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Wednesday, June 29, 2011


I just participated in my first chat on Twitter.  I should say it's the first one I was able to keep up with until the end without getting overwhelmed and bailing.  When I first started seeing these #wineparty and #fitblog and #runchat group invites I thought, "Why would anyone do this?".  It seemed like another way for people to escape their lives.  Or something for people with too much time on their hands.  I've come to realize that these chats are a good way to measure yourself.

It kind of reminds me of how as parents we like to hear other parents complain about their kids.  Not because it makes us feel superior, but because it assures us that our kids are normal.  In fact the other day one of the parents on my son's water polo team was complaining about his son.  He told us about all of the horrible things the boy had said that morning to him.  And while we agreed it was terrible, it made us feel that at least our son's outbursts were a little more normal.

The same thing goes for these chats.  I've discovered that even though there are a lot of people out there that are more fit, better runners, etc than me, there are also others that can look up to where I'm at.  It is a way to gain information and tips as well as brag a little about things I've been doing.  So while the timing may not always work for me to participate in these chats, I will jump in when I am able.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Weekend Recap

I haven't taken any photos lately.  Well I have, but I haven't downloaded them.  I took about 200 photos over the weekend of water polo.  Both of our girls are at camp.  It's hard to believe they only left last Sunday.  It feels like they've been gone a lot longer.  Here are some pics of what they're doing:

Yes it looks like they're having a great time.  I think the hardest part of them being gone is that I can't talk to them.  If I could hear their stories each day, it would be easier.  But I know they're having a great time and I'll have plenty of time to hear all of the stories when they come home on Friday.  These are life experiences that they'll never forget.  I'm so glad that Ali decided to go with Nikki this year.

So what did we do this weekend?  Stephen had water polo games at Servite on Thursday, and then a tournament in Corona Friday thru Sunday.  They took 5th place in the tournament and qualified for USCC, which was great.  Didn't get much running in over the weekend.  I did get four days in this week, so I guess that's fine.  Although I only got in 18 miles.  I'm trying to keep my minimum at 20, but what can I do?  Bill joined me for a run in Corona.  I'd done Map My Run and found a great 4.25 mile route from the high school Stephen was playing at.  That was Bill's longest run and he did great!  It's fun to have him to run with.  I enjoy running alone, but it's nice knowing he's right there too.

Last night after Stephen's second game we met The Filpi's for dinner at Gyu-Kaku.  It's a Japanese BBQ place where they bring the food to you raw and you have your own grill at each table.  You grill the food to your liking and eat it as it finishes.  We'd been before and really like it.  From there we went to the movies to see Bad Teacher.  

It was pretty funny, although I felt like we'd seen most of the funny parts in trailers.  Then because it was only 7:45 we decided we needed dessert.  We decided to find someplace we could get a drink and dessert.  So we headed over to The Heights.  We were looking for the drink because we'd talked several times about Buttery Nipples and how delicious they are. 

 I'm always up for something new so this was what we were after.  They were so good, we ended up ordering a second round!  I could drink full glasses of that stuff!  We had an early morning of water polo on Sunday so after that, we called it a night and headed home.

Today we went for bagels before heading out to polo.  As we were eating, in walked The Filpi's!  Too funny!  After Stephen's first game, one of his teammates invited us back to their house since they lived nearby.  So we headed over and had a delicious barbeque.  We hung out there for a few hours, eating and visiting before heading back for the second game.  My parents had come to both games, so we invited them to join us back at our house for dinner.  I'd planned to make shrimp tacos and with the girls gone, I knew we'd have enough.  It was a nice ending to a busy but fun weekend.  I'll be counting down the days until the girls come home on Friday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Summer Slowdown??

Where is it?  It seems that our summer slowdowns are over.  All those years I refused to put the kids in summer school or camps or otherwise fill their days.  Now I'm so glad I did.  We had lots of lazy days of summer.  Lots of days we could pick up and go to the beach or hang by the pool.  This summer we are so busy.  Our diving board broke on Memorial weekend when we'd had friends over.  We had it fixed the following week, and not one person has jumped on it since then!  So sad.  No beach days, no pool days, (ok we're by the pool a lot but it's watching Stephen play water polo) no laziness.

