Sunday, November 20, 2016

Change is hard

Dan and I were very fortunate to have both found jobs very quickly after arriving in Philly.  Unfortunately we both had to start those new jobs only a week after finally being able to move into our new home. We never really had a chance to unpack and settle in once we got here.

I really like my job and can see a future with lots of opportunities. But the commute is a bear. It takes about 45 minutes in the morning. Not great but bearable. But the ride home. Ugh! I'm only going 23 miles, but if I got home in an hour I considered it a good day. Lately it's been creeping closer to 90 minutes regularly. And one night when it rained it took two hours.

I haven't been getting home until 6:30 or 7:00, and I leave the house just after 7 am. That is a loooong day!

Needless to say, workouts have just not happened since I started working.

But...I sat down with my boss last week and told her the commute was killing me. And the first words out of her mouth were "Change your hours." Awesome! So I'll be going in and leaving an hour earlier to avoid some traffic. And I'll only have to wake up 20 minutes earlier to do this. I'd been leaving so early in the mornings anyway to beat the traffic, I was arriving at work 30 minutes before my actual start time.

 I'm so happy with this change. I'll finally be able to exercise again! Spin class, here I come!

Maybe I'll even have time to blog again 😀

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Hotel Living

I have so much to write about my cross country road trip, but things have been incredibly hectic since we arrived in Philadelphia.

Our second to last day of the trip was a drive from Cleveland to Harrisburg. It wasn't a lot of miles but it was a long drive because of the weather. We were very fortunate to have no rain all the way across the country until this point. But that day we got caught in an incredible storm. It rained nonstop for at least three hours of the drive. At points it was so bad that everyone was driving on the highway about 30 mph with their blinkers on. I was terrified and wanted to pull over, but Dan wanted to push through. Luckily we arrived in Harrisburg safely and the rain stopped that night.

What we didn't know was that while we were driving through that rain, that rain was driving through our rental house. We arrived in Philly the following day and were supposed to meet the landlord to get the keys to the rental house so we could start moving in the next day. When I called him, he said he was at the rental house. He had gone by to make sure everything was good for us to move in. Well, it wasn't. It really, really wasn't.

It turns out that the roof drain got clogged by debris. Water collected on the roof. And when I say water collected, it could have been up to three feet of water because that's how high the ledges are. Anyway, the ceiling in the master bedroom partially caved in. Drywall and wet insulation came down. Water poured into the bedroom, down the hall, and rained down into the living room.

Needless to say, we couldn't move in the next day. We were lucky that we were able to move our belongings in that week since it was already scheduled. All of our furniture is stacked in the spare bedrooms and the kitchen. All of our boxes are in the basement and garage. But because the entire downstairs - aside from the kitchen - is hardwood floors, there was no way we could live there. All of the flooring had to come out.

So after two and a half weeks on the road staying at various VRBOs, hotels, and AirBnBs, we get to Philly only to have to stay in a hotel for another three weeks. We're hoping to be back in our house this weekend.

It could have been much worse. We could have been asleep in our bed when the ceiling came down. But after being without a real home since July 12th, I really miss sleeping in my own bed! Fingers crossed that all goes as planned for the rest of this week.

At least Emma is comfortable here.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

The Next Chapter

I know, I know...if anyone is even reading this, my blog has been incredibly silent lately. I have had a LOT going on including one big secret. But I can finally let it out.

First of all, it's no secret that the Sharks had an incredible post-season run, making it all the way to the Stanley Cup finals, only to lose to the Penguins on Sunday. After 25 years, I finally got to go see my team play in a finals game. I am so incredibly proud of their success this season - even if it didn't end the way I would have liked. But I actually got to see the Stanley Cup awarded in person. That's a once in a lifetime experience.

On the way to the game. Look at that banner!

Lord Stanley's Cup

The other thing that has been keeping me busy - and the reason why I haven't been able to sign up for any races this season - has been this.

House for Sale

Dan and I have decided to take advantage of the booming Silicon Valley real estate market and sell our house. We have spent all spring preparing to list our house for sale. Two garage sales, tons of purging and donating of clothes and stuff we no longer need or want, cleaning, painting, new carpet, new kitchen lighting.

Wish we had done this to the kitchen years ago!

All of that hard work did pay off. We listed our house for sale and were under contract within a week. We need to be out of our house July 8th and are heading back to the town where I grew up.

