San Francisco Recap

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Since I fell off the blogging bandwagon while in San Francisco, you have to deal with a really long entry now. Sorry!

Night Tour
We started our first night in San Francisco with a Night Tour. We chose the Big Bus Company because they seem to offer the best deal. I’m not too happy with them but I’ll get to that. First off, we were lied to. They told us we had to get on this bus as it was the last night tour bus. That meant we had to sit downstairs and have a crappy view. Well that wasn’t true because there were at least 2 more buses behind us, I think it was a lie to get the bus full. I would have waited for the next bus because I wanted to sit upstairs with the open top but whatever. The other reason I wanted to wait is because what is a night tour if it was not dark at all during the tour?  The tour started at 7pm. It doesn’t get dark for another 90 minutes at the earliest which means that it really isn’t the night now is it? Argh! So I was mad for the whole tour and didn’t take many pictures because what was the point they wouldn’t turn out anyways because we were behind glass. So we crossed the Bay Bridge and went to Treasure Island where we could get our night skyline pictures (even though it was still daylight) and when we got back on the bus somebody had taken our seat. WTF? Some of the people sitting on top got cold and wanted to sit down below now. So I high tailed it to the top and boy that made a huge difference. It was freezing but I got some awesome sunset pictures. And the best part was the traffic was so backed up going into the city that it wasn’t cold sitting on top. Suckers downstairs, you loose. We waited over 30 minutes for a street car back to our hotel. Two street cars that were scheduled never showed up and when one finally showed up it was packed and we were packed like sardines.

Zombie Runner 10K
Don’t really want to say too much here, my full race report can be found here.

After the 10K, which I did horrible in, we went back to the hotel and relaxed. It took a lot out of us, especially those hills. We both crashed on the bed. Eric took a nap and I uploaded some pictures. I tried to nap but it wasn’t happening.

Big Bus Failure #1
Finally after 3 hours I told Eric we had to venture out so after a quick shower we jumped on the Big Bus Tour at the stop across the street from the hotel (the other reason I chose this company).  We went to Alamo square to see the Painted Ladies, the famous house of San Francisco that is shown in every movie ever shot here. It was a beautiful view.  
Painted Ladies from Alamo Square
We managed to catch the next bus (it was a hop on, hop off variety of tour) and decided we were going to ride it to the Golden Gate Bridge Vista point. Again we were relegated to downstairs which sucked. What sucked even more was the fact it took almost 2 hours to get to the Golden Gate Bridge Vista point because the traffic was so horrible. Like MnDot, California DOT thought it was a good idea to close the major interstate that goes through the city on a holiday weekend so all traffic was diverted to the same road the bus tour was driving. It was a nightmare. Eric and I were sitting in the last sit in the bus, on the motor, so it was HOT.  My butt should be smaller because it should have melted off! By the time we got to the vista, we didn’t have time to stop because we had to get back to our hotel for the Giants/Twins game. And of course we couldn’t get upstairs so we continued to ride the bus downstairs all the way back to the first stop. The bus was packed and I had to sit next to an ashtray. Gross! I couldn’t handle the smell of the guy sitting next to me, it was awful. I was so happy to get off the bus.
Best View from Bus
Giants/Twins Game at AT&T Park
So we got back to the hotel, changed into our Twins garb and went to the game. AT&T Park has nice views and was overall a good park, the best one of the trip. I wouldn’t say it was my favorite. The game wasn’t much to speak of, the Twins lost. There were a few kayakers and boats in the water but there were no splash hits for our game. We walked around the park and took in all the views. It was so cold. The windy was whipping and the air temperature was about 50 degrees. It was like we were back in Minnesota! A nice guest services person bought me a Ghirardelli hot chocolate. I was taking pictures and talking with her and the hot chocolate guy came by and she said I had to try the hot chocolate. Well Eric had my wallet so I had no cash on me so she insisted on buying me one. It was delicious. I was very grateful. Prices at this ball park were by far the highest. Almost $6 for a bottle of water?!? And the hot dogs were almost $7. Not a cheap place to visit! Overall it was a good game even though we lost by one. Giants went on to sweep the Twins.
AT&T Park
Big Bus Failure #2
So on Sunday we decided to try the Big Bus Company again. We had a 48 hour ticket so why not. We got down to Fishermen’s Wharf around 11 and hopped on the bus, upper deck, back row. The best spot. The tour was going along well. The only stop we wanted to do was the Vista. This tour was almost as bad as the day before. Thankfully we were upstairs! The tour is supposed to last 2 hours. After 3 hours we still hadn’t reached the vista stop. We were stuck in the traffic again. Our bus driver this time was more aggressive but still we sat for hours in traffic. We got the vista and I was too tired and irritated to get off so we just stayed on the bus and went on with the tour. It was over 4 hours later when we got back to the first stop. We were starving. We missed lunch so when we finally got off the bus we headed to In N Out burger. I was so excited but I forgot that they put a special sauce on their burgers so it ruined it for me. I can’t believe I forgot about it. So my In N Out burger was sour. I was so hungry too so it was disappointing.
I ran down there!
Hills and more hills and then a Tower
We decided the best way to tackle the city is walking. Not an easy task when all you see is hills and they all look like they are going up. We walked to Lombard Street, “the most twisted street in the world” their words not mine. It was interesting to see but coming from bluff country in Wisconsin and having driven in the Black Hills many times, this street was lame. They had flowers on all the switchbacks but “the most twisted road in the world,” I highly doubt it. I will say the walk was difficult, up to steep hills to get there. We walked back down to Washington Square and Sts. Peter and Paul Church. Nice church. We walked up another couple steep hills to Coit Tower. Walking some of those steep inclines sucks the wind out of you and I’m not sure which is worse, walking up or walking down. They were both very difficult. We stood in line to go up to the top of Coit Tower. The view was nice from up there but I don’t know if it was really worth the $7 entrance fee and 30 minute wait. The upper area was encased in glass so you couldn’t take great pictures from up there because there was always the glare. We walked around and snapped some pictures and came back down.
View from Coit Tower
After the Coit Tower we walked the mile or so back tour hotel for some relaxation. It was a very tiring day. We ventured out again close to evening time to finally get on one of the famous cable cars. We decided to try the California Line. One, because it was a few blocks from our hotel and two, it is less busy. The other one is more famous and has better views and always has a queue. There wasn’t a queue for the California Line. We rode it all the way to the end of the line and then came back. It was so much fun. Some of the most fun I had on the trip. I guess I’m easily entertained! We got hang on the outside, a must do. We stopped at Chinatown and walked around. We hopped back on the California line to our hotel and crashed. We had an early morning.
California Line Cable Car Ride

