Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Bikram Yoga

I did Bikram yoga yesterday for the first time and I'm so proud of myself. It was so hard mentally, but I stuck with it and came out so happy I did. The teacher said the only thing for the first time is that I had to stay in the room the whole time, and when I wasn't feeling it, to just do the sit or standing rest position. I spent a lot of time in my sitting position during the standing poses. It was definitely a challenge. I was super thankful I was by the door and that she opened it to the outside a few times, or I don't think I would have ever made it back to doing the postures. By the time we got to the floor postures, I was already an hour in and couldn't believe it. At the end I was definitely whipped by the heat and sweat that waterfalled out of my body. I just let the voice in my head be my teacher, as was suggested by my friend, and ultimately just realized my limits and tried to not push past them. I wish my schedule wasn't so hectic this week so I really could go back and use more of my 10 days, but I am really hoping to make it back again this week at least a few times and definitely see how it could be a good thing for my life. I'm goin'g to need a lot more towels and clothes though because otherwise I'm going to be doing a lot of laundry every week to go regularly. That's some serious sweating. Wow.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I like tall places.

I recently heard on the news about the Washington Monument being closed indefinitely due to earthquake damage and was so saddened by that. I traveled to Washington DC as part of the original Project 30 and fell in love with the Free Museums, monuments and this one particular Mexican restaurant that had the best tortilla soup. I was also lucky enough to get up early enough one day to get in line to score a free ticket to the inside and up to the top of the Washington Monument. After having a special moment at the Statue of Liberty and including many of the tall buildings in New York on my trip storming the east, I found myself setting aside my fear of heights and drawn to high places with great views. I felt like this monument was something I couldn't miss. After hearing the news of the closure, it made me even more thankful that I had made that effort to get up that day, even with a persistent cold!

Did you know that inside is a brick made of a piece of native stone or granite from each state? As you rise in the elevator, you see out the window shows you the names of the states and the changing textures. It was beautiful. The entire experience was beautiful. It is an iconic monument for this country, and I'm glad I got to visit it.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument & Reflecting Pool

Top of the Washington Monument

Top of the Washington Monument

You can read more about the Washington Monument on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunset.com: 10 places for your life list

Yay! A new list. Sunset Magazine just published 10 western national monuments to visit before you die.

I've been to ONE already and wrote about my visit to Pinnacles National Monument. I look forward to possibly visiting more of these outdoorsy locations in my backyard! Thanks Sunset!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Living Life Lots. 2011 so far - The DONE list.

I know it's traditional to wait until the end of the year to do a wrap up of activities and achievements, but I thought I'd do a check-in now anyway. I've been feeling very busy and perhaps a little too focused on the list of things not getting done and not focusing on the done. I spent some time flipping through the months on my calendar tonight and thought maybe it was time to utilize this space a bit better in tracking how absolutely awesome my life has been. I read an article recently called "Failing Miserably" that talked about a similar anxiety and focus on the undone. I realized I need to step back more often and list out the things I'm actually doing, and so here I am taking a look at the last 8 months...

I can't believe I started the year on the other coast and saw the ball drop in the same actual time zone. That was special. I also tried Borscht for the first time at Russian Christmas with Mike's family before we flew home, and actually liked it!

Speaking of liking new things, who knew this year would have me buying asparagus and bell peppers without a gun to my head? This is big people. My willingness to try new food and expand my edible horizons this year has been huge with great results. Who would have thunk it?

I also managed to get Bella to the vet and she didn't claw anyone's eyes out and no one was otherwise permanently scarred (emotionally or physically) in the process. She's healthy, just scaredy.

Silly but small, but the fact my gorgeous car is alive and well and ahead in payments and up on maintenance is something I'm proud of. I get so much enjoyment out of driving it, it makes me very happy and I'm grateful for it.

I've seen 18 live music performances this year all over the Bay Area from bands big and small. A special bonus was taking Mike to a Rugburns show at the Belly-up and having him meet so many of my music friends. I've also seen 1 Cirque show, gone to a Sharks hockey game and attended my first music festival, camping out at High Sierra. I still find myself closing my eyes and remembering how it felt dancing to the funk in the sun without a care in the world. I hope I get to go back every year forever. Even though some of the days were hot and long, it was a great vacation together this year and I'm so glad we have those memories.

