"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Some Things About Mary

Mary is my friend.

She is also a devoted mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother four times over.

All of her grandchildren, including one with her great-grandchild, have lived with her at one time or another, rent free, while they "got back on their feet."

She is a self-proclaimed enabler, codependent, martyr and savior of every drown trodden, self-destructive, and generally fucked up person she has ever met. Including said grandchildren IMO.

She loves her dogs more than life itself and that is saying a lot because she can teach us all about how to love life. She will tell anyone at anytime to "get off your ass, quit your bitching and moaning, and live the life you were given" while she makes you a sandwich for the road and packs you some homemade muffins.

She is the only septegenarian I know that says "fuck" almost as much as I do. Particularly if you get her talking about George W or people that don't properly take care of their kids or dogs.

She wears make-up everyday and dresses impeccably.

She is beautiful. Not beautiful for 72. Beautiful.

She works full time.

My husband loved her from the first time he met her. That is a big deal. He loves exactly 9 people. He introduced me to her to help her with her crazy ass dog who tried to bite me when I trimmed her nails.

I loved her and her crazy ass dog from the first time I met them. I love more than 9 people, but I am not a huge fan of the species as a whole a lot of the time.

She adopted a another crazy ass dog, Cassie, that I found in a park, that had breast cancer (mammary adenocarcinoma) and was recovering from MAJOR surgery. She did this without reservation, not knowing how long the dog would live, or how much medical care the dog would need, because I was one of the generally fucked up people that she loved and I asked her to.

I gave her free dog nail trims for life for both crazy ass dogs.

It took me 20 minutes to trim her dogs' nails, but I never left her house in under 3 hours. My friend's would laugh when I said "I am just leaving Mary's. I'll be there in 10 minutes." I never got there in under an hour. Most times it was more like 2.

Then 2 months ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She went out that day and bought a wig. She "had a lot of living to do and she was going look good doing it."

She told me that she and Cassie were both going to be breast cancer survivors.

Yesterday, they put a breathing tube in Mary, put her on a ventilator, and told us she was in multi-system failure and would most likely not live through the night.

She was buying new sheets on Monday. She was at work last Wednesday. IT WAS TOO FUCKING FAST.

I am so sad, but I don't want to be. I can hear her saying, "I had a good run. Be sad for the people that chose to waste the time they were given."She was so proud I was doing Barb's Race which is a fundraiser for breast cancer research. I told her "Ah, fuck Barb, I don't know any fucking Barb. This will be Mary's Race to me." Her daughter told me yesterday that she laughed so hard when she told everyone I said that.

I hope she knew. I hope she knew how much she meant to me.

I can't remember what we talked about the last time. Cassie, her dog, no doubt. My trip to Africa. I can't remember what I said. You don't know it will be the last time when you talk to someone the last time.

Yeah, this weekend, sorry Barb, this is Mary's Race.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Whoa! She left the house!

Finally I felt like I could get out and try a run. I ran 5 miles today. I felt good. There was a little vertigo if I looked around too much, but overall I felt really good. Really good, but pretty slow.

I am okay with being slow at Barb's Race this weekend. I just hope I haven't lost too much endurance. I have trained very hard since March, harder than I have ever trained, but this month because of my trip to Africa and then the illness, I have only been able to train 6 days out of 29. I don't think that is what they had in mind when they talk about taper.


This coming weekend I get to meet:

1. My super cool blogger buddy Willie!

2. My absolute hero, Iron "GeekGirl" Misty

3. Her lovely, and WAY hardcore husband S. Baboo

PLUS, I get to hang out with my bestest friends in the world my Run Buddy and my LA Run Buddy!

Come on! No matter what happens during Barb's Race, this weekend is going to ROCK!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Fun new idea! Calling all racers!

I spend entirely too much time searching for race reports and trying to remember who is racing, where they are racing, and when. So I decided to start a Google calendar with races and then include links to the blogs of people that are racing in them.

I am really lame at all this stuff so I am sure there is a WAY easier way to do this so if you have suggestions (and can explain them in a way that a 3 year old can understand) I will change it.

For now, I would like everyone to give me their races (in a comment is fine or you can email it, but be sure to give a link to your blog if you email.)

I have just started and I will add races and links as I troll around. I don't even have all my races on there yet.