California Line Cable Car Ride
We had to get down to Pier 33 by 8:45 for our 9:10 tour of Alcatraz. The tour itself wasn’t bad. We got to see the whole island and hear the history of the prison. The audio tour was quite good, I’m not usually a fan of them but this one didn’t drag on like others I have done. It was fascinating learning about the various escape attempts, the riots and the lives of the guards who lived on the island with their families. It sounds crazy to me that people would let their kids live on an island with a maximum security prison! We managed to see the whole site and were back on the return boat by 11. We walked around Pier 39 for a bit and saw the Sea Lions but we had to get back to the hotel for the Oakland A’s game.
Lines, Lines and more lines
I never hated the Metrodome, I actually kind of liked it and after seeing where the Oakland A’s play, I really loved the old place. The A’s play at also known as the Coliseum. The Coliseum is old, built in the 60s. It is a football first stadium, baseball second. There is nothing fun to look at. It is a maze trying to find your seat and you have to walk through a restaurant to get to your seats. It is just weird and dumpy. The A’s are having a fantastic year and as a result, it was actually a sellout. Unbelievable! Obviously they are not used to sellout crowds because only half of the concession stands were open and the lines were ridiculous. We got to the game late and stood in line for an inning and a half for a hot dog. On a positive note their food prices are pretty cheap, especially compared those across the bay! We watched a few innings and then Eric wanted ice cream. We waited in line for over 2 innings for ice cream. By that time it was the 8th inning (we missed the 7th inning stretch) and we were tired of standing around. The A’s were killing Detroit and so we left after eating the ice cream. I’m sure glad we did, the BART back to San Francisco only runs every 20 minutes (bad planning!) and we got on one right away. When we were heading out of the station, the bridge that connects to the stadium was packed with people heading to the train. I was so glad we beat that crowd. It was amazing!
Finally we walked the bridge!
So after two failed attempts at walking the Golden Gate Bridge, we finally had our chance. We took the BART from the stadium to Civic Center plaza, connected with a bus to the Golden Gate Bridge. We finally got to walk the bridge. It was cold and windy. I knew that but it is something to feel it! We walked about half way and turned around. It was a great site and I’m glad we finally got there. We took a couple buses back to the hotel and crashed. Our vacation was over. We had an early morning wake up call for our flight and we had crazy shuttle bus driver but we got on our early morning flight, thankfully for another successful vacation.