I've run in 6 races this year (up from 4 last year) and improved performance overall - 3 half marathons, a 5k, a 12k and a 6 miler. I got 2nd place in the 5k for my age division for the 2nd year and actually stayed to get my medal this time.

I've had some great times with friends so far. As much as I complain about how busy I am and don't see people enough, I've actually had some very meaningful times this year. I found myself finally hugging a decade old friend from another continent, resuming a playoff football watching tradition with a girlfriend, and camping with two of my closest friends to celebrate Beltane. There was also lots of introducing my man to some of my favorite people for the first time. We found ourselves starting a tradition and celebrated 2 passport wine tasting weekends with friends. It was also the year for meeting quite a few new little ones and celebrating the birthdays of growing munchkins.

There was a change in plans on the February trip to San Diego where we saw the Rugburns when the snow blocked our chance to see my parents in the mountains. Mike and I embraced the free time to explore San Diego and had an amazing vegan friendly breakfast by the ocean and spent some time exploring childhood memories in corners of Balboa Park.

I went back to San Diego in May to visit my parents by myself and enjoyed the road trip across California, but had to quickly come back and prepare for my solo adventure to Puerto Vallerta, Mexico. I spent 5 amazing days lounging on the beach, only venturing out of my all-inclusive haven to bravely take on a zip lining adventure. The trip was perfect.

I came straight back from my vacation into full on birthday mode. It started with an amazing dinner with some close friends. Discovering this tiny, but pricey Italian restaurant last December, I have come to want to call it a favorite but can't justify the splurge often enough to go back, but each meal has been a fantastic memory. Dinner tumbled into a fantastical surprise. When preparing for a wonderful picnic BBQ in the forest with a large group of my favorites people, I was blindsided by the granting of a birthday wish - my friend Shannon from far away was here and going to my picnic too! Tricked by Mike, his trip to drop someone off at the airport was actually an arrival and it made the day that much better. Flustered and excited, I managed to compose myself and get everything set up for our day. It couldn't have been a more beautiful spot and perfect weather for people to drop in and out helping me celebrate. So many friends from far and wide able to connect and meet. Strange how so many people interact so frequently over time because of Facebook, but so neat to see how many people connect and continue to communicate later too.

June was already in full swing and I found myself driving south yet again to participate in celebrating my awesome cousin's graduation from high school, with the side benefit that the celebrating included a chance to spend some really valuable time with my grandma and my aunt. A trip to a brewery, a museum and an awesome candy store kept us busy.

I have kicked ass at work this year. At times I've thought I was sacrificing my personal life for work, but I think I've started to find a balance for both. Though I feel like I have been advancing steadily for a decade and earned my place at the table last year, I feel like this is the year I've started to own my skill set and am proving what I can offer with it. I've never worked this hard but it is paying off. This has been the year that everything I've been able to learn has finally been able to come together and I have been able to lead and contribute at a significant level, not just a significant volume. I've had some really successful ideas this year, and put together some great marketing programs that I'm proud of and even snuck in a trip to Comic-Con. I feel like Q3 hasn't even wrapped up and I have a strong year of output shown. Even with everything we accomplished during business hours, we still found time to build bikes for kids and make care packages for soldiers. I'm pretty lucky to have the job I do, but I'm pretty proud of how well I do it too.

In trying to own my marketing skillz, I took on some new outside projects and helped launch a couple new Wordpress websites. I was also able to get rolling on a couple of my of my own. I had great hopes for the Live Loud Challenge, and really wanted to be leader in encouraging people to make small bolder choices in their lives. While it doesn't get the attention it deserves, the fact I bought my own domain, hosting and set up the whole site by myself was something I was (AM!) really proud of. I now have a second domain that will hopefully be my hub, and was bold and recently swiped up a third URL to park due to a random brainstorm for a new company I may want to start someday.

