Shaking Off January 

I didn’t have the best January. I was sick for half of the month and struggled with various personal issues, which means I had to climb out of a big hole for February. 

So far, so good. I’m back on track with regard to training for the Oakland Half Marathon on April 2. Here are a few random things from February that are better than last month!

Just this past Saturday, I got to see a double rainbow. Good thing I caught this picture when I did because the lighting changed quickly as the sun and clouds negotiated with each other and the rainbows disappeared. 


Also this month, my dog Starbuck stepped up his begging game. He’s 7 1/2 and still has what it takes to get live from us as well as strangers. And, he’s named after Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, just to be clear. 😀


Another great thing about February? Girl Scout cookies! And they have 2 new flavors. I don’t remember the other one, but I got a box of S’mores. Yum! Thanks Girl Scouts!


One last cute moment… I was taking my almost-4-year-old to an event yesterday and he fell asleep. I decided to let him sleep and he stayed asleep in the car while I drove the long, long, LONG way home. 


I hope everyone else is having a good February so far. Stay healthy!

It’s a New Year – Time to Reflect

2016 had some lows. I mean, really, some lows… You know, like on a global scale. Many celebrity deaths, some of which affected me greatly – Prince, Carrie Fisher, Gene Wilder, David Bowie, Alan Rickman. There were many others, but those are the ones that made me sad. I’ll just say that the political arena was a clown show and leaves the US poised to set back advances in science, education, and health care. That really put me in a end-of-year depression, and I’ve had to find a way to deal with my disappointments. I have, and I will be ok.

2016 also had some highs. The highs were overshadowed by the lows, but let’s not forget:

  • California is now powering over 6 million homes with solar power, a record in the US (Go Cali!)
  • 70,000 Muslim clerics declared a fatwa against ISIS
  • Coffee consumption has been proved to help curtail cancer and suicide rates
  • New medicine has been shown to increase melanoma survival rate to 40%

On a personal level, I don’t think I had too many lows. I did some reflecting today so I could focus on the good things of this past year. Here are the highs from my 2016:

  • My son is fully potty trained and that is seriously liberating!
  • Rainbows, a lot of them last year
  • Sea lions… In San Francisco, of course
  • Our first Holi celebration
  • Running and biking
  • My son is still alive and reasonably unscathed by my haphazard approach to parenting 🙂
  • Reconnecting with old friends
  • Carpool karaoke

2017 will certainly be interesting. I’m doing 2 half marathons, my son will turn 4, we will do more international traveling, and who knows what will happen in between all of those things. I’m really looking forward to the DisneyLand Half Marathon in September (yes, I’ve already registered for a race in September) because that will be my son’s first visit to Disney. What a great excuse! I certainly hope the universe can find a way to balance itself.

To start 2017 off right, I did a 4-mile trail run this morning. I haven’t done a trail run in months. It was beautiful…

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Here’s hoping the rest of 2017 is just as lovely. Happy New Year everyone! Be healthy!

A Disturbance in The Force

I grew up with Star Wars and I though Princess Leia was awesome. She was smart, fierce, and could take care of herself. Her one-liners were priceless… “Aren’t you a little short to be a storm trooper?”

Carrie Fisher, though… She was even more badass to me. She was true to herself. She talked honestly and openly about her life and her issues. In 2009, I saw her in her one-woman show called “Wishful Drinking,” after her book of the same name. She was amazing – funny and open. Captivating and endearing.

On December 23, I was saddened to learn that Carrie Fisher had had a massive heart attack. Both my husband and I were upset… Today, she died. I am truly sad. But, I’ve enjoyed reading so many amazing stories and posts about Fisher today. Two in particular stand out:

1. General Organa. Boom.

2. This post from Jenny Lawson’s blog. Lawson admired Carrie Fisher for some very personal reasons and she wrote beautifully about Fisher’s influence.

