Monday, December 27, 2010


The first weekend in December I headed to Vegas with my great friends Liz and Erin to have a girls' weekend and celebrate some birthdays. I just discovered these pictures on my camera of the gorgeous Bellagio - one of our favorite places.

For Christmas, my parents were nice enough to come visit us here in San Francisco. Here we are enjoying dinner at our little apartment. Dad worked so long he's still in uniform.

On Sunday we went on a wine tasting tour of Sonoma with my family and Karen's in laws. Matt and I had never been to wine country before, and I enjoyed the trip. It was great to spend time with family and the scenery was beautiful even though it was raining. Also, unlike in Temecula, none of the people at the wineries yelled at me for preferring white wines.

Today we headed up to Santa Rosa to check out the Schulz museum before returning to the real world. Matt is thrilled, as always.

Matt and I were spoiled for Christmas as always. This year Matt received lots of kitchen items including a canner and a dehydrator (apparently one must be prepared for the apocalypse). I received several books, many treats, a cute sweater and necklace, and of course running-related items. Karen got me a very cute running jacket to replace last year's Christmas present that I mysteriously lost, as well as a couple running books. Matt got me a very cute running charm bracelet and some sleeves.

As today was the first day of my marathon training, I have decided to actually keep track of my training this time around. We'll see how long it lasts, but for now I am doing so here.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Angry City

I've been very angry lately for ridiculous reasons. In an effort to help myself understand how stupid they are, I'm going to put them down in writing here:

  • Dear dog walkers/runners. You and your dog do not have a right to the entire path, whether or not your dog is on a leash. Either way, when your crazy dog causes a tear in my ACL, I will sue you (for, if nothing else, being a bitch).
  • It's called a sideWALK. Not a sidesmoke, a sidehangout, or a sidestandinthemiddle. Please get out of my way.
  • If I wanted to get high, I would probably go out and buy some weed myself. I don't want to inhale yours because you must smoke out in public.
  • Smokers are jokers.
  • If you are in your car and you can't see the intersection, don't honk. This is San Francisco. I would wager that 90% of the time a car isn't moving when the light is green, there is probably a pedestrian in the crosswalk. And they would prefer to be alive.
  • My neighborhood is not your personal raceway. There is no need to go 50mph up a hill in a very people-dense part of the city.
  • If there is an empty row on BART, it is considered a social norm to sit there - not with me. I don't want to smell your perfume.
  • If you have a dog in the city, you have an extra special obligation to pick up that dog's poop. Who the heck is going to remove it when you leave it in the middle of the damn sidewalk. Also, would it kill you to walk your dog far enough way so that it doesn't have to pee on the concrete hill and I have to watch it flow all the way down. And know that I will be stepping in it tomorrow.
  • Dear employers. Making a backhanded comment in the company meeting about how you are looking for leaders, not people who sit around and wait for things to do, is not a good way to boost employee morale or productivity. Especially when 60% of the people in the company are leaders with initiative - who you would rather sit down, shut up, and blindly do what you say.
  • Dear managers. As a manger, part of your job should be to understand who needs to be micro-managed and who doesn't. I am well past the point of needing every step of a process explained to me. This isn't rocket science - I do these things in my sleep.
Okay I'm done for now. I have no idea what my problem is, but I am hoping my weekend with family and my big trip to Hawaii for my birthday will make everything better! I realize that in reality I have nothing to complain about! Here's to a great new year for everyone!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Hark the Herald Angels 12K

Today I completed the same race a 2nd time for the 1st time - in other words, I am apparently starting running traditions. Does that make me a runner? (I'm still trying to avoid the moniker.)

I loved this race last year for so many reasons, not the least of which was that it was pouring rain. It is put on by a company called Enviro Sports and is very low key. This particular race involves everyone meeting at the ferry docks in Tiburon and taking the 10am ferry over to Angel Island. There is no particular race start time; it just happens whenever everyone gets off the ferry, goes to the restroom, and puts all their extra gear in a plastic bag to leave at the picnic area. The founder of Enviro Sports makes all the announcements by standing on tables and yelling really loudly, and supposedly the winners receive rubber chickens. The trail is marked with orange tape, and there are no aid stations. At the end, they do provide a nice assortment of water, gatorade, and snacks. And of course, there is a t-shirt - which happens to be the same as last year's.

The trail heads up hill through pretty forest, but unfortunately the gorgeous views from the open parts of the fire road haven't happened either year owing to fog. The racers tend to be friendly and everyone seems to have a good time, although I feel like that held true more so in the pouring rain. How can you not smile when you are covered in mud and sprinting down a mountain? (Although I don't think my mom was smiling while waiting for me...)

I managed to cut about 6 minutes off last year's time - does that mean I'll be able to knock 12 minutes off Kaiser in February? (If only.) However, the ~500 foot elevation gain seemed tough to me, so I have a long way to go before Big Sur!

I should point out that although I enjoy the low-key nature of this affair, I do still like my half marathons to be loud and full of bands and cheering spectators! Sometimes running has to be a party.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

All Sorts of Events

In case you're wondering what I've been up to, here are a few things:

1) The Warrior Dash on October 30th

This 3.5 mile run involved numerous obstacles and was lots of fun. Here's a great picture of me jumping over fire, but I'm unwilling to pay for a full-size version.