If you would rather not be on the calendar let me know and I will take it off.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

I am unworthy

I will start this by saying I am a complete asshole when it comes to birthdays, anniversaries, graduations, etc. I ROUTINELY forget important dates for people that I deeply love. This is probably one of my most shameful character flaws.

Well.. the most shameful character flaw that I am willing to post on my blog today.

Anyway, for some reason, that I cannot for the life of me understand, I have been blessed, gifted, overpaid, however you want to say it with AMAZING friends.

Case in point
Yesterday was my birthday. I was sitting at home feeling sorry for myself, when the doorbell rings and there is a flower delivery guy with a BEAUTIFUL vase full of pink flowers! AndreaN (you may remember her as beautiful Travel Girl from the Sacramento Zoo Zoom meet up this year!) sent me flowers for my birthday! Andrea is busy these days training for the Nike Women's Marathon. It will be her first full marathon. She is training with Team in Training (feel free to drop by and donate!)

Then, the mail comes and there is a package for me from my LA run buddy. She and her hubby (who is a hilarious comedian by the way) sent me froggy items (I am a bit of a frog collector. I know it very cliche for biology teachers but I just love them!) and a hilarious card with a very thoughtful handwritten message.

Then I go online to find all the Happy Birthday salutations from you all.

Like I said, I am unworthy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I am making a birthday resolution. Yes, I have made this resolution countless times before, but if I don't attempt to change the behavior, the behavior is guaranteed not to change. I have signed up for one of those online birthday reminder sites (birthdayalarm.com) It reminds you like 1 week before, 2 days before, and then the day of.

I will be better at this. I will be at least 1/2 the friend to my friends that they are to me.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Passive Aggressive Husband Torture

When you are ill, somewhere around Day 4 it becomes your husband's fault.

Hey, boys don't blame me. I don't make the rules.

Today is Day 5 of my current illness. Hubby's world has been a little slice of sunshine for about 24 hours now. Here is a list of mean shit I have done to my husband in the last 24 hours:

1. Made him feel like shit by giving him the accounting of the number of times he has kissed my bitch self since Saturday. (Which was ZERO by the way. You may be wondering how I know the exact accounting and why I was keeping track, if I didn't get to the "it is your fucking fault I feel like shit" phase until 24 hours ago. I am a professional wife. I save this shit up to use at any given time.)

2. Called my mother and told her that I ate a can of green beans for lunch because I had run out of food and my husband wouldn't buy me any. She, of course, called him and he went shopping today.

3. I washed his work coveralls (he is an electrician) for him and then threw a Snuggle Lilac fabric softener sheet in the drier. He will be at work tomorrow smelling like a 70 year old woman at BINGO.

Sorry boys! I'm taken.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


The pity party stops today.

I still can't even clean the fucking litter boxes (yes, boxes, plural. I am a crazy old cat lady in training) without feeling I am going to puke, but I am going to stop feeling sorry for myself. I was reading the blog of someone that has, let's say, a similar history to me and is going through a rough patch and I thought about what I have done when it got rough and "the easier softer way", seemed like the easier softer way.

I think about that last day.

That very last day. The day before, the one that I have celebrated for 17 years.

NOTHING in my life can ever be as hopeless as that day. I made it through that. I know can make it through anything. So what the fuck am I whining about?

"Oh, I am scared I'll do bad at my triathlon..."

Boo fucking hoo.

What if I am slow?

Newsflash RBR, you ARE slow. At your very fastest race you were dead fucking last and the one before that you beat all of 8 people.

What if I don't finish?

Do my sponsors drop me? Am I dropped from the Olympic team?

Uh, no. I go home and register for another 1/2. I have wasted $200 on FAR more frivolous ventures.

And let's be honest I am one of the stubbornest bitches I know. The odds of not finishing are slim. I have 17 hours to finish it for fuck's sake. I think I can handle it.

Time to put on my big girl pants (still love that one), grab a barf bag, and go clean my litter boxes.

All four of them.

Yeah, I have too many cats.

p.s. Thanks to you all. I really appreciate the kind words. It helped put things in perspective. And Jane and Calyx, I DO feel better.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Freaking the *&%$ out!

Ignore me. I am going to whine.

I have now missed a long run, a long ride and a long swim. I am still dizzy when I walk around. I can't ride in or drive a car.

