2014: The Year of the 5k!

So, one of my New Year's Resolutions this year was to run a 5k. Well, to be honest I didn't run a single race this year. I did, however, walk the following four races! The first two races I chose to participate in because the proceeds went to organizations I was happy to support - as a former high school band geek, the Morro Bay High School Music Department held a special place in my heart, and the Charles Paddock Zoo, located in Atascadero, CA, is one of my favourite places in town to visit . The third one was just for fun (and was untimed, so I had to use my phone to see when I started and finished to determine my approximate time) and because I was going to be in Colfax for my high school reunion at the time,  anyway. And the last one was close to home and sounded like a good excuse to spend a long weekend in a beautiful locale. Here are my races and times:

5/31/14 Morro Bay HS Bands on the Run 5k - 1:00:32
7/4/14 Kennedy Club Fitness Wild Run 5k - 0:54:15
7/19/14 Concrete River Festival Colour Run 5k - 0:54:00
11/15/14 Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5k - 00:53:44

I'm actually pretty thrilled with my results. I do wish I could've run at least one of them, but the polymyalgia rheumatica kinda limits the amount of strenuous activity I can do. Still, it's not bad considering I'd never done a 5k before! I haven't decided if I'll try any 5ks next year or not. We'll have to wait and see!



Friday Five: Highlights from My Long Weekend in Monterey

Hello, all, I'm back! My mom and I had a great time in Monterey, CA - it's so beautiful there, and we had fantastic weather pretty much the whole time! Anyway, here are a few highlights of the weekend:

1.  Well, the view is obviously a huge highlight! We stayed at the Monterey Bay Inn with an ocean front room. It was awesome (except the beds  - one King for mom and a sleeper sofa for me - weren't too terribly comfortable, and I smashed my finger in a slider I assumed would be bigger than two feet wide, but, that's just nit-picking!)! The sound of the waves (and gulls and seals) was so soothing, and my mom and I spent many, many hours just sitting on the balcony sipping wine or tea, watching the boats, birds, otters, and other sea life go by.

2.  The whole reason we were even in Monterey was so I could participate in the Pacific Grove Lighthouse 5k race on Saturday. It was a perfect, beautiful day - sunshine and cool temperatures! The course was great, too. Mostly flat with a couple small inclines, and it ran right along the coast, so the view was gorgeous!  Luckily I had enough predesone to get me through the race weekend, because I never would've made it without! I ended up finishing in 53 minutes 44 se3conds; my best 5k time this year! And, I got a medal!! So cool!

3.  After the race, I stopped by the Monterey Bay Aquarium to see the fishes and other critters. I've always loved that aquarium, and this visit didn't disappoint. It was really crowded, so I'm not sure how good any of my pictures will turn out, but I did get to see the gorgeous jellyfish display, and in the big tank I got to see a sting ray, hammerhead shark, and a couple giant sea turtles swim by! Totally awesome!

4.  On Sunday, mom and I wandered around Cannery Row and checked out all the quaint little shops, as well as some wine tasting rooms. I didn't remember there were so many wineries set up along there, but I guess it has been a long time since I've visited.  We got to try a couple new wines, and even picked up a couple bottles to enjoy during Thanksgiving and Christmas!

5. And, finally, this view, y'all. This view:


October 2014 Resolutions

Super late with this, I know, but whatever, here's a few resolutions I'm hoping to accomplish this month:

1.  Drink more tea. I know that tea is wonderfully beneficial to a person, and I have a lot of it both at home and at work, but I always seem to lean towards coffee not jsut in the morning, but all day long. I think I'll need to once again stop buying the Starbucks Via for work, and just use the Green Tea, Earl Grey Tea, and PG Tips Tea I have in my drawer.

2.  Start eating hard cooked eggs in the morning. I used to have a hard cooked egg with my protein shake in the morning, but then got out of the habit. I need to start doing this again, becasue I get to work and I'm starving within an hour and a half! The egg seemed to help me feel fuller longer, and therefore helped me battle the usually unhealthy (but delicious!) snacks that show up unexpectedly at work. And there's really no excuse, when you can find them already cooked AND peeled!