Zombie Runner San Francisco 10K

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

This race report won’t be as upbeat as previous ones because to be honest my race sucked. I wasn’t prepared for the hills, I knew that.  And I made soft goal of finishing in 1:30.  I was close, actually my 10K time was 1:26 but the race was really 6.77 miles. That is over a half mile longer than it was supposed to be! My official time is 1:33. Whatever!

Strong-ish start, terrible middle, horrible finish.
My first mile was around 11:44.  Slower than I thought it would be but still acceptable. Around mile 1.5 is where the “fun” began. Steps up to the top of the hill, yes, steps. See it wasn’t a typical race, it was a “trail” race. So we walked up the steps. I tried running but thought to myself I still have 5 more miles to go, if I run up these steps now, I will have nothing in the tank for later! I ran a bit one on top of the hill but we continued to keep climbing. It felt like it was never going to stop!  I coasted down the hill at a fast clip, averaging around 10 minute/mile pace until we hit the sand…wait what, sand? Yep sand. We had to run on the beach for about a half a mile. I hate running on sand it is horrible! I didn’t run on the sand, I walked. Walking again! We stopped at the turn around spot and grabbed some water and a few graham crackers and headed back on the sand. I walked. When we hit the parking lot of the beach, I actually stopped to take a picture of the Golden Gate Bridge. Then we hit the big hill I just coasted down a few minutes before. I walked.  We got to the top of the hill and I ran again. And pretty much ran most of it from that point on. I even sprinted down the steps, I had to climb so long ago. My knees did not like that at all. We switched between running and walking during the home stretch. I was completely spent. I never thought the finish would come but there it was. I got across, got my medal and gorged on water and food. I was so happy to be done with it.
Pre Race View

At Mile 3.3, yes Eric we have to run back. Look at the view!

Success! We made it!

The Medal - Zombie Runner San Francisco 10K
What I learned!
I learned some things in this race. One is I hate hills and steps. But I already knew that but during this race made body made sure I knew it. I should have trained better. I knew what was at hand but I don’t think my mind really grasped what a 300 foot hill looks like. It isn’t fun! My legs were spent on the downhill sprint at mile 3 and I never recovered. I didn’t even finish strong on the flats. Hopefully I can move on from this “race” and do better in the future. I only have a few more days before our marathon relay. I’m very nervous!


But I finished my first 10K. Yay!

The Pacific Coast Highway

Sunday, May 25, 2014

We left San Diego and head north in our awesome Ford Mustang Convertible. I seriously want one now. The first day’s drive was to San Luis Obispo. The views were pretty blah and traffic was ridiculous. I think we would have been better off going the 405 through LA since there really wasn’t much to see on Hwy 1 and it took us over 2 hours to get through the LA area. It really was a bust. I don’t get all the hype about Malibu, it really wasn’t that special. The special places were up the coast. So the first day was not that exciting.

Elephant Seals
About an hour up the road from San Luis Obispo is the elephant seal rookery. There is this one pull off which is free (if you can believe that in California, somebody could make a fortune off of this stop) and it is home to hundreds of Elephant Seals. They are so dang cute. There were some fighting: 

But mostly they were swimming or the majority were sleeping:
 It is definitely worth a stop if you are driving up the PCH.

Big Sur
Just before Big Sur is the Julia Pfeiffer State Park. Stop, it is beautiful.  There is a short trail, about ¼ mile that is almost entirely flat and the view at the end is amazing. There is a waterfall, a small one, and the water on the beach is the most turquoise water I’ve ever seen:

After you see the water fall, continue to the end of the trail and check out the coast on the other side. Breathtaking!

Also up the road is the Bixby Bridge. I’m not sure what is so special about this bridge, other than it is cool but I is also much photographed and one of my atlas has this bridge as the front cover.

The road twists and turns its way to Monterey (I rhymed there!) with many places to stop and look. I have to say of the portion of the highway we covered the road from Cambria to Monterey is the best. Once past Monterey, the road is very straight and the view is much the same as down south but not as exciting.

