Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Commoner and Pinterest

I once wrote that I didn't like Pinterest.  That was before I realized there's a lot of running stuff on there.  Not only that but my running board is awesome and has a hundred and a lot of followers.  Runners are my favorite, well runners, and teachers, and cyclists, and family, and people I went to high school with.  But runners are great.

 It's fun to see what pops up on  my main interest page.  I'm not really sure what things merit that page but sometimes they are people who follow me or some sort of thing.  

So I went to my pinterest board to see what was there and I picked the first 5 to share with you.  It kind of gives a picture of me for you to have.

This is a group of flamingos in a heart shape.  It's pretty cool I guess but I'm not sure why I would like it or repost it.

Apparently someone likes peppers and eggs.  I like this.  I won't make it but I like it because it's pictures-no words, simple, and it keeps the egg from running.  I won't re pin it though.
I'm a big fan of these sarcastic things.  I post them all the time.  I won't post this one because I'm one of those people with bad grammar spelling on Face book.  I like it though.
This is a picture of something in Paris.  I'm not really sure I want to go to Paris.  Nothing against Paris but I'm getting old and resources are limited and there are so many other places I want to go.  I have a board about Ireland, New York, San Francisco, and Seattle.  I don't have a board about France.

5 posts-not one re pin worthy and not one thing about running.

What do your 5 pins say about you?

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Commoner's Best Run Ever

Finally!  Finally!  I had a great run on the trail.  I ran 16 miles and I felt strong.  I have so many running coaches-more than I can list but I'll list some now...

Of course there's Coach Bob who runs every weekend with me and makes my training schedule

There's all of you on Facebook that cheer me on.

There's old cycling friends.

There were relatives.

There were runners who are teachers.

There's my Ortho Doctor the famous Dr. Cohen and my Physical Therapist Clint 

My cousin Pat I blame for getting me in this mess but he always gives such great advise. He gave the best advice.

I told him I was having trouble running fast.  He asked me why I was running fast and told me slow down-it's not about the speed, you aren't going to win the race or race at the elite level.  You are going to be on your feet for 5 hours.  Slow everything down.  And I did.

And I did.  I started cutting back on the mid week mileage and slowed them down.  Why?  Because I've been really tired.  I can't run when my body is tired all of the time.  Those training plans we use are for 25 year olds.  My body needs more rest.

 The run was perfect.  Those 16 miles were the best miles ever.  I ran-slow (actually went faster than I have in a long time), I sang to keep my breath, I stretched for my arms and I made sure to drink, chew, and gu along the way.

It was one of those runs where everything is perfect.  No fatigue and the perfect playlist.

I welcomed the dragonflys at Mile 4  (I consider them escorts) I smiled at EVERYONE I passed and most of all I did the craziest thing ever by any person ever.  I hope you don't think I was crazy.

I pretended I was Oprah and every mile I interviewed a different celebrity or person from history.   The last three?  They were all saints.

Next week I need to think of 18 more people.  

Is that crazy?  Crazy like a fox.  Bring on 18


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

The Commoner Wonders What Would Robin Do?

I watch Good Morning America.  Not all of it, just the first 20 minutes of it.  I like George and Josh and Sam and the Blond Gossip girl.  They are smart-not too nice not too mean, not to dopey  They are what Goldilocks called Just Right.
I didn't mention one cast mate.  That would be Robin Roberts.

Now here's the thing about me.  You may not know this but I have to work really hard at being nice.  My natural set disposition is more Real Housewife than it is Mother Theresa or Mariano Rivera Or...Robin Roberts.

Robin Roberts is one of those people that everyone loves.  They love her because no matter what she handles everything with style and grace.  She even beat cancer and her cancer treatment disease.

In times when I want to act like this 
I will often stop and say to myself-or a friend


I'll often catch a friend doing something nice for someone else (I have a lot of nice friends) and I'll say to them

"That was very Robin of you!"

I try to do one Robin every single day at least.  At least.

Happy Hump Day  Commoners and remember 
When you really feel like flipping a table stop and ask yourself.  What would Robin do? 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Commoner Goes Back to School

Summer is over.  It's back to school tomorrow.  I have to say this was the perfect summer -really and here are some highlights.

This summer had an underlying theme and that theme was marathon training.  It loomed like a cloud that was always there.  This training has not been easy and there have been more bad runs than good.  But it's going and it involved running in beautiful places.

There was the whole butt-hip pain that took a month of doctor visits and Physical therapy and massage to get rid of.  But it's gone!  
 There was the travel.  It was a summer of travel for sure.  Seattle, The Fairmont San Jose and Newport Beach.  I loved all these trips and I ran all these towns.  I also got the best tan ever which is already gone.

 I spent a lot of time with Danny my son because he was getting ready to go to Navy Boot camp.  When he was finally there I spent a lot of time writing letters to him.  Second to marathon training it was an underlying theme of the summer.
 It was a summer of friends in many, many ways.  There was time spent with old friends in both the Seattle and Newport trip.  It's good to know there are some remains of my hockey life.  

