Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Go Big

Day 1 in Mammoth was a good one....f'ing cold and windy, at least 1 million people, long lines but the snow was great and we had a good time. Skiing New Years week you have to have patience. Yes, this is the busiest week of the year. Yes, prices are inflated. Yes, there are lines for everything. Our first clue was the 50 person line at Subway in Lone Pine on the drive up. I swore I would never ski this week.....and then it dumped 11 feet last week, kids are out of school and well is it better to be skiing in expensive, crowded powder or sitting at home in the rain in San Diego?

Clearly we opted for choice 1. The luck of finding accommodations was good! We have a cozy one bedroom cabin at June lake which is awesome, 2 bedrooms would be more awesome but we are quite comfy and having a good time.

We were at the slopes by 8 and in line when the lifts opened at 8:30. We shook off the rust and enjoyed a few nice runs. Great snow and moderate wind. We dropped Riley at her lesson and JB, JD and I hit the mountain. Sensational snow and once we got off the bottom lift lines were not bad. Chair 9 rocked.....literally with major wind gusts but the snow as so nice and I love those runs. We worked our way to 22, another favorite and more good now but the wind was really howling. We were cold and grumpy. Our plan was ski until 1:20-2:00 and eat a late lunch. The lift lines eased up around noon as the other 900,000+ people were eating lunch. JD was freezing and went in around 1 and we joined him around 1:30 and poor kid had to eat outside in the gale. I bullied a spot near the fire, yes mama bear, and warmed him up. His goggles were leaking and letting in the frigid air. We worked our way back to Eagle and got new goggles from the car and did a few more runs. By this time there were 100's of people in each line as the top 1/2 of the mountain was closed. Mammoth is well mammoth in size and lift lines can be averted by skiing the tougher lifts but when they are closed it gets bad. We always rode single and made the best of it.

All in was good! We called it a day at 3 and waited for rock star Riley who came into the lodge all smiles and had a sensational day with her new friends and 23 year old Swedish instructor. She was perplexed why we had called it quits- long lines, frigid wind and misery.... We had to laugh...I am sure the instructors go out for drinks and talk about the horrific day they had with pain in the ass people taking lessons. And when it was Sven's turn he was all smiles talking about is 5 teenage girls.

Typical post skiing evening....well not really as we kids had homework and then our nightly SAT vocabulary review with John and JD. John loves this and JD well tolerates is. Kills 2 birds...1 for the SAT and 2 for his Honors American Lit final with over 180 words. Soup, pasta and then movie time. Early to bed with anticipation of the storm brewing.

John woke first, before the alarm, with a holy shit there is a lot of snow.

Clearly we had some work to do before we hit the slopes.  John was up and dressed in no time and started shoveling. Soon he was friends with Bob ( the plow driver).  We had our walk cleared, chains on and windows de-iced (thanks to JD) beore any of our neighbors were up. 

Gluten-free pancakes and hot coffee waiting and we fueled up and hit the road.  We decided to ski June Mtn today. 1- less wind. 2- less crowded and 3- promised fresh tracks for more of the day. We were of course there before the lifts open to find a long line of (mostly locals) eagerly awaiting the opening.  30 minutes late due to avalanche blasting (we were prepared for that) and up we went. June has 1 lift that takes you off the bottom to the base where the other lifts service the mtn. Only one other lift was open, others still blasting, and we headed up. Nice snow and some fresh tracks. I left John and the kids and hit some serious powder- thigh high on steep terrian.  There was a line forming for #7 to open but we we did not want to wait. We made 2 more lame runs and then as we got off the lift they took down the rope blocking off the back side. 

People we screaming, stampeding and hooting and hollerin as we all raced to #7. We were on the 10th chair and as we hit the run we saw 2 other tracks.  Knee to thigh high powder the entire run.  Riley wiped out and all I could see was her shoulders and helmet. I had to dig her out.  It was tremendous. We got in another run all fresh tracks and as epic as the first.  The next few were good by normal standards but waning in excitement. 

