Sunday, October 26, 2014

A Concert

I am a big concert lover.  There is just something about live music that cleanses my soul and makes me feel whole.  I am already a huge music lover to begin with.  I usually have some sort of music playing in the background while I waste time on the computer, but there is nothing quite like live music.  It is also well known that I have a special place in my heart for special education.  So the Bridge School Benefit Concert is right up my alley.  I've gone two times previously, but had to miss last year (and Jack Johnson!) due to student teaching.  This year's line up wasn't as awesome, but there were still some pretty good people.

We just did a quick trip to the Bay Area, so we left at around 7am on Saturday morning.  My entire family went.  My mom was going with her best friend and my dad had bought us all tickets.  After being out until 2:45 with my friend the night before, waking up at 6:30 was hard.  But, I knew I was going to see my brother and a concert.  So it was all worth it.

Of course, we bought grass seats because the real seats are too much money.  But this makes for a nice, cozy atmosphere.  

Instead of dinner, we just brought snacks.  Little Z got a little cheese drunk at her very first concert.

And since we are so far away from the stage, thank goodness my dad brought binoculars.  Otherwise, I'm not sure how we could possibly have seen the stage.  Except for the 12 jumbo screens directly in front of us.

I've seen Norah Jones and Neil Young previously as well as Eddie Vedder (but never Pearl Jam).  I was extremely excited about Florence and the Machine and she didn't disappoint.  Her voice is magical.  And the way she interacted with the kids on stage melted my heart.

The crowd seemed to be enjoying themselves.

There's about 20-30 minutes of downtime between sets, so as soon as it became dark, I started to take advantage of that.  I was running on 3.5 hours of sleep, so I was definitely dragging.  I can cross "falling asleep at a rock concert" off my bucket list now.

We got back to the hotel around 2am and I actually slept in.  Until 9am!  I made it down to the hotel gym for a workout before breakfast with the family.  Then it was time to say goodbye to my brother.  It's always so sad to see him go.  Then, we headed back up north.  And just like that, our quick weekend get-away was over.  The concert was amazing and I can't wait to go back next year!

Have you been to any concerts?  Ever fallen asleep?

Sunday, October 19, 2014

My First 5k

This weekend was filled with girlfriends and running.  Just the way I like it.

Next Monday is one of my best friend's birthday.  The ladies from my cohort who became the best of friends really quickly decided to celebrate this weekend because we are all busy next weekend.  We're all very low key.  We started the night with a drink at a local wine bar.  Although, none of us got wine.

We then went to eat sushi, which is always a good idea.  I did not get any pictures of said sushi because I ate it way too fast, but we did manage to take bathroom selfies.

We are feeling old and trying to keep up with our students.  We're pretty sure the kids these days are doing bathroom mirror duck-face selfies, right?  Right?!  We're trying to up our street cred here.

Then we went back to our friend's house where we had a photo shoot with the dogs, because, let's be honest, they are fabulous.

That one is our 2001 senior portrait look.  This next one is just us being weirdos.

We proceeded to get into our pjs and brought out the birthday cake while Sex and the City played in the background.

She made a wish and blew out the candles.

Our friend's husband makes the most amazing popcorn and he made us a giant shopping bag full of it for our evening.  Well, since I can't have cake, I took over the popcorn bag and ate 99% of it.  

After a late bedtime last night, this morning I was up before the sun.  There was a 5k, half marathon, and marathon today and my friend was gunning for a PR in the half.  This is the exact same course that I have run twice (only in the Spring),  and I just ran a half two weeks ago, so I wasn't about to run the half.  It was super tempting when we got to the race though.  I was smart and only signed up for the 5k.  I was kind of excited because I have never officially run a 5k.  My friend and I warmed up for 3 miles before the start of the marathon/half at 9am.

I won't lie.  It was really hard watching the start of this race and not being a part of it.  But, I need to be smart and not race two half marathons back to back.  I'm not that crazy of a runner.  So, I continued on for another mile and a half on my own before our 9:15am start.

What I learned--- The 5k is HARD, but SO fast.  I went out fast, as I always do.  I don't actually know my splits because I already had 4.5 miles on my Garmin, so I was just going by feel.  I wanted to put as much effort into this race as I could since I knew it was so short.

At the turn around, I realized that I was the third woman and the fourth woman was way, way behind me.  So, I knew I could slow down if I wanted to.  But, I wasn't about to do that with only a mile and a half left.  