And here's the rest of the photos featuring some TNT running buddies dressed as zombies:


2) Making Strides Against Breast Cancer November 6th

Honoring my amazing mother:

With the support of numerous phenomenal friends!

3) Women's Half Marathon November 7th

Enjoying 13.1 miles with my amazing friend Candice who has an 8 month old and doesn't look it!

More pictures from the AZ events here:

November Visit to AZ

I had a fabulous time! Thanks so much everyone!

4) Marin Turkey Trot

Matt and I's first "race" together since the Golden Gate Park Turkey Trot last Thanksgiving. And he beat me!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Lifestyles of the Quasi-Rich and Not-So-Famous

While I was home this past week, I had the pleasure of visiting my sister's gym with her. Oh. My. Gosh.

Here is my gym.

Here is Karen's gym.

If I lived in Tempe and had no job, I would spend all my time at her gym. There is a spa. A restaurant. Several lounges, including one in the super plush locker room (with marble. and showers with curtains.). An indoor pool. An outdoor pool for laps. An outdoor pool for relaxing. Water slides. A poolside cantina. A gym. Fitness classes. And on and on and on.

Seriously a whole day: morning workout, snack, haircut, lunch, lounge at the pool, afternoon workout, drink at the pool.

At $50 a month, I think that's actually quite a good deal. My gym isn't THAT much cheaper. Oh for a life of leisure!

On the Payroll

What do Sarah Palin, Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, and Rick Santorum have in common? (Well, I'm sure a lot of other things but...) They're all paid contributors to Fox News and they are all likely 2012 Republican Presidential candidates.

As Politico asks, how can the news outlet cover these candidates in an unbiased manner when they work for Fox News? And how can other news outlets cover the candidates if they have exclusive contracts only to appear on Fox News? Fox News says these politicians will have to end their contracts when they officially declare themselves. But why would you bother declaring yourself if you can get all sorts of great publicity on Fox News?

As Paul Krugman points out, Fox News has abandoned all "pretense of being nonpartisan."

Nobody who was paying attention has ever doubted that Fox is, in reality, a part of the Republican political machine; but the network — with its Orwellian slogan, “fair and balanced” — has always denied the obvious. Officially, it still does. But by hiring those G.O.P. candidates, while at the same time making million-dollar contributions to the Republican Governors Association and the rabidly anti-Obama United States Chamber of Commerce, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, which owns Fox, is signaling that it no longer feels the need to make any effort to keep up appearances.
I am not surprised, but nevertheless dismayed at how our political system continues to be purchased by corporations, and how the majority of the country is apparently okay with this! I am of course particularly embarrassed considering, as you may know, my company provides the polling services for Fox News. And yet we consider ourselves to be an objective research company. I think all these pretenses are continuing to slip away.

P.S. I just read an article that posting about politics and religion is one of the top ways to become unfriended on Facebook. So unfriend at will :)

Running in the Rain

Now that the triathlon is over, the Regatta is over, and my injury is over (crossing my fingers!), I finally have time to focus on my running. And I remembered that I enjoy it! I especially enjoy running in new locations. During my limited build-up this season, I have run a beautiful 6 miles in Tennessee Valley in the Marin Headlands (in the rain); 8 miles through Golden Gate Park including my favorite part around Stow Lake and Strawberry Hill; and 9 miles from my house to the Presidio, over the bridge, and into Sausalito (in the rain). I had to get to Sausalito for the Regatta, after all! I tend to get bored on my weekday runs, generally always around Lake Merritt, so it's nice to be able to run different places on the weekends.

(Tennessee Valley)

I also really enjoy running while traveling. In the last year that I can think of, my favorite runs have been a 10 miler along the gorgeous beach in Ventura; a 12 miler through the fabulous Balboa Park in San Diego after a massive rain; and early morning runs on the Mendocino Headlands and at Asilomar (Pacific Grove/Monterey). I went on a gorgeous run through a park by Nic's house in Baltimore, but unfortunately my injury was bothering me too much to enjoy it as much as I should have. I have also enjoyed runs in the Tucson foothills (and I still have a scar from an agave to prove it - it was night); along the Cherry Creek path in Denver; past empty fields owned by the City of Los Angeles in Bishop, California (think Chinatown); flatlands in Fresno, California; and of course familiar neighborhoods of Tempe and Mesa. I see things I would never see and explore places I would never go if I didn't get up early to run.

(Stream fording in Balboa Park)



And let's not forget my races! Avenue of the Giants was gorgeous through the redwood forest, and Rock N Roll San Diego was new scenery at least. I really enjoyed the Nike course here in San Francisco - it covers some of the most gorgeous scenery, and there's always something new to look at. (Also, I sadistically love hills.) In addition, the 12k on Angel Island last December (in pouring rain) was absolutely phenomenal, and the Across the Bay 12k this March was sunny and stellar, despite the fact I couldn't run.

So because I love scenery and running in new places, I am thinking about training for my first marathon to be Big Sur next May. Who's in?