The Animal Places of San Diego

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I wasn’t sure what to name this blog post because I didn’t want to be generic and say San Diego. That would be boring. So I thought about it and went hum. Petco Park and the Zoo. They are both animal places. Granted Petco park doesn’t really have any animals unless you consider baseball players animals but it is named after “the place where pets go.” We meet Blue Mews and Red the dog (mascots that walk around the park) and got a picture so I guess there are animals there.

DEN to SAN via SLC
Our venture from Denver to San Diego was uneventful but a little bumpy, as in turbulence. We had leaving Denver and landing in Salt Lake. And leave Salt Lake was really bad. Some of the worse I’ve experience. I’m not sure why the sun was shining and there were very few clouds. I’m not sure if it is because of the mountains?  We got to San Diego and hoped a shuttle to our hotel. Oh to be in San Diego again. I really do love this city, it is probably the only one in California I’d consider living in.

Kim & Eric 2, Padres 0
We didn’t have much time to relax at the hotel before the Twins game. We dumped our stuff and changed. Weather of course was dilemma again. It was about 60 degrees with that ocean breeze. For once I got my clothing right. I didn’t get cold until the 6th inning but I brought my sweatshirt along so all was good. Our seats were pretty good, 4 rows from the field right by third base. Before the game started a few twins came over. Kubel held his daughter which was cute but refused to sign stuff…bad! Plouffe was really good about it he signed for everybody and took some pictures with people but that only lasted until Mauer came over and everybody ditch Plouffe. I wish I had a sharpie and ball because I would have gone down to Plouffe for a signature when everybody ditched him. I don’t care about Mauer…but that is for another blog post at a later date.

The Twins got on the board early with a Chris Parmalee home run. The cool thing about going to games in California is that almost half of the players are from here so that means family and friends are in the crowd. Parmalee had friends behind us…that was so cool. We talked a bit about him and his family and his baseball. You don’t get that at Target Field!

The other cool thing about going to away interleague games is watching your pitcher bat. It is hilarious. I know they have batted in the past but to watch them do it when it isn’t a regular occurrence is funny. Our pitchers didn’t do so hot batting.

The Twins lead most of the game but the Padre’s tied it up. Kurt (Clutch) Suzuki fixed that with an in-the-park home run. It was weird. We all thought it was out but they ruled in never went out because it rolled on the wall and came back in. That make sense since Kurt was flying around the bases and slide home. A very strange play. Perkins came in for the save and the Twins won 5-3. It was a fun game.

Animals are Calling
Yesterday we spend almost the entire day at the zoo, and I mean the entire day. We got on the 9:40 trolley from our hotel. We drove over the Coronado Bridge and saw some of the sites on the island including the $4.89 gas. The next stop was Balboa Park. This place is massive and has lots to see including the Zoo. We walked around the park and got to zoo and you could hear all the animals making noise. We covered almost the entire zoo, entirely on foot. No busses, no shuttles, no kangaroo express. All on foot. By the way my feet now hurt.

First stop was the reptile house for all the snakes, lizards and iguanas…Eric’s thing not mine. The Galapagos Turtles are awesome. A women standing next to me pointed at turtle number 5 and said that is Speedy. I rode him as a child and I’m 68 years old, he is over 150. That is so crazy to me. We saw Speedy get into a confrontation with another turtle for the water. They just raised their heads at each other and Speedy didn’t win. He got one foot in the water. 

Animals Galore
We saw a tiger during feeding time. He stalked the zoo worker, it was funny to watch. We saw the a walrus, pelicans and other birds, polar bears, panda bears, elephants, lions (both African and Asian), koala bears, rhinos, giraffes,  and so much more.

I wore the wrong sandals for the day and ended up with blisters. Stupid me, I know it was a lot of walking and steep terrain but I wore sandals. Doh!

After the zoo we hoped back on the trolley and was forced to stop at Old Town…think flea market with a Mexican flare. Yep, not really our cup of tea. We had to wait for the next trolley to take us back to our hotel. We stopped at Horton Plaza shopping center first for a new bag because we bought too much (again, we never learn to pack right). And finally made it back to the hotel by 5pm. A long successful day.

