Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

What’s Up? (Long Time, no Blog.) Training, Family and Fun!

Hello everyone!  It’s been a while.  I am way overdue for a post so here it goes.

I have been very busy with family life, working and training.  My daughter’s gymnastics competition season has come to an end.  Did I mention she made Regionals?  Because she rocks!

 

Proud Mom Moment :)

Proud Mom Moment :)

 

Basketball season is over, and Boy Scouts is wrapping up for the year.  Meanwhile my oldest is doing Lacrosse.  I have also been volunteering with the Just Run program at my youngest’s school.  And then there was the weekend we took a little trip to Yosemetie for some of this…

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I learned to snowboard…sort of lol

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Lots of awesome hiking in Yosemite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bridalveil Fall in Yosemite

 

See we have been just a tad busy.

But am I running?  Yes I am still running and doing Heart Rate based training.  I moved up from pure base Heart Rate Training to an 80/20 plan about 6 weeks ago in preparation for a few upcoming races.  I had been doing purely base training for about 3 months.  .   Sometimes HRT is easier to do on the treadmill.

HRT just me and my "Treaddie"

HRT just me and my “Treaddie”

 

I have 3 races and a fun run (so far) in the next 2 months

3k Fun Run with my youngest

9 miler at the Big Sur Marathon Weekend

Double Road Race in Pacific Grove

Capitola Half Marathon

I also switched back to the Maffetone / Keto eating method of High Fat / Low Carb** to become fat adapted, back in January.  And for fun ;) have added in a weight training program.  So I am a pretty decently “Fat Adapted” running machine.  All in all I am down 10 lbs and have added some much needed muscle.

Last week I did a Virtual Half Marathon + extra with water and no food what so ever. I had some macadamia nuts with me just in case.  (I have a few friends that are doing it and they can do 20+ miles without food)  I did however learn that it’s probably a good idea to put something like Nuun in my water.  I never felt hungry or slow while running but my electrolytes were defiantly off after.  Lesson learned.  Other than that I think I am ready to race.

I have also been enjoying the views around here.  This is our first Spring in Cali and honestly we didn’t have that much of a “winter” so its been pretty fantastic.  Enjoy the views!

17 mile drive

17 mile drive

 

 

Pacific Grove

Pacific Grove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Trails in Pebble Beach

Trails in Pebble Beach

17 mile drive

17 mile drive

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

**Its not as crazy as it sounds, really.  Google Fat Adapted Running.

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My First (and Definitely Not My Last) California Trail Race

This weekend I participated in my first trail race out here in California.  I had done only a few back in Virginia so I’m still basically a newbie, however I am pretty sure I am hooked!  I met a bunch of amazing runners out there and just set out to enjoy myself.  No pace or finish expectations.  For me this was all about the experience of trail running with a few added bonuses.  #1 it was a Saturday race which I just love and #2 I got to see some amazing friends set out on some Ultra distance racing adventures.

Hosted by Inside Trail out at the beautiful Fort Ord, the race distances stretched from the 10k to 25k, 50k  and 100K distances.  Being newer to the sport I opted for the 10k which for the most part was held on fire roads with a modest 900 ft elevation gain.  The course was a stunner none the less.  The combination of beautiful weather, lots of rolling hills and plenty of green, due to the recent rains and break in the drought, made for an awesome first trail race.

Beautiful!

Beautiful!

 Inside Trail provided well-marked trails, along with great aid stations.  In fact I was so pleased that next year I am hoping to at least participate in the 25k.  The volunteers were friendly and I felt great support being a 10k runner as I assume the longer distances felt.  Here are a few more pictures from the day.    I am a bit sore in my hips from the hills but man was it totally worth it!

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View from the run

and up we go….again

and up we go….again

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Do you enjoy trail running and racing?  Have you ever tried?

If you haven’t I suggest you do it at least once.  Who knows you might just get hooked!

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Running and Hiking and Just Getting Out There!

Getting through our first “winter” in California hasn’t been too challenging.  Lets just say now I totally get why they say the average temp is 66 year round here.  There were just a few weeks of 30-40’s back in December and now we seem to be staying in the range of mid 40’s for a low and into the 60’s on a regular basis.  The only things keeping me from running outside regularly are family schedules and the fact it still gets dark early.  Otherwise I can totally see why runner’s, and people in general, love this area so much.