Cue Elton John: "Philadelphia Freedom! Shine on me."
I never thought at my age that I'd be moving across the country and starting all over again. But it's really the best financial decision for us. And if I'm going to leave California, I want to have some familiarity. I've still got some family and I'm still close with a few of my friends from high school. (Thank you, Facebook!) In fact, one of my best friends did the house hunting for us and found us a rental. So we will instantly have a network when we get there.

So, this is why I haven't signed up for any races this season. I didn't know how long I'd be in California or when I'd get to Philly. And even if I did, my workouts have been nonexistent for months due to all of the house prep plus stress.

I'm looking forward to getting across the country, finding a new gym, and settling back into a routine.

But before that can happen, there is one more major step. Road Trip!!!!

To be continued...

Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Thanks to Facebook, I was reminded that three years ago today I completed my first triathlon. It was the Moraga Triathlon. I chose this race specifically because of the pool swim - I wasn't ready to tackle open water yet - and also because my friend Meredith was doing it.

I remember leading up to it how focused I was on training - especially with swimming. I had recently learned to swim specifically to do a triathlon. I was not a good swimmer at.all. But I was determined.

It was a sprint triathlon - 400m swim, 14 mile bike, 5k run. And it turns out that the swim was my favorite part of the day. I guess I had focused so much on the swim that I wasn't adequately prepared for the HILLS on the bike and run course. Ugh - it was tough. But I did it all with a huge smile on my face and crossed the finish line in something like 2:15 and change.

The first one is always the sweetest!
I wound up doing four triathlons that season. FOUR! And as of today, I'm currently not signed up for any this season. To be fair, I've got some things going on that are preventing me from committing to any races right now - but all of that will hopefully be wrapped up in July.

Unfortunately since I'm not signed up for any races, I haven't been doing anything. I have turned into a huge slug. I didn't realize how much I needed these events to motivate me. I guess fear of coming in last is a huge motivator for me!

So I guess I should probably sign up for something to get my mojo back. I'll keep ya posted!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up

I hope everyone has recovered from their Easter candy hangovers. I was fortunate that my mom didn't have a chance to buy candy due to my dad's health scare. So I did not have the opportunity to overindulge.

It was a busy weekend. On Saturday afternoon we went to the Sharks game. As part of their 25th Anniversary, they are having alumni days where they bring back a different retired player to honor them. They bring him out, do a little video of highlights, and have them drop the puck. This weekend was one of my favorite players, Douglas "Crankshaft" Murray. He was a defenseman who played for the Sharks from 2005 - 2012. He could lay a hit on you that would rattle your teeth.

During every game, the Sharks do a "player profile" during one of the breaks in the action. They'll put up a video of a featured player - Saturday was Murray since it was his alumni day. Again, more video highlights and then they give out a signed jersey from that player to the fan in the "lucky seat." For the record, my husband has had these season tickets since they day the Sharks started playing at the newly built San Jose arena - so 23 of their 25 years in existence. I've been going to the games with him for at least 20 of those years and we have never won a single thing - not a jersey, not event tickets, not even free pizza which they used to give out. Finally after 23 years it was my husband's lucky day. He was the lucky seat! He won the signed Murray jersey. He was so shocked but so excited. I wish I realized what was happening because I would have loved to have gotten a picture of his face.

The autographed jersey
After the game we headed to my parents house for a pre-Easter get together with the family. We were all there and my dad seems to be doing really well after his health scare last week. He is tired and sleeps a lot, but the doctors say it's a normal part of the brain healing. We are all very grateful that he seems no worse for wear.

Since we had no plans for Easter yesterday, we decided it would be a good day to tackle the jungle that was our backyard. During four years of drought, it was a pretty simple project. Mow the lawn every once in a while and occasionally pull some weeds. Well we finally had a really wet winter, and things got out of control. We've been mowing the lawn in the backyard pretty regularly just so Emma could  do her business back there, but the side yard got totally out of control.

This is where we normally grow tomatoes. Dandelions, anyone?
We filled the entire large compost bin with weeds and lawn clippings. It was a major project but it looks so much better now. I'm so glad it's done.

And that's a wrap for now.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Brain is Pretty Incredible

Monday afternoon I was at work doing my thing to get ready for a big meeting on Tuesday when I received the following text from my mom.