JD had a binding malfunction and Riley had one too many epic wipe outs so they headed in for some rest and equipment repair.  I snuck in 3 runs off the face and did myself in.  John rolling in along the way and I collapsed into a chair near the fire. Serously one of the best days ever.  Really it was only 12:30? 

The afternoon was windy as the arctic storm blew in - that from Temps plumeted and wind was so bad lifts began closing and it was not so fun anymore.   2:30 and we were freezing and dead tired. 

Go big or go home was Riley's evening request....we went big!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mammoth ++

Christmas has come and gone... What to say. Christmas Eve at Mom and Billy's with fresh crab. JD, John and Billy bought the live crab at Ranch 99 on Friday morning while Liz and me were riding around RB and Scripps Ranch. They successfully cooked and cleaned them while I was savoring a latte at Peet's with Riley and Zen. We had a relaxing day and a siliceous dinner topped off with presents, Christmas cookies and Seas Candy. Heavenly!

Christmas AM began with a short run with Zen and my Santa hat. Starbucks Christmas blend coffee and the a 90 minute run with Marion. It was chilly but felt good to run again... Blister is healing and tendon is almost normal too. Running slow but after not running for 5 weeks it feels good to be back at it. Post run called for an ice bath for my foot and legs than may not have been ready for 90 minutes. Lucky for me our pool is a balmy 50 degrees-perfect. I sucked it up for 10 minutes and Marion maybe 2. Just about the time the "therapy" was done, Riley rolled out of bed. Egg strata in the oven and coffee cake baking and soon JD rolls down. Granny and Papa arrived around 10 and we had a delicious breakfast... Ok a bit cocky as I cooked it, but heck I enjoyed it. Mom brought the fruit salad... Good food and a few Christmas cookies for dessert. This explains the much needed run- my weakness for Christmas cookies. Metabolic (not) efficient this week. It seems to be all or nothing in that department for me.

After breakfast we enjoyed my favorite Christmas tradition....stockings. We all enjoy stuffed stockings, regardless of one's age. I stuff the kids stockings and John's and my mom did mine for years. JD and Riley took over the tradition and are now in charge of mine. Add the fact that JD can drive and my stocking was the best ever this year. See we like to throw in a few pranks for good when JD received condoms last year. So this year my cherished gifts included travel sized Spam (mom), Summers Eve (my kids -seriously), Disney underwear and some favorites - black licorice, Whoppers and gum! So much fun.

I soon found myself in a food and present coma.....chilled on the couch and nap time. Kids left for their dad's late afternoon ands. It was time for phase 2. Shower, coffee, food prep and off to Dad and K's for dinner. Sparkling wine, great company and fully enjoying the holiday with family and friends. Stunning table, standing rib roast, robust Cabernet and sides to top it all off. I could feel another food coma coming on....
Julie, Mom and John                                                                                                                                       Reindeer John

                                                                                    Dad and Kathi

Elf Billy

Home by 9 and so, so tired. Snuggled in bed with riding plans on the 26th..Great Western Loop. Rain was coming but predicted from midnight -5am only and I was counting on that. I heard the rain on and off all night but woke up to quiet. Yeah baby! Wet roads but no rain. John promptly said no- sleeping in. Marion bailed- wet and cold, but offered to come (if she had to). Jen had a late Christmas and was sleeping in...heck I wanted to ride. So I took Zen for a walk and headed to El Cajon. I knew there were a few other groups riding so I would have company. Sure enough SDBC was riding and other random groups. I put on my iPod and headed out. Wet roads, chilly but my motivation is returning..and admittedly I had Christmas cookies in my jersey for "fuel.". Rain on the way up and then the sun came out and it was awesome. Yes I'm out of shape but dang it felt good to bout there again in the same week. And then the ultimate reward Starbucks!!

Rolled home....thought about post Christmas shopping but could not muster the energy. Came home and did some serious bike cleaning and major wheel, tire changing. See I have a brand new bike! Thank you Nytro and Colnago. So new TT bike (which rocks) means I am selling the KestrelAirfoil which has served me well for 18 months!! But had to move the sweet Reynolds wheels off the TT bike to my road bike, the wheels off my Kestrel with the power tap onto the Colnago and the wheels off my road bike onto the Kestrel. Not just a wheel swap...cassette swap and tire swap- see the road bike has pink tires and the Kestrel has orange and the brash colors must stay with the corresponding bike....why? Come on you know why. So all 3 bikes now have the right wheels and corresponding tires. Now if it would only stop raining I can ride my new way the new bike is going out in the rain or on wet roads. Soon enough......