I know it is challenging, but I kind of think I will love it. My goal before ramping up for that is to put in massive time strength training. I have pretty poor running form that hopefully can be cured with some serious core exercises. Boot camp here I come!

(These are all pictures taken with my phone during my runs!)

The 5th Annual Bay Area Leukemia Cup Regatta

Well, my latest season of training for an event is finally over. This past Sunday, after raising $3,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Matt and I competed in the 5th Annual Bay Area Leukemia Cup Regatta. And we couldn't have done it without your support - thank you so much!

I know how glamorous and bourgeoisie sailing sounds. I get it. You probably wondered why in the world you would want to donate to us so we could learn to sail. But let me tell you - for me it was a painful experience - nearly a sacrifice.

The weather on the Bay is generally freezing (think at least 3 layers of clothing plus a life jacket), and the winds are strong and shifty (think boats nearly tipping over and getting drenched with water). Although generally people learning to sail cover the Basic Keelboat class in 2 consecutive weekends, our 4 days of instruction were spread out over about 2 months, making it hard to remember what to do. And adding to that trouble, most of the instructors were prone to yelling a lot. I generally don't mind being yelled too much at if I understand what is going on and can correct it, but I absolutely hate being yelled at uselessly. Yelling at me over and over again to "head up" when I can't remember what that means does no good. Yelling at me without looking to see what I'm doing does no good. Sometimes it take a couple seconds for the boat to respond, and I was already doing what I was being yelled at to do. Upon more yelling, I would change my mind and do the opposite, which resulted in even more yelling, since that was definitely the wrong thing to do. So much yelling! So much not understanding what was going on.

The training for this event consisted of:
1 fun sail
1 knot tying clinic
4 days of classroom/sail training
1 2 hour race practice

Not nearly the amount of time you spend training for a running race. Granted, Matt and I did miss 1 other race practice and certification day because of my triathlon last weekend. However, because of the lack of training, I was just beginning to get it on the day of the race. After having been nominated helmsman (aka the driver) for some unknown reason, I finally learned how to keep my tell tales flying straight the day of the race. The race was at least 1.5 hours. As helmsman, you have to stare at the sails the entire time, basically without losing concentration (or you will be YELLED at). No looking at the scenery, no checking out the dolphins, no watching other boats. No sipping a frozen beverage in your bikini. Just watching the sail. And little pieces of string flying off them.

But the reward? 2nd place in our division of 6 boats. We were behind the leader by 2 minutes, and in front of the next two boats by about 30 seconds and 50 seconds, each. The end was pure luck - shifty winds that I could barely deal with while just trying to follow the instructions our skipper was yelling at me. The boat that had been in 2nd place faltered. But we had gone around the 1st mark dead last, so at least we made up some time. And I learned that at least two of the other instructors had been at the tiller for the start - unfair advantage!

In the end, after dreading going to the practices, I actually enjoyed race day. Somehow I managed to relax and just not stress about it. It certainly helped that we didn't finish last. Matt and I still plan to pursue our certification - in part to get some of our money's worth out of this program, in part because we promised some people we would take them sailing, and in part because maybe someday we will sail again. In the Caribbean, I hope.

You can check out pictures of the race here, although I haven't found any of our boat.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Celebrating a Survivor

Today my mom underwent a successful double mastectomy. The surgeon removed all the cancer, and it had not spread to the lymph nodes. We are all very relieved! She may be released from the hospital tomorrow, and then will be recovering at home for 2-3 weeks. We are very thankful that she caught this early.

Thank you all so much for all of your support, both of my mom and our family, and of my fundraising for blood cancers and Karen's fundraising for breast cancer. You've heard me say it before, but cancer sucks.

Please join us in celebrating our mom and our grandmother (another breast cancer survivor) in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on November 6th in Tempe. Sign up for our team! No registration fee and no fundraising minimum. We are just going out to raise awareness and honor some wonderful people. And maybe wear pink.

I and several of my friends will also be running the Women's Half Marathon the following day in support of Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Come out and race or cheer us on!

Here's to "a world with more birthdays"!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Tri-ed.

1 triathlon down. That's all I have to say.


See Jane Run Tri September 2010

And videos:

Beautiful Bay Area

Sailing last Friday night:

(The sailing still sucked.)

Moonrise over the City:

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


This has been all over facebook, so I'm sure you've seen it before, but I just have to comment. The Bay Area is in the article as a BONUS: relatively mixed area.

Take a look at the City of San Francisco - the top of the peninsula over on the left. Let's see - there's the Asians in Chinatown, the Sunset, and the Richmond; the blacks in Bayview and Western Addition; the Hispanics in the Mission; and the whites in Marina, Pacific Heights, Lower Haight, Cole Valley, Twin Peaks, and the Castro.

This is relatively mixed? Good grief!

(Not that I can talk, living in the Castro and all. But I am still a minority here!)

Apparently I'm a Runner.

Have I mentioned I'm doing my very 1st triathlon on Saturday? Probably a few times.

Here is proof of how much of a Tri Newbie I am:

On Sunday during my training ride I had some trouble with my gears (got out of 3rd and couldn't get back in), so I decided to take my bike in to the shop this week and have the derailleur adjusted. Of course on my ride to the shop, I discovered that I had no problems shifting at all. I figured since I was by then right next to the shop, I might as well just stop in.

