Monday, July 29, 2013

The Commoner Races by the Sea

Yesterday was one of my favorite races.  It's also my first race ever and I had not had the chance to go back since.  The Wharf to Wharf race in Santa Cruz.

Today was extra special because after the race we were getting in the car for the  stinkiest drive ever to Newport Beach for vacation.

The last time I ran this I didn't really run and coach Bob didn't run at all he was the crew.  My friend Janet did it with me and we pretty much walked the whole thing.
That's me at the finish-walking.

This year is 4 years later and I don't have a picture.  They gave us corrals this year and I put myself in 2.  Coach Bob was in 1.  Coach Bob ran a 2 mile warm up. I just walked alot and stretched out my Butt-hip which DIDN'T HURT AT ALL NOT ONE SINGLE BIT!  This is my Happy Dance
I also didn't have to stop or walk-except for water-this is huge progress.

This race is fun and similar to Bay to Breakers in a lot of ways.  This is a summary
THey are lucky I started in Corral 2
The Stinky Car

  • Find the parking lot
  • Get on the shuttle school bus which was Rob's first school bus ride
  • Walk to the corrals where we had to show our number-which was very cool.  
  • Walk around and use several port-a-potties  (no hand sanitizer at any of them-that's a deduction
  • bought a cup of coffee
  • did high knee kicks
  • made funny jokes about being at the elite corral 
Then Rob went for his run and I went to another port-a -potty which had no line and stood in my crowd

Other than separate starts for every corral which meant there was no way I could beat the Kenyans in the elite corral

This race is fun because of the crowd, organization of it, the scenery and the course.

I did great.  I finished

463 in my Age group out of 1886
2123 Among Women out of 7902
4508 Overall out of 12671

This is the first race where I actually placed that high believe it or not.  Usually I'm at the half way number so I'm super happy.

I also beat everyone I knew except my friend Janet who wasn't even there .  I'm very comptitive so that was important-to beat everyone I knew

Except coach Bob who ran super fast.

Not lost to me was the fact that while I was doing my 10K and missing 8 miles of training running for a Sunday.  My cousin Charlie, several bloggers I follow, and some cyclists that I used to race with were competing in the Iron Man in Lake Placid.

That's 2. something mile swim (2 MILES?  IN THE WATER) followed by 114 mile bike ride and a marathon.  That's right a marathon.

That's alright good for them.

I changed in the parking lot -yes changed EVERYTHING in a parking lot -we got in our stink car and off we drove to get to vacation.

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Commoners Go To A Conference

I sort of like going to conferences-especially when they are at nice hotels with non-stop food.  This conference was for California Teacher's Association's presidents to learn how to go all Norma Rae.
 So here are some highlights of the long 4 days spent by Commoner Kristen and myself.

First of all Commoner Kristen had just had her bunions removed and hadn't walked anywhere in a week.  She looked like this when she walked.
 It is possible that you can drive up to a building on a beautiful summer Monday and not leave that building again until Thursday.  For some reason it was thought that Presidents of Unions do not need to be in the sunshine EVER!  
These guys are even aloud an hour outside per day
 Our first session lasted a day and a half.  I kid you not.  The presenters tried to be fun...I'll leave it at that.   Plus there was no escaping because they would head count after our 10 minute breaks before they began.

 They did feed us-a lot of food all of the time.  All of the time.  It just kept coming and I practiced no restraint.  I just kept eating and if I didn't see food every two hours?  I started going through withdrawals and eating chewy sprees.
 My obsession with food and beefcakes in general wound it's way one night as we were trying to go to sleep-to a discussion about San Fransisco Giant's Coach Dave Righetti. 

Dave Righetti doesn't necessarily qualify as a beefcake but my observation was that the players are so young I better start checking out coaches.

I was telling her that back when I was a cyclist and Dave Righetti was a Yankee I had a friend who had a huge crush on him-like big-and she had the contacts to arrange a meeting.  Then I told her about his Ronzoni commercials for Dave Righetti Spaghetti.

