Sunday, October 20, 2013

2013 Senior Coastsiders Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Run 5k

Well, house painting awaits, but I had to pop in and post about the 2013 Senior Coastsiders Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Run/Walk!  Wow, can't believe it's my 5th event - I ran in 2008, 2009, walked it in 2010, ran again in 2011, took 2012 off...and here we are in 2013!

I love this race - it was the first one I did when I was regaining my fitness, and so it has a special place in my heart. My fitness really plummeted in 2012, so I fired up the podcasts and started training - just finished week 8, day 2 on the Thursday before the race, so this event was "graduation".  I did the supplemental weeks 4-2 and 7-2; the former, because I needed it, and the latter to time week 8 with the race.  So my main goals this year were to have fun, to finish, and to feel grateful that I didn't have any injuries to keep me from running it.

Despite a choppy night's sleep - I always sleep poorly before a race - I got there at about 7:30 and the pre-race was in full swing.  I picked up bib and my race swag: pumpkin and a t-shirt (no, not the one I'm wearing!).   I jogged around a bit to warm up, because it was cold and quite foggy.  (Glad I did - I usually don't, but I noticed during my runs that I don't really feel fully warmed up until about 20 minutes.)  I don't think I've ever attended a sunny one - and the morning weather was clear all during the week until Friday morning!  OH well.

I love this race:  lots of families race it together, young & old run and walk it.  Early on, I was absolutely dusted by a woman with a jogging stroller.  One girl was running with her dad, and at one point they both broke into skipping, and then she turned 3 flawless cartwheels - I cheered, "Bravo!" as much a salute to her exuberant spirit as to her skilled cartwheeling.  You get a lot of serious athletes in this one, too, and then there are the crazy folks who do a 1-mile ocean swim down the coast (BRRRR!!!), emerge, and then do the running event.  I wonder if they plant bikes here and do a bike ride on the way home? ;-)

The route was a little different than in 2011.  Instead of going through the campground for mile 2, the route wound through the Alsace Lorraine neighborhood.  Lots of volunteers and cute pumpkin chalk art on the ground kept us on track.

I feel like my training prepared me very well for the race.  I'm not as fast as I have been in the past, but I maintained a slightly uncomfortable pace for most of it - if it wasn't a little uncomfortable, it wouldn't be a race, right?

There were lots of people in pumpkin hats, pumpkin t-shirts, and one runner in a pumpkin suit, but the run tends to be a bit low-key in the costume department.

Before I knew it, I was passing beneath the balloon arch.  The race clock said 37:xx, I forget exactly what the minutes were, so we'll call it 38 minutes.  I felt satisfied - I met my goals, and I finished faster than my first one in 2008.  (I was unofficially a little faster in 2011, but that's because a late bathroom stop delayed my start by a couple of minutes.)

UPDATE:  Looking for the race results?  They are posted at ( and on the site ( 

There are some amazingly fast people in this race, in all age groups.  I am not one of them.  But I was happy with how I did.  My pace was 37:46.7 (12.11 min mile).  In the 5k Run/Walk, I was 300/492 overall and 31/52 in my age group. 

You know what the coolest part was?  After the race, seeing some of my kids' friends get awards in their 12 and under age group for the 5k!  One of the kids - a girl from my son's preschool playgroup - took first of the girls, and so I got to find them and catch up a little.  I also saw my daughter's Kindergarten teacher, who couldn't believe that some of the kids she had taught were running the 5k this year.  (No, not mine...they were all snug in their nice, warm beds.)  She and her husband and family had just finished the 10k, massive 2-kid stroller and all!

Congrats to everyone who participated in the event this year!  And thank you, Senior Coastsiders and event volunteers, for hosting another event full of fitness and fun!

A happy 5k finisher!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Opposite Life Reboot!

Well, I'm back!

[Picking bits of barnacle shell off of my back.  You'll have that from a keel hauling. Captain Wordswench and crew are none to gentle...]

But where to restart?  Rebooting a blog is kind of like rebooting one's fitness routine, so I guess I just need to dive back in and start writing something.  The "big catchup" seems daunting, just like the idea of getting back into running.  So I guess I'll do a brief re-cap, and hopefully flesh some of those out in the coming weeks.

[I really wanted to post something yesterday, October 2, for so many reasons.  But my first draft was interrupted here by Thing 1, who was having trouble sleeping, and Mr. Handsome-and-Handy, who is desperately sleep-deprived and just wanted to go to bed already...