So I explained to the shop guys that I had had a shifting problem but it seemed fine now, but could they just please check it because I have a race this weekend.

One of the shop guys promptly asked - "A triathlon?"

Yes, clearly I am not doing a road race on my ancient bicycle.

He followed up - "Are you a swimmer or a runner?"

Clearly not being a swimmer (feel free to ask my family about that), I found myself being forced to tell him that I was, in fact, a runner. A runner? How strange. That doesn't really seem to apply to me. I've only been doing it for a bit over a year.

But I guess soon I'll be a triathlete. Maybe I'll even buy a new bike and learn to shift gears properly so I don't break the dang thing. Of course, that's if I make it through this first race.

And then the week after that, I'll become a sailor (even helmswoman). So I guess in the last 1.25 years, I'll have added three new titles: Runner, Triathlete, Sailor. You know what they say: Jack of all trades, master of none!

(In case you were wondering, the shop guys proclaimed in bike in fine shape and sent me off with no charge. The other customer wished me good luck! It reminded me why I love local shops, although in the past the shop guys there seem to be more interested in drinking than actually working. Oh well.)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Weekend Adventures

5.7 mile (550 feet elevation gain) run in the rain. Check.
40 minute swim. Check.
Boot camp. Check.
16 mile bike ride in the rain. Check.
Packet pick-up for triathlon next Saturday. Check.

Bring it!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Ridge Trail Cruz

One of our neatest recent Groupon purchases was a membership to the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. They are planning and building a 550 mile trail to circumnavigate the entire Bay Area. About 325 miles are completed, and we had yet to hike any of them.

So we also used our Groupon discount to sign up for the organized Ridge Trail Cruz, and joined a 13 mile hike on Saturday. We found friendly people and gorgeous scenery - just 1 hour from the City and very close to the highly populated centers of the Peninsula. Hooray for Open Space!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

"Summer" Vacation

This summer has been the coldest summer in San Francisco since 1975. That's saying a lot considering Mark Twain once wrote, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." Luckily Matt and I had a chance to head out to see some of our National Parks in a quest for better weather. In an effort to reserve picture space on my blog and picasa, but in an antithetical manner to proper blog posting, I have chosen not to illustrate this blog with pictures. Please click on the album below to see those - which are far more interesting than my words!

Yosemite and Sequoia Kings Canyon August/September 2010

Day 1:

Hetch Hetchy in Yosemite National Park. Supposedly this valley was once as grand as Yosemite Valley, but the greedy City of San Francisco had a dam put in and made the gorgeous valley into a reservoir. It was a fight that likely led to the end of John Muir. But I must admit that water sure is tasty.

  • 5 mile RT hike to Wapama Falls (500 feet). Disappointing, but I can't imagine how amazing the falls must be in Spring. Apparently sometimes the bridges are impassable.

Day 2:

  • 13 mile RT hike to Smith Peak (3700 feet). Bear sign everywhere, movement of large brown entity through the bushes, and lots of hiking through thicket in burned area made this hike not much fun. Amazing views from the top however.
  • 3 mile RT hike to Poopenaut Valley (1229 feet). Straight down. Met a couple heading up who scared us off with stories of the biggest bear poop they'd ever seen. Peeked at the river and headed back up. Not nearly as pretty as it looked from the top. And after hiking the depth of the Grand Canyon in one day, we were pretty exhausted.

Day 3:

Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. Gorgeous, gorgeous place. So many hiking trails accessible from the campground. If it weren't for the sub-freezing temperatures at night and the high altitude, I might be tempted to stay there longer.

  • ~16 mile RT hike to Young Lake, Dog Lake, and Lembert Dome (~2100 feet). Started at noon, got back to camp around 8pm. Absolutely gorgeous but in too much of a hurry to enjoy much.

Day 4:

  • ~3 mile RT meander through Tuolumne Meadows and along Lyell Fork (I'm assuming about 0 feet). Fabulous rest day. I love exploring the rocky rivers.

Day 5:

  • ~3 mile RT to Middle and Upper Gaylor Lakes. (600 feet). I've been here before and still enjoyed the sweeping vistas. And we saw a marmot!
Eastern Sierra. The austerely beautiful Mono Lake and the forested Devil's Postpile near the popular Mammoth Ski Area.

  • 1 mile RT nature trail at South Tufa. Hot but loved it. Such amazing geologic features.
  • ~4 mile hike to Devil's Postpile and Rainbow Falls. The postpile was really neat - although I think Giant's Causeway was neater. Could have done without the hike to the falls.
Day 6:

Spent the night in Bishop then drove many, many hours to Sequoia.

  • Pathetic swim in the hotel pool.
  • 5 mile run past empty fields owned by the City of Los Angeles and lots of roomy sf detached homes and lots. Also, I probably wouldn't call my real estate company Owens Valley Realty. Just saying.
Day 7:

In the Giant Forest of Sequoia National Park.