&%(#$(@ (O*U ^%@*(*@# *$#*()@)$ (#*(@!
(I am a pretty creative swearer, but I thought I would spare you at least SOME of my ickiness right now)

I am supposed to go up to Guerneville (the site of Barb's Race) tomorrow with my run buddy to check out and ride some of the bike course. I am not sure I will be able to drive (or be driven) much less ride! I am turning into a mush pot overnight. I can feel it. I will have no endurance for Barb's and I will not finish.

I keep reading all of these awesome blogs where people are ROCKING IT OUT! (Calyx ran 9 miles! Stef endured a bike from hell and did her long run to boot! SouthBay Girl overcame injury and crazy work schedule to get her runs in. Shirleyperly just ran her 47th (yes, 47th!) marathon and is up to 37 states completed! Cindy rocked her first 1/2 IM triathlon at Buffalo Springs a couple of weeks ago and just PR'd and won some hardware at a 5K! SWTrigal rocked the Vineman 70.3 with a swim PR and great bike! Running Knitter ran a 5K with her buddies) and somehow instead of inspiring me, like it usually does, I feel worse. I feel like I am the ultimate poser who is reading about training instead of doing it.

Wah, wah, wah... Excuse me while I go change my diaper.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

PSA Motion Sickness medication

Ok, I am partially back from the dead. I told you had some, umm... issues, with motion sickness and the beloved vomit comet, right? Well, I subsequently had to take my motion sickness medication (Scopalamine patches) everyday for 2 weeks because I replaced the patch every other day to prepare for upcoming flights. I have never taken it this long because I usually only need it for a boat ride or flight and them I am good. Our last stop in Africa I took off the patch and was going to leave it off for 2 days then put a new one one the night before my flight.

I am posting cheetah pictures to give SOMETHING at least mildly interesting in this post

After the patch had been off for about 12 hours I started to feel dizzy and nauseous and after a short car ride I was violently ill. My mother had a experience with the patches years ago and was so sick my dad had me coming home from school at lunch to check on her as she waited out this detox. I suspected I was detoxing off the patch and replaced the patch I felt better in about 8 hours. I decided to keep it on as I would rather be sick at home than in Africa and while trying to travel 38 hours home. Fearing this detox reaction, I decided to try to wean myself off the patches by cutting them.

"What you lookin' at sucka?"

Here was my plan: Day one home (Sun) - 1/2 patch for 2 days, Day 3 (Tues)- 1/2 patch for 2 days, Day 5 home (Thurs) - 1/4 patch for 2 days, Day 7 (Sat) - 1/4 patch for 2 days.

On Friday, I started to get sick, so I put on the last 1/4 patch, but it did not get much better. I decided to take the patch off and let it run its course. I became as violently ill as I did in Africa and yesterday was pretty awful. This was compounded by the fact that I drove to San Francisco yesterday.
Rough life those poor cheetahs have

Aside: There was this big biotech give-a-away for teachers. FREE LAB SUPPLIES! I HAD to go. I am so grateful I did because I got a used thermocycler FREE (it is to do PCR and they cost about $7,000 new! TOTAL SCORE!) and a bunch of other supplies that would easily cost $1,000 for me to buy for labs. Thank you Bio links and Genentech! You rock!

Boys will be boys!

Anyway, I am feeling much better today as long as I don't move around too much or turn my head a lot. I certainly won't be driving or riding in a car today! When this happened to my mom years ago she was sick, like I was yesterday, for 5 days, so I think that the detox strategy worked. So I post this as a warning about motion sickness medication (meaning the patch, my mom has not had any detox issues with Bonine. In hindsight I would use Bonine for an extended trip like this even though it doesn't work as well for me) and a possible detox strategy because I really had to use the medication for the 2 weeks because of our travel schedule. It would have been a miserable 2 weeks if I had been sick on every flight.

Pretty face

More bad news: This means I missed the Catfish Swim today. I am really bummed because this was a 1.2 mile open water swim that would have given me great race conditions practice, but there was NO way I could swim today. I also haven't trained at all since Thursday.

Not good.

This is not helping my freaking out. I am hoping if I lay low today I can get back to it with a long run on Monday. Tuesday I am supposed to go up to Guerneville to ride the bike course for Barb's.

Sorry for the boring, poor me post. Hope the cheetah shots hubby took help.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Posted purely to make myself feel better

It is mid year, so I thought I would post my Year-to-Date training totals. Just an excuse to post this and make myself feel better.

