an issue to get enough women to show up, and since it was a 9 pm game, it's even more of an issue. So even though I didn't officially sign up to play this season, I 'subbed.'

The position I usually play is fielding pitcher. In the league we play in each team pitches to their own players so there has to be a person who plays the defensive part of the pitching position. What I mean to say is that if you're the pitcher and your teammate hits the ball towards you, you may be inclined not to quickly field the ball. So, that's my job. If the batter hits the ball towards the pitcher, it's my job to field it and make the play. I've always been pretty fortunate in that we have a great 2nd basewoman, Allison, and a great shortstop, used to be Brad - now Terrance. So whatever I don't get to they cover really well. We almost always get beat, but we sure have some fun! Last night was no exception. Ah, well.

Oh, also there were about a zillion bugs flying around so everyone was trying not to eat too many. It's been quite warm here the last couple of days and last night was very still, not the usual breeze. With the bright field lights the bugs were out in swarms! I guess a little extra protein couldn't hurt. Ewwww.

Running: Coyote Hills with a Bad Dog!

So last night Tina, Bam and I decided to hit the Coyote Hills trail. It is a bit more scenic than some trails, with some small hills that are confidence building. We park outside the gate and run in to get some extra distance.

Now, I like this trail, and I like my dog. I do not necessarily like the combination of my dog and this trail. It's not off leash, so she tends to pull. And it's littered with critters, so frequently she is REALLY pulling. Last night she was exceptionally....well, let's say enthusiastic to catch something. The result is I have to be the breaks of the operation and my knees end up taking a beating. Not to mention that it's tough to get into the running groove when your pace can change at the drop of the hat. Twice I dropped the leash. It was either that or get pulled over onto my face. Luckily she's pretty good about coming back once the critter disappears down a hole. The sad part is that even when she is misbehaving, she's soo cute! So, I end up laughing at her more than scolding her. No wonder she has no manners...not enough discipline! Maybe it should be bad dog mom and not bad dog??

Somewhere around 4 miles we stopped to give Bam a drink and she just plopped down and stretched out. She'd had enough. Unfortunately we still had to get back to the car! So we gave her some more water and patted some water on her belly and head. I dipped her hot little paws into her bowl and that seemed to revive her a little bit.

The general feel of the run was HOT. At least we had a bay breeze for most sections, and on a particularly long up hill we were in the shade, so that was nice. Bam and I were both beat by the time we got home. Just wanted to eat and go to bed...yep, both of us. I think the heat is partly to just saps the energy right out of ya'.

Anyway, we did just over 5-1/2 miles in just under an hour. Not too shabby.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Monday goings on

Had another email from my friend Don (Hot Stuff's dad). His daughter lost one of her Malamutes yesterday to the same type of tumor that got Hot Stuff. His name was Levi and the difference was that they knew he had a tumor in his spleen, and were basically waiting for time to be up. One nice thing, if there can be anything 'nice' about a time like this, is that their vet comes out to the house to euthanize the dogs. At least they get to go in their own house with family around them. Still, it's sad. If bad news comes in threes, then that's it for bad dog news. First Angel, then Hot Stuff and now Levi.

Other Monday happenings: did a yoga class, then some elliptical machine and abs.....yes, I actually made it back into the gym today. I know, I know, it's hard to believe. I actually went to the yoga class by mistake. I misread the schedule and thought it was going to be an upper body/abs class. It turned out well though as it helped me stretch my tight muscles.

Tomorrow Tina and I are going to run Coyote Hills. She sent out an email to our training group, so we'll see if anyone joins us. I've only met one of the other folks, since I haven't been to any of the activites. Tina and I have been doing all the same stuff on our own. Seems like this time the training runs/coaches runs are pretty far away. The one this Saturday (5-7 miles) is in Concord. I think it's about an hour drive....each way. With the price of gas, we've been doing our own thing closer to home. When we start getting into the longer miles, I'm going to have to hit the supported runs though. It's pretty hard to carry all the water, snacks, etc that you need for 14-16-18-20 miles of running.