Rootbeer and Pizza Don’t Mix, Seriously!
We relaxed for a bit and took a swim in the heated pool and hot tub. The breeze off the ocean was cold! We changed clothes quickly and went to the Fox Sport’s Grill for dinner. This is where I spilled my entire glass of rootbeer on my flat bread pizza. That was gross. I managed to salvage a few pieces which was enough for me to eat (it was huge) but that was a major bummer. As a friend put on Facebook, “Dough!”

Matthew’s Graduation

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Yesterday was the main event in Aurora, Matthew’s high school graduation. The day started out like the day before with a 4 mile run along the canal trail with Phil. Phil, of course, did 7 miles because he is a super star. LOL! The run felt better than the day before and I think that was mostly because I got used to being at 5,400 feet…I only felt like I was dying for the first ¼ mile instead of the first. And my second mile was my slowest and I got progressively better because Mile 4 was the second fastest. Not like yesterday were I got progressively worse.

The Pre-Graduation
We met up at Matt and Amy’s to carpool to the graduation. We took some before pictures as the rule with their school is they have immediately turn in their cap and gown to get their diploma signed so no after graduation pictures. So here are a few of those pre-graduation pictures.

There were like 600 graduates so it was a long ceremony.  The one thing they did different, which I thought was cool was the Top 10 of the class each gave a one minute speech. So even though it was 10 minutes long it didn’t seem so. And why is it that the valedictorians are always so funny. The salutatorians are always boring reflective speeches but the vals are funny. Just something I noticed in the many graduations I have attended…and I have many more to go!

As usually we made fun of the names that were long or strange and let me tell you there were a lot of them in this class. The other smart thing they did was take pictures of people with fake diplomas before they got there so the flow went pretty well but it was still over an hour just listening to graduates names being called. It took longer for them to announce all the names than my entire graduation too.

No food or drink
So where the Rockies game let anything in, even drinks, the Ritchie Center was not. They made me empty my water and absolutely no food or drinks could be brought in. Another weird thing is I had to take my camera out and they measured my zoom. Are you for real?  How lame. But my small zoom was on so I felt like I was breaking the rules for having my big zoom but she didn’t check my bag that much to see it was hidden. It is a bit ridiculous. I got some nice shots though:

After graduation we made our way back to Matt and Amy’s. There was a little snafu after graduation as Amy’s parent’s vehicle got towed. Not the drama one wants on graduation day. We sat around for a while at Matt and Amy’s waiting for everybody to come back. Eventually everybody showed up and we had hot dogs and chips for dinner. And there was more talking until 10pm. It was a good day overall.  Today we head to San Diego. Very excited!

Triple Play at Coor’s Field

Monday, May 19, 2014

We are on day 3 of our vacation and so far so good. We had no issues getting here besides the long wait for security at MSP. We got here about 10:30 and luckily we were able to check in to our hotel that early so we dropped off our luggage and relax for a bit and then we went out to lunch with the family.

The Talking
After lunch we went back to Matt and Amy’s for a while and eventually ended up back at the hotel in Phil’s room. We were going shopping but you know those Williams boys they like to talk…and talk…and TALK! Our trip to the mall didn’t happen for over THREE hours! LOL! We eventually got the mall and we split up men and women. We had to find a swimming suit for Katelynn and I needed a new wallet because my clasp broke on mine at the airport and since the clasp is what keeps my phone from flying out in needed a new one. We meet everybody at the food court for dinner. Eric’s parents had come into town in the meantime and joined us. And the Williams boys talked and talked. Thankfully the mall closed at 9 so we only sat there for about 2 hours this time. LOL! We were all pretty much exhausted by that point so we actually got back to the hotel by 10.

Altitude, not Attitude
So yesterday morning I was up bright and early. Someday I’d like to be able to sleep in! It was about 6am and I was starving but the breakfast didn’t open until 7am. As soon as 7am hit I was down there and was happy to see they had Nutella…I was in heaven! Eric was up when I came back to the room and he had some breakfast too and after that we relaxed for a while before we headed out for a run. As we were leaving the hotel we ran into Phil and Katelynn. Phil had thought he wasn’t going to run but was very happy to see we were. So we waited for him to get ready at we headed down to the High Canal Trail. It was a very nice paved trail through the city. I struggle through 4 miles, Phil did 7. The first mile was fast but I felt like I was being suffocated. When you are used to running at 800 feet of elevation, 5,400 feet of elevation will kill you the first time out. But I did ok considering. My splits were around 13 minutes.