Instead Stephen is in the water 7 hours a day for water polo.  When he's not in the pool, he's eating or sleeping.  Nikki had high school soccer camp last week that left her exhausted and now is gone to sleep away camp.  That is one thing she has done the past 3 years.  She and her friend Kate have been going away to camp for 2 weeks.  It's just like when I was a kid.  They do all kinds of fun activities and really focus on letting them be kids.  The past two years they've gone to YSSC in Yosemite and have had a great time!  This year Ali decided to go as well.  She's only ten, so she was a bit nervous about being gone so long.  I can send letters and emails but don't get much back in return.  I think last year we got one letter from Nikki.  So we'll see.

I guess I could go to the beach by myself.  But I think I'd feel really guilty knowing Stephen was working so hard and not able to enjoy his summer.  What to do?  Oh I know...we'll carpet the house.  More on that later.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

After the half

My post for my experiences for running my first half marathon was a bit long, but there was more to the day.  Lisa ended up being able to go with me, but with some conditions.  We had  to run and then RUN!  She had to be at funeral services by 11:00 in downtown LA.  So race started at 6AM, we were done by 8 AM and showered and on the road by 9:10 AM.  We got to the funeral a little after 10:00.  I dropped Lisa off, and headed straight to Nikki's soccer game.  I got there a little early so I stopped at Panera and got a sandwich.  I was starved at this point, so I was glad to be early.  Nikki ended up playing 2 hours of soccer. I'd sit and watch and then start feeling stiff, so I'd get up and walk a bit.  Then to top off the night, we had reservations with Lisa and her family at Lawry's in Beverly Hills at 6:30.  We had such a great dinner!  Prime rib, mashed potatoes, yorkshire pudding, creamed spinach, spinned salad and delicious chocolate cake to end it all.  Yes that was a celebration meal!  What a day!

My 1st half marathon

So I ran in the Ojai to Ocean Half Marathon on Sunday, June 5th.  I had trained and knew I was ready to run it.  I also knew it was a flat course and the weather was supposed to be mild.  So I was confident and really looking forward to running.  Lisa (my friend and veteran runner) and I had reservations at the host hotel.  We were sharing a room since the race had a 6 AM start time.  Thursday before the race, I got a text from Lisa that her husband's cousin had died unexpectedly and she didn't know what the funeral arrangements would be but that it might cause a problem for the race.  As the days progressed it looked like she really might not go.  Ali and Nikki both had soccer games on Sunday, so I asked Stephen to go with me.  I told him he could sleep through my race, but I'd like some company for the night before.  Well it came down to it that Lisa decided to try to make it work.  We drove up to Ventura at 1:30 on Saturday.  Got checked in, had a nice dinner (and a scoop of ice cream!) and got to sleep.  We were up just before 5 AM, dressed and down to the start line at 5:30.  It appeared there weren't many racers, or officials at the start line.  But by 6:00 the crowd had grown and they announced the race would start in 90 seconds.  It was kind of crazy at the start.  We could barely get a run going for nearly the first quarter mile.  The finally the crowd thinned and we found our groove.  I had my Nike+GPS running while we ran so I could monitor our split times.  The first three miles we were keeping a good 8:30 pace, which was really fast for both of us.  By mile 5, we'd slowed to almost 9:00 miles but still felt great.  At mile 9 Lisa stopped for water but I decided to keep going.  At mile 11 I knew I had to push to finish strong.  I ran as fast as I could the last two miles and finished in 1:56!  I did it sub 2!!  Lisa said that had been her goal, so I'd decided it was worth trying and I did it!!  I grabbed my phone and lined up to get a shot of Lisa crossing the finish line.  She did it sub 2 also!  She came in at 1:58, her best time ever!!  It was a great race and very fun doing it with a friend.  I can't wait to do Vegas with Nikki.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Half Marathon in 3 days!

It's almost here!  I think I'm about as ready as I'm going to get.  I've put in the miles.  I bought some new sunglasses today.  They are very lightweight and should be much more comfortable than the ones I'd been running in.  I think I have all of the "gear" I'll need.  All I need now are some strong legs.  It's a VERY early run for me, but I'm hoping the adrenaline will kick in and wake me up.  I think the shuttles start at 4:15 AM!  Yikes!  The upside is that it will be near the beach, flat and over by 8:30!

As a reward, we've booked a reservation at Lawry's Prime Rib for dinner that evening.  We'd been trying to find a date that we could go with our friends, but couldn't find anything until August.  Then we decided since we're both running the half marathon and we'll be done so early, why not go that night.  Hopefully my legs won't get too sore.  I'd hate to have limp in, but I will if I have to!