We found no evidence of those commercials-so Dave Righetti or Mr. Sabien if you are reading this can you put them on You Tube?

Anyway-there were other fun events.  For example;  while getting ice for Kristen at the ice machine I stumbled upon an unidentified door and pushed it open to find the supply room!  I backed it out of there because on SVU?  That's where they find the bodies.
The next night I went back to stock up on shampoo-on my way to get ice-and I heard someone say, "Can I help you?"  I was very careful not to witness anything and said, "Oop sorry, I'm looking for ice."

One time we escaped.  I had just been to a budget workshop so we skipped the Budget seminar or whatever (SHH DON"T TELL).  We went out and set by the fountain in the sunshine.
As we are sitting by this beautiful fountain (that's my hotel in the background)  soaking up the sunshine when a guy comes up to us and says "Can I ask you a question"  Kristen told him yes.  He asked if I liked fruit and vegetables.

When I told him no -he looked at me in shock and asked Kristen if I was lying.  I told him I only like fruity sprees.  The sad thing is I wasn't kidding-and Kristen although she likes fruits and vegetables and told him that we lived too far away to take part in his co-op.

That's kind of how the week went.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Commoner Runs Alone

Okay well I really didn't run alone for the 12 miles.  It was the trail and there were a lot of people, runners, walkers, dog walkers, and cyclists and of course Coach Rob.  But I was alone without my Nike voice girl.

This picture is fuzzy because she was fuzzy today but it wasn't really her fault.  It would take a lot for me to be upset with her.  She tells me my pace, my mileage, and how far to go-I love her.

My son Danny left for Navy Boot Camp and has been cleaning out his wordly posessions.  I have been blessed by him with his Beats by Dre Headphones.  
These are the fanciest top of the line headphones you can own.  You can talk through the thing, skip songs, mute  or pause the music, and most of all the music is clear but not loud.  Important so you can hear the creatures while you run.

Now remember that Dr. Cohen said have fun with your long runs.  Coach Bob said I would have more fun if the Nike chick wasn't constantly telling me how fast I was going and if I just listened to the music and ran how I felt.

I told Bob no way.  Can't do it.

So off I went down the path listening to the tunes running fast when all of  a sudden Siri thought I wanted to talk and made that beeping sound.  She would make the sound and interrupt the song and a few seconds later the song would continue.

Sometimes the song would go super fast or skip, sometimes the song would stop and I'd have to restart it.  What ever-turns out inspite of Lebron being able to use Beats in his in house basketball court -that magical beats speaker thing was super sensitive to the bopping of my perfect running form.

All of a sudden I was passing milestones on my run and realizing Nike girl was no longer saying anything.  She was so confused by all the Siri interruptions she just gave up.  

I realized that Coach Bob was right again!  Running without knowing my pace was liberating-I could look around, I could feel comfortable, I was oblivious.

At the turn around just passed my bridge was my first rest stop and when I paused the Nike App I saw hey-I am doing good.  Eat my Gu-wipe my sweat and continue running.

She came back.  But alas -Beats by Dre still kept thinking I was wanting to talk and she would come and go for the whole run.  

I will not be wearing Beats by Dre when I run and I will be resetting so that Nike girl gives me mile updates not quarter mile updates.  So that when I ease on down the road I can do it with mental ease.

Run on people.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Commoner Goes For an Evening Run

I've whined to you before about how hard Marathon training is.  How it's the hardest thing I've ever done-and I'm old, I've done a lot of things.  This is hard and my brain was having trouble, so was my hip. You've heard it all before.  But this blog is not that -no sir ee.  This blog is about how things are looking better.

 So here it is Wednesday-the middle of the week and I'm faced with an  8 mile run.  There's no way I'm running 8 miles around my neighborhood.  That would make me crazy.  Coach Rob can't run 8 miles on his trail by work so we decided to meet at our trail in Morgan Hill after work and take on the 8 miles.

I really have been working on my mental attitude.  My hip is feeling better, my times are getting faster, this is crap.  I love running and all of my problems are in my head.

