Friday, April 24, 2009

Cell phone Wallpaper

We did two races last weekend, one in Fairfield and the other in SF. We had a heat wave with temps in the 90s and now, thankfully, temps are back to normal. I've been running outside more often and did a 5-mile loop in our neighborhood earlier this week. Yeow, it was hard. Decided to do the loop because once you're out you can't change your mind.

Anyway, I've been on a cell phone wallpaper kick, taking pics with the phone. We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium a week ago. Here are a few samples.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


April 1 we went to the Presidio10 - 10k & 10 Mile race across the Golden Gate Bridge. I didn't run the race, I'm not doing 10k until I can do it without walking...shooting for June. I went with my partner since I'm not one to pass up an opportunity to go somewhere I haven't been.

The morning was brisk but the sun rose in a bright blue sky and the weather was stellar.
The race ended and started at Chrissy Field in the Presidio of San Francisco. As I walked/jogged the course to get pics, I saw lots of trail signs and made a mental note to come back for a hike sometime. I got this shot of the Golden Gate with my phone; it's the perfect phone wallpaper.

I've wanted to walk the bridge for years. I guess the Human League put the idea in my head back in 1980-something. It's 1.2 miles across. I walked about 1/4 mile before I turned around to meet the front of the packers on the other side but not before I took in the coast and played photographer for the stragglers who brought cameras on the run.

My partner was close to the front of the pack so it was fun to see him up there on the bridge. While I waited for him to pass, I directed runners at the hairpin turn just off the bridge. It was poorly marked and a few runners headed up the path under the bridge. After shouting out to them and rearranging some cones to define the turn more clearly, I jogged back to Chrissy Field to find him. He was in line for a beverage after coming first in his age group; he was Grand Master and, boy, did he rake in the bootie.

After a few beers, some food, camaraderie, cheering some of the finishers and watching the award ceremony, we took a stroll down the beach past the multiplying hordes out for a stroll, bike ride, run or dog walk. People were fishing off the pier and the shore. It was a perfect day in San Francisco.

We entered the courtyard of Fort Point located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. The brick structure is well preserved and has winding staircases, rooms entering into rooms, turrets and artifacts. The rooms are big and bright and the place feels solid and strong. There weren't many people around as we wandered the large edifice. Most of the space we explored was empty but there was a bedroom and an office with furniture and accessories. On the top of the building, we clambered on the old gun mounts, taking in the view around the bay and under the bridge.

On the way back to Chrissy Field, we marveled at the throngs out enjoying the day, the beauty of the environment and the blush of purple in the marsh as wildflowers bloomed. The tents were the only signs left of the race earlier that morning. We returned to our car, fulfilled by the events of the morning, and went to Russian Ridge for a wildflower hike.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Running, Hiking, Gardening, Reading

Boy, time flies! Here's the short of what's been going on since St. Paddy's Day:

1. Ran 2 5ks - March 21 & 22. Ran both w/o walking, won 2nd place in my age group and got a medal! Yea!

2. A gopher has decimated our lettuce and something was pulling out the little carro
ts and letting them dry out in the sun. So sad. I don't think I have felt so discouraged in...well, I can't remember. We've put out 2 packs of Juicy Fruit gum and have tried flooding the tunnels. We may have to resort to more drastic measures.

3. Joined the Tamalpa Running Club - not exactly in the neighb
orhood but these folks are an inspiration and we look forward to running with them. It's my first team and I'm excited!

Mom came out for a visit. Went to Capitola Beach, had lunch at Paradise Beach Grill, walked the Big Basin Redwood loop, and went to Henry Cowell and Wilder Ranch. The weather was great and we had a lot of fun.

5. Partner's kids are visiting us now. They can be so much
fun but are definitely the products of older parents who've already raised two older children. The youngsters are still getting used to the new life of traveling for visitation which is challenging for everyone. At our house, the youngest one asks questions like; whose tablecloth is this? When I listen to her, I wonder, which words are her voice and which have been planted.

The Gopher Eradication Crew

The other day, I got a little freaked out thinking about the fact that I'm 46 and they are 8 and 10...started thinking about the teen years. Then I realized I'm going to have to visualize something warm, fun and relaxed.

6. Did surgery on the treadmill. It has been either not starting or shutting down unexpectedly. Since we moved, the walking belt slides to the right more frequently and has sliced the motor hood. Also, we found that the front roller was scraping against the bottom casing causing wear on both the roller and the casing. The amount of plastic dust everywhere was amazing.

The screw tunnels had cracked off in the past and the entire motor housing unit was loose. We sawed off the part of the case the walking belt had cut into, tightened the screws on the lower casing and vacuumed all the dust. I stretched electrical tape across the corners of the motor
hood so it would sit on top of the lower casing without slipping. It's been used last night and this morning without a problem. Fingers crossed that it continues to work.

In the gaps, I'm reading Dancing Mind, Thinking Body, a book about applying the Taoist philosophy to sports and business. I am practicing the techniques chapter by chapter and have changed my running affirmation. On a side note, there is a quote from Mark Allen, an Ironman winner, in the book. I came across it after I applied for a job for an organization he works with in Santa Cruz. When he emailed me about the interview, I didn't know who he was. Interesting.

I've also watched the Giants season opener, LOST, Marley & Me and A Family That Preys. I'm training, looking for freelance opportunities, hiking in search of flora and fauna, went to the Santa Cruz Boardwalk for a day of amusement park FUN (we got our season passes. It's a great deal... the location is fabulous, the Fireball and Wipeout are much better here then at Great America, the roller coasters are just enough and, when you avoid high traffic days/times, the lines are a breeze), thinking about running a series of seminars and trying to figure out how to co-exist with a voracious gopher. Ahhhh, life.