I have really buckled down on following a strict heart rate training plan for the last 4 weeks. (I had veered off being quite so strict in Oct-Dec due to my November half)  Most of these recent miles have been spent on the treadmill at night.  In all honesty it hasn’t been too bad.  In fact HRT running done on a treadmill makes it much easier to stay where I need to be.

Here’s a quick snapshot from one of my recent runs.  Not too shabby

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In the meantime the family and I have also continued to enjoy hiking with The Treadmill Trail Head group hikes whenever our schedule allows.  A few weeks ago we were able to visit an extremely popular running and hiking spot out at Garland Ranch Regional Park (click on the name to learn more)  in the Carmel Valley.  These beautiful 4,000+ acres of dog, horse, hiker and runner friendly trails do not disappoint.  Myself, my husband and our boys hiked just a small portion of what this beautiful park has to offer.  When I say small I’m talking 3 hours and that is nothing compared to all the trails offered out there.  Starting off with the main group we later broke off with a smaller group and hiked up to Snively’s Ridge.   I hate to admit it but there may have been a bit of whining on my part because some of the hiking was steep and at times and it seemed the steep would never end.  Note to self: request hiking poles for my birthday.  But as usually the view was totally worth the climb.  Check it out some views from the day.

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The much flatter part of our day. The Mesa trail

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Loved this moss covered tree.

View from the top. #worthit

View from the top. #worthit

 

Breathtaking in a totally different way than our hike a few weeks earlier at Brazil Ranch out in Big Sur.   Hiking in this part of the country is so widely assessable that I am grateful for The Treadmill putting all these great adventures together.  I much prefer hiking with a group over solo hiking.  I’m looking forward to my next adventure out here is California.  Stay tuned!

 

 

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Run, Hike, and Find Your Happy Pace!

How did you welcome 2016?  We had a pretty quiet night at home with family.  I worked early New Year’s morning but the place was hopping with runners from a local Resolution Run.  It was a busy morning but also great fun.  The energy of a new year and exciting new adventures were definitely in the air.

On Saturday the 2nd my husband, two of my kiddos along with a great group of local peeps headed out on a “New Year, New Adventure Run/Hike” with The Treadmill.   We headed out to Brazil Ranch 1,255 acres of rocky shoreline and rolling hillsides off Rt 1 just past the famous Bixby Bridge in Big Sur.

According to my GPS the hike was just over 5 miles up and back.  After a fairly good climb up the mostly dirt path (described as “moderate” in the trail book we own) we were rewarded with rolling trails, dotted with roaming cows and this…

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Absolutely gorgeous views of Big Sur.  Worth every single step.  I mean how often are you rewarded with a view like that?!?  And as if that wasn’t spectacular enough we were able to view whales spouting just off the coast.  Simply amazing!  God is quite the artist isn’t he!

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Like what you see?  Come Join us!  

The Treadmill is launching a new Trailhead Run/Hike initiative for 2016 and this was just the first hike of the year.

“Trailhead was born out of the desire to promote physical well-being and friendships through running & hiking while encouraging and participating in Environmental Advocacy. A family of runners, hikers, parents, children and friends of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds who cherish friendship, adventure, laughing, running & hiking while being surrounded by breathtaking beauty. We are of all speeds, abilities, ages, goals and experience.”

“Trailhead’s ultimate mission is to celebrate the area we live in, participating in what we love, with the ones we love.” ~ The Treadmill.

My family and I hope to participate in as many hikes as possible and take full advantage of the area while we are in California.  If you are local or will be out in the Big Sur/Carmel/Monterey area and would like more info click here for The Treadmill to be directed to their website for information on hikes and more (coming soon)

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Race Recap: Big Sur Half Marathon On Monterey Bay and a 5k to Boot

Back when I was still living in Virginia I signed up for The Big Sur Half Marathon mainly for two reasons.

  1. To keep myself accountable as far as continuing to run once we moved
  2. Because its one of America’s most beautiful half marathons

Mission completed.  I’m still running and it truly was an absolutely beautiful run.  Here’s my recap of the weekend:

5k

Late Friday night I decided last minute to run the Lighthouse 5k on Saturday morning.  The 5k is part of the Half Marathon weekend and because well why not right?  Back in VA there are plenty of events with multiple races on the same weekend.  Why not make one for myself.  The course is a short walk from my house and my youngest would be there for the annual Cub Scout pancake breakfast.  So bright and early Saturday I made my way down to Lover’s Point and signed up at walk up registration.  I decided to use this flat beautiful course as a shakeout run, nice and easy.  It was a perfect cool sunny morning for a run along the beautiful coast.  In the end I was pleasantly surprised that I completed my shakeout at a pace I use to struggle to complete a 5k at.  Could those training hills be working?  Or did I go too fast and possibly jeopardize my half?  Eeek!  

