22 April 2012


Too funny not to share...and sadly parts are a little too close to home, even though I feel young!

19 April 2012

5 for 10

5 years. Each year, the Presidio10.

see what I did there? I crack myself up.

It was a cool day, this April morning...a cool fog hung low over Chrissy Field, muffling the sounds of the announcer reminding us how to put on our toe tags (or, since that was too morbid for the guy who walked up, bent over, and fixed mine, the shoelace timer chip) and making sure we all were ready to start running, if only to keep warm.

After a...umm...stirring rendition of the national anthem, the countdown began and we were off running.

The course this year was super crowded. My friend A got a good lane and sprinted off ahead of us, basically kicking @ss on the race. We could see her running hard ahead of us and tried to cheer her on...but yells don't carry so far over the din of Golden Gate Bridge traffic. My friend R & I were left behind her, and some people who just would not let us pass -- including the woman who pretty much threw elbows to not let us pass her as we approached the finish line. I did appreciate the people who shouted, "On the left" as they bowled past us...I need to try that tactic next time!

Each time I run one of these races, and finish, I find myself a little amazed. Me. A runner. Not a very quick one, but as The Penguin said at a speech before my first half-marathon, it is about finishing to the best of your own abilities. I think back to the days spent struggling to run a mile at soccer practice, or the coach getting mad at me for perhaps cheating on a long run for lacrosse (or at least walking a lot of it), and if you had told that girl that she would be actually looking forward to a run, much less signing up for races, she would have smacked ya in the face in disbelief.

Of course, the carrot at the end of the stick was in the form of beer. Cold, delicious beer, served up by some handsome dudes. Can't beat that!

16 April 2012

Best Things: Osprey Porter 46 Travel Pack

The first time I went to Europe, to live then travel, I brought two pieces of luggage -- a huge suitcase and a backpack I had borrowed from a friend. Unbeknownst to me at the time, I probably needed about 1/2 of what I brought, even though I would be over there for several months. But...travel & learn.

When it came time to actually travel, I left the big suitcase and went with the pack -- a nice and humongous Eagle Creek pack with a day pack attachment. The pack was made for someone at least 5'7", and again, was chock-full of my worldly possessions.

Flash forward 15 years -- many more trips, many roller suitcases, many cobbled streets, back injuries, tired arms from lugging said roller suitcases up staircases, and education about how backpacks should fit -- and finally I decided it was time to invest in a pack of my own.

I did a fair amount of research and knew what I wanted -- a pack small enough for me (5'4"), small enough to fit as a carryon, and large enough to fit all I'll need for at least a two week trip. A few months before I left for Colombia, I headed over to REI to see if they could suit me up.

And voila, suit me up they did. I was presented with the Osprey Porter 46, an awesome, compact pack that fit the bill. I promptly started to use the pack for all my weekend trips, and was amazed just how much could fit into the pack. It seemed to hold almost as much as my "carry-on" roller suitcase (I'll admit, it is rather large for a carry-on).  I could even just stuff a bunch of stuff in there sloppily, and then use the straps to squeeze it all in.

When it came time to pack for Colombia, I was easily able to get everything in there with extra space. Even as I jammed more in there, I could very easily fit it in every overhead bin I tried. While it didn't happen this trip, if I did need to check it, the straps can be hidden so as to comply with the regulations.

The only fault I can find with the bag is that the waist strap doesn't hold as tight as I would like, so that puts a little added pressure on my shoulders. This is fine for shorter jaunts, but does get tiring after a while.

Overall, though, I am super pleased. I only wish I had invested in something like this a long time ago!

12 April 2012

Ready Ready Ready to Run

Whoo-hoo, we finished!

I did my first half marathon in 2004 -- the inaugural Nike Marathon for Women, and probably the toughest I have ever done (the hills! more hills! never-ending hills!). Since then, I have done several others, averaging about one a year. Each time, I say this will be my last, that my body can't take it, my knees hurt too much, it's too far... Each time, hoping to go out with a bang at a really awesome race.

And, each time, finding myself finishing and already thinking about what my next one will be. Most recently, by the time I crossed the finish line at the Healdsburg Half, I was already looking ahead to the next time I could make my body hurt so good.

I chose the Oakland Running Festival half marathon as my next. I had heard really good things about it from previous years, including that it ran by Farmer's Produce -- by dad's business and what ended up being the launch pad to his next journey. This was a daunting prospect as I hadn't been anywhere near there since the summer of 2010. I was drawn to it, however, because it was close to home and perhaps I'd see some familiar faces, both on the course and at the finish line.

As the day approached, the weather reports did not look so hot. I spent at least two days trying to figure out how to best dress for 2.5 hours of constant downpour...and was none too happy. When the day rolled around to go pick up our race packets, we were greeted with an unpleasantly cold rain. People tried to tell me running in the rain was GREAT! THE BEST. I respectfully disagreed.

But, when the morning of the race rolled around, the sun decided to fight through the clouds and send its rays down on us. Unfortunately, due to the forecast, many of the route bands and spectators stayed away (couldn't blame them), but those that were out there were awesome. We especially enjoyed the unexpected brownie bites from Brown Sugar Kitchen in West Oakland. Those should be required in every race!

Running past the market took me by surprise...thankfully my running partner kept talking as we went by and didn't get too weirded out by my sudden tears and inability to breathe. I was sure glad to get that over with.

That all said...eventually we finished, with my mom & aunt cheering us on at the finish line. Not anywhere near the time I would have liked, but, oh well, sometimes thems the breaks. Half Marathon #8 in the books, and I am, again, trying to figure out when my next 13.1 will be run!

09 April 2012

The Great Search

Occasionally, I take a peek at how people are finding this blog. This particular search has to be one of the best...

I do hope the person was eventually able to cover his/her hickey, though I hope they did not use the fake tanner I did.