And here we are now in Mammoth. So l swore I would never ski New Years week..why? Most crowded week of the year, lift tickets are inflated and accommodations are overpriced. I regress...when it was pouring in San Diego it was dumping in Mammoth...some 11 ft worth, the kids are out of school, John. Is off work....and well more snow is coming. You only live once and we went for it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Tree

So we all love a festive Christmas Tree....and we are no different.  But herein lies the problem.  Cutting down a beautiful tree for our pleasure only to let it dry up and drop it's needles and then be discarded is so incredible wasteful.  In good conscious we just cannot do it.  Artificial trees are made in China and chemically ridden so they really are not much better.

That leaves us with a potted Palm Tree masquerading as a Christmas Tree. Hard to put many ornaments on a Queen Palm.  Or a potted Christmas Tree that is about 2 feet tall.  This is our usual option.  We buy the biggest potted tree we can find, put in on the biggest box we can find and decorate in about 4 minutes with 1/2 strand of lights and 11 ornaments.  We drag it outside and try to keep it alive through the Santa Ana's in San Diego.  So one year later the tree is usually 3 feet tall, has a 1 foot spindle on tip, few massive holes and random branches jutting out. We make do and laugh at our living tree. The 2nd year it is reaching 4 feet, the shooting spire is now 18 inches and we want to trim it but that may look worse, if possible.  The holes are bigger as the tree is sick  so we put stuffed animals inside them to camouflage trunk.  It's too big for Charlie Brown and is down right pathetic.  The following year it usually dies and we are either back to square 1 or we try the Palm Tree.

So this year, it is the week of Christmas and we are wondering about a tree.  Riley calls the local nurseries and the largest potted tree is 3 feet. Guy tells her, "we just don't sell the living tree's".  Sad.  I stumble upon and we are elated.  The site is easy to navigate, the inventory is "live" and you can order and pay and set up delivery in minutes.  As we were a few days out from Christmas, the price was reduced some.  Within 15 minutes I had a confirmation and deliver set up for the following day after 1pm.

We are chilling at time when Elf Chris calls and says he is 15 minutes out.  They arrive in the pouring rain, dressed quite festively. It was sensation.  2 guys, elves, hop out and within minutes our tree is set up in the house and ready for us.

Before they leave they sing a song about caring for the tree, do a little dance and off they went.  Beautiful tree and they will be back on Jan 2nd to pick it up and plant it outside someplace where it can grow and prosper.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


So no update on the rocks......John got tired and moved back in with me and then the weather changed, rain came and his enthusiasm died. Apparently so did the offenders as the rocks are lined up each day as we left them the night before.  So, once the rain subsides, we shall see if they are fair weather offenders.

We had the busiest social weekend ever for us very boring types. We kicked it off Friday with the San Diego Tri Club and a pre-viewing party for Ironman World Championships 2010. It was so fun to relive the big day in Kona.  They make it to amazing....90 minutes and it looks inviting, beautiful and fun!  Okay it was part of the time.  My favorite part was when they describedThe Energy Lab and how the name is so not fitting as it really is the darkest, toughest part of the day. So not about energy...more like the energy sucking lab.  In any case, John and the kids came along and we had a grand time!

Saturday we hoped to ride but it was threatening rain and chilly and we completely wimped out.   I was  a gym rat and John went to work. I ran, for the first time in a month, and my foot felt pretty good! Yeah...but there was some swelling after the fact and I was late picking up Riley so I grabbed and ice pack and an ace bandage and strapped it on.  15 minutes later and a lot of "burning", which I figured was all good- really cooling the area. I went to take off the ice and it was frozen to my heel, I mean frozen so that I could not remove it without teaing the skin.  Put the foot in water and the bag came off and my foot was now burning.  Well by Saturday night I realized I had seriously burned my heel, ice burn that is.  Massive blister and searing pain.  I kid you not.   The sheet touching my foot was painful.   So here I am unable to wear a shoe really.  