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Saturday Night.

I met up with a few fellow Sub 30 Club friends who came to town for the Half Marathon.  We had dinner in downtown Monterey with some great food and conversation.  It’s funny how runners can just meet up and talk for hours and hours isn’t it?  Awesome peeps!  Highlight of the night, we each got to sign one of the famous Sub 30 Flags.  The flag is being sent all around the country to subbers for good luck and comradery from the main group of almost 4,000 running buddies.  What a great boost for Sunday’s race!

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Subbers and I from the Sub 30 Club

 

Race Day:

I had plan A, plan B and the no fail plan C for Sunday’s half.

  • Plan A – shoot for a new PR of at least one minute
  • Plan B – shoot for an even better PR
  • Plan C – if it doesn’t happen, enjoy the ride!

California has brought me some new running buddies along with lots of hills to train on.  Hills are something that are hard to find in Virginia Beach.  So for the past 4 months I have learned the love/hate relationship of running them.  Oh and Palo Corona, which is more of a mountain really.  But I digress, in my mind if I have been running all these hills then they must have a pay off at some point.  At least I sure hoped so!  Thus my quest for a new PR.

The half itself is run like a well oiled machine.  The folks at BSIM (Big Sur International Marathon) sure know what they are doing.  Everything from packet pick up and the shuttles to/from the race were easy to find and navigate.  Volunteers were plentiful on the course as were water / Gatorade etc.  I even had the joy of having my oldest volunteering on the course!  Getting a hug (and some water) at around mile 8-9 from my son was amazing :)  The course has a few uphill climbs, but nothing close to what I have trained on so I did fine.  There was live music and DJ’s along the course, and post race grub was also plentiful.  But the real winner of the race… the views along the course.

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I was blessed to bump into one of my Wednesday night running buddies in he starting corral.  I told her about my hopes to PR, she graciously volunteered herself and her husband to pace me for my goal.  Saki is awesome, and a machine, for real.

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Saki and I in the starting corral

And by the way her husband is an awesome pacer!  The two of them had just come off a 10 mile trail run the previous day and were taking it easy for the half (lucky for me!)  Her PR for this course is a 2:01!  So we decided on a plan of staying with the pace group for the first half and then seeing how I felt at the turnaround.  *Except for a quick stop (yes I failed and got in the corral to early and had to pee!! Ughh.)   We stayed with the pacers until just after the turnaround.  side note:  If that port-o-potty stop had cost me my PR I would probably never forgive myself.   After the turnaround (just about mile 7 1/2) we slowly and steadily we made our surge.

Mile 10 is usually my hardest mile, and this half was no different.  I started with my self-doubt.  “I can’t PR, I have to walk blah, blah, blah, etc” Then I started to hear the pacer’s voice from the group we had broken away from.  I may have used a few choice words, which I shall not repeat here, out loud and decided “That’s it!” “I do not want to hear them again!”  Off I went.  Did you know being mad really can make you faster?  I thought about God, my Mom and my I run 4 buddy Logan.  I wanted to do this for all of them and myself.  I kept repeating their names in my head.  Saki paced me until sometime around mile 10 1/2 – 11 and then sent me on my way.  I was in the zone and the last two miles ended up being my fastest miles of the entire race.  I really appreciated Saki more than she can ever know.

I PR’d by almost 3 minutes!  Which for me is huge!  So hooray for hills, I might be getting older but I am also getting a bit faster :)  And I have to admit there were also some tears of joy at the end of the race.  And as if it wasn’t already a great day I got to meet the Kara Goucher!  She ran the race and had come in first for the women with a 1:11.  An additional bonus was I actually got to see her on the course.  She is amazing.

Here are some additional pics from the day.  First California Half (and 5k) in the books!

 

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Kara and I…she may be my girl crush

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Sub 30 “Dark Side” Flag. Post Race

 

 

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What’ s Up @Runfyhp? California Edition

I feel like time is flying by since we arrived in California.  I cannot believe we have been here for over 2 months already!

So what’s up with me?

