An outdoor weekend

This was my first “real” weekend in my house in Novato and thankfully, it was a three day weekend too! I did my fair share of applications, but made sure to step away from the computer and enjoy the abundant sunshine and warmth that I exists in Northern Marin County.  When looking for trails in Northern Marin, I know that I could have gone for the spots you hear about – Tennessee Valley, Mount Tam, China Camp…etc. All amazing locations!! But, I was looking for less time driving and something close that I could rely on as a normal route.

We have some winners!

Saturday this 6 mile loop (easily adding on because there were multiple times that I thought I was going to get lost) was less than 4 miles from my house and no highway needed!

Visitors are always welcome here. The path was shaded for the majority which is key if you want to avoid some heat. There was a substantial climb for about the first few miles and then a nice consistent downhill for some, along with a little bit of rolling through meadows (not shaded, obviously).

On Sunday, I did more of a hike without even getting into my car. On my first night of staying over a few weeks ago, I found this trail near my house but drove to the entrance near the highway. When I ran along it, I noticed that it was heading parallel to the street that eventually leads to my house, but I didn’t want to do more than an hour so by 30 minutes I did not see an ending in sight so turned around and returned to my car.

The other morning I noticed a trailhead exit onto my street and saw that I was right! It was the same trail that I ran along. Well, this made my day for sure! I used the hike as an applications break and walked down the street for an hour long hike!

The part that I ran along was pretty flat, but the part that I picked up by my house was rolling. Either way who could ask for anything better than a trail down your street?? I was on it for about an hour so it can make for a good length run!

Today, a friend and I redeemed our groupon for kayaking in Half Moon Bay that we had since April!  These are photos after our 4 hour class because once the instructor mentioned capsizing, I was not going to be the idiot to lose her phone. The day was beautiful! We hugged the beach and cove while watching sea lions sunbathe 🙂

A beer and lunch was necessary after those hours on the water!!

Overall, the weekend was wonderful! I am settling in, with just enough time to pack up and head home to New York for a few days to see family and attend my Running Coach Certification Workshop with RRCA!

Off to bed since I have a bootcamp in the am!


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Friday Favorites

1. A 3 day weekend! AMEN.

2. Kayaking

The last time I went Kayaking was a year ago at Tamales Bay! Now, a friend and I got a Groupon earlier in the year to Half Moon Bay!

3. New York in a week

I have not been to New York since Christmas, so when I was there last it was piled with snow as I waved goodbye and headed back to sunny California.

4. Graduate School Applications for Physical Therapy 

Why a favorite?? Despite the drudge work that is applying, it is what I have worked so hard for the past few months. Now is my time to brag and pull it all together! September has been deemed “Application” month for me since many of the deadlines for my top schools are somewhere in October! Part of this weekend is dedicated to them.

5. Running

There are a couple trails that have been recommended to me in Marin and I have yet to be able to get to them. We all know that a good motivation for getting out there again is to find a new route!! I hope to light the running fire again this weekend since I have been MIA from that for the past month. (If anyone is local, any recommendations?)

and last but not least…6. BOOTCAMP! 

BIG news here 🙂 By the divine works of something bigger than me, a job opportunity with a local bootcamp fell into my lap. My roommates friend has been attending a bootcamp for three years and knew I had just gotten my personal training certification. She mentioned to the instructor that and he said they were expanding. I showed up to bootcamp the next morning with her and well, the rest is history!

I will be able to workout with them, be trained as an instructor, and then assume some classes to instruct gradually! They understand that I have a full time job and want to accommodate that. I attended the workouts for the week and I am loving them.

More to come on that front 🙂


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August in review

July ended in a little something like this…

San Francisco Half Marathon!

August began with a little something like this…

Celebrations of major life changes

then I cleaned up my eats. 🙂
Saw this view…

And decided to move closer to work…

I’m not in Oakland anymore…

Thanks to Aron for helping me out on Saturday and some good friends on Sunday!!

In between moving, I celebrated my birthday…

at work

and at Greens in Fort Mason

But, I didn’t go overboard partying it up, because I still had my Personal Training Exam two days later which went a little something like this…


With the move, I have a few new roommates including this girl!

I had a cat for 18 years, so this is so a pleasant welcome.