I took on the garden for a second year. While I've had some awesome help from Mike a few times, I'm pretty proud that this year I've spent so many hours by myself doing some serious labor. We built one garden box together, but I got all the supplies and then decided it wasn't hard so built a second all on my own. I've weeded and shoveled. While some things have been more successful than others and the experience doesn't come without frustration, the garden is a great accomplishment. I found myself unable to hide my pride when it got compliments for being ready ahead of the group.

I also just got back from a solo camping adventure in the Sierras. It was a challenge, but a memory I'm happy to have.

It's been a busy, full year. I've had to say no, I've not seen many of my friends, there were missed chances to travel, go or play. I've spent far too much time concentrating on the list of things that hasn't been accomplished, the people I haven't seen, the projects I wish I had more time for and what I feel like I'm failing at. I'm so glad I spent the last hour dedicated to showing myself that the last 8 months have been this full and wonderful and given myself a reminder to fall back on. It is easy to forget, and important to remember. I really need to stop expecting each post here to be some full report and just write more often to remind myself that this is the life I want. I'm so lucky.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Last Updated - August 4, 2011

Currently Personal Milestones:
10 races: 4 halfs, 3 5k's, 1 12k, 1 5mi, 1 6mi

PR for Half: 2:25:21 Pace: 11:06 - SF 2nd Half, July 2011
PR for 5k: 29:40 Pace: 9:33 - Watsonville Mother's Day Race, May 2011

Best Pace Over 5K distance: 11:02 - SC Wharf to Wharf, July 2011

San Francisco - 2nd Half Marathon July 2011
Bib: 36157
Overall: 2938 out of 4243
Women: 1399 out of 2365
F 30-39: 493 out of 795
Age/Grade: 45.49% Place: 2883
Finish: 2:25:21 Pace: 11:06
Tag Time: 2:25:21 Gun Time: 2:31:02
1.6 Mi: 16:15 Pace: 10:09
6.9 Mi: 1:14:41 Pace: 10:50

Wharf to Wharf 6 miles, Santa Cruz, July 24, 2011
Bib: 8025
Overall: 4999 out of 11003
Women: 2441 out of 6720
F 30-34: 379 out of 950
Finish: 1:06:12 Pace: 11:02

Bay to Breakers 12k, San Francisco, May 15, 2011
Bib: 6605
Overall: 17,571 out of 43,954
Women: 7538 out of 24,140
F 30-39: 2537 out of 6776
Finish: 1:32:50

Mother's Day 5k Race, Watsonville, May 8, 2011
Overall: 60 out of 373
F 30-34: 2 out of 21
Finish: 29:40 Pace: 9:33

Santa Cruz Half Marathon, Santa Cruz, April 10, 2011
Bib: 2142
Overall: 1871 out of 2912
Women: 1096
F 30-39: 365
Finish: 2:29:19 Pace: 11:23

Surf City Half Marathon, Huntington Beach, February 6, 2011
Bib: 14509
Overall: 8227 out of 13256
Women: 4506 out of 8357
F 30-34: 812 out of 1341
Age/Grade: 44.99% Place: 8588
Finish: 2:26:43 Pace: 11:12
Tag Time: 2:26:43
Gun Time: 2:53:16
Split Times
3 Mi: 30:30 Pace: 10:10
8.2 Mi: 1:27:12 Pace: 10:38

Jingle Bell Rock 5k, Santa Cruz - December 2010
67th female overall, 19th females 30-39
Bib: 244 Time: 34:29.1

San Francisco - 1st Half Marathon July 2010
Bib: 62310
Overall: 5115 out of 8430
Women: 2588 out of 5007
F 30-39: 946 out of 1735
Age/Grade: 44.85% Place: 5135
Finish: 2:27:11 Pace: 11:14
Tag Time: 2:27:11
Gun Time: 3:27:04
Split Times
7.6 M: 1:22:07 Pace: 10:49

Aptos Women's 5 Miler - June 13, 2010
Time: 55:52 Pace: 11:11
Women: 59 Division: 5/7 30-34

Pajaro Valley Shelter Mother's Day Run 5k - May 9, 2010
Time: 30:06 Pace: 9:42
Overall: 64 Division: 2/19 Women 30-34