YTD 2008

Run: 472.2 miles (last year at this time: 116.5 miles)
Bike: 808.9 miles (last year at this time: 44.3 miles)
Swim: 37,229.0 yds. (last year at this time: 0 yards)

I have covered 1315 miles on my own power and I have worked out over 175 hours so far this year! Woo hoo!

Slight downside:

The same report says I have burned 88,699 calories doing all of this exercise. Yet, I have GAINED weight since January. Hmmm... looks like my calorie replacement has been... let's say... overly exuberant. Need to work on that.

Africa: Part 3

Years ago, when I went back to school I had to take a speech class and I chose to do a speech on African Elephants and the ivory trade. In typical 'OCD Stacey' fashion I got completely obsessed with elephants and read everything I could possibly find. In total my 15 minute, junior college GE Speech class, speech took about 40 hours of research and had 12 references. Other students did speeches on Pearl Jam's boycotting of high school frog dissection and how shampoo companies get you to use more product by including 'repeat' in the directions for use, and I wrote a thesis length paper on elephant physiology, matriarchal dynamics of elephant families, general elephant behavior, and the illegal poaching and marketing of ivory and it effects on elephant populations.

All of the high school drop outs in my class were riveted, just riveted. Let me tell you.

Yeah, can you say overkill? Well, that is just how I roll. All or nothing. I have two speeds: balls to the wall or glued to the couch watching CSI marathons. I don't have a lot of 'in between' if you know what I mean.

Needless to say, elephants were high on my list of priorities to see in Africa. I swear that every time I saw elephant dung (Dung = droppings = feces = poop.) my heart rate went up. I am aware that there is something wrong with me. My husband calls me the poopologist. I can tell more about an animal from its poop than is conceivable by most people. Call it a gift.

I even have pictures. The guides about fell out of the jeep laughing as I made them stop and told my dad or husband to get photographs of Kudu, warthog, and Impala fecal matter.

Anyhoo, that is for later. Back to the Elephants!

We saw elephants at all of the reserves. Their numbers are recovering and they are even considered overpopulated at some reserves. But one of the elephant highlights of the trip was AGAIN a viewing that I missed! I must be cursed. Hubby and mom went on the game drive and were able to see this:

A brand, spanking, new elephant!

It was born about 2 hours before. If you look behind grandma's front leg (who is warning the jeep to keep its distance) you can just see the new mom's leg and the blood from the afterbirth. My dad, brother and I had chosen to take a hiking tour that morning (because, really, when will I ever again in life, get to hike in Africa?!) It was awesome and I loved it, but seriously bummed that I missed the baby rhino AND the newborn elephant!

"What is this thing on my face?"

It will take several months before the baby gets full control over it's trunk. As babies you can often see the trunk swinging wildly as they run. The elephant's trunk is a highly complicated structure with over 40,000 muscles and many uses for the elephant. It is sensitive enough to pick up a coin off the floor. Fortunately, babies do not use the trunk to nurse. They use their mouths and have to learn to how use the trunk to drink water from a river or watering hole. When young babies that are used to nursing are seen at watering sites they often stick their whole head under water to drink. They learn how to use their trunk by watching the older members of the herd.

"We are outta here!"

Born almost blind newborn elephants use sound, touch, smell and instinct to follow their mothers. The herd protects the babies and usually they will be surrounded by larger elephants when the herd is moving.

All pictures, by my fabulous hubby! He is processing a ton more elephant shots! I can't wait!

Training (Oh yeah! I have a silly little triathlon thing coming up)

Thank you all for your votes of confidence and advice. I am really nervous, but fortunately Barb's Race does not have cut offs since the Vineman Full IM is held at the same time. That is why I chose it for my first and why I really signed up for a half ironman distance race MUCH earlier than I would have if there were cut offs.

My 6 mile tempo run went very well yesterday. The weather has cooled off and I forgot how much more enjoyable running is when it it is not 95 degrees! It was a great run. I have a short bike ride with intervals today and my swim class.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back from Africa: Part 2

One thing that struck me about the animals in Africa is how healthy and beautiful they were. Now that may sound like a strange statement, but if you have ever encountered larger wildlife in the states you may know what I am talking about. When you see a coyote, wolf, bobcat, mountain lion, or bear in the wild they have a very ragged, 'hard life lived' appearance. The animals in the states have to "squeeze" their life and habitat into the sprawl we have created and if they interfere with our sense of safety, or even comfort, they are eliminated.