Family Life:

After arriving in Cali and squaring away the necessities of finding a grocery store, getting our household goods delivered and unpacked, etc. we set out an about to get acquainted with our new surroundings.  There is a lot to do and see here and a ton of outdoor activities.  We found a new church, a Trader Joe’s, and have hit both the Aquarium and Cannery Row.  One of the best features is the location of our new house.  We live close enough to walk to the beach, downtown and church.  We are still missing some back east creature comforts.  OK I’m going to admit upfront that these are clearly “first world problems” but sometimes you become creatures of habit even with the little things.  The kiddos miss Martin’s Potato Bread and Chick-fil-A.  I miss being so close to the commissary and exchange.  Who knew, lol.  The kids started school in early August so their summer was cut a tad short.  They are adjusting well and are involved in sports and other school activities.

Running:

Running here is A-MAZE-ING!  The temperature rarely gets out of the 70’s and humidity for the most part is all but nonexistent.  When the temps reach over 80 the locals start to melt.  Most houses and businesses do not have air conditioning so fans have become our new best friends.  There are trails all around me.  I can run out my front door and be on the coastal beach trail in minutes or run to the Monterey Bay Recreation trail in about 2 miles.  God has truly blessed me as far as giving me an absolutely beautiful place to run.  I am starting to adjust to the fact that all is not flat here like Virginia Beach.  In the end its going to really benefit my running.  It took me a while but I think I have finally found a running group that fits into our family schedule.  I would like to make at least one run per week to run with a group.  I have been running solo for way too long.  I appreciate the comroterey, spirit and the push from a group.  I signed up for my first half before we even left Virginia to keep myself accountable and this will help me get my grove back.  I am all signed up for the Big Sur Half Marathon in November.  It will be my first official half in California and I am so looking forward to it.

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Working:

Yes I even rejoined the work force and got a part-time job.  Its been a long time since I have done anything other than volunteer work.  God has also lead me to a wonderful company.   I work at a local family owned running store called The Treadmill.  They have been so gracious helping me fit working into our very busy family schedule.  I am learning new things every day and “The Crew” there couldn’t be any more welcoming or inspirational.  Bonus points for Group Fun Runs that the company holds two times each month at Palo Cornona Park up to Inspiration Point.  It’s an awesome training run for my stamina.  I may not ever make that “hill’ (ok its a freakin’ mountain) mine, but I will make it up there a little easier each time.  My husband and I have set that as a goal for ourselves.

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Working has led to a greater need to schedule running and working out it general.  So I feel for all of you who work crazy hours and still get it done each week.  Kudos to you all and feel free to send any tips my way :)

 

Ambassador.

I am proud to continue my relationship as an Ambassador for Girls Gone Sporty, Fit Approach, Crazy Compression, RoadID and now InkNBurn!  Great positive people, communities and wonderful products.

 

That’s my update for now.  How is everything in your world?

 

 

 

 

 

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Running for MY Future – Heart Rate Training Update

Disclaimer ** Please note I am not a personal trainer nor any other sort of medical professional.  Information is based on my personal experience and is just that.  Please consult a doctor before performing any sort of physical activity.

 

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Last August I started Heart Rate Training (HRT)  (to read more about it click here for: Why Running Slow Really Might Be the New Fast)

Although I originally chose HRT to help me get back into distance running after 6 months of low mileage running, I’m now looking at is a solid plan for my running future.  When I first started researching HRT I actually got a lot of negative feedback from people.  Mostly “Oh, that’s only for elite athletes.”  Well being the stubborn bull I am (I’m a Taurus) I decided to go for it anyway and I’m glad I did.  FYI: Apparently I possess all the best traits for HRT.

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First of let me lay all MY cards on the table as to why its time for me to start looking into the future of my running:

1)I’m not in my twenties or thirties anymore.  Alright dang it I’m in my mid 40’s.  (But really it’s not so bad, honest!)

2)I’ve never been super speedy, or even very speedy for that matter and HRT isn’t going to make me speedy.

In fact some days I feel like Homer:

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3) I didn’t start running until my mid thirties and didn’t run my first half marathon until I was 40.  Just call me a late bloomer :)

So why on earth would I choose HRT?  Well, for this one main reason.  I want to run into my future for as long and healthy as I can, period.