Even though my 3 1/2 year-old son has never seen Star Wars (not yet, anyway), he and his preschool classmates seem to be obsessed with it. Today in the car, he kept telling me “the car said Star Wars” – and yes, it did. Sort of. The radio, but I’m not nitpicking. And, the newscasters were continually reminding me that Fisher is now gone. 2016 can suck it. We’ve lost so many this year. This feels like the last straw. Keeping my head down and hoping for the best.

Running At the Happiest Place on Earth

This isn’t really much of a post, but I’m super excited and wanted to share… I just registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September 2017. How crazy is that!?! Registration opened today and I wanted to make sure I got my spot, though. So, it’s done and it’s on! I also registered my son for a kid’s run and he’ll get a runDisney hat with ears. With. Ears!

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Now that I have my spot reserved, feel free to sign yourselves up! I’m really excited about this one. There will be Disney characters along the course… And, really, I needed a good excuse to finally take my son to Disneyland. Woot! Woot!

Do you have a destination race you like? What is it? What would you recommend?

Carving Out Time for Yourself

I am a room parent for my son’s preschool class and, during orientation this year, we introduced ourselves and gave a “guilty pleasure.” For example, many people mentioned TV shows that they watch. But, why do things like this have to be a guilty pleasure?

I think it’s absolutely necessary for parents to do something for themselves and to make time for themselves. I make time for myself by exercising most mornings and I feel all the better for it. I get up before everyone one else in the house so I can have my personal time and still go about my normal parental and work activities. On weekends, I sometimes drive to a nice trail:

Dr. Deborah Gilboa, writing on sharecare.com, gave three good reasons to do things for yourself as a parent:

  • Lower your stress level. When you take time for yourself, you relax. When you relax, your blood pressure goes down, you smile more, you sleep better, and you have a more positive outlook – that’s good for you and your family
  • Help your family value you more by valuing yourself. When you pursue an interest, hobby, or activity that makes you happy, it can lead your child to show you more respect (because you are respecting yourself)
  • Children repeat parents’ patterns. If you value your passions or interests by making some time for them, your kids will grow up to do the same (hopefully). They learn by example, so if you are “calm and collected” thanks to your “you time,” they will remember that

Various articles suggest that time to yourself or with your spouse isn’t as selfish as it may sound. It can actually make for a stronger marriage, stronger family, and well-adjusted children. If you never leave your child with a sitter or grandparent, they won’t learn that it’s OK when you leave them. It’s also about identity – you are more than just “Mom” or “Dad.”

Sounds great, but how? Here are a few ideas:

  1. At-home movie night. Get your child/children in bed and queue up a new movie or an old favorite. Then, enjoy some snacks and maybe a drink
  2. Date-night kid swap. Set up a system with friends (or through the FC Parent Club) so that you can save costs on a night out. For example, once a month you take their kids for a night and on another night, they take your kids. The kids get a playdate and you get your adult time
  3. Take a walk. a 15-minute walk can make you feel better and allow you to collect your thoughts without all of the interruptions of home life
  4. Go to the gym, especially if your gym has childcare. While your spouse may be able to watch the kids for a bit, a gym with childcare lets you get in  a workout without additional guilt – No one is on the hook for additional single parent time

Time for yourself doesn’t have to be long and it doesn’t have to be complicated. It may sound difficult, but I really do recommend finding something. Anything. Regain some sanity and be a more patient parent. Lofty goals, I know. I have decidedly benefited from my alone time. My son is now 3 1/2 and he excitedly asks every morning if I went biking or running. I don’t know if he’s “proud” or me or not, but he know’s it’s my thing.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. Things have been busy and I’ve been distracted. 

This morning, my husband and I did our first ever Turkey Trot. We are visiting family in Maryland and we did the run in downtown Annapolis, near the US Naval Acadamy. 


It was so cool to be near so much history. The start of the race was near the site of the Marquis de LaFayette’s encampment, on the way to Yorktown – a turning point in the American Revolution. 


The academy was quiet this morning, but we walked the campus earlier this week. 

After the run, we spent the day with family. Mostly my family. It was a lot of fun. I’ve eaten too much and am ready to sleep it off. We had turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, stuffing, succotash, and mulled wine. 