In Africa, the land is theirs. The ecosystems work as they were intended. There is balance among the members of the food web and all the members seem to thrive. If they cannot thrive they are eliminated, not by humans (usually) but by the natural order. Now, this is not without problems for the people of Africa who often feel the very real threat of living in close proximity to large predators and territorial creatures, but as a biologist there is something truly beautiful about a land where that natural order is allowed to play out, for the most part, without our interference.
Picture: Hubby taking pictures of leopards. My pictures suck! Hopefully hubby will get more processed soon and I can steal his shots!

Mala Mala Game Reserve, South Africa - Lions

After I recovered from my trip on the Vomit Comet I was able to join my family for the morning game drive. We first set out to find the lions on the giraffe kill. The giraffe had been taken down a couple of days prior. We were told it is unusual for a pride of female lionesses to bring down a full grown giraffe, but this pride is growing in strength and skill and this was their second giraffe kill in as many weeks. The pride is called the Eyrefield pride and consists of 3 adult females and 9 cubs of varying ages. We found the lions still guarding their kill. They were all fat and lethargic from the feast. Warren, our guide, said that they would stay on the kill for 5 days and then move on. When they did, the hyenas and vultures would move in to take their fill of the carcass. Nothing is wasted. There is a perfect order to the use of the energy stored in the giraffe carcass. From the lions down to the dung beetle the beauty and life of the giraffe is not wasted, it is transformed into new life.

Picture: This giraffe was just standing on the side of the trail. They are the most beautiful graceful creatures. When they move it is like they are always in slow motion. Their long lashes give their faces a sweetness that is incomparable. One of the VERY few animal shots I have.
This picture illustrates why you don't use a point and shoot in Africa.

Interesting lion statistics (Biology geek. I can't help myself)

  • Female lionesses weigh on average 125 kg (275 pounds)
  • Male lions weigh on average 180 kg (396 pounds)
  • Lions are the only big cats that hunt and live in groups.
  • The line of white fur under lions' eyes allows for the reflection of any available light into the eye and allows for their superior night vision. There is also a special reflective lining behind the retina, called the tapetum lucidum, that also reflects light to the retina and aids in night vision. (this is the same lining that makes your house cat's eyes glow in all flash pictures, or gives the "deer in headlights" effect on when you see them on the road)
  • Prides are not usually made up of a harem of females and one male, as is often taught. Usually males are in smaller groups called coalitions (typically made up of brothers from the same litter) and as a group they defend a larger territory. They may breed with females from several prides. When a one male is left from a coalition he may join a particular pride to enjoy the protection from other male lion coalitions that is provided by being in a group.


Yesterday, I biked 18 miles, then ran 2.25 miles and later went to my pre-masters swim class. Now I am off to the trail to do some running.

I am MASSIVELY freaking out about the Half IM. I am VERY concerned I will not be able to finish because of my weak cycling skills.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Back from Africa! Part 1

After 38 hours of continuous travel, we safely arrived home from our trip to Africa on Sunday. I have been trying to think of what to write about this trip to do it justice and there are truly no words to describe its impact. It was a life changing event and so much bigger and more important than I ever thought possible. So big that I, the Queen of verbosity, is at a loss for words to describe it.

So I decided I would give the facts of the trip and maybe some of the stories and emotions will crystallize in my head. Picture: Dastardly Duo goes to Africa! Bags are packed and meet the weight restriction despite the HUGE amount of camera equipment hubby brought!

We left San Francisco on July 1st headed for our first stop which was in Frankfurt, Germany. We had a 8 hour layover there ( it was supposed to be 12 hours, but we had a 4 hour delay in San Francisco. There is lots of "hurry up and wait" involved in International Travel) and we had rented hotel rooms to shower and nap. My Dad and I decided to take advantage of the fitness center and got in a 5 mile treadmill run in the hottest fitness center I have ever been in. 7 treadmills in one room and NOT ONE FAN! Ick! Picture: Super sweaty RBR and Daddy of RBR in Germany.