So yes, there was no running in August. But I do not fear the beginning of training because it ends with a bit of this with one of my best friends, running buddies from the Bay, and parents flying in from New York all in Vegas in December!

I apologize for the interrupted blogging! Life was (and still is) in transition which made it difficult to create time to blog 🙂 

Oh, and I am flying to New York next week to take part in this (and visit family)…

I am getting my Running Coach certification!

Since I dumped that all on you, tell me how you are doing! What is something exciting that you did in August?

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Soon to be commute-less

For the past few weeks I tried to weight the pro’s and con’s of moving, but what I couldn’t get passed despite some con’s was the cost that the commute was having on me emotionally, physically, and monetarily.

For those who are new readers or missed a previous post about my job, I now work at a Physical Therapy office about 35 miles from my house in Marin County [currently live in Oakland]. I am an aide and landing this job has been one of the blessings when applying for Physical Therapy school in the fall.

Although I will not be going to school until 2012, the thought of continuing this commute completely drained me and went against the idea of a year of decompression after teaching. I was hoping to use the time previously spent on stressing, planning, and grading for school into something well…not student related.

I am aware of how busy my life has become and the idea of continually losing time due to the commute made me sad 😦 Gas and tolls had reached a new level and it was time to look for some alternates.

I did some searching and some exploring all along Marin County. What I realized was how much I appreciated my 10 minute commute to work when I was teaching. I found a weekday routine that worked for me and it made things great.

So, I decided to move close to work and will be living not too far away! Better yet, the gym where I’ve been taking my Apprentice Personal Training class is in the same town and has made job offers for when we get our certification [For me that will be in a few short weeks!!] and free membership. Double win!

I always ask those who are from the area to tell me running routes! I have accumulated a handful of places to run in Marin, including a trail that runs right along where I live. How convenient!

No worries for my Bay Area running buddies! I am still close, just closer to work. Plus, it might be fun to try out some of the Marin scene someday 😉

Did you ever have to move for a job? Best and worst commute situation?

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7 ways to successfully disappear from blogging for the week

1. Finish your personal training class 

2. Attend early morning blogger/lululemon/SF Marathon meet-up

3. Successfully run half marathon #7

4. Decide to move closer to work to cut down on the crazy commute, save me some dinero and sanity. Date to move: End of August! More info coming for sure. 

Before – Oakland to Novato

After – Novato to Novato

[Neither using any real address. Just trying to prove my point]

5. Schedule NASM personal training exam for Aug 21st – cram study! Certified Personal Trainer, here I come!

6. Register for the Oakland Running Festival because it was only $35 by Friday. Thank you, San Francisco SWAG.

7. Use any extra time from the week to relax and appreciate all the good things going on in my life and the lives of others! Lots of really amazing things to celebrate

Some [most] of these deserve their own post, but I wanted to check in to say HI!

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7 links

Thanks, Courtney, for tagging me in the 7 links craze!

My most beautiful post: One word

One word was the first of the “reverb series” that I used to reflect upon the past year and set my eyes on what was to come. Little did I know that the thoughts that went into that post have produced some of the actions that I’ve taken this year.  So,  there is no doubt in my mind that some of the navigating my path has taken since January were because of things I needed to process via those prompts.

One word in particular asked what word would encapsulate the past year and what word do you anticipate to be for the following year. I chose “foundation” as my 2010 word and “leap” as my 2011 word. Pretty amazing as that’s what this year has been all about.

My most popular post: Run, Drive, Sleep?, Repeat – Ragnar 2011

My Ragnar Relay recaps get a lot of traffic so I will say that they are my most popular posts! I cannot say enough about how FUN the two Ragnar relays have been.

My most controversial post: IT, I thought I was done with you

I would not say that this post was in anyway controversial with anyone else except myself. When I ran See Jane Run in 2010 with little training and a few previous hard months before hand, I got what was handed to me and that was another injury. I was the one wearing the blinders, while other more experienced runners could see it from a mile away. To this day, it is extremely humbling to talk to others about that time off. More importantly, talk to other runners about that fine line between running to the finish line and running towards an injury.

My most helpful post: A letter to pre-marathon me

This post was fun to write because I thought about all the things I did before my marathon that I would scold myself about right now! I felt these were all little things that I’ve learned along the way through training for races.