  • 3 mile RT hike to General Sherman and along the Congress Trail. Amazing trees and arrived early enough to avoid the crowds.
  • 1 mile RT hike Big Trees Trail. We saw a mother bear and 2 cubs! Then a male bear by the parking lot.
  • 1 mile RT hike to Crystal Cave (steep). Access trail to the cave; nice waterfalls. I was too chicken to go on the cave tour, but Matt got to see some pretty cool sights.
  • 0.5 mile RT hike to Moro Rock (300 feet). Probably some of the best views you can get in Sequoia. I still prefer Yosemite.
  • 1.5 mile? RT hike to Tharp's Log and Chimney Rock, around Crescent Meadow. No bears this time. Getting bored of the sequoias. I still like the Redwoods better.
Day 8:

Matt's birthday! Exploring King's Canyon National Park. Draped in smoke.

  • 0.5 mile RT hike to see General Grant. Very imporessive.
  • 8-9 mile RT hike to Mist Falls (600-1000 feet). Apparently no one can agree on the exact stats for this hike. I can imagine it would have been lovely if not for being accosted by forest fire smoke, flies, and mosquitoes the whole way, and meeting huge crowds of families at the Falls.
  • 1.5 mile loop hike around Zumwalt Meadow. Actually quite pretty and somewhat redeemed Kings Canyon. It still isn't Yosemite.
  • Chickened out swimming in the gorgeous Hume Lake. Redeemed Sequoia a tiny bit more. Even if it is a reservoir.
Day 9:

Bored with Sequoia/Kings Canyon, we headed into the exciting city of Fresno. We explored the quite fascinating Forestiere Underground Gardens, the Target, the pool at the Holiday Inn, and some AAA baseball.

I realize that Sequoia and Kings Canyon are a backpacker's paradise, and since we didn't go on any hikes longer than 9 miles we probably can't judge it. Plus there was the whole forest fire problem. However, I think next time we will still stick to Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows. Why ruin a good thing?

Day 10:

Got our money's worth out of the hotel with the max 20 hours. Enjoyed some relaxation before the long drive home.

  • 20 minute swim in the hotel pool
  • 45 minute run through the neighborhood. (Nike Plus out of battery...)

  • Over 65 miles of hiking including one 16 mile, 5000 foot day.
  • 2 runs (pain free!)
  • 2 swims in the hotel pools
  • 7 nights of sleeping on the ground
  • A strong desire not to have to work
Hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Training Proof

This morning I did the equivalent of my upcoming tri. Here I am ready to brave the lake:

(Wow, look at that ankle tan line...)

Look at me go!

This wasn't today, but a previous weekend when Matt and I biked up Cull Canyon:

And getting ready to sail. That will be tomorrow. I'd rather be tri training, sadly.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


I just returned home last night from a conference at beautiful Asilomar. Both mornings I went running on dirt paths by the beach with these views:

Also met some fabulous people and heard a lot of great ideas. I love not going to work!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Honoring my Mom

Last week my Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. It's sounding like the prognosis is good, but she still has to go through all the emotional and physical trauma of having the dreaded c-word. From finding all the right doctors to digesting and understanding the information and then on to the treatment - likely surgery and chemo - I can't even imagine what it's like. Especially for someone who so much likes to be in control :).

My mom (like most mothers I'm sure) has always been the one in the family taking care of us, worrying about us, and dealing with all our problems. Even now that she has two 30 year old or nearly 30 year old daughters. She's really good at self-sacrifice. It's always hard when she's the one who's sick; she likes to take care of herself but once at least she let Matt and me take her to urgent care. Where she wouldn't let us come inside with her so we wouldn't get sick too.

So in the spirit of feeling helpless because our mom has a nasty disease, Karen and I decided to make at least ourselves feel better by starting a team for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer - a 3 mile walk in Phoenix on November 6th. We are walking in honor of our mom and to raise awareness - it has of course hit closer to home that self breast exams and regular screenings are super important. If you're in the area, please consider joining our team. Just come walk with us to support our Mom and all the other breast cancer patients - no registration fee or fundraising necessary.


And now for some evidence of what an awesome mom I have. (And also an attempt to make my photostream less ghetto...)

Here she is (along with my dad) visiting us in beautiful Socorro, New Mexico:

Walking me down the aisle:

And with me and my sister - now self-labeled as Joan's Juggernaut:

And much thanks to my dad who has been supporting mom through all the doctor's appointments so far.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Oakland "Riots"

I just realized I had these pictures on my phone, so I thought I'd share them.

A few weeks ago a court convicted a BART police officer of 1st degree manslaughter for the point blank shooting death of an unarmed black man. While the locals came together for a peaceful gathering (unlike the riots that occurred when the shooting actually happened), some out-of-towners and even out-of-staters decided to run around town breaking windows and looting.

This is the aftermath of that fun event - some of the damage on my 2 block walk from BART to my office. The Sears store still hasn't repaired their windows.

Sailing on a Dreary Day

What a great day for sail! The sun is shining, the wind is strong but calm, it's warm enough to just wear a t-shirt...

Oh, wait - this is San Francisco Bay! About two minutes of sun all day and so much wind we had to eventually take down our main sail and sail with just the jib. Here's Matt working the jib sheet:

Day 2 of sailing lessons was much better than Day 1. Only 4 students and an instructor who remained calm and didn't scream at us! Good times.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Score One for Gay Marriage!