Good thing this is the off season.....I ran in Vibram's today and then put a shoe on and deal with the shooting pain for the rest of the run.   Accident yes.

So onto more fun....Saturday night was the annual neighborhood Christmas Party.  15th year, same house and same good fun. We do a gift exchange and it is always animated and a lot of fun.  The gifts range from Chia Pets to Starbucks Gift Cards.  You can steal an open gift 3 times and this is where the fun resides.  John was doing a bit of dancing for the party as he selected his gifts and we all sampled the jello-shots.  Thank goodness we live across the street.

Sunday was real rain and a lot of it.....relaxing day reading, sleeping, eating and well sleeping. John went to Bikram Yoga and I had a massage.  Sounds better than 90 degree sweat fest.   Sunday night was the Parade of Lights and we had been invited to a party at the Sheraton.  We, being John and the kids and I, Mom and Billy and Dad and Kathy. We were all dressed up and ready to go and heard the Parade was cancelled due to the weather but we elected to go the party anyway.  So we missed the nice boats but we ate and drank in style and it was especially festive with all the decorations and holiday fare.

Monday I was hoping to go for a nice ride.....but the weather people really got it right and it was dumping.   Decided to go swim and changed my mind- what a wimp I have become.  too cold, too early :) And then I was planning on going to RU in the afternoon and it was well too cold and too wet and the kids wanted to make Christmas Cookies and watch a movie.  I decided to be a "good" mom.  We had a great time and well another day passed without me training and with me eating holiday style.   Now we have our traditional cookies made and out for enjoyment!

Today I was committed to run, rain or shine, massive blister or not.  So Zen and I headed out in the torrential rain and it was great. He of course bailed in 15 minutes and I dropped him off and continued.  I really do like running in the rain!  Just grow some new skin and I might be ready to go at it......we shall see!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Curious Incident of Rocks in the Night.....

We have a very minimalist front yard....we took out the grass (to be environmentally conscious) about a year ago and still have not decided what to do. So we have nice dirt with a few select plants- hey looks better than an overgrown weeded lawn or a water sucking manicured lawn.  In any case, we have river stones around the border, step 1 of the landscaping.

So last Thursday John goes out with Zen to find someone has rearranged our stones into the festive holiday saying of "Fuck Nig"  Hmmmm, not sure about the 2nd word or frankly who was out to swear at as.

We chalked this up to a random act. That was until Sunday when the rocks were once again displayed with the tender message "Fuck You"   Okay, not random and clearly someone is not happy with us. We quiz the piss anyone off today?  Dump anyone?  Flip off a neighbor? nothing.

So Sunday night, John kicks into CIA form and is running cables to a hidden camera in our bushes and links up a way to film the front yard all while capturing it on a VCR.  Sure enough 10:30 2 hooded "kids" approach, have a brief conversation and arrange the stones. No contrite messages but a geometrical pattern.  The finish, turn and exit through the park and we soon see headlights and they drive off.  The film quality is poor and it is dark but anyway we see them commit the act.  So now we are mildly, John pretty obsessive.

I head to Palm Springs on Monday and come home Tuesday to a sleeping bag, camping mats, black clothing splayed about the house.  Curious....well I learn from the kids John got commandoed up in black, complete with a hoodie, rearranged the plants on the front pad and snuggled down on our front porch for the night.  Nothing.....although many regals of the wonders of sleeping outside. 

Tuesday night, he sets up again and stumbles to bed around 3am, cold and seeking a soft surface.  He goes out again last night and stumbled in around 2am due to rain. However, he did wake up to voices at midnight, kid in black hoodie with a new girl (not sure how he could tell) but go with me on this and he stealthily follows them. They do not pause at the rocks or make any art.  He follows them a block or so and returns to bed. 