Triple Play
After a quick shower we headed to Matt and Amy to meet the rest of the family for the Rockies game. Our seats were awesome. Right behind 3 base, 9 rows up. Katianna and Matthew got some pictures with some of the Padre players so that was cool. Apparently a foul ball hit right in our section too but nobody got it. :(  For the first time in my life, we saw a triple play. It was cool. Eric and I ventured around and checked out all the sites like the center field feature with water falls and the water shuts up when there is a Rockies homerun. Way cool.

The Walk-Off
The game went into extras when former Minnesota Twins closer (from 2003), LaTroy Hawkins blew the save. When he was announced Eric and looked at each other (there were 10 seats between us) and both cracked up laughing. He is still pitched…that is amazing. At the bottom of the 10th Justin Morneau came up…the Twins’ awesome former 1st baseman and he hit a walk-off home run. What a fantastic way to end the game for us. I think everybody enjoyed the game, Phil said it was the best game he had ever seen and the seats helped!

After the game we meet at the Blake Tavern for food and more talking and eventually made or way back the hotel…after we witnessed a hit-and-run accident. It was crazy. The person ran the red light made a U-turn (on a one way street) and ran dragging their back tire going the wrong way!! It was seriously crazy. The poor guy that got hit was in shock, he said he was fine but he will feel it today. We stuck around because we witnessed it and we were the only vehicle in that entire intersection to do that! That is sad! That made our return kind of late. We went back to the hotel for some swimming at that capped off a great second day of vacation!

Scale Dilemma

Thursday, May 15, 2014

So I have 2 more days of work before our big trip and I have packing dilemmas. What to pack, what weather to plan for and should I take the scale. Yes, I said scale. I’m going to be away from home for many days and I don’t know if I can handle not know my weight for that long. I’m addicted to the scale. It isn’t just an easy yes or no question. I have put some thought into this. There are two ways of thinking.

Option 1 ~ Don’t take the scale
If I don’t take the scale, I will go willy-nilly and eat a ton of crap and gain 15 pounds…No I’m serious here. 15 pounds is what I estimated my weight gain will be over the next 3 weeks. I will be happy for the trip but very depressed when I get home and say the heck with this whole diet thing and stop counting calories and gain the 40 pounds back afterwards. I’m being very pessimistic here but I know me and that is something I’d do. Plus there is the added weight to the bag, my scale doesn’t weigh that much but it takes up a lot of space which means I either take less clothes or I take a bigger bag. We have almost a ½ mile walk to our hotel in San Francisco; do I really want an annoying bag to drag through the streets of San Francisco? Dilemma!!!

Option 2 ~ Take the scale
The other option is to pack the scale. This would require a bigger bag and one that is not as easy to maneuver around the streets. But it is only one city that would require me to walk around with it so is it really that much of a hassle? Having the scale with me won’t help me control my eating. I will probably still go willy-nilly but at least I’d be cognizant of how much I’m gaining and won’t be slammed with a huge weight gain at the end of the trip and get depressed and gain my 40 pounds back.

I don’t know what to do. When I went to Branson with my Mom in November, I took the scale. I gained 4 pounds in the first 3 days and then leveled off. It don't make me eat any less or think about my eating and I was really only depressed the first couple days. Since that trip I haven't taken the scale with me but I was never away from home for more that 3 or 4 days. Can I handle 10 days with out? I don't know. :-(

Conversations had in DT Minneapolis
As I walked around the block of my building to get a little fresh air, a black man was walking towards me and said

Man: “Hello Beautiful.”
Me: “Hi” (as I walked past)
Man: (turns around) “You got a boyfriend?”
Me: “I’m married!”
Man: “He better keep you close because you are FINE!”

So that was a little awkward but flattering I guess.

Also in DT Minneapolis…
So this week before our trip is a crazy one as I’ve mentioned in the last blog. You know lots of eating out and not being able to work out. Well that changed on Tuesday!  We had a Twins game on Tuesday and Eric was going to put in some OT. My work isn’t really busy right now and I didn’t want to sit around here for hours waiting for Eric so I decided to RUN! I had my shoes and socks because I wanted to change before the game but I didn’t have any other running gear. I remembered I could use my phone to track the run (I don’t like running with my phone but it will do in a pinch). And I went to Target and bought running pants, a sports bra (on sale!) and a t-shirt and I went for a run. It felt amazing! I did 4 miles and I felt like I could do 4 more. It was the most awesome feeling. I ran across the Stone Arch bridge (St. Anthony Falls were really going!) and ran down St. Anthony Main, over to Nicollet Island, across the Hennepin Ave. bridge and down the West River Road to Gold Medal Park and back. I never walked and only stopped at stoplights but avoided them at all possible (which is why my map has so many turns on it!). I was so happy the entire time. I think I have a new tradition on game days! :)