There is a rocking party going on outside my house right now! Why? Because a fabulous judge just overturned Prop 8 - California's voter-enacted gay marriage ban. This issue is very near and dear to my heart - why would you want to prevent a certain group of people from declaring their love and marrying each other? Not only is equality of marriage morally right, but the marriage/wedding industry I'm sure also generates a lot of cash. Who wants to miss out on that?

Marriages can't happen yet as the judge is deciding whether or not his decision should be stayed during the appeals process. I'm hoping that starting Friday marriages can continue!

A couple facebook friends posted these quotes from MLK, which I think are lovely:

"Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice." - MLK Jr.
I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

And in honor of the occasion, a fun video:

And that reminds me of the other fun video I posted way back here. CELEBRATE good times, come on! (Sorry that's the current music playing on the streets.)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tri Preview

This morning I went out to Shadow Cliffs in Pleasanton with my TNT tri buddies to preview the tri course we will be completing at the end of September - in 63 days I hear. This little adventure included my first open water swim and my first non-biking tri-outfit adventure. And I actually had fun!

We swam about 750 meters in the lake which was fabulously temperate - no wet suit needed. Then off to a super slow transition followed by about 8 or 9 miles of the tri bike course. Although the scenery wasn't super fabulous, I really enjoyed riding somewhere with little traffic, views, actual bike paths, and no need to stop for stop signs and lights every block or so. So much better than riding in the City! T2 was significantly faster. That was followed up by about a 2 mile run on dirt paths near trees - also super exciting and more fun than concrete.

Also did I mention that it's actually summer in Pleasanton? Highs well above 60 and brilliant sunshine! Oh how I miss summer...

Alas, no pictures of me in all my spandex glory - maybe next time! I'm pretty excited about the race now - I feel as though I could complete it tomorrow. Two more months to get better! (And hopefully not hurt). Come join me!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Back to School?

Sitting in a classroom for 3 days, not working, was pretty awesome. I love learning new things! Now I know how to tell the difference between all sorts of lighting types, how to identify components of an HVAC system, how the refrigeration cycle works, how to calculate energy use of a motor, and so much more! It will be very useful to my work.

Unfortunately, now I want to go back to school so I can learn more! There's always something, isn't there? Matt asked me what I want to do with any new knowledge, and I have no idea. I just want knowledge for knowledge's sake. That's not very effective in life.

Anyway, I am thinking:

Certified Sustainable Building Advisor: Not really school, but school-like, and I get to learn more about energy, water, and green building

MBA in Sustainable Management: Although I am pretty sure I am not the type of person who should ever end up in Business School. It sounds so fabulous! And an MBA is probably a marketable skill, unlike anything I have picked up in the past.

And then there's always the PhD. Berkeley and Stanford both have some pretty awesome interdisciplinary energy and environment programs. That's a commitment I am nowhere near ready to make at the moment though.

Hopefully in a few days all this will wear off! Would you go back to school if you could?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Get your Groupon

How have I lived without Groupon all this time? I've heard about it here and there but didn't think much of it until I discovered that two of the people on our introductory sail had paid $20 instead of $40. What a good deal! And what a good reason to do something new and different!

I finally checked out Groupon yesterday and bought my first deal today - super cheap tickets to the Conservatory of Flowers - super beautiful, but I never go because I hate paying. You should sign up for Groupon too! They have pages for Phoenix, Portland, Tucson, and gosh knows where else my readers live. Or perhaps you've been a Groupon aficionado for years and have just been withholding it from me...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Streets

San Francisco has the great event series called Sunday Streets, in which they shut down a few roads to cars and open them up to pedestrians, bicyclists, and pretty much any form of non motorized transportation you can imagine. The route is filled with activities, music, and food stands, and it is in a different neighborhood each event.

I would love to get rid of cars in the city entirely (I realize I am a hypocrite, but at least I only drive mine once a week or every other week...), but since that isn't going to happen anytime soon, I will certainly support this awesome event. After participating a few times, we decided to volunteer.

Here's me, just off my shift of stopping traffic. My fashion consultant has already spoken out against by fabulous outfit, but hey, whatever gives me authority :).

A similar event also takes place in Portland and is just getting started in Oakland and Los Angeles. And I'm sure I'm forgetting something as well. Find out if your city has one!

Let the Sailing Begin!

When Matt and I went on our first sail a few weeks ago, the other four people on our boat were young, outgoing, fun, and very friendly. And of course I have met some great people through Team in Training, so naturally we assumed that this whole Sail for a Cure program would be full of great people as well. Turns out we may have been a wee bit wrong... At kickoff yesterday, the other people in the room were a bit odd and not too friendly. Now I hate to judge a book by its cover, and I sure don't want to go into the season with a bad attitude, so I'm definitely hoping that all the participants are good apples and perhaps just a bit shy. Or awkward. Being rather awkward myself, I can certainly handle that.

Despite this possibly minor hiccup, I am still looking very forward to learning to sail! And to race. I am a slight bit competitive, so I'm hoping that I am competent enough to at least not come in dead last. I've already started reading my textbooks!