I am going to take this opportunity to apologize for my pictures. I only have the point and shoot camera that I run with. My hubby is the photographer, so I was appointed the "family vacation" photographer so, I have next to NO animal pictures. Just pictures of my mom, dad brother, and husband. My hubby and Dad got AWESOME pictures that they are frantically processing and organizing and as soon as he posts his pictures I will have a slide show here. Here is a link to a teaser set of pictures that he posted on a photography forum last night. Africa Pics

The next flight was to Johannesburg, South Africa where we would meet with the tour group. We did this safari through National Geographic Expeditions. The tour would take us through three countries (South Africa, Botswana, and Zambia), four game reserves, and one point of interest (Mala Mala in S.A., Mashatu in S.A., the Okavango Delta in Botswana, Chobe in Botswana, and Victoria Falls in Zambia) in 10 days. There was a lot of travel to get to all of these places and it was done on a private charter plane. immediately after landing in Johannesburg we had to board the charter plane and fly another 1 1/2 hours to Mala Mala game reserve.

My mother gets motion sickness very easily, my father has an iron stomach. Unfortunately, it appears that the motion sickness gene is dominant and my brother, mother, and I were VIOLENTLY ill on the first flight on the charter plane (a DC-3. Yes, for you "plane" folk that is an OLD plane. Same one that is seen in the movie Casablanca). Three barf bags later we arrived at Mala Mala. I thought we were the only ones that were sick, but apparently 4 other people got sick as well. We affectionately called the DC-3 we traveled on the "Vomit Comet" from that point forward. Picture: Mom and brother, pre-vomit comet

Mala Mala, South Africa

Mala Mala is a private game reserve and boasts the p
resence of the "Big 5". The "Big 5" are elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, and cape buffalo. This name dates back to the days of heavy hunting and these animals represent the most difficult and /or dangerous African animals to hunt. Hunting is not allowed on Mala Mala game reserve these days, but it was a former hunting reserve. It is a gorgeous lodge and had the most knowledgeable guides. We went on game drives in the evenings and mornings.

We had four game drives in Mala Mala. We saw all members of the Big 5 on the first night! (Ok, I shouldn't say "we' I was still sick and I missed the first game drive. Which sucks because they saw a mother rhino and her young calf. Something I would have sold my kidney to see, but fortunately hubby got pictures.) Pictures: View from our room in Mala Mala

I had envisioned driving around for hours and maybe seeing 2 or 3 animals, but there was wildlife at every turn.

Highlights from Mala Mala: We parked next to a pride of lions with 9 cubs feeding on a giraffe kill from a couple days prior, we watched those nine cubs play like kittens running up trees and wrestling, and then saw as the hyenas moved in once the lions had their fill of the giraffe carcass, had graceful giraffes walking next to our jeep, we watched a young female leopard court a disinterested male leopard, watched that same male leopard eat an imp
ala up in a tree, followed a huge, but illusive male rhino through the bush. Watched elephants and their babies come down for water as we ate breakfast. Commiserated with the aging Cape buffalo males that formed their own bachelor herd once they had lost a step and were ousted from the main herd by the younger males. Picture: RBR family on safari in Mala Mala.

This sounds like a disinterested inventory. I don't know how to put all of it in words, but I want to write it down before I forget.

But for now I must go ride, run and swim. Christ, I have a half IM triathlon in 17 days!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Off to Africa!

We fly out from San Francisco to Frankfurt, then we have a like a 13 hour layover and then it is off to Johannesburg! I am very excited!

Check out my "Next Big Run" I have decided to do my first Ultra! It is a 50K and runs from the top of Skyline in the Santa Cruz mountains to the beach in Santa Cruz. If you click on the link in the "2008 Race List" you can check out the course. It looks beautiful and it is right in my backyard! (Not literally, of course. Remember that in California, big trees are for rich people)

Last workout before Africa:

I did get my 10 miler in on Sunday and I felt surprisingly good. I was worried that the torturous ride would leave my legs dead, but I felt great.

It was one of those runs that reminds me why I love running. Before I ever ran, I used to have dreams that I could run forever without getting tired. That is what this run felt like. I kept it slow and easy. The weather was perfect and I felt AWESOME! My pace ended up being pretty darn good for me at 11:09/mile.

I won't get to train much in Africa (remember, in Africa prey runs!) We stay in hotels twice so hopefully they will have some sort of fitness center and may be I can get a run or swim in. My hiking shoes are the Dastardly Duo, so I can use them for running and I brought my swim stuff. The timing of this trip is bad for my Half Iron training, but I get to go to Africa, so I don't care!

Happy training everyone! See you on the flip side!