3. Start stamping Christmas Cards. Hopping on the back of my Christmas Card Prepping at the end of last month, I'm hoping to get a good start on my festive holiday cards so I can get them off early enough in December that everyone will be able to enjoy them beFORE we celebrate the birth of our Saviour!

4. Train harder for 5k. I'm signed up for the Pacific Grove 5k, and I would really like to run at least 1 mile of it. I know I can't possibly run the entire 3.1 miles, but if I could do 1, that would be awesome! Maybe I'll run a full 5k next year! I still have hope that I'll be feeling better (if not toally cured!!) by then!

5. NaNoWriMo Prep. I'm planning to take a cue from Anne Perry and start a detailed outline of my novel. I know some of it's already written, but I can still outline and detail the bits I've been having trouble with. Maybe it'll even help me figure out how to get from point G to point H! (You know because I've got my A and Z down!)

6.  Dance more! So. I signed up for Beginning Tap and Beginning Hip Hop classes beginning this month. Yes, I am apparently insane. (!!)

Do you have any resolutions for the month? Let me know, and maybe we can support/encourage/pester each other about it! Cheers!

Friday Five: Top Five Highlights from the Rest of My Vacation

So last week I went through the highlights of my trip to Victoria, B.C., which was AWESOME, but wasn't the end of my vacation: it was actually just the beginning! On Tuesday, I rented a car (a super cool 2o14 Ford Mustang convertible!!!), and drove across the state of Washington, stopping in some old hometowns along the way to my high school reunion. Hop in, and come along for the ride!


1.  Seeing the old stomping grounds. I was a little scared that I would get terribly emotional seeing all the places I used to live, seeing how they may have changed, but in the end, I felt kinda meh about it. Cle Elum and Ronald were mostly the same, though there has been a little growth, mostly in Ronald where a previously wide open meadow with a few scattered homes (my childhood Bigfoot hunting grounds) is now covered in houses, fenced property, and gravel roads, and I was kinda sad to see that our house on the hill - which my parents had built new in the early 70s - looked a little junky. Colfax was pretty much exactly as I remembered it despite a few businesses having changed things up (Fonk's Drugs is a coffee shop?!?) or closed up altogether.


(#1: The beautiful Palouse Hills as seen from Colfax Cemetery. #2: The formerly-vacant field in Ronald, WA where I used to look for Bigfoot. #3: The view of Peoh Point from the street in front of our house on the hill, Cle Elum, WA. #4: Downtown Ellensburg, WA.)

2.  Seeing my Original BFF. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to spend some time visiting with the woman I call my "Original BFF", Kelly. We first met when my family moved to Cle Elum and I started second grade at the elementary school there. Kelly was my very first friend and remained my best friend and pen pal after I moved at the end of the fourth grade. When it came time to go to college, we both chose to attend Central Washington University in Ellensburg, and decided to be roommates. We roomed together all four years - the first two with just us, then added a couple other roommates in our Junior and Senior years. We've continued being pen pals ever since, and I was the Maid of Honour at her wedding. We had a wonderful lunch and chat at the Village Cafe in Ellensburg, and it was great to catch up with her!


3. Hanging out with my classmates. It was a lot of fun to see all these people again, even if I didn't recognize many of them at first. (I'm sure many of them didn't recognize me at first, either!) We took a sunset dinner cruise on Lake Coeur d'Alene and had great food, drink, music, and company!


4.  The 5K Colour Run. Easily the loudest and brightest of the highlights! It was my third 5K this year, and came just two weeks after the Wild Run in Atascadero on July 4th. This was one of those colour runs where they pelt you with a variety of brightly coloured powders at various points throughout the race. I don't know if they took any official times (I didn't see any anyone with a stopwatch and no one yelled out times when I crossed the line), but I did glance down at my phone when I crossed the line, and it was 56 minutes after I'd started, so I'm calling it and even 56 minutes. It was very hot, sweaty, and messy, but a lot of fun! Check out my before and after:



5.  Visiting other cities. Although the main purpose of my trip was to vacation in Victoria with DeeDee and Pammie Sue, and visit my old stomping grounds throughout Washington state before hitting my class reunion, I did get to spend some time in Seattle and Coeur d'Alene, ID. In Seattle I got to stroll around the pathways in and around the Seattle Center, visit the Public Market, jump on the monorail for a quick jaunt downtown, and had some really wonderful meals and drinks. It was outrageously hot and I was a nasty, sweaty mess, but it was still fun! Coeur D'Alene was the end location for our high school reunion where we had a lovely sunset dinner cruise on the lake. The next day I took for myself and since it was cooler and cloudy (and even sprinkled a little) I didn't get to lounge by the pool as originally planned, but had to settle for wandering around the quaint little shopping district, and simply enjoying my lovely room and view.


(#1: Fountain in Seattle Center. #2: Sonic Bloom solar flower sculpture in Seattle Center. #3 . Tini Bigs - best martinis in Seattle, WA! #4: The view from our room at the Mediterranean Inn, Seattle, WA.)


(#1: Sunset view from the Lakeside Lounge at the Coeur d'Alene Resort. #2:  A little park downtown Coeur d'Alene, ID. #3. My view of Lake Coeur d'Alene from my room. #4. Art display downtown Coeur d'Alene, ID. )

It was truly a wonderful vacation, and I enjoyed basically ALL of it. I do, however, have a few regrets and disappointments, which will be the topic of next week's Friday Five. Until then, cheers! 

Freaky Friday Five

I only call it a Freaky Friday Five because I'm FREAKING OUT about my upcoming activities and  vacation! Naturally I've left EVERYTHING for the last possible minute and I'm seriously stressing like mad!

1. The Good: I finally have all my hotel and auto reservations for my trip to WA state and class reunion in July. The Bad: I procrastinated too long and didn't get a room in Colfax for Friday/Saturday, and instead have to stay in Pullman, and drive back and forth. Also I stupidly only reserved my car (requested a convertible like a Mustang!!) through the 2oth when I'll be in Coeur d'Alene for the weekend and the resort has an airport shuttle I can take on Monday. Now that I've changed my mind, the car I want is not available for the two additional days, and there are no more convertibles available at all. grr. The Ugly: Since I didn't get a room in Colfax and will have to check out Saturday before the Colour Run, I'll be a hot, colourful mess while roaming through the rest of the Concrete River Festival, and later driving to Coeur D'Alene and checking into the Resort. Should be fun.

2. The Good: Yes, I signed up for two more 5Ks: The Wild Run, a fundraiser for the Charles Paddock Zoo in Atascadero held on July 4th and sponsored by Kennedy Club Fitness, and the Colour Run (technically I'm doing the "Fitness Walk", but it's still the 5K distance) in Colfax on the 19th. The Bad: Despite having one 5K under my belt, I'm nervous as hell for the upcoming Wild Run. Don't ask me why because I don't know. The Ugly: See The Ugly in #1 about not being able to run to my hotel room and shower after the Colfax Colour Run and before travelling to Coeur d'Alene Resort.

3.  The Good: I discovered though my friend MoPie, a possible time-saving beauty treatment: eyelash tinting. My eyelashes are veryvery pale and not terribly long and.or lush, so when I don't wear mascara, I look like I don't have lashes at all, and generally just look hideous. But putting on mascara takes time, is often messy, and even when using the waterproof stuff, usually smudges, smears, or gets wiped off  because my eyes water constantly.  The Bad: Naturally I've waited until the last possible minute to consider getting this procedure done, and while I've found a place in Atascadero that does it. I'm cutting it close to actually being able to get an appointment before leaving for vaycay. The Ugly: not sure there is one for this, except maybe just not being able to get an appointment and/or an allergic reaction to the dye. We'll have to see.

4.  The Good: In other, non-vacation news, I've been doing pretty well at wearing more skirts and dresses to work as per my June Resolutions. I've even received compliments on a couple outfits! The Bad: I'm still not very comfortable in skirts and dresses, which was really the goal of this resolution, as I hoped to dress nicer more often. The Ugly: My legs are really fat and ugly, so the shorter dresses/shirts will probably only be worn once, if at all, and if so, probably never again.