So despite that I never run at 5:30, it was really windy, and really hot I was going to have a good run.  8 miles means you run to the bridge-cross over it and come back. It's my favorite run!

 I did something I never have done-I ran in just a running bra.  Don't get me wrong it was my super Nike one which comes all the way down almost to my belly button.  But the men runners were going topless (not Rob-but all the others we saw) plus my fuel belt pretty much covered the mid section and oh yeah did I mention it was 85 degrees?
That's right! One layer-only that's not me

I had my water bottles, my gel guck (I really hate that stuff) and Chewy Sprees because I heard that candy can do what gel guck can do and I love them.  Unfortunately they are too big and made me thirstier.
 I may try skittles next time.

I made a deal with myself-if I just kept running, ignored the pace, I could stop at the half way point to wipe sweat and at the 2 mile to go point I could walk just a little bit -like a minute.  Deal I said?  Deal I said.  And off I went.

I walked a little longer than usual to warm up the hip and off I went.  And at the first split my time was pretty good!  Usually I've had to walk after it because I was out of sorts but I was doing good.

The trail was quiet, there weren't many people out so I had the whole lane to myself.  I told my self this is easy-to the over pass, to the model airplane field, to the lake to the bridge and my pace was great.

I realized a few things.  That I need to get rid of all the Pit Bull songs which keep popping up, Usher too, Break down by Tom Petty isn't adding anything and Start me Up by the Rolling Stones?  Done.
Sorry Mr. World Wide I can't any more

 Thanks to F.U.N and Macklewhoever for really helping me out.  Robin Thick you too and of course Jay Z.  Because he will kick my you know what if I give up.

There was a lot of wildlife.  A cute duck swimming by himself under the bridge -which had water!  As I came up to the finish I was greeted by a family of deer and a family of turkeys. (Go ahead name your favorite family you love to hate here).

When the pace lady came on my IPhone I would say-really?  That's nice-it had no affect on me either way.  It was just news.

So I felt a lot better.  I'm not saying it's easy because it's not it's hard.  I'm just saying that this week I slayed the mental dragon-I also decided my runs would consist of an 8 mile loop-I'm never going past the bridge-whatever it takes.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Commoner and the Wedding List

This weekend's project has been to help set a fellow commoner-let's call her Dristen Kamm with a guy she's seen-um let's say 'notices' at the gym.  

Dristen's been working hard at the gym all summer-the results have been amazing.  She's almost too sculpted to retain commoner status-but I digress.

Commoner Beth was the go to guy at the gym and she went up to said gentleman when she saw him-umm I mean when she knew he was there and went up to him and talked. She broke the ice got a lot of information and dropped Dristen's name to him.  Even a blind man could see that she was working on a set up but the ball is now in Dristen's court.

Dristen can be hard to deal with.  Maybe that's why she's still single and she came up with all of these reasons why she can't be married.

She wrote this that's why it says I

1. I am pretty selfish and want to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

2. I can't stomach the idea of picking up some guy's dirty socks (I hate feet)

3. I like control of the remote.

4. I am super good at cooking for 1.

5. My garage is only clean enough for one car.

6. I don't wanna squish my clothes up in my closet.

7. Dogs terrify me usually, plus I am trying to feed a stray cat to keep the squirrels out of my garden and a dog might scare away said cat.

We just want to be friends!

I have to jump in here and say -what on earth is Dristen talking about.  What does a dog have to do with a potential husband?  

8. I can get by on 4 loads of laundry a week, sometimes less if I don't work out.

9. I don't like Nascar-this is a deal breaker.

10. I've just gotten into the habit of working out and don't need a distraction, unless HE has dinner cooked when I get home. In this case and especially if he bbqs then forget the first 9 reasons...I'll give it my best college try!

 Well Beth had lots of solutions to these problems.  We all did.  We assured that Love is Blind and she could get away with so much if the guy really loved her.  But she had a rebuttal.  

Part 2

I'm working on adding to my list. Changing my slant to "requirements"-Again these are Dristen's words

11. Must have friends. I have a pretty wide circle of friends and sometimes "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun".