In the meantime, I want to sail with you! If you live in the Bay Area or want to be here July 10th, please make a donation to our fundraising campaign. You will be making a huge difference to someone with blood cancer, like Max Harris, and the highest donor will receive two passes to join us at a fun sail and BBQ! Imagine spending up to 6 hours on the water of beautiful San Francisco Bay! There's even a "Sore Loser" prize. Check out our website for details.

After we become certified in the fall, we will be able to rent boats, and we look forward to actually taking you out on the water as skippers. Of course that means you'll be our crew. What could be more fun?

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Dear Parents

Please use this story as advice for how not to be.

On my 6 hour flight home from Boston today (please don't remind me that I can fly to Hawaii in less time than that), I sat next to a father and about an 8 year old boy. I was in the window, the boy was in the center, and the father was in the aisle. Now personally I think it is polite to insert yourself between your child and a stranger, but I am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. When the boy first sat down, the father told him to stay on his side of the armrest, to not stare over my shoulder, and not to play with the phone on the back of the seat. He also brought a cup with a lid that he informed the flight attendant he brought because the kid has spilled his drink too many times. But then the father started watching a movie on his itouch. The boy proceeded to throw his seatbelt in my lap at least 8 times, kick me repeatedly, try to take food off of my tray table, try to move my finger when I was adjusting the channel on the armrest, lean his head on my chair, set his hand on my chair, and play with my seat belt.

Then the father decided to switch places with about a 6 year old boy who was sitting a few rows up with his mother. So two young boys in my row; no parental supervision. Then the boy immediately proceeded to play with the phone, broke it, asked me for help to get it out again, and after I told him to ask his parents, proceeded to throw a tantrum that involved hitting the back of the seat in front of him repeatedly and yelling. Later on, when I leaned forward, he put his hand on my back and left it there. I had to physically pick his hand up and put it in his lap. Then when drinks were served again, he ordered cranberry juice. Which in case you aren't aware, is red. He then proceeded to play with his cranberry juice which involved picking up cranberry juice-covered ice out of the cup and dropping it in his lap and between us on the chairs so that I had to clean it up if I didn't want red juice on me. Then the power on his DVD player died, which resulted in him yelling "Help, help'" repeatedly, which of course was not heard by anyone of relevance. This tantrum also involved more thrashing of the limbs. He of course finally managed to spill the entire cup of juice, which sprayed across my tray table, fell all over his lap, and got all over his arm, which he proceeded to hang over my side of the armrest.

I finally managed to get the attention of what I presume to be a late teen/early 20s sister who was sitting across the aisle. She came over and proceeded to clean him up with wet wipes. When the father finally came back to find out what was going on, I asked him politely if one of them could please sit with the boy. He said, "Has he been bad?" And I nodded my head. So he sat back down in the aisle seat. At this point he became slightly more attentive - making sure the boy stopped putting his feet up on my seat, and mostly making sure he did not hang over the armrest toward me. Then the wife yells back to the husband to ask what the kid is watching on the DVD player and decides the younger brother should come back and watch it too. The father informs the mother that I asked one of them to sit with the boy. The wife proceeds to get indignant and say, well you can't choose who you sit by. She suggested I go sit in their other row, but the father informed her I had a window seat. She then suggested that they just put the younger boy in between me and the older boy. The father told her he didn't think it was a good idea. I left my headphones on and ignored it.

Awhile later the wife was back by the husband talking about how she had never in her life asked someone to not sit next to her and could not believe how ridiculous it was. I of course, since I can never keep my mouth shut, finally took my headphones off and asked the lady if she wanted me to list all the things her son had been doing. She looked at me disgustedly, and asked me how old I was. Regrettably I told her although it was none of her business, and then told her that was irrelevant. Of course the next step - "I'm sure you don't have kids." To which of course I responded, no I don't, these are your kids, and you should be responsible for them. Then she continues to talk about how kids are just kids and how she can't imagine how rude I am to tell them the kid couldn't sit next to me. "You can't choose who you sit next to on a plane." To which I informed her that I had merely requested that one of them sit with the boy. She of course just kept talking about how rude I was, so I just said, "look, lady, whatever" and put my headphones back on. She walked off muttering about how she can't imagine ever thinking the way I did.

Ultimately they sent the older boy up to the row next to the younger boy, the father stayed in my row, and the mother stood in the aisle. They didn't send the older boy back until the descent, and the mother never sat down until we were well below 10,000 feet.

Look lady, I understand why you wouldn't want to sit next to your own kid, but for god sakes, don't make a stranger on a plane babysit your delinquent child and then get upset about it. In case you haven't noticed, I was not involved in your decision to have a child, and I certainly didn't agree to help raise it. Have some respect for your fellow human beings!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

San Diego RNR

I love how a marathon and "rest and relaxation" can have almost the same abbreviation. How is that fair?

Anyway, Matt and I spent the weekend in sunny San Diego for my 4th half marathon - the San Diego Rock n Roll. My whole family came out to support me, which was fabulous, although there was some disappointment that I wasn't running my 1st full marathon as had been originally planned pre-injury.