But every week summer was spent with my friends here in town.  The commoners would get together and we had so many laughs and good times.  You've read about them before-if you haven't please make sure you do.

And there was pop culture, music, and television.

Song of the summer:
Television obsession of the summer!

 Is it bad I want her to go to jail?

and app of the summer
It was also the summer of Matt Harvey
 No matter what your not summer entails I wish you good luck and fun adventures.  Summer 2014 will be here before you know and I know that it too will be EPIC!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

The Commoner and All Things Candy

Summer is almost over.  It's time to drag myself to work and get in the mind frame of teaching.  I love teaching-I do -but this summer was so great!

Summers often have a theme and if there were a theme to this one it would be all about candy.

There were the famous Chewy Sprees
I learned to keep them in my car so there would be moderation.  Sometimes when traveling I would keep them in my pocket for energy.  I even tried running with them. The other day I went to Target and there were only 2 bags left.   PLEASE DON'T BUY THEM ALL I NEED THEM!

On my great trip to Newport Beach the Marriott had a tray of Salt Water Taffy out on the counter every day. It would be a different flavor every day and it was always super soft.  I especially liked it after my runs.

But the candy that I was most addicted to was Candy Crush.  For the longest time I thought this was Candy Cane Crush and I always wondered why it was being played all year.  

But then I was hooked and I can't stop.  I've been on Level 65 for 3 weeks!  I'm hoping one of the kids in my class no some secrets.  Or perhaps I'll pay the Candy Crush Mafia to help me out.

I'm pretty sure there's no way to beat it.  It's a good thing that I can't play when I run but if I could I would definitely do it.  It would make my long runs more fun.

Luckily I have lots of devices and all of them have different games of CC on them so I do get a sense of accomplish sometimes.  But Level 65 on Original IPAD is a killer.

So when I think back of this summer I will remember these things.
  • vacations
  • marathon training
  • hip issues
  • tv
  • and candy candy candy
If anyone can beat that level please let me know!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The Commoners Go To Dinner

Alas summer is almost over.  Most of us have been back to our classrooms volunteering our time to make sure we are ready for the kids on the first day.  But we had to have one last TGIT (Thursday) and this was a big one.  We went to the big city of San Jose to a restaurant called Maggianos.
There are so many things that happened on this trip that I can't remember them all and definitely can't remember the order so these are the highlights.

 First of all we learned that the Damm Family Compound where we met so Rosa could kindly drive us is actually a ranch with a billboard.
It was like this sign only it wasn't neon and it said Ranch not theater.  I'm sure Kristen will have a theater built on the Ranch soon.

We met our waiter Frances-who I tried not to call 'Sinatra' and he was good.  We ordered drinks and told him we were teachers getting ready to go back to school.  He felt sorry for us.  Not really -he didn't seem to care.  He was probably happy not to have to sing Happy Birthday.

We got this deal on food.  Sosa is good at finding deals.  So for 26 dollars a person we ordered to share 3 appetizers 4 main dishes and 2 desserts.  The idea of this gluttony of carbs was enhanced by the fact that it was some sort of all you can eat deal-so I'm not sure how any of the courses ever ended.  Somehow our bill was more like 50 dollars.  I'm not sure how that worked but it's not time for me to do math yet.

Here's what we had so you know and can be hungry
  • Italian tossed salad
  • mozzarella sticks but square, thick, and yummy
  • bruzetta
  • monicotti
  • Chicken parm
  • Ravioli
  • fettuccine alfredo
  • cheesecake (which took 5 hours to cook)
  • Tiramisu

That's not our table but it looks good doesn't it?
Beth had a lot going on that night.  She was trying to figure out how to take as much food as possible home with her. She was so busy trying to figure out how to order seconds but not eat them that she spilled her water all over the floor.  

Luckily only Rosa's foot got wet, but Frances was sure confused as to how Beth finished her water Ice and all so quickly.

Beth was on the subject of baseball and her son's team.  He's quite a prodigy.  He'll be playing for the Giants for sure.  He better be because it seems like every week we have to buy tri-tip as a fundraiser for his team.  You give Beth 25 dollars and on Saturday you drive behind an unmarked building to pick up your meat from some guy you don't know.  It's a great deal.

We always do it and Rosa was working a deal.  She would give Beth her Beats by Dre head phones in exchange for the 25 dollars.  I have these so I know it's a good deal.  Rosa showed us-well maybe not showed us but told us from a google search they sell for 100 dollars.  But she had a guy and these were 'given' to her.

Beth listened to them and immediately as predicted broke out into dance.  She had never heard Blurred Lines-let alone in the crystal clear Beats sounds.  

Since  Beth had never heard this song and the way it causes you to immediately start dancing.  This is a family blog-this is my favorite version anyway.  Take a 3 minute dance break and comeback.