So.....the mystery is still unsolved! Stay tuned- he plans to be out front rain or shine tonight.  Me, gloriously sleeping in my own bed and happy to be there.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

taking a new suitcase because the other one is still fulll

So I am not a world traveler, road jockey, road warrior....but when I have back to back trips I stress out. Nothing like coming home late Saturday night and sort of unpacking and then leaving Monday morning.  I know it is too much for me when I am looking in the unpacked suitcase for what I may need for the next trip.  This trip is quick and a drive trip!  So #1 did not need the monolithic suitcase I took to Orlando where I had daytime outfits, nighttime outfits, coat for the sub 30 degree Florida weather etc.  But I did bring a surprisingly large bag for one night.  Well since I was driving I wanted to dress casual for the drive and then had to dress up last night and need a whole other ensemble for today.   24 hour trip and I have 4 pairs of shoes. Really....flip flops in the car, dress shoes last night, running shoes this AM and boots for the meeting.  Maybe because I do not "dress" very often I try to to my best and have some variety.  The mere fact I had to dust off my boots is a good indication they have not been worn for a long time. 

Last night was another networking reception and I did well for an hour and then hit a wall. I simply cannot be nice to any other people, put on my sales hat and make conversation, learn about their hotel, job etc. I am fried!  So I find myself in the corner, not alone and too noticeable but just taking a break and soon a few others join me, a few who were in Orlando and are tired as well of being "on."  We hung for another hour and then had dinner in a restaurant, sitting down, where someone served us.  I simply could not eat any more food off of a stick, on a tiny plate, balancing it while holding a beverage and making small talk.  

One more meeting and lunch and then I can head home in my jeans and back to my what I call normal life!

Monday, December 13, 2010

When working feels like an Ironman

5 days of meetings, networking, training and socializing is exhausting!   I work for the greatest company HPN Global!  I use work many think frankly I never work, but really I do and work pretty hard, just not in the conventional way.  This is my "own" business so to speak and I run it how it suits me.  So when I am able to ride Great Western Loop on Tuesday morning it is frankly pretty darn awesome....but flying all day on Saturday is not. It all works out in the end.  I am not a desk jockey  that is for sure.  I work in my car, on bike rides (as my riding buddies know), from the pool locker room, running trails... you name it.  As long as I am available for my customers when the need me, then I am doing what I need.   The beautify of my iPhone is I can work anywhere, anytime.  And now with my newsest toy my iPad- there is no excuse ever.   So what do I do- really?  I researcher and contract hotels for my clients meetings and events.  A party planner? not, even planner? sort of.  I am a solution for many who are planning meetings and events.  I save them time, save them money and have the resources through HPN Global to do it better and faster with the efficiencies of our company. 

Sounds fun...talking with hotels, traveling and seeing hotels, being wined and dined...sure it is in the beginning and then well it becomes a job!   But given the fact we all need to make a living somehow, I am pretty darn fortunate.   Building a business is not easy and believe me when I left the security of the corporate world 6 years ago I was scared!  Thankfully I had John for support and we sucked it up a bit and made it happen.   Now well I have a life I love and am looking to grow a new business on the side.

I am officially a USA Triathlon Coach and am open for business so to speak.  I am still working on the website and getting up and running but I have one client and have booked a few guys for 5 sessions of swimming.  Sharing my passion on triathlon and turning it into a business is truly a dream come true.  I have learned so much in 4 years from KP and on my own that I am eager to guide others in the journey of triathlon!  I know what it is like to manage a job, be a mom and a wife and train for Ironman.  What keeps most of us from reaching our true potential in triathlon is not our athletic limits but life in general.  Whether it be the fact you have to work 10 hours a day, you cannot ride on weekends so you can be a mom, you have to travel, stress at home...the list is limitless but all these factors keep us from training full time.  So we make the best with what we have.  I recall asking KP what would be the best schedule for me to have my best race and he would say it does not matter what may be the ideal schedule what matters is what fits into your life.   And that is the truth! 