Here is the map. Something is wrong with the splits because my total time for mile 1 was 12:30 and the little women in my head even said it but Nike+ online says it was almost 14. My total time at mile two was about 25:30 but it says it was almost 27 minutes but somehow the last 2 miles were very fast and I finished the last mile with a 12 minute pace. Not possible because I was sitting at stoplights a lot. Overall pace was 13:01.

Running Blues

Monday, May 12, 2014

I’ve hit the “wall”. Normally you hear of the wall when talking about marathon running but I’m going to say I hit the “wall” of training. After the Gorilla Run, my running has been lacking. Yes I did 7 miles on Monday and it just about killed me. So much so that I didn’t run or bike or do anything for that matter the rest of the week. Friday I told Eric he had to go run with me to push me since I had taken 3 days off. I struggled to get 2.25 miles. Thankfully, my pace was back in the 12s.

The Long and Winding (and Hilly) Road
Eric and I went for a 4 mile run yesterday at the Spring Lake Regional Park. You know my hill work out place. It was so humid I struggled to breathe. I wasn’t happy during the run at all…running blues. I even struggled on the down hills! And walked up some of the up hills. Somehow, by the grace of Eric, I got my pace right at 12:31 but after 4 miles I was dead and we stopped. I had planned on doing 5 but just couldn’t muster another mile…running blues. Apparently the first two miles were good and the last two not so much. But the first 2 were mostly downhill and the last 2 were mostly up hill. See:

Fat Bottom Girl Riding a Bike
Yay for the bike, sick of the wind. So I actually went on 2 bike rides this week. Neither was very long. I need to go on a longer one but I think I want to do it myself without the company of Eric. So Sunday’s ride was around 9 miles but included a stop at Caribou Coffee. Like I said before…hot chocolate and bike ride don’t mix!

Saturday after a day of shopping and playing at the park with Stayers we really didn’t do much physical and I was feeling like I need to do something, it was too nice of a day to sit inside. So we dragged the bikes for a ride. It started out fine with a nice sun. We biked about 3 miles to Lions Park and went down the hill, turned the corner and bam…wind. It sucked! I got to use my aero bars a lot to keep myself low so I had less wind resistance. But, man, it was tough. And we had a long way to go into the wind the whole way. No wonder the first 3 miles were so easy…we had the wind at our back! So we weaved our way around the path, still managing to keep a good pace considering the wind. Thankfully that meant we didn’t go very far because as we were making our way to home it started to lightning and thunder and less than 5 minutes after we walk in the door it started to pour. Our nice day went to heck. We mustered a measly 7.5 miles…I almost ran further than that on Monday!

Eating…a 3 week challenge
Well today starts a 3 week challenge in the eating department. Tonight I’m meeting my volleyball friends for dinner at Green Mill, we got a $25 gift card as a team to use. Tuesday is a Twins/Red Sox game so hot dogs, nachos, etc…no healthy eating at the ball park. Wednesday is a pedi with Celeste so that might be a cereal night. Thursday is band and Eric is watching my friend’s kids so that means eating out beforehand and Friday is another Twins game. We are going to 7 baseball games in 2 weeks…lots of stadium food.  Plus our vacation! This is a food/eating nightmare! I’m sure I’ll gain a lot of weight over the course of the next 3 weeks so I’m sure I’ll be Debbie Downer. :( You have been warned.

Training Update

Miles ran in 2014:  222.5 miles (only 177.5 miles left to go)
Weekly Mileage: Swim = 0 mile; Bike = 16.5 miles; Run = 9.3 miles; Total = 25.8 miles 

Hydration and Cinco de Mayo

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Well I purchased a new hydration pack for my running. I thought I would like it, but I'm not so sure after the first run with it. Monday after work was a beautiful day. I thought it was a perfect time to go on a long run, which I missed this past weekend, and try out my new hydration system. It didn’t go so well.  I got a 7 mile run in but my pace plummeted. I struggled to keep my overall pace for the run under 13:44 (the marathon relay time limit). I’m not sure what my problem was. I had water, which I desperately need on my last long runs and I had some salted nut rolls so I could keep my hunger at bay. It was great having the water and the salt nut rolls were great. But I don’t know what my time was so slow. Maybe I was having a bad day?  Possible, I did a fast run on Saturday at the Gorilla Run so maybe I was still recovering. Maybe it was the water pack. I really don’t know. I don’t want to wear it again but the thing was expensive so I have to give it another shot.