12. Must be willing to travel - or not! See #11. Sometimes it IS a girls trip!

13. Must be willing to keep snakes out of my sight. I can handle spiders, but not snakes. Oh, I don't like mice either.

14. Pay attention when I talk...I often think faster than I speak! Oh, and sometimes I think before speaking. Work with me.

15. My family has an odd sense of with it.

16. I can drive a tractor and shoot a gun-yeehaw! If you have a ranch and/or own a gun that's points for you.

Howdy Dristen

17. I prefer to be with a guy who likes to dance, or at least orders margaritas for me while I dance.

18. I appreciate time alone and hope you do too-don't smother me!

19. Sometimes I go to the movies just so I can have popcorn for dinner. Bon apetite!

20. If the movie is funny I'm gonna laugh, really loudly! It won't be lady-like at all. If this bugs you see #11.

That's a lot of requirements.  So if you know any one who can turn a blind eye to all of these requirements-or if you know this guy.  Please let us know!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Commoners Go To Lunch with Matt Harvey

If you are lucky enough to be a Real Housewife with lots of time for lunch with friends or a teacher on summer vacation-you know lunch with friends is one of  the best things you can do.  There's nothing like friends.
 Organizing any of our group activities is quite a project and usually consists of text messages.  I said usually.   This time we formed a Face Book Group and here's the train of thought.

Can you see how hard that is?  That was really hard.  This happens every week with one exception-I learned how to put pictures in my messages and that became the game. I can't stop.  I'm warning you I will probably message you just to do a sticker.  It's the best ever

Cheap Seats Hollister California

 This is Cheap Seats-it's very casual and here are some things that happened

  • We made fun of Kristen and her bunion surgery
  • We passed around naked Matt Harvey pictures on my cell phone

  • We talked about our friend of a friend of a friend-let's call her Sosa Ranchez -Sosa has found out that every piece of ID she owns in expired and she's supposed to fly to San Diego tonight.  We may never see Sosa again.  

It's a good thing Sosa Ranchez wasn't with us -she couldn't have even gotten in.

We talked more about Beth's chicken Pancake and the Guinea Pig that she killed.  May I add-it's her friend's guinea pig.  Beth was baby sitting it, but took off for a night at a friend's house and left the guinea pig home to die.

We talked about the great back to school sales at Target and the fact that Lesli had managed to buy 500 notebooks for her and Beth's class.

This made us all feel like this picture so we had to take out the Matt Harvey picture to make us all feel better.

We talked about all of our assorted physical ailments and this made us feel old so you know what we did?  That's right.

We decided that this picture pretty much makes things better all the time so we proceeded to put this picture on our phones for more instant access.  It's now my wallpaper (I'll have to change it when work starts).  It's my ringtone on Kristen's phone.  I will be calling her every time she's stressed.

Beth took a phone call at one point and stood literally two feet form the table and talked really loud and walked around.  She got off the phone and confused us with some really juicy, yet complicated gossip. 

This made our heads hurt so you know what happened next?  That's right Matt Harvey.

We talked about setting Kristen up with a blind man who drives a car.  Beth's working on that one.  

We talked about the summer movies we had seen.  We all want to see the Heat.  We all also concurred that Superman was really hot.
I'm not sure what else we really talked about -but we laughed alot.  We know we have 5 more weeks of vacation and that the 5th grade has enough notebooks to last until retirement.

We even had a visit from a friend of a friend that we knew from a party.  Gerado invited us to play slush ball on Saturday.  He also enjoyed stories of my famous golfing outings and lack of golf ethics.

All around it was a great 3 hour lunch at Cheap Seats. Last we heard Sosa Ranchez made it to San Diego no problem.  Apparently expired licenses last a year.  She still has to get back though.  Sosa you can do it!

Next week we are bringing lunch to Kristen because she will be rehabilitating from bunion surgery.  Yes we passed the pictures of bunions around and examined all of our feet and we ALL have bunions.  This was so disgusting we needed to cleanse our brains.

Cut to -well you know