There are so many ways to train...volume vs intensity, intensity vs volume, some of both and a lot of what works best for the athlete is what they can handle time wise and physically.  I have loved learning and reading the various philosophies and why one is "better" than the other- but for over reason one is better there is a counter argument to another.  It's all fascinating and a whole lot of fun as well!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cha ching $$

not JD's car...hardly a scratch- this is for effect only

Okay it was not that bad......but HELLO, 6 weeks.....and yup you guessed it JD had an accident.  No one was hurt- yes the true blessing.  Where was it?  Backing out of our driveway. Holy many worse possibilities - kids walking to school, neighbors cat (well maybe not so bad), etc. you get the picture.  How? Why?  Hello he is a 16 year old kid in a rush to get to school.

Absolutely infuriating!  Why, here comes the soap box- for him to walk to school it is 1.2 miles but to drive is 3.6.  I never drove them to middle school 1.5 miles (ok in the rain I did) and he walked to HS for 2 years.  When he got is license we said no driving to school and then he paid the insurance and somehow I weekend on this. We are, seriously, the only ones we know that make our kids walk that horrific distance every day. Come on, I did it in the snow and barefoot and it was 10 miles up hill- each way.  Kids today are soft! 

I have prided myself as not being that soft- we are the parents who make them walk. They are young, its good for them and the environment.   We are the evil parents- made him pay for his car insurance, oh poor kid. Oh wait, what about the car is allowed to drive for free, no "way to go parents" for that.  Oh and the gas...he pays for his own gas- hello it is expensive.  And now the accident....really he has to pay for it.  Hell yes- ah let's see, it was his fault, he was driving when he SHOULD be walking and the list goes on.

When does reality kick in for kids these days....come around here and JD will say he is seeing it, life is not fair- okay we can sell the truck and then he won't have to worry about insurance or driving at all.  Not an option?  Oh ok...  I love the but I paid for my iTouch...right, but who pays for the electricity to charge it every night, or the Internet that you tap into, or the table you put in on when you charge it with the electricity we pay for...okay you get the picture.

Kids think they are entitled...well I pay for gas- right but did the car grow in the front yard?  Who paid for the shoes you wear to get to the car to drive the car....

Time to call it a night..I am getting riled up and I need to get to bed to get up early to catch an all day flight to Orlando- woo hoo!  My company annual meeting- I was so efficeint and packed 99% last night for the weather I looked up last week.  Mid 80's and a low of 75.  Seems Jack Frost is in Orlando and the high is 66 and the low is 31- nice...sounds like Thanksgiving all over again!   My suitcase is the size of a small piano because I will not freeze for 6 days!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tis the season....

Okay so not a lot going on...well none really in the swimming.biking.running world of mine- not yet anyway.  Well okay I dusted off the bike for a ride on Friday and another ride Saturday with John.  No computer, no power meter just the road bike and getting the legs working again.   Foot is too sore to run and I still don't want to swim.

My big news is that I am racing for a super cool team next year!  Nytro Women's Team.  I am flattered to be on a team with such talented and very cool women.   More to come on that....but one of our sponsors is Rehab United and I had the chance to "expedience" my first class.  All I can say is that the Functional Tri Strength class thoroughly kicked my ass.  I was laying face down on the AstroTurf wanting it to end...but loving it as well.  #1: I am wickedly uncoordinated so 1/2 the exercise are a challenge to just complete, let alone with weights and building strength #2: my core is so weak and #3 I am weak.  I was 30 minutes in the class wondering how the hell I can complete an Ironman when this class was doing me in.  Bryan Hill is terrific and was sooooo patient and kept most of his laughing to himself.  Right...the squats with weights on the Bosu Balance Trainer.  Except the bosu was flipped over and I was doing squats. Actually it took me 3 times to stand on the dang thing
and then I had to do squats.  Forget the weights I could not reach down and pick them up for fear of falling off again. OMG I was laughing so hard and crying at the same time.  They all promised me I will get better.    And the other ones were just as crazy....I am going to love this class and can only see improvement but clearly will not be the example for any exercise.

So 4 days later and I am still sore....hope I can make it through the class tomorrow.  Looking forward to riding a bit and hopefully running soon...when my foot heals up!

Rest of life is hectic..working, planning for a trip and dealing with JDs car accident!  That's right, less than 6 weeks and whamo.  Thankfully no one was hurt but it will cost him for sure.  He will be walking to school for a week, take a bit of time to reflect on what happened. He was late for school and backed out without looking...considering we live near a school and kids are walking to school he is dang lucky he did not hit a kid or injure someone.  We are waiting for the estimate of damages to the car he hit and then he will have to pay for it.  Good thing he has a job!  Not his week....poor kids had a few other issues and by Friday my heart was breaking for him.   He will grow from this, learn a few lessons and come out stronger but mom does not like to see their kids hurting.

Kicked off the season last night with some good friends, food and beverages at the Dunkle Casa.  I made a huge batch of Coquito and it was a hit....empty pitcher when I went back for more.  Coquito is an eggnog-like alcoholic beverage traditionally served in Puerto Rico. It is made with egg yolks, rum, coconut milk, coconut water, sweet condensed milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves. The drink is commonly associated with the Christmas holidays, where it is traditionally served along with other holiday food.  It was sooooo good but dangerous and probably okay to only have had one glass.  So good to see everyone in real clothes (versus spandex and helmets) and to chill out, not stress about an early ride or run and be real people!
Riley is terrific....a bit bummed she is hoofin it to school again but c'est la vie.  She is happy to be playing lacrosse again and we spent a sensational Sunday in Coronado.  Good friends, lacrosse, a bit of sunshine and all is well.   

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Off.,off, off season.....

Okay so we drove to NM and back and around the state of AZ, I started a race and did not finish it...ugh!   Foot is seriously jacked up (probably good I stopped) and I have not done a lick of exercise in 8 days.  Okay, we did a small hike around Arcosanti and I was in pain complaining because I cannot wear a shoe with a back and up and down is tough wearing a flip flop tennis shoe.  Why a flip flop tennis shoe- I cannot wear a shoe with a back or it sends shooting pains up my ankle- something about the nerves, tendons that are simply not right. 

Oh I lied I went to the gym once on our trip and did elliptical on level1, seriously I am a level 7 or 8 but level 1 seemed a bit challenging. And the sign said 30 minute limit and I am a rule follower so I stopped. 

Now that we are back I thought I maybe eager to ride, run or swim.  KP has zero on my schedule in fact no running, riding or swimming.  Running is out, the whole back of the shoe issue is a problem and since it was 38 degrees this AM barefoot running does not seem wise. Swimming- no thanks.  Riding, contemplated it but I am fighting something and am resting.  Sleeping 11 hours after doing no exercise for 8 days tells me something is not right.

So seems this whole time off thing is working out just fine.

As for 2011.....I have 2 races planned and have committed to. Oceanside 70.3 April 3 and Wildflower Long Course May 1- I have always wanted to do Wildflower but have not done it because I have an IM on the horizon and I need to recover from O'side, get in a big block of training etc.   So my plan for 2011 is to race what I want to race and when I want to race and not force an Ironman.  I did not sign up for one and they are mostly sold out and I just cannot see putting forth the cash for a community fund slot. So that means maybe no Kona and right now I am okay not chasing the coveted Kona slot in 2011.  I could sign up for IM St George and do that all over again, but I just am not jonesing to do it, so I am going to wing it as they say.

Lots of other cool races to do and will let the year unfold as it may.  I love Ironman and am certainly not giving it up, so don't be fooled there. But for now....I don't want one on the horizon to think or worry about.  

So as all things come to an end...seems it is appropriate to give thanks!  I am blessed to have such a wonderful and supportive family, some of the best friends I have ever had, and appreciate all the support from Erin Baker and Kestrel!  Erin, Bryan and Steven have been fantastic and I love the EB Team! 

So for now.... day by day and I am sure I will wake up soon inspired to ride soon.  As for running, time to let the foot heal-  the day I get out of bed and do not have shooting pains when I step down will be an indicator that I should run and as for swimming...I just may take the month off.  I really, really don't enjoy swimming and need a break!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010 ( a few days late)

After the disaster at Sizzler we had to have a proper Thanksgiving. So after 6 soccer games we settled down and cooked dinner on Sunday

JD takes over the Turkey prep this year

 Well done....beautiful bird
Ladies first  
 The master teaching the apprentice how to carve
 Dressed up per Riley's request

 Dad had to join the girls picture
 Proud chef

 The family 
 + Zen

Sunday, November 28, 2010

On the road again....