As it turns out, the reason my mom beat the ambulance to the ER is because they told her they were taking him to one hospital but wound up going to another one. After the ER staff was able to help my mom track him down, she called me. They had taken him to the ER that was literally blocks away from my office. Could I run down there so he wasn't alone? Of course! So I ran out of work and headed to the ER while my mom drove in the pouring rain from almost 20 miles away. Let me tell you, I've never felt like such a grown-up in my life.

When I first got there they wouldn't let me see him because they were evaluating him. But after a few minutes I could go be with him. He was awake and alert but confused. And not everything he said made sense. But I could tell that he knew he wasn't making sense. He would get a word wrong, or he would go to say something and you could tell he was searching for the right word. He was able to understand everything I said to him, but there was definitely some confusion on where he was and where my mom was.

After doctor visits, nurse visits, a nurse practitioner visit, and a CAT scan he was finally admitted. And two days later he was home and almost like nothing ever happened. Fortunately it was a minor stroke, he had no paralysis, and he can answer almost anything you ask him correctly. (There where a few funny moments in the hospital - like when he answered that he was 43 years old. This would make him younger than me, and it would make my mom a major cougar!)

After all of the stress, I feel incredibly lucky that I will get to have my dad around for a while longer. It's amazing to me how the brain can be scrambled one day, then correct itself a few days later.

Me and my dad.

If you have a family history of stroke or suspect someone might be having one, here are some things to look for.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Un-Race Report

So I was supposed to do a 10k on Sunday...but I flaked. Like I mean, totally didn't even set my alarm clock flaked.

I found out late last week that my friend who was doing the event with me wasn't going to make it. I was disappointed at first, but figured since I wasn't necessarily trained for 10k I'd go and do the 5k by myself instead.

My parents were coming over Saturday night to hang out and watch hockey and basketball, so I figured it would be a mellow night. But instead my brother, sister-in-law, and niece all came too and it turned into a "less mellow" night. In other words, the beer and wine were flowing. We had a great time, laughed way too much over a joke about pancakes, and stayed up too late for someone who was supposed to race in the morning.

So when I finally went to bed, I decided I wouldn't set an alarm but if I woke up in time I'd get up and go. I normally don't sleep past 7:00 on weekends anyway so there was a good chance I'd still make it. And I did wake up in time, but my warm bed was more appealing then driving 40 minutes to walk a 5k by myself. So I rolled over and caught a few more Zzzzz's.

And I don't feel the slightest bit guilty about it. Time and memories with family are way more important.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Marching Through March

Another month already half over - it seems like every time I turn around I need to flip the page on the calendar to a new month. So, what have I been doing lately?

Well, I went to see Bruce Springsteen on Sunday night. It was such an amazing show. I don't know how many times I've seen Bruce - somewhere in the double digits - but I have to say this was probably the best show I've seen. They played for 3 1/2 hours non-stop. The band sounded tight. I danced my ass off. It was amazing.

Me and my bro at the show - nosebleed section!

I've been pretty consistent with getting to spin class at least once a week, and most weeks twice. I was also doing a lot of walking, too, until the rains returned last week. But the storms have passed so I'm looking forward to spending more time outside walking - especially now that we've changed the clocks and I can stay out longer. It's not that I won't walk in the dark, I will around my neighborhood. But I like to walk on the Bay Trail and it's not lit so I won't go there after dark.

What's up next? I'm walking a 10k on Sunday - race report to follow!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Bay Breeze 5k 2016 Version

Since my best race buddy moved away last year, I was having trouble finding the motivation to sign up for races. Don't get me wrong, race people are the nicest, most supportive group of people I've ever met. Nothing like getting up at the crack of dawn to use a porta-potty and sweat with a group of strangers to help build camaraderie! But it's even more fun when you know you're going to meet someone there to hang out with before and after.

So when my friend and former co-worker Katie reached out to me to see if I wanted to walk a 5k with her, I jumped at the chance! She even let me pick the race. So I chose the Brazen Racing Bay Breeze 5k. I love Brazen races - they are so well organized and have great shirts, medals, and post race food, plus all of their race photos are free!

It was so nice to have someone to walk and talk with. We haven't seen each other in over three years - after seeing each other every day for almost two years when we worked together! But we've both since moved on to other companies.

It was an incredibly foggy morning. But the temperature was perfect. If the fog had burned off we would have been too hot.