 5: The Good and the Gorgeous: my red tea roses have decided to bloom again, and both plants look great. My Midas Touch rose looks fabulous, as always! Cheers!


Friday Five: Weekend Recap

Earlier this week I meant to write up a comprehensive recap of last weekend's adventure in Morro Bay, but this week has been crazy busy for me, and I just didn't get it done. Therefore I'll be recapping briefly in five bullet points:

  • Morro Bay was beautiful! We had sunshine and blue sky Friday and Saturday, then a return to the usual overcast skies on Sunday, which was fine. The only problem was the wind, which was outrageously brisk!
  • Mom and I planned to just have dinner in our room Friday night, but with Bella Vino's Wine Bar and Bistro just down the street, we couldn't resist going for a glass of the delicious Green Eye Chardonnay and their amazing bruschetta!

  • Saturday was the Morro Bay High School Bands on the Run 5k/10k/Half Marathon. I walked the 5k in a little over an hour (I think; honestly I'm not sure how to read the sheet below. I thought I walked it in 1 hour 16 minutes, according to the timer by the finish line, but the sheet looks like it was 1 hour 32 minutes. I don't know. All I know is I FINISHED!!), and despite the pain in my shins and feet, had a good time. That deep sand is a bugger to walk through - I don't know how the runners did it!  Later, mom and I wandered around the quaint little shops along the Embarcadero and had lunch at Stax Wine Bar. I can't remember the Chardonnay we had there, but it was good, as was their Caesar Salad special with steak (although to be honest, the steak might've been better if it'd been cut in strips, rather than 1/4" cubes). Unfortunately, I ended up with some rather uncomfortable issues (which I've mentioned before), and spent the rest of the day just relaxing in the room as much as possible.

  • Sunday I felt much better (why? who knows? I don't even know why I felt miserable in the first place!), and we were able to do some more shopping along the Embarcadero where I ordered a silver ring with an etched floral design at an gallery shop in Marina Square and bought a darling bird nest garden stake (photo coming soon!) at another gifty shop,  and a summer-weight white sweater at Poppy's. I probably could've shopped more - Poppy's had some awesome jewelry as did Fiona Bleu gallery - but I really should clear out some old jewelry first, and also I ordered tons of stuff online recently, so there will be another closet purge coming soon, too!
  • Later we had lunch at Off the Hook where I had a delicious soft-shell crab sandwich and tried their Cosmo martini which was made from Sochu instead of vodka. It was pretty good, but I could tell it wasn't as strong as a vodka Cosmo would've been. After that we wandered around a little more then headed home to get ready for the week. We had to mow and water the lawn, and I had to prep for a full week of work as well as after-work activities every night this past week, including tonight which is the Art and Wine Tour downtown Atascadero - always a fun time - and tomorrow, Saturday, which is the Central Coast Oyster Festival in Avila Beach. Can. Not. Wait!

  • Bonus Bullet Point: Wow, reading this back it sounds like all I do is eat out, and drink wine and martinis! Really, my life is not always this much fun! Cheers!


June Resolutions

FYI: Monthly resolutions posts are inspired by Kim at The Kim Challenge.

It's been a while since I posted monthly resolutions, so I thought I'd give June a try! (Ha! I accidently typed "tri" instead of "try" the first time; might I have a "tri" on the brain?!?) Anyway, while I've accomplished a few of the goals I've set for myself recently, I'm still struggling in others, and will give it the old college try again this month.

First and foremost: I must. drink. more. water!!! I did very poorly with my water challenge last month, and really need to do better, so I'm trying again: drink a minimum of 6 glasses of water per day, preferably 8.

Second: walk more. While I participated in and completed a 5k this past weekend, I could really use more training before my next one. And the one after that. Also, now that the weather's better and I'm feeling better, I just really need to get out more!

Third: Wear more skirts and dresses. I tend to wear a lot of pants despite acutally owning several really nice dresses from IGIGI and Torrid, but this summer I want to branch out and try something different. To that end, I actually just purchased these three outfits to add to my collection (photos property of IGIGI, ganked from Pinterest):

Abtusedotoutfit Outfit3 Rosegardendress

I can't wait to try them on!! Cheers!