Here we all are post-race:

And here's me pre-race with my TNT running buddies and some of my mentees at about 5am.

It may have been my slowest race yet, by about 4 minutes (and a whopping 24 minutes off of my PR), but I had a fabulous time and was barely tired at the end.

A big thank you to my family for supporting me, my TNT running buddies and mentees for making a fabulous season, and all my friends who have graciously supported me and the LLS during my year with TNT.

My next vacation will be race-free - what a novelty!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day Weekend

Okay, this time summer has actually come to San Francisco! It's been dreary, rainy, and in the 50s for weeks, but Saturday morning I woke up early for my last "long" run of the season - and saw sunshine outside my window! Six miles at 8am in a skirt and short sleeve shirt was actually on the uncomfortably warm side - but oh so gorgeous. Incidentally, this run took place at beautiful Crissy Field with a phenomenal view of the Golden Gate Bridge. This is the same location that my very first ever TNT run was held - when I ran a whopping 2 miles! That was last July.

I may be hurt and struggling a bit to run now, but I still can't believe how far I've come in less than 1 year. Next weekend I will be running my 4th half marathon! It won't be a PR, but someday when I'm not hurt, I'll get back down below the 2:05 mark. And although it won't be my 1st full, someday when I'm not hurt, I'll probably accomplish that too.

Perhaps you are tired of me blathering on and on about TNT, but I'm so glad I answered a piece of direct mail for once in my life and took myself to an information meeting last July. I have truly enjoyed being part of the TNT experience, and sitting at a picnic table in the sunshine with many of my teammates yesterday morning reminded me why I will come back. The people are fabulous, the locations are beautiful, the exercise is much-needed - and fun! -and of course we are out there for a fabulous cause - all the people that are helped by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

I may take a season of running off to help my body heal, but as I mentioned before, Matt and I plan to Raise a Sail for a Cure. We went out on a 2 hour intro sail this morning and loved it. (No pictures sadly, because we took a one-time use waterproof camera we had lying around the house instead of risking dropping the new one in the drink.) Of course the weather will likely never be this nice again, but we can hope! We'll be spending our summer learning how to raise the sails, tie knots, tack, jibe, and fall off (apparently a term for some directional activity, not a literal interpretation), and will eventually be competing in the Leukemia Cup Regatta in October.

Meanwhile, I'm also making other plans for the fall - a sprint distance triathlon with TNT buddies and hopefully a half marathon with some grad school friends! Now I just have to figure out how to get all this training in...

In the meantime, we're going to continue enjoying this amazingly beautiful holiday weekend. After a day of sailing and disc golf at an aquatic park, we may stick to the water with kayaking or a trip to Angel Island. As long as I haven't jinxed anything.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Summer has Come

And in San Francisco that means clouds and cold! Alas...

Despite the chill in the air, this past weekend was a weekend of firsts.

On Saturday, I ran farther than 13.1 miles for the first time ever! In fact, I ran somewhere between 18 and 19 miles. I should actually say "ran" because I instituted a run-walk program for the first time ever. As a result of my many setbacks this season, mostly including an out-of-alignment pelvis (fun!), I figured I needed to take it easy if I was going to get that far. So I decided to walk 1 minute each mile. In between running with other people and missing mile markers though, I probably only walked 1 minute for about half of the miles I ran. I really did feel like it made a difference though - after all I finished and didn't feel drained! However, I did notice that my mental capacities had been diminishing slightly and my stomach felt a bit unhappy. I have already decided that running so far is not fun for me, and after a full marathon on June 6th (likely involving extended walking), I plan to return happily to the land of 13.1. I run past beautiful scenery, often following the bay or the ocean here, but I don't appreciate much after I hit the double digits.

On Sunday, Matt and I participated in Bay to Breakers. For you out-of-towners, this is a crazy spectacle - a 12k road race featuring both elite runners (a world record was set this year!) and tens of thousands of drunken (and in various stages of nudity) partiers. At 8 am. On a Sunday. After some Muni-related setbacks, Matt and I ended up in the back of the last corral, with all the drunk people. The stench - alcohol, weed, urine, etc. - was horrendous. The people were ***holes. I'm clearly getting old, because this is not fun for me. We hope to be out of town for this race in the future.

Before we even arrived at the start line

I believe the man in the serapa has no pants on

Pretty in pink

Some good liberal sense of humor!

After all this running and walking, I am looking forward to finishing my second season of TNT. I hope to complete my first full marathon on June 6th in SD, and I have 5 wonderful mentees completing events as well. 1 ran Avenue with me, 3 will be joining me in SD, and the remaining 1 will be competing in RNR Seattle. Here's my requisite plug: Consider joining Team in Training and supporting the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It has been a great experience for me; one that I'm sure I will return to over and over again. You don't have to be an athlete - or even in shape; they will get you there. For now, I'm thinking about leaving the road and heading for the water - Raise a Sail for a Cure. I'm also planning to train for my first triathlon in the fall.

My next goal in life: Figure out how to keep active while not letting my house get so dirty, my inbox so cluttered, and my credit card balances unpaid. (I incurred 13 cents interest - the first interest payment I have ever made on a credit card - and probably the death of my credit score...)