There is a decided lack of exciting stuff for today. Ah well, tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Running: Sunol

Went running with Tina and Bam at Sunol Regional Park today. We did 5.5 miles. Okay, it's not 6 miles as directed on the training calendar, but if you could see the trail you'd know that we more than made up for the missing 1/2 mile with all the long hills! Wow, it was a tough run. Well, it was tough for 2 out of 3 of us...guess who made it look easy?

The trail is in the foothills close to Fremont and dogs are allowed off leash in the 'undeveloped' areas, which this definitely was. So Bam had a blast. She stomped on lizards (or tried to), she chased little animals (ground squirrels), and not so little ones (cows). She drank out of the cow trough and rolled in cow pies. Yes, that's right, cow pies. She did great for about the first half of the run but then she couldn't resist any longer. She did a great job of it too. Poop in a clump on her collar. Poop on her ears. Poop on her head. Poop on her back. One big ball of poop. Yuck. Bath time for Bambi!

We got home and washed her up and settled her in for a nice long nap. Post bath I was brushing her and found two ticks. Ugh. Promptly pulled those little suckers off before they could burrow in any further! I thought Advantix was supposed to keep those off! Ewww.

I think she may have overdone on the run. She was limping a bit tonight. Maybe her muscles are just sore, like mine. I still argue that she is one tough puppy. I gave her a coated aspirin and she seems to be doing better this evening. I'll check her again in the morning and dose her again if needed. No running tomorrow since it's a strength training day, so she'll get some rest.

Here's how Bam looked this afternoon. This pic is post-bath. If I had been thinking, I would have done a 'before' shot just for posterity sake. Ah, well, I'm sure I'll have another opportunity!

Anniversary Dinner

Yesterday was our 11th anniversary. Okay, this wasn't really dinner. Due to a crossing of wires, Jeff thought I would be running this morning, so he made plans to go fishing. No sweat, I would do my errands and we could go out to dinner when he got home. Due to another crossing of wires with Jeff's coworker it turned out that high tide was a bit later than we thought. So, by the time Jeff made it home, I didn't want to wait for him to get cleaned up and then go out to eat. We had spaghetti at home instead. Tina asked if we shared a noodle. No....but we were watching Lady and the Tramp on TV! :-)

These two beauties are the surf perch that Jeff caught. The fillets are in the freezer...hope they taste good!

Friday, June 16, 2006

Running: Intervals

Last night Tina, Bam and I went in search of a track. Who would have thought that finding a high school or junior high school track would require so much work? Don't all schools have tracks?!?! We finally found one...not a nice springy track, but a regular old dirt one. It worked fine though. I'm sure Bam was wondering what the heck we were doing. Why are we going around in circles??? I've already smelled this grass 4 times!

We did 1/2 mile warm up, 1 mile of intervals (running the straight part of the track, and jogging or walking the turns to recover), and 1/2 mile jogging to cool down. Bam is such a trooper at the running thing! She's trained the least and is in the best shape. Tina and I are a bit discouraged, however, since neither of us feels like we're progressing. It's harder to run this go-round and I feel like I'm bogging down. Just not where I think I was at this time last training session. Tina proposes that we stop comparing ourselves to Bam and then maybe we'll feel better. Heeheeheehee.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Another sad story

So, I had a talk with my friend/former boss today. When I first started the job I'm currently at, I dog sat for him and just loved it. He had two Malamutes, Buddy and Hot Stuff. Buddy passed away, I think year before last. Well, I just found out that Hot Stuff died this weekend. I was shocked! She was a great dog - not quite 100 pounds, a huge, fluffy baby. She would roll over to have her tummy rubbed and looked like a bear rug. She would steal things off the counter...mostly things like bagels, chicken legs, any food she could get her paws on. And she loved to give kisses. She would lick my hand, my arms, my face.

Don said she had an undetected tumor in her heart. She got too excited the other night, which caused her heart rate to increase and the tumor ruptured. The blood then was trapped around her heart, which constricts the heart and doesn't allow it to pump. He said he woke up in the middle of the night on Friday and when she wasn't by his side (as she always was), he went to look for her and when he found her in the yard, she was already gone. How horrible that must have been for him. I don't think I could have held it together as well as he did when he was telling me. The vet told him that this particular type of tumor grows very fast, and even if she had been showing symptoms, she would have only lasted a couple of weeks longer. Poor girl.