Pre-Marathon me. Well, pretty much pre- a lot of things I suppose

A post whose success surprised me: Oakland Half Marathon Race Recap

This was the first half marathon that I had ran while having my blog. The incredible support was felt as I enjoyed the Inaugural Oakland Running Festival. Although not the most stellar of races on my part, I still hold a special place for that race. I even ran in my students’ cross country singlets.

A post I didn’t feel got the attention it deserved: How I developed confidence: teaching

Although “deserved attention” is a weird term, I felt that this post holds a lot of the feeling that I have for teaching and how it has impacted me. This post was written well before the end of the school year, but it still holds true.

The post I am most proud of: Why I am happy I was injured and an announcement!

Yay! Physical Therapy announcement!!

Where would I be today without the humbling feeling of being injured? Probably still trying to “make teaching work” for me or not taking care of my body. I loved writing that post, because it allowed me to see the reasoning behind certain events in my life that just *don’t make sense* at the time.

And, it is also where I talked about all the new changes that were about to happen!


Since I am the slowest blogger these days, I feel I missed the wave of all those who chose another blogger so since it is past bedtime for me, I am going to skip the tagging since most have been tagged!!

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Overcoming obstacles

I viewed the San Francisco Half Marathon as the icing on the cake after a LONG two months of night classes, studying for the GRE, and transition into a new job.

And when I looked at my months of June and July on my calendar, my heart sank.

I can say that I had doubts of what my capabilities were. But I have a goal and had taken such big leaps. To cower now would mean that I could never attain that goal.

So I kept going. everyday. knowing that there was an ending time in sight.

I took my GRE on Thursday and as I clicked to find out my score right away (yes, GRE calculates your score right then and there), it appeared.

Scores that I didn’t know I was even capable of. I stared in disbelief, then my eyes started to tear up and I just wanted to call home. But, “no cell phones in the testing room” meant I needed to run to my car a few blocks away to make that call.

For anyone else in the testing center, those tears could have meant anything. But I knew what they meant.

It meant that I did it. 

And when I run San Francisco Half Marathon on Sunday, I’m sure there will be tears in my eyes too. And again, for those observing, those tears could mean anything. But to me, I’ll know what they mean.

It’s been a long time coming, but half marathon #7 will happen.





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The best intentions

When I began my week, I had the best intentions for completing my planned workouts. Then life happened – the busy week, commute, and other obligations stepped in the way.

After a few failed snoozed attempts at waking up early, I tried salvaging the workout week with heading to the gym after work. Nonetheless, my workouts were (semi) completed, but with little enthusiasm.

The training plan called for 5 miles @ a mid-tempo. When I arrived at the gym on Tuesday, I was so tired that I wanted to leave after arriving. Instead of walking out the door, I compromised and settled with a 4 mile relaxed effort. Was it a tempo? Hardly.

I had a difficult time not getting down on myself, but after I let it go I had a great interval routine on Thursday and a long run on Sunday where I got to have coffee and catch up with Aron afterwards!

But, am I alone in hitting a week where workouts are a drag? Probably not.

In a perfect world, we get to bed at a reasonable time, wake up ready to go, or get out of work with a spring in our step ready to run. Notice, in a perfect world. The difference is how one deals with the short amount of time for planned runs when some other priorities take away from the training.

And what I’ve realized is that it is “Ok” to admit that a run might not get into your schedule and that you might have to edit what you planned to do. Instead, work into your schedule what you are able to do.

And what I’ve realized is that the next day is a new one and you can try again. There is no purpose in believing that a busy day negates months of training.


I apologize for the abbreviated write-up for the week

Monday  – Strength Training

Tuesday – 4 miles easy

Wednesday – Rest

Thursday – 2 x 3200

Friday – Argh…rest

Saturday  – Strength Training

Sunday – 12 mile run

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Single Leg Balances

Here are some balances that I incorporate into my strength training routine. They do not take very long and can be done virtually anywhere. Bonus points for doing them in public places where said co-workers and roommates can make jokes.

Yet another awkward video, but it’s all for you and getting you to the finishing line.


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I’ve posted 3 times in 3 hours.

Because I cannot resist re-posting this.

I think we can all relate to that moment when a sport we try [possibly reluctantly] becomes  a hobby then translates into a passion.

Here is Susan’s story – smoker to ironman –  posted by Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point.

I’d be interested to hear what others’ impetus to begin a sport was.

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