I finished in 21:35, which ended up being a 6:59 pace.  This was really exciting to me.  I was also 3rd woman overall, and came in 9th place out of 201.  I was pretty okay with this.  I won a medal that doubles as a bottle opener and a beer, that I gave to my friend since I can't drink beer (nor do I even want to).

I kept running (much slower) until my watch said 9 miles and the clock said an hour.  I knew the half marathoners would be coming in soon and my friend was gunning for a sub 1:14.  The winner came in at 1:05!  Pretty impressive.  My friend beat his goal at 1:13:50.  Yes.  He's very impressive.  

I cooled down with him and two other boys who ran the half.  All three of them are training for a marathon, so they needed some more milage for the day.  By cool down, I mean we ran at a 7:25 pace because these boys are fast.  The other two had just run a 1:08 half...  The rest of my day consisted of lunch, a walk around the park, and family dinner.  Now, it's 9pm and I am ready to go to sleep and begin another week of school.  How does Sunday come so fast?

Do you like the 5k distance?

Monday, October 13, 2014

More Random Things

It's been awhile since I've done a random post about myself. I think, since I don't really have any exciting news, I will do another one.

Sometimes I dress like a normal person. I do dress nicely for work. I always feel a little sad string undressed at the gym and going into workout clothes. But then I realize that workout clothes are so much better and I stop caring.

I have a mild case of OCD when it comes to my classroom. Okay, so I have a mild case of OCD just in general and it leaks into my classroom. I get some bad anxiety when things aren't just right and I will spend as many minutes as necessary to fix the issue. I'm a little nuts.

I realized the other day that the majority of people in my life that I talk to are filed in my phone under "B." The new operating system on ynphone has some interesting features, but the one that tells you the most recent contacts is my favorite. It's always the same people. And it's always just a straight line of B.

I lay my workout clothes flat on the bed in the spare room. This means that you may not want to visit me. (I would change the bedding!) When I walked in there the other day I realized that I like bright colors. It took me seeing them all laid out to realize this. I also seem to like black.

I've been making an obscene amount of applesauce. We have four apple trees in our backyard that produce more apples than we know what to do with. I've made three batches of applesauce in the last two weeks and have eaten most of it myself. I love this time of year.

I ran 10 glorious miles yesterday.

It's finally supposed to rain a good amount starting tomorrow. It was lovely to get a good long run in the vitamin D for the last time this week.

Now, I am going to get into bed since I will be up incredibly early to hit the gym. It's going to be a long one tomorrow.

Tell me something random.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

San Jose Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon

I had signed up for this race months ago.  Like, in April.  My soulmate's husband convinced me since he had run it last year and enjoyed the course.  So, of course I couldn't turn down a race and a visit to see them.  The race seemed so far off, that when this weekend finally rolled around, it came as somewhat of a surprise.

This course is pancake flat.  The only inclines happen when we run under the freeway twice.  So, everyone was pretty certain I could PR in this race.  My friend thought I could pull off a 1:35.  I knew that was really, really pushing it, considering my last half was a 1:38, almost 1:39.  So, I went into this race with no real expectations, but kind of hoping for a PR of some sort.  Unfortunately, the weather gods decided that summer should make an appearance in October and decided to be 65 degrees at the 8am start.

That felt perfect at the beginning.  I ate my banana and drank my coffee and people watched.  I also asked a stranger to take a picture of us.

Please notice how tired I look.  I had rested well and slept well the entire weekend and yet I was still pretty tired.  Once they sang the National Anthem, we were off.  I was in corral 5, so it took me approximately 2 minutes to actually start.  I tried to start off conservatively.  I did feel dehydrated and my mouth was dry from the beginning.  Never a good sign.  My legs were really heavy, which was weird as I had taken two days off from running.  My first mile clocked in at 7:18, right on track.  My next two miles were exactly 7:05.  I crossed the 5k mark at 22 minutes.  At this point, I was soaking it all in.  I had never run a race this big before and I'd never had random people cheering me on.  It was fun, but I was not enjoying dodging people left and right.

As it started to warm up, I started to slow down.  I tried not to let my pace get above 7:20s.  I took water at each station and sipped Gatorade (which I HATE) at miles 6 and 8.  Then I got hot.  Around mile 6 I felt pretty warm, so I dumped water on my head.  At mile 8, I was really hot, so I took a frozen sponge and squeezed it all over me.  At mile 11, I was almost passing out.  I felt really strange and knew if I didn't slow down, I would actually pass out.  This was scary and really deflated my spirits.  Mile 11 clocked in at 8:10.  I know that a lot of people would love to run an 8:10 mile, but coming from 7:15s-7:20s, this mile seemed to stretch on FOREVER.  Then, some lovely man saw me struggling.  He told me that I was about the 78th woman overall and to not give up.  This boosted my self-esteem and I picked up the pace.  I finished the last mile at a 7:20 pace again.  I had never been so happy to see a finish line in my entire life.