Also this week…
Sunday I took Mike and Mom to The Running Room to see if we could get Mike some new shoes. His shoes are in bad shape and he needs a good shoe that will support him. He bought some dry fit socks so that was a start but the store didn’t have shoes his size. After that Mike and I went for a 2 mile walk on the Minnesota River Bluff trails. It was nice to take him to a real trail away from traffic. A nice change of scenery. After our walk we had Subway for lunch and that was about it. It was a nice weekend with the family.

Biking around
After they left on Sunday, Eric and I went for a bike ride. We biked to Caribou Coffee for a hot chocolate. We couldn’t finish the drink so thankfully I have a 2nd bottle holder on my bike. That was a mistake…my bike, as well as myself, was covered in hot chocolate! Oh well. We only managed 9 miles.

Splits and Badges
So here are my splits…yuck! And my La Fiesta Badge for running on Cinco de Mayo. :)

Gorilla Run 5K

Monday, May 5, 2014

Imagine over 1,500 people dressed as Gorillas in a small area…yep that was the Gorilla Run. These novelty runs are interesting. Everybody was dressed up in some way or another. There was Marilyn Monroe, cowboys and cowgirls, princess, etc. I wore my Mauer jersey. The race was not organized very well, at least not the official counting for the Guinness World Record. It took forever to get into the count area…over an hour. The race started an hour late because of it. So once we were all counted and in the baseball field to have our picture taken, it was time to get to the starting line. Unlike most people, I stripped my costume for the run. There was no way I could run 3 miles in it. It really restricted my movement and I’m still a newbie runner and I want to get a good idea if my running is getting better and in the suit it wouldn’t have been accurate. I wore an yellow shirt so I said I was Eric’s banana…he ran in the suit.

On the Course
The course was flat. So it was felt fast.  The first mile was strong. I thought I was going to break the 10 minute barrier. I was so close too. The whole time my watch was say around 10:54 so I thought for sure I got it but after the 1 mile mark I looked at my watch and it was set to current pace, not average pace so my first mile was actually 11:02. :( I was so close! If my watch was on the right mode, I would have pushed to get under 11. Next time I have to remember to look for that. Mile 2 was still strong, I slowed a bit, I was disappointed in not getting the 10:XX in the first mile. Mile 3 was tough. I think the first two miles really wore me out at the much faster speed. I actually had to walk a bit. I didn’t walk at all in Goldy’s. It wasn’t very long, maybe 10 seconds. I cruised into the finish for an “official time” of 50:28…wait what?  So my actual time was about 36:58 but for some reason the timing chip didn’t register me crossing the finish line. But it must have got me when we walked past the finish line on our way to our car. I was so disappointed that that time is out there for everybody to see and it isn’t accurate in the least. Even my first 5K was 7 minutes faster than that.  Argh!

Here is my splits and map. You can tell I really slowed down on Mile 3. The line is red.

Here are pictures of the day:

Training Update
Miles ran in 2014:  209.2 miles (only 190.8 miles left to go)
Weekly Mileage: Swim = 0 mile; Bike = 0 miles; Run = 9.3 miles; Total = 9.3 miles 

It was a wet, cold windy week so I didn’t go biking and I wimped out on swimming

April 2014 Recap

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Runs: 15

Miles: 50
Races: 1 (3.1 miles) (Goldy's 5K - 37:37)
Outdoors: 12 (42 miles)
Indoors: 3 (8 miles)
Longest: 7 miles
Average Pace: 12:40

I saw major improvement in April. I had some runs with an average pace under 12! Mostly outside, where I much prefer to run but the last few have been inside. Yes, I've run when it was -5 degrees but this past week has been a wash out and cold and windy. So I took it inside. I had some really good, long runs. I did 5 miles in Rapid City along the creek, I did my longest run ever of 7 miles on Good Friday and my fastest 10K run this past weekend.  Here are my trophies from this month: