I Love Running in the Morning

I have been doing all of my training in the mornings… Sometimes I am treated to a beautiful view. This morning, clouds were rolling by as rain was/is coming our way. I took this photo at the end of my run – I couldn’t resist because it was just so gorgeous. Made getting up early worth it.

Good Morning

Good Morning

I completed by run before the rain started. It’s raining now and it’s very exciting! We need any rain we can get here in California. 🙂 In the hopes of rain during our rainy season, I even bought a new Brooks jacket that is waterproof and windproof. I’m looking forward to giving it a trial!

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Beating the Blerch (aka, I ran a 10k and spent the weekend in Sacramento)

I ran the Beat the Blerch 10k in Sacramento, CA, on Saturday. It was a lot of fun! I believe last year was the inaugural event – There is a full marathon, half marathon, 10k, and 5k. First of all, to give credit where credit is due, I went to this because I love The Oatmeal and Matthew Inman. If the blerch is unfamiliar to you, check out Inman’s thoughts on running. Too many words? (I kinda agree…) Here is a short video that sums things up nicely: https://www.facebook.com/theoatmeal/videos/10156274320625078/

So, how was the race?

The upside: Great weather, people in fat suits running around (aka, blerchs), cake, Nutella, and last but not least, a good run. Finished my 6.2 miles in just under 1:10. Holding true to my slow and steady ways.

Before

Before

After

After

The downside: I lost my Jaybird bluebuds! My Bluetooth ear buds are probably in someone else’s ears right now… Or, on the floor of Raley Field somewhere. The latter is more likely, I guess… Either way, I am sad that I have to replace them.

I dragged my husband, son (toddler), father, and father-in-law to Sacramento. We drove in HORRIBLE traffic Friday night. I went straight to the Sacramento REI, where packet pickup was. I was lucky enough to get a book signed by The Oatmeal (Matthew Inman) himself! That was pretty awesome!

The Oatmeal Book Signing

The Oatmeal Book Signing

The 10k didn’t start until 10am, which felt both decadent and a little lazy. I’m so used to running at 7am, I didn’t know how to take such a leisurely morning. We rented a house 10 minutes from the event location, so I had my husband drop me off then go back for the clan.

Blerch!

Blerch!

This was the first time my dad has attended a run… He was more enthusiastic about this 10k than he was the half marathon I ran last month. I guess he got caught up in the excitement! 😉

We spent the rest of the weekend putting around Sacramento. On Saturday, we went to lunch and then everyone (led by the toddler) needed a nap except me. Um, hey guys. I’m the one who went running! So, I did manage to get a short nap in, but spent most of my time playing on my iPad trying to be quiet.

Saturday night, we had BBQ at an amazing restaurant called Sandra Dee’s. So much food, so good… Mmmm. Even my son ate until I thought he was going to pop! Highly recommended if you are ever in the Sacramento area.

Sunday started with some much-needed rain. So, a rainy morning means let’s stop at a coffee shop to me… And, we did. Then, we went to the California State Railroad Museum. Perfect for a young boy who loves trains – and it gave the weather time to clear up. We then visited Old Sacramento, which is like an 1880s town. Fun to walk around… Lots of junk shops, though. Then, we headed home.

Got home to find out that my father-in-law left his coat at the house we rented. I’m working on getting that back. My husband had to take his work stuff and has now lost his badge – maybe in the rental house? Not really sure. As mentioned, I am in mourning over the loss of my ear buds. My dad is the only one to come out unscathed in the lost & found department. Even my son lost one of his cars, which is really more of a wash since I realized he took one of the cars from the rental house after we left. 🙂

Inspirational

Inspirational

It’s Tough This Time of Year

Blue Heron

Blue Heron

For the last week or so, I’ve been tired and sad. At first I couldn’t figure out what was going on, then it dawned on me… This is my semi-annual down-in-the-dumps event… Two years ago, my parents came to visit. My mom was sick – she had breast cancer that had metastasized to her bones and she was in constant pain and in decline. They spent November and December with us. The last Thanksgiving and Christmas I would spend with my mom.

She bought so many things for my son (not just for Christmas) that there are things he still uses and clothes he hasn’t even grown into yet. It’s a nice reminder that she thought about so many little details.

I’ll never forget watching my mom play with my son back in 2013, he was barely 7 months old when they arrived… She was so frail, but she insisted on picking him up and hugging him one day. I panicked that she might get hurt. She didn’t care – it was something she needed to do. Truly needed. I understand that now.

My mom collapsed early on Christmas day, went to the emergency room, and insisted on coming home later that day because it was Christmas and she didn’t want to mess with her grandson’s big day! I don’t even remember what happened… It is such a blur. We put dinner together, we did presents, but I don’t know how. It was definitely for her. We later found out that there were more issues and I insisted that she have a doctor make sure she could fly home. They left in early January (2014).

That was the last time my son saw my mom/his grandmother. She died a few months later. I joke that it’s me and a bunch of dudes, but it’s really true. My son, my husband, my dad, and my father-in-law. My husband’s mother died in 2000. My son has missed out on grandmothers.

Soon, I’ll get myself out of the dumps and rally for my son. We’ll have a good holiday season, like we did last year. Me and the boys! But, for me, it starts out sad. My dad moved close to us – it’s good for him and for me. It’s definitely good for my son. He loves his Pop Pop!

What does any of this have to do with the picture at the top? We look for connections in this world, and I’ve created the weirdest one yet… My mom loved Blue Herons, and I occasionally see one when I go out for morning runs. Every time I see that bird, I think of my mom and it makes me smile. Then, one day, I saw the bird and said to myself, “Hi, mom.” I like to imagine that if you can see anything from the beyond, he is her vessel and she is keeping an eye on me. I know it’s weird, but I’m ok with that. I tried to get a picture one day… It’s hard to see, but that dark spot in the water (above the rocks) is him. Ah, well.