Finished?  You feel great don't you!

Beth also enticed her with stories of motherly love and how the famous Casey still asked her to go out and pitch in their mammoth back yard baseball park.  Think Field of Dreams pretty much.

Casey's 13-that's sweet. Plus Beth is super woman to go out there an be able to pitch to an all-star like Casey.  Turns out by pitching she meant filling the pitching machine.

There were more funnies.  Like how we kept making Frances think that we were restaurant spies.  Like how we found out Kristen's future husband hasn't called yet because he was given the wrong phone number-maybe.  Like how we ate so much we almost exploded.

This summer has been good times all around.  One more TGIF and then it's back to school.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Commoner Goes on Vacation

This has been a fabulous summer.  Really one of the best.  It's pretty much over but what a way to go out-with a vacation we've waited a year for Newport Beach in Rob's coache's time share.

We were there for 7 days.  That's a long time!  Most of the time we rested and relaxed on the beaches or by the pools.  But I made sure that we ate.

Our friends from Georgia were with us and despite the fact they wanted me to cook.  I was like 'not happening'.  I did bring cereal and coffee for breakfast because the villa came complete with a kitchen.

So you've seen a lot of pictures simply from my run.  Let's talk about food!  Because nothing says vacation like eating out.

Orian and Skip were amazed at my need to constantly eat.  They kept up pretty well.

Sunday we were tired by the time we got settled and had Pizza Hut delivered to the room.  I know -not a great start but a start none the less.

Monday it was Laguna Beach where I searched for Lauren Conrad and her band of thieves.  Seriously a very cute town.  We ate at the Lumberyard.  I know I had onion soup-I think I had a sandwich.  I can't remember.  But I liked it.

Rob's boss recommended that we go to a Mexican Restaurant 'down the road'  it was called Javiers.  We didn't go there because Rob thought it was a place called Las Brisas in Laguna.  Such a beautiful place.  I loved it for the name and the fancy schmancy menu, the blond waiter who gave us a running map, and the mariachi guy who smiled for a picture I took which didn't come out.  Beautiful and fancy-just like Las Brisas Dr where I live (not)
 The next two days we went to PF Changs and the Cheesecake Factory.  You can not judge me because I don't have these very close to me so I like to go to them on trips.  They are both delicious places to eat.  You should go!

Finally we went to Back Bay Tavern in Newport.  This turned out to be a restaurant attached to one of my favorite places Whole Foods.  Turns out it's the first of many that Whole Foods has planned.  I have to say it was the best burger I've ever had and Rob's fish and chips was so generous he couldn't even make a dent.  Plus we were by the area where the valets park all the Lamborghinis.   

Turns out it's human nature to take pictures of Lamborghinis.

There's so much to miss about Newport-I can't even put it into words.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

The Commoner Runs The Beach

Training for the Chicago Marathon has involved running in the following places-some of which hasn't happened yet.

I've run in Seattle, San Jose, I'll run on a Chicago trip and I've run in Newport Beach.  Of all of these-Newport Beach is my favorite so far
Since vacation makes blogging hard to get to I will give you the highlights of running on this trail for 3 out of the 4 days.  The 4th hasn't happened yet.  Each day was filled with adventure.

The above trail goes for about 3 miles -so it was perfect for our 5 and 6 mile runs this week.  

The first day we had no idea what was going on on this trail and it dead ended into a road that took you to a beach.  Despite Coach Bob's not wanting to junk up our run-I reminded him Dr. Cohen said running needs to be fun and we went to a beach where there was no one else.  I felt like I was on Lost

I loved running on the beach. I liked trying to not get caught by the waves with my fancy Asic shoes and I liked the diversion-Rob did not.  I told him that beach running was double credit he said no.

Coming back on the trail we were passed by a hoppy boppy girls volley ball team who seemed to be laughing and giggling their southern California selves as they ran right past us.
We ran there a few more times and here are the highlights.

On Wednesday I saw Lance Armstrong running.  He was nice -he said hello in both directions and yes it was definitely him.  I have mad celebrity spotting skills from racing in Central Park all those years.

But the highlight of the run was the next day when a reptile snake crossed our path.  Not just your suburban garden snake but a full on 4 foot rattle snake. 

I was about three feet from him when we spotted him. I instantly froze -started shaking and walked the other way.  As people started to come they all stopped-remained silent and let it cross the trail to the other side.  This is how I know it was a big deal and not just me making a big deal for once.

I went in the other direction.  I couldn't continue on that road.  Why would there be snakes on a beach?  Samuel L. Jackson what do you have to say about this?

I love it here.  I love all the runners that are out and how beautiful Newport Beach is.  I want to finish my marathon training here-it's Doctor's Orders really.  

Today I have to run 14 miles.  It includes Snake-Beach trail and a 2 mile uphill.  I've never run that far.  I'm scared.