I don't care what anyone else says, dogs are members of the family and it's agonizing when they are gone.

Here's to you, Hot Stuff. You were a great dog and you will be greatly missed.

Quote of the day: "If there are no dogs in heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers, I mean swimming

Tina wanted to try out lap swimming last night. We've been kicking the idea of doing a mini-triathlon around, maybe a sprint distance. Even the sprint distance is a 500 yard swim though. That's 20 laps of the pool. So we set out to the community center last night and decided we'd do 20 laps. For those of you who haven't been swimming in a while, let me tell's hard. Of course it didn't help that we didn't have goggles, and we both wear contacts, so our faces were out of the water the majority of the time. And I still managed to lose a contact. Argh. So, anyway, we did 20 laps, but included a lot of rest breaks. I don't know if I could be ready for a sprint distance tri by September. Not with training for the Nike marathon anyway. It was a good change of pace though - some nice NO impact exercise.

After swimming we did some weights and some ab work. Tina is now blaming her sore shoulders on me, but I think it was the swimming. The community center is a bit pricey, at $6 for a day pass, so maybe once/week is as much as I'd go. I really need to get back to the gym and hit the weights. Our trainer, Mike, called last night just to see how Jeff and I are doing. Jeff had been working out with the trainer again until his (Jeff's) back started acting up again. It's nice that the Mike calls to check up on us, but boy the guilt kicks in. Anyway, I told him that I'm running again and that I know I need to get back in there and will give him a call when I'm ready. Yeah, he's heard that before. The thing is that the sessions are already paid for, so it doesn't make sense to just let them go to waste. I'd like for Jeff to get back into working out. It makes it much easier when you have someone else pushing you to get out of bed because they have an appointment at the gym. But if his back doesn't heal up then I'll have to just make myself get in there and get beat up by Mike. I have a definite lack of motivation. Not sure what's fueling it. Luckily Tina's around to make me get my butt moving.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Running: Lake Elizabeth

Ran at Lake Elizabeth last night with Tina and Bam. Two laps around for a little over 4 miles in about 44 minutes. Tina likes me to bring Bam for the entertainment factor alone. She's amused by Bam chasing the ducks and geese and me having to do mini sprints to keep up. Glad I can provide some comic relief. :-P Bam can really dig those paws of hers in when she's chasing something. I think she's lost a few pounds from the running, so maybe the vet won't scold us next time about her weight. She's not really overweight, she's just solid. And all the running is making her more so.

I'm having a harder time getting into the swing of things for this training session for some reason. Maybe it's because I've been sick. Maybe it's because I'm so out of shape. Maybe it's because my schedule has been out of whack and I haven't gone to any of the organized runs yet. Maybe it's a combination of a lot of things. Hard to say, but I have got to get my butt moving.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


My friend Tina had to put her sweet dog, Angel, to sleep this weekend. Angel had been battling cancer, and the horrible cancer finally won. There are people in this world who seem to always know the right thing to say, even at times of great loss. I am not one of those people. I get tongue tied. I never know if I should talk about it, should I ask questions? Do I just offer condolences? What is the right thing to do? Sigh.

Part of the problem too, is that facing mortality is just hard. My dog, Bam, is my only child. Someday I too will have to face the hardest choice. I tell myself that it is a long way away, but we never really know, do we? I think it's best to spoil her rotten for as long as I possibly can. I will give her treats everyday. I will let her up on the bed with me for a bit in the morning before going to work. And I will love her to bits...even if she growls when I squeeze her tight.

Quote of the day:

"A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself."
-- Josh Billings

Friday, June 02, 2006

Beginning Blog

Okay, so this is my first entry.

I plan to use this site to post travel pics, dog pics, running exploits, etc.

I'm training to run the 2006 Nike Women's Marathon with Team In Training, so I'll post info about training runs here too. If you want to help with my fundraising, please use the link on the right hand side and donate to help fund research through the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. It's a great cause and a great organization.

For those that don't know, my uncle was diagnosed with Leukemia in February 2005 and passed away in July 2005. I'm running to honor his memory and to help raise money to find a cure.