So lets revisit the benefits of HRT:

You will build up a solid aerobic base.
You will run more efficiently.
Most runs are done at an easy comfortable pace (which gets faster with time I promise)
It will prevent over-training or under training by working at the right intensity for each run.
You don’t feel beat up at the end of a run.
You should be less prone to injury.
Eventually your pace will improve (you will be running longer and stronger at an easier effort)

 

So how has spending so much time in my aerobic zone helped?  Well lets look at some of my actual Heart Rate data.  ***I wanted to include some of my older HRT data but Garmin Connect has lost my 2014 data.  Whaaaaaaaaa!  I sent them an email and hoping they can get it back!!  (My first HRT runs looked much more like my third chart (post flu) listed below.)

January 2015 – 8 mile run: Slow and steady but still a lot of HR fluctuation.  

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Recent 10 mile long run.  Notice that my heart rate is much more steady and in zone, that’s what your aiming for. Staying steadily in your zone.

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Another nice thing, though be it frustrating at times, is knowing when to slow down especially due to sickness / recovery.  In January I got the flu.  Coming back from said flu was no joke.  But I trusted my instincts and my heart rate and new when I was pushing too hard, too soon. (see below) 

HRT 2 mile run right after having the flu:  (yea, not good.) PS:  This is more like what my early HRT runs looked like.

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So am I blazing fast?  Hahahaha…no.  I’m still working on speed, however I rarely feel spent after a run, even a long run.  I have done 6 half marathons since starting HRT with my average time as before HRT with less fatigue, less soreness   Please note I do NOT wear my Heart Rate Monitor for races.  I run by feel.  In fact in November 2014 I missed a PR by seconds!

Does it happen overnight?  No, no and no.  Patience is key.  I also belong to an online group of HRT runners ( Sub 30 Heart Rate Training) We share a lot of support and information and its nice to see the transformation and success stories.

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Are there some down sides?  Well yes.  I rarely have “pace” running buddies.  My hubby will run with me when he can just so we can spend time together #keeper.  HRT paces are really individual and most runners do NOT run in their aerobic zone but go all out every run and end up spending most to all their time in their anaerobic zone.  It can still be very humbling when I am out there running on the roads and trails.  Getting passed by other runners is a daily occurrence.  I have to remind myself that it’s not about their pace, it’s about my fitness and this is the type of training I choose.  And hey when you have this view to look at, I think I can deal just fine!

What more info about HRT?  Check out these books **  Please not I am in now way connected to nor a sponsor for the following books.  Names are provided for informational purposes only.

Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot  (John L. Parker)

The Maffetone Method (Philip Maffetone)

80/20 Running: Run Stronger and Race Faster by Training Slow  (Matt Fitzgerald and Robert Johnson)

 

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It’s a Sweet Motivational Monday!

Short and sweet!

 

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Motivational Monday – Walk to End Alzheimer’s

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For the second year in a row I am all signed up and ready to Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  This year I will be participating in the Monterey, CA walk on September 26, 2015.

As many of you may know my mother was diagnosed with early onset a few years back.  To read more about our journey click here.  Alzheimer’s changed my parents and my family’s world.  As devastating and heartbreaking as this disease is we were lucky to find a wonderful Alzheimer’s specialized nursing home unit close to my parents home when we were no longer able to care for her at home.  But what would be even better?  A Cure!

Did you know? 

With a donation, you can help the Alzheimer’s Association® continue to provide care and support to the more than five million Americans with Alzheimer’s and their over 15 million caregivers. Your generosity would also help to advance the research that will one day lead us to methods of prevention, treatment and, ultimately, a cure for the disease. Every dollar counts in this fight.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death, and affects millions of people daily.

The Alzheimer’s Association® is committed to accelerating the global effort to eliminate Alzheimer’s disease and is the largest nonprofit funder of Alzheimer’s research.

So where is the motivation in the motivational monday you might ask?

Well the motivation needs to come from both you and I.  Would you consider donating or even walking in your local Walk to End Alzheimer’s.  I walk for my mom, my family and all those affected by this disease.  Together we can help provide the funds needed to make a difference today and look forward to a cure tomorrow!

 

Click here to donate:

Darlena’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s 

Fundraising Page

 

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One Month In Already? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of a Cross Country Trek

Has it really been an entire month since this?

I made it, I can't believe I made it!

I made it, I can’t believe I made it!