You can see the fog in this photo.
All smiles approaching the turnaround.
I have to admit, walking a 5k can get a little boring so it was really nice to have someone to talk to the entire time. And since we hadn't seen each other in so long, there was a lot of catching up to do! But even with all of the talking we kept a good pace - 16:17 per mile. Not too shabby for walkers.

Red octopus themed shirt for V-day and a huge medal!

It felt really good to get back out there in a race environment. Next up, the Hellyer 10k next month!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

40 Days of Good Things

I consider myself a very lapsed Catholic. I attended 12 years of Catholic school - my high school was an all girls Catholic school. Being slightly rebellious, after I graduated high school and turned 18, I decided that I never needed to go to church again as long as I lived if I didn't feel like it. After all, with 12 years of Catholic school under my belt, I probably had enough "credits" that I didn't need to attend mass any longer.

I don't consider myself a very spiritual person, but I do sometimes pray. Mostly in times of need, but sometimes just a simple "Thank you, Jesus!" when something simple or silly goes my way - like finding a great parking spot during a rainstorm.

I went out today to get a couple of tacos for lunch only to discover that my local taqueria was closed for Ash Wednesday, and I was reminded that today was the start of Lent. From Wikipedia:

Lent (LatinQuadragesima - English: Fortieth) is a solemn religious observance in the liturgical calendar of many Christian denominations that begins on Ash Wednesday and covers a period of approximately six weeks before Easter Sunday. The traditional purpose of Lent is the preparation of the believer through prayerpenancerepentance of sins, almsgivingatonement and self-denial. This event, along with its pious customs, is observed by Christians in the AnglicanCalvinistLutheranMethodistRoman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions.

When I was a kid, Lent was a big deal. However, the focus was always on giving something up - I remember giving up bubble gum one year. That was hard at the time, but I was rewarded with a ton of bubble gum in my Easter basket.

Bubblicious was my favorite!

There are a few things that I was focusing on the last few months that I've let go a bit in the past few weeks - tracking my food, eating more veggies, drinking more water, and the big one - cutting out artificial sweeteners, which includes my beloved diet Pepsi. So I decided that since today is the first day of Lent, it would be a good day to refocus and get back on track. I like the idea of incorporating more positive - doing things that are good for me - vs. giving something up. And leading into spring, this seems like as good of a time as any.

So today will start my 40 days of doing good things for my body and my health.

Monday, January 11, 2016

The Thin White Duke

I was utterly shocked when I was getting ready for work this morning and heard the news of David Bowie's passing. He was a legend in the truest sense of the word.

I saw him in concert when I was a teenager at the Vet in Philly, the Glass Spider Tour. But I'd been a fan for years before that - I just wasn't old enough to be allowed to go to concerts with my friends until then.

An amazing show. An amazing performer. RIP Ziggy Stardust.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

And Just Like That...It's 2016

Wow...what happened to the past 12 months? I feel like they just flew by. Don't worry...this isn't going to be a post filled with all of my resolutions for the new year. I've decided I'm not making any this year - I usually forget what I intended and just do my own thing anyway.

Since I haven't been doing as many triathlons as I did my first two years in the sport, I sometimes feel like I'm not doing anything. But when I look back on 2015, I can see that really isn't true. Last year I participated in:

1 - splash & dash 
1 - mile open water swim
1 - sprint triathlon
3 - 5k's
1 - 10k

Not bad for someone who can't run any longer!  I don't really have any solid plans for what I want to do in 2016. My favorite triathlon - the Mermaid Triathlon in Alameda - is no longer held. The Catfish swim that I did last year has been moved from June to August, and the new date just doesn't work for me. And my best race buddy recently moved out of state, so I'm going to miss her signing up for events then convincing me to join her. 

But I did have a friend recently reach out to me to walk a 5k with her in February, and another friend and I are planning to walk a 10k in March. So all is not lost on the fitness/training front.

Endorphins...they are real!

I realize I haven't been posting as much as I did when I started this blog. Back then, everything was new and there were so many new milestones. It was easy to find something to write about. So I may be changing the direction of things here. Instead of focusing mostly on training and racing, I'm going to write about more everyday things - life! I've got some exciting non-athletic things coming up this year and I want a place to document them for myself - even if no one else reads them. 

So welcome to 2016! I'm excited for the adventures that lie ahead!