As I was coming into the finish, I heard my name called by a voice I did not recognize.  I was so unbelievably confused as to who would possibly know me.  I looked behind me to see if I could tell who it was.  Turns out, it was Spectator of the Year and he was standing with my soulmate.  Luckily, she caught my classic "What the heck?!?" face on camera.  It's my favorite picture of the entire day.

I had absolutely no idea what my official time was.  All I knew was that my Garmin said I had done 13.2 miles in the same amount of time as my last 13.1 mile PR.  So I knew that I had run a little faster this time.  But not by much.

My official time ended up being 1:38:10.  While this technically is a PR, I was pretty disappointed in myself for failing on that 11th mile.  I know I shouldn't have been so hard on myself because I was miserably hot and I could have really hurt myself, but I could have gotten a 1:37 had I just done it a few seconds faster!  I did come in 74th woman overall, out of 4206!  So, I felt pretty great about that.  The man wasn't making anything up when he told me that to cheer me up.  I was 18th in my age division out of 591 and 387th overall out of 8265 runners.  I was pretty proud of myself when I saw those results.  

The only thing I could think about when I finished was cooling down.  Luckily they were handing out frozen towels, which I immediately grabbed and put on my head.

I somehow missed the water my first time through and water was another thing I really needed.  So, I had to wander back to find water.  It was a little bit stressful, but I did end up with a large pile of snacks.  Of course, I had to carry everything in my hands.  I was a hot mess at the end of this race, literally.

So there you have it.  Half marathon number 4 in the bag.  I have completely mixed feelings on my performance, but the race itself was wonderful.  The music at each mile was awesome, the spectators and volunteers were amazing, and the course itself is extremely flat and easy.  If you're looking for a fun, well organized race, I highly recommend this one.  I don't have any races on the schedule in the near future.  There's a 5k/half marathon/marathon in two weekends that I am debating running the 5k.  The half marathon is the exact same course that I have run twice and it's a championship of some sort, so all of the runners are REALLY fast.  I heard a rumor that Ryan Hall's wife is traveling here to run it!  Until then, I will continue running what I want, when I want.  I love not having the pressure of a race coming up!

When's your next race?

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Weekend Getaway

On Friday, I left town for the Bay Area for a little weekend getaway. I had signed up for the San Jose Rock 'N Roll Half Marathon several months ago and, somehow, the weekend snuck up on me. Luckily, the trip doubled as a way to get to meet my newest niece. I'm surrounded by so many baby girls! How did I get so lucky?!

Saturday, I took it really, really easy. I wanted my legs to be fresh for the race. So I spent a lot of time like this.

She learned how to make a duck face, so I tried to get her to take a selfie with me. Turns out three-week olds don't listen very well.

We got to the expo about an hour before closing. We wandered around, but I wasn't very impressed. I'd never been to a big expo before, so I didn't really know what to expect.

As we all know, my Achilles has been bothering me, so I got it all taped up. That was best part of the expo. Am I a real runner now??

We went for a girl's walk around the neighborhood before dinner. It is such a cute little 'hood, but she's the cutest part about it.

After dinner, I drove up to Palo Alto to hang out with some friends. We ended up at a froyo shop. I'm not sure how that happened.

I woke up nice and early on Sunday for race day. I'll do a recap tomorrow, but just know that it was hot. For some reason, California hasn't gotten the memo that it's OCTOBER and not July.

I finished, but barely. I was miserable the last two miles. It was so, so nice to be done and get a delicious iced coffee.

After a shower, I got in some last-minute baby holding time.

I also spent some last-minute quality time with two of my favorite ladies.

Yes, we did completely plan to be triplets. After the goodbyes, I headed back north. I made a pit stop in my favorite city to pick up my friend who had gotten a ride down with me. We hiked around a hill in Bernal Heights. 

The day was amazing and the views were spectacular. The city is never, ever this clear.

We also made a quick pit stop on the way out of town to take full advantage of the clear day. Neither of us had ever been to the look-out point on the other side of the bridge and we've both been to the city more times than we can count. We thought this was the perfect time to do it, even though we both had work in the morning.  It was really breath-taking.

I got home way past my grandma bedtime. That made for a difficult day today, but the weekend was so, so worth it. Sometimes, it's really nice to get away.

Where was your last getaway?