Apparently yes, yes it has.  We have now officially been in California for an entire whirlwind of a month.  So here is the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good. I drove well over 3,000 miles (see above photo)  Yes me, if you really know me this is a HUGE accomplishment for the girl who falls asleep when not driving if a trip is longer than 15 minutes.  I also learned that “endurance” driving is like doing a half marathon.  If you want the time to go by you need to be alert yet in the zone at the same time.  I thank my time spent distance running for helping pass 8-10 hours on the road each day.  Get in the zone, don’t think about how much longer you have, just get it done.  You see we drove both our cars from the east coast.  In the Mom-mobile my crew was both my sons and just for fun our 2 cats, because if your going to drive cross-country you might as well add a few animals into the mix.

Snickers.  Cat, dog or ferret?

Snickers. Cat, dog or ferret?

 

Puffabella

Puffabella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Traveling is exhausting

Traveling is exhausting

For the first few days we had some pretty good (read: blinding) rain storms rain storms.  So on day 3 we replaced my wipers.  As you can probably guess….it never rained again, lol.   We did however get to see some really neat places on our travels such as this…

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That is salt NOT snow, pretty cool.

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And this.

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????

OK we have no idea what that is but it was cool.  We renamed it the tennis ball tree.

My youngest played the iPad (ok probably too much, but hey it kept the complaints to a minimum so don’t judge me) and cracked jokes along the way.  We played a couple of entertaining, if not slightly disturbing, rounds of “Would you rather”.  Side note: whoever wrote the cards for that game has some issues…just saying.  My oldest was a pretty awesome copilot, keeping me company and reading google news to me when I started to get tired.  But best of all we got to spend time together and I realized he an I have the same sense of humor.  We like to laugh at the same things and enjoyed spending quality time with squishy (inside joke)  I love you kiddos!

The bad:  We saw very few accidents (ok yes that is good) except for the day the SUV right in front of my husband and daughter almost flipped.  Two things here, I am glad my husband had taken a drivers defense course at one time and God had his hand on that SUV, it swerved, spun and even went up on two tires but never flipped or hit any other vehicles on this busy stretch of road.  Depending on which way you take, driving across country can be very boring.  Lots of road, not a lot to look.  Unless you like grass, sand, dirt and lots of tractor trailers.  Also apparently different GPS’s don’t always agree.  We only lost each other once.

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The ugly:  In true PCS style (ok wait for it here comes the whinny part of the trip) a bunch of unexpected events happened.  This time not broken appliances or lost household goods.  As a family we lost not one but two Uncles (on my husband’s side) God Bless you Uncle James and Uncle Michael.  As we were just arriving in Cali this made it impossible to grieve with family as they are now literally on the other side of the country.  I also found out one of my Brother In Laws has been pretty ill  (at the time) due to an unknown cause, don’t worry he is fine now.  Then within a weeks time of arriving in California my Dad was rushed to the ER and later received triple bypass surgery.  Again we are here he is waaaaay on the east coast.  A few days later my husband’s aunt lands in the hospital with a severe illness.  I swear to you we cannot make this stuff up.  My daughter fell in a freak accident after church and nearly broke her nose, it was a close call.  Apparently if you can sprain your nose that’s what she did.  Thankfully no black eyes and only minor swelling but a good amount of pain.  We had placed ourselves and all our family in God’s hands, even before we ever hit the road here.  God is good, we know he has everything under control.  Imagine what would have happened if we didn’t trust in Him.

But enough of that!  This part of California is lovely, beautiful, breathtaking and like perfect running conditions EVERY day.  I am not kidding.  No humidity and partly cloudy to sunny.  Mornings start in the upper 50’s and go to highs in the 70’s.  I think we had one day in the 80’s, the locals were dying.  There are many misty mornings but hardly ever rains (both good and bad).  We had a thunderstorm last weekend which didn’t faze us being from the east coast, however according to the locals this was a really big deal.  Apparently they haven’t had a thunderstorm here in years.  Yes read that again my East Coast friends….years.  Who knew?  The downside for me at the moment is hills.  Virginia Beach is flat-as-a-pancake land.  Spending the last 5+ years running there makes one not well hill adapted.  I should have spent some more quality time at Mount Trashmore.  However I am determined to rock these hills….eventually.  Or at least climb them without dying.  If not at least I know if I am ever a flat lander again I should be speedy, or at least speedier than when I got here.

I have a feeling it will be hard to leave here when the time comes at least from a running point of view.  Luckily we have a few years here to enjoy it all.   Check it out…try not to drool.

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Oh and one last thing.  Never fear I have found a cupcake place here :)  Gotta have my cupcakes.

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