We packed up and headed to Tucson Sunday night..... up in the AM and off to University of Tucson for the beginning of our week of college tours.  Kids loved UofA and it is fun to be on a college campus again!  This was our first tour so we did not know what to expect.  We sat in a nice room, watched an all inspiring video about UofA. All highlights of college, Frisbee in the quad, packed basketball and football stadiums, classes that look really fun, research and lots of cool kids.  Admissions Director spoke and then we hit the campus.  It is not the prettiest campus but had a good feel about it.  Free laundry facilities resonated with Riley and the state of the art fitness center (nicer than any 24hour, LA Fitness or Frogs I have ever seen) got both of the kids excited.

We hit the road for Flagstaff.  Made a brief stop in Arcosanti, which is a very cool spot. Arcosanti is designed according to the concept of arcology (architecture + ecology), developed by Italian architect Paolo Soleri. In an arcology, the built and the living interact as organs would in a highly evolved being. This means many systems work together, with efficient circulation of people and resources, multi-use buildings, and solar orientation for lighting, heating and cooling.

In this complex, creative environment, apartments, businesses, production, technology, open space, studios, and educational and cultural events are all accessible, while privacy is paramount in the overall design. Greenhouses provide gardening space for public and private use, and act as solar collectors for winter heat. 

John in love with this place....something he wanted to create on his property here in San Diego.  People living in harmony with the earth, maximizing natural resources, creating very cool art- primarily unique bells.

After our brief stop we cruised to Flagstaff to see Northern Arizona University.   Wow it was chilly. 25 degrees when we got into town!  We had dinner with one of my childhood friends....Cari and I were the best of friends for years through middle- high school. Inseparable and it was so good to see her again.  We last saw each other 13 years ago and we picked up where we left off, a true sign of a life long friendship.  Funny to see our kids together....

We were up early and it was, gasp 21 degrees, and he headed to NAU.   This tour started with a 1 hour PowerPoint and we were all in a coma....too long and too much information.  Ironic there were 5 other kids from Westview in the group- Riley knew a few of them.  Seems NAU is popular with San Diego kids...affordable out of state option is what it is.   Hard to concentrate on the tour because we were freezing. Campus is a bit run down and I had high hopes for the college town etc. The kids were non plussed.   Note- if your kids are considering a cold weather school, go in the winter.  Better figure out now that real winter is not for your child versus spending tens of thousands of dollars and then realizing it. 

  NAU with fresh snow

Back in the car and we were off to Albuquerque.  Next stop UNM.   Long day in the car and John wanted to see the Petrified Forest, but we wanted to get to Abq, so we compromised and stopped Holbrook County, AZ and toured the original courthouse.  We were the only people there and it was very hokey but we had a blast.  Lots of history with the Pony Express and a room full of old typewriters, which was the most fascinating to the kids. They want to try one and think they are really cool!    It broke up the drive and we saw some history along the way.
Pony Express.....

There was an actual courthouse as well and we had a little fun....Judge Riley and JD was on the stand. We had a jury of 1 and had our mock trial.  Tried, convicted and thrown in jail.  Amazing what fun you can have after being locked in a car for hours. Free petrified wood for all and we hit the road - destination Abq.

4th hotel in 4 nights..... we are in Abq. This is getting old, have to say.  Last tour of UNM.

We are tired of listening to the 3rd tour was going to be tough.  It was short and sweet- bonus for us.  The campus is big!  Kids liked it but were again not highly excited, but frankly, not sure what would excite them on this day. The campus was empty, day before Thanksgiving and most classes cancelled.  Hard to say.
I can say that looking at colleges is a sales process, much like when I tour a hotel for my clients, but these tours are not led by sales people.  I'm telling you they need a short, motivating video with the highlights of their college life.  Make the student want to be a part of the excitement.  Quick overview and then a fun tour.... I am thinking there is a buisness here, train them how to sell.  Although most Universities (public ones that is) are short on money so not sure their marketing budget has room for a consultant.  Anyway....would do them a lot of good.
Off to Sante Fe.....