Monday, October 30, 2006

Happy Halloween!

We carved our first pumpkin tonight! Benjamin did most of the cutting since we didn't have one of those special carving tools. It looked too dangerous for my tastes using a regular knife. Benjamin did an awesome job! Now we're ready for the trick-or-treaters. By the way, did you notice the sweatshirt I'm wearing in the picture? That's right, Oregon State Beavers!! If you weren't aware, we beat USC on Saturday 33-31. It was a major upset for the Trojans who haven't lost a game in four years!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

My Last Marathon

Last weekend I ran my fifth and final marathon - the Nike Women's up in San Francisco - with my good friends Niki and Jennifer. If you read my blog, you'll know that I couldn't wait for this thing to be over. I was burned out on running. The longest distance in my training was 15 miles (it's recommended to go up to 20-22) and I hardly ran at all the last couple months due to my hectic travel schedule. Ironically, out of all the marathons I've completed I felt the best after this one - not much soreness, pain or agony during or after. And I finished in 4:53. I think I'm onto something with my "less is more" training regimen. It helped to have support from my friends Sara and Drew and my honey Benjamin during the last half. Thanks guys for coming out! They were able to follow along most of the course on their mountain bikes. It's nice to see familiar faces when you're out there. The event was a lot of fun despite the hilly course. Nike provided a lot of frills - oxygen bar, chocolate station, Tiffany finisher's necklace and most impressive of shoes! There was one caveat with the free shoes though - you had to stop and change out of your old ones at mile 23. They were promoting their new Nike+ running shoes with the built in iPod nano which is a pretty cool system that tracks your workout stats. I wouldn't normally recommend stopping so far into the race, let alone wear brand new shoes during a marathon, but I couldn't resist the temptation of free shoes. Given that this was my final 26.2 mile race, you'd think I'd be overwhelmed with joy and relief after it was over. Not so. Some sick and twisted part of me wants to do it again. But then I think about all the training and that 'winging it' probably isn't the best strategy especially now that I'm older and more vulnerable to injuries. I think I'll just stick to half marathons for the time being.
Hanging out at the Expo/I found my name on the wall of participants!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Finishing Touches

This weekend, Benjamin and I worked on the condo. Nothing too major, just finishing up what I had started with the baseboards and paint last year. I had left the dining area and kitchen unfinished mainly because I couldn't figure out the angles of the bay windows, but also because I was a little burned out with home improvements. Benjamin cracked the whip and said we needed to finish it up so that Jeff and Sara wouldn't have to look at trimless walls any longer. He's a better landlord than I am! Now all that's left to update are the bedrooms and master bathroom. The A's game was on while we were working and there were two Detroit fans sitting in the living room, it was very sad. The A's couldn't pull off the win so the Tigers are headed to the World Series.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Cute as a Button

Check out this adorable picture my friend Paula took of her baby! Josie is 4 months old now and getting cuter every day. It's amazing how fast babies grow, one day they can't hold their head up and the next day they're crawling around. One of my old co-workers told me that her little neice started walking at 6 months! That's crazy. It seems like just yesterday when my triplet neices were toddlers and now they are seven years old. I can't wait to see them in December, they will be visiting from New Zealand. My sister and I are taking them to Disneyland! I was in Ann Arbor for an event at the Univ of Michigan this week. Everyone was ecstatic about the Tigers winning the first two games of the series against our A's. Last night was a close one but we still ended up losing. Now, the A's face the Tigers in Detroit and the odds are against them. They are going to have to pull out an Oregon State-style victory. Let's go A's!

Monday, October 09, 2006

13.1 down, 26.2 to go

I ran the San Jose Rock 'n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday as part of my "training" for the Nike Marathon which is coming up in a couple weeks. It was pretty fun, the course was very flat and took us through different parts of San Jose that I hadn't seen before. I finished in 2 hours and 10 minutes, not too shabby for such a slacker! My best half time is 2:08 - Santa Barbara, 2003 - when I was training quite vigorously. So of course, for better or worse (probably worse), Sunday's performance only validated my procrastination habits and "less is more" running mantra. Although I was relieved when I crossed the finish line, I had to supress the anxiety and pain that kept creeping into my head when I reminded myself that I'd only be halfway done at this point in a couple weeks. Thanks to my Benji for being our chauffeur for the day. :) The rest of the weekend was pretty calm, except for Saturday when I ate it going downhill on my new Craigslist mountain bike. Benjamin says my loose kickstand caused the crash, but I think he's just being nice. My first bike ride and I already have battle wounds, I'm getting old! On Saturday we celebrated Cyrus's birthday at Kyoto Palace where they cook your food in front of you with flare. Fun times!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Birthdays and Gardens

It's officially fall - the weather has dropped about 20 degrees and it's raining out! Being an Oregon native who quickly acclimated to the CA sun, I'm not a big fan of precipitation but I was actually happy to see and hear the drops coming down today, it's rather refreshing and makes me want to cuddle up on the sofa with a cup of cocoa (and my honey). We celebrated Jeff's birthday on Friday evening at Los Gatos Brewing Company; he's usually in Michigan over his birthday, so it was fun to actually be able to celebrate with him this year. On Saturday, we went to Paula's surprise 30th birthday party which was also a good time. Today we went to the farmer's market with John and Carolyn and then visited their community garden. There were some pretty impressive-sized vegetables growing, it made me and Benjamin want to start a garden of our own...but we'd have to demolish all the concrete in the backyard first. Hmmm, I've always wanted to try using a jackhammer!