I hope everyone is spending the holiday in a way that makes you happy. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! And remember to be good to each other.

Stay healthy!

Stress + Training = Exhaustion

It’s hard to separate the stress and the training… Part of the stress was my training, or lack thereof. I’ve been in physical therapy for my right knee and had a half marathon coming up.

While I wasn’t able to do much running, I did a lot of cycling. That definitely helped me keep up with my cardio training, but… It doesn’t help with the actual running part. Finally, 1 week before my half marathon, with the help of my physical therapist, I was able to do a couple of 5-mile runs with no pain. But, I had a 13.1-mile run in a week. And, I hadn’t been able to do any trail running since July. Only paved. Yikes!

On top of that, I was the auction chair for a non-profit fundraiser and the auction was a week after the half marathon. That means, I was neck deep in trying to secure donations and either collect those donations or make sure someone on my team collected them and brought them to the event. I have never done a silent auction before. That probably showed. But, the good news is that we raised a fair amount of money despite my bumbling and fumbling.

The Yosemite Half Marathon

On October 7, I did a short 3-mile trail run.


All good. Later that day, we headed up to Bass Lake, CA. That’s where the race ended. It started up in the mountains, not far from the Yosemite National Park entrance.

On October 8, the day of the race, we had to take shuttle buses up to the start, which was the best way to handle getting that many people up through windy mountain roads.

That being said, there was a major traffic jam in the small town of Bass Lake at 4:30am the morning of the race. Everyone was trying to get to the buses. The buses that were supposed to leave at 5am sharp.


My husband was dropping me off and about half a mile from the bus pick-up spot, we decided it would be faster for me to get out and walk. That was probably around 4:45am. And, it was faster. I also managed to get myself onto a bus from a closer location (I didn’t have to walk the full half mile. I totally lucked out) – Not sure how that even happened because when I got there, there were only a few people standing around. By the time my bus left, around 5am, there was a HUGE line… And, no more buses. I am sure the returning buses were going back to the pick-up locations to get the remaining folks, but it looked dire.

Here’s what the course looked like:

Yosemite Half Marathon 2016

Yosemite Half Marathon 2016

I  spent about an hour freezing. It was dark and in the upper 30s F. So maybe I wasn’t LITERALLY freezing, but it felt pretty darn close. I had on 4 layers of tops. 2 tank tops, 1 long-sleeve running shirt, and 1 jacket. I also wore gloves and long running tights. About 30 minutes prior to the start, I went to bag check and reluctantly took off my jacket. While that seemed like the right thing to do, I wish I had known their process better. There was a truck collecting all the bags right at the start line, so I could have thrown my bag in as my wave was getting closer to the start. I would have been a little warmer a little longer. I know now. 😉

I couldn’t feel my fingers or toes for the first 3 miles or so. Oh well. It was worth it. I did manage a couple of pictures:

Before:

During:

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And after:

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Later that night!

The Silent Auction

We came home and I turned all of my focus to the charity event and the silent auction, which was this past Sunday. I was a little manic as I secured items and then organized bid sheets and worked on the checkout process.

I spent all of my spare time last week on the auction, including all day Saturday. My 3 1/2 year old son told me I was working too much and I had to agree with him, but I had no choice! People were depending on me. The day of the event went pretty well despite a downpour and rain off/on the rest of the day.


We raised a fair amount of money, which made me feel good. I was riding high on adrenaline through the remainder of Sunday. Yesterday was a decidedly different story. I was exhausted. So much so I had trouble focusing on work and actually had to take a nap – Good thing I was working from home. I’ve learned a lot about running a silent auction, so if I do this again next year, I will kick some serious butt! And, will procrastinate less. Wish I could say I wouldn’t procrastinate at all, but I know me pretty well! Bid sheets, displays, checkout… It’s a crazy amount of work.

Glad it’s all over though and I can get back normal. Loved spending time with my son last night – with no distractions. 🙂

And, I’ll leave you with this… The face of exhaustion (from yesterday):


Stay healthy!