...It's now October 3.  I will take 5 minutes and post SOMEthing.  Because something is better than nothing, right? ;-D]
  • FitBloggin' 13:  I am probably the last of the people who are going to attempt a recap that are actually going to do it. It was, overall, awesome!  I met some wonderful new blogger friends, broke out of my introvert self in many ways, enjoyed my PDX - finding new favorites, when old favorites have gone.  (I also discovered some tasty new things at the conference, and I will be doing a product review and my FIRST giveaway, so look for that in the next week!) FitBloggin' ends with a 1 mile/5k/10k event.  I was going to do the 5k in the morning - walking, I hadn't run in a long time - but I ended up doing the mile walk with friends I met, and it was SO fun!  Like a kid at Christmas, though, I let myself get overtired during the conference days and so some things that didn't quite gel for me made me feel a little more fragile than I would normally let them.  I can't say "I can't wait to tell you all about it," because obviously I have waited.  But I look forward to MAKING some time to do it justice.
  • See Jane Run Volunteer!:  I was also going to at least walk the 5k for the Run for Chocolate and Champagne, but I ended up hurting my ankle.  They ended up short on volunteers, so I went and helped out at registration and taking down the registration area...and probably burned more calories than actually participating!  So yes, I ate the chocolate.  I also got to see Susan Ito and her Weight Watchers "Island Girls" tribe!
  • The Grandparent Trifecta!  Our summer vacation saw us visiting all 3 sets of grandparents!  We traveled to Tucson in June, Lompoc for 4th of July (and the kids saw real fireworks for the first time!), and Michigan in July/August for a big ol' family reunion.
  • program:  I also decided to try and regain my running.  I wasn't excited about it, but I decided to commit to getting through the "couch to 5k" program.  I'm happy to say that I just finished day 2 of week 7!  I have to say, it felt like a drudge until week 6, and now I'm actually looking forward to my running days.  I plan to do one more day, then then supplemental 7-2, then week 8 the week before the Pumpkin Run - week 8 should be a good taper of sorts after the longer week 7 and 7-2 workouts.  This year will be my 5th Pumpkin Run!  I missed it last year, so it will be good to be back.  I don't plan to take my distance longer than 4 miles anymore.  My goal is to become the best 5k runner I can.
  • Back to school:  Yes, it's ON!  The kids have been back awhile, so everything is once more in full swing.
  • A new Facebook page!  Unfortunately, "Opposite Life" was taken, so I set up a writer page, "Pubsgal."  I don't know what I'm going to do with it yet, but it might be handy for blog update alerts.  Maybe it will become where I blog, because Blogger doesn't work so well on mobile devices, and I've been big-screen challenged lately.  (Which is why I don't comment on blogs as much anymore, either.) 
Um, did I say "brief"?  Oh well!  Hope all you crickets have a great day!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Avast! It be Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Ahoy, yeh scurvy dogs!  'Tis Captain Wordswench here, and I be wonderin'...what happened ter that lubber, Pubsgal?  As me trusty crew mounts a search party, I'll be comandeerin' her blog and postin' a wee verse fer yer readin' pleasure....

A Wee Sea Chanty fer Talk Like a Pirate Day!

Rum lasses and lads!
Train yer tongues on t' past,
An' shiver yer timbers,
An' holler "Avast!"

The sun, it be shinin'!
The winds, they be fair!
'Tis time ter sheath our booties
In skull & crossbones underwear!

Yer looks, they be quite puzzled.
"Why this funny talk?" ye say?
Go on t' account, me buckos,
It be "Talk Like a Pirate Day!"

But first, hie thee ter work
Ter avoid a keelhaul.
But later, we can pillage
Our trusty stash of grog.


Monday, May 6, 2013

May Already? You have got to be kidding me.

Happy May!  I can't believe that we're already well into the 5th month of the year.

Where has the time gone?!?!?!

Hope the new year is treating everyone well.  Opposite Family and I have been keeping very busy, with school & work (oh my gosh, the work!) & volunteering & all the life stuff we have to do in addition to the above.

  • I received amazing news from one of my blogging heroines, the amazing Ms. Shauna Reid:  I won the ticket to FitBloggin' 13 in her Super Sell-out blogging anniversary event!!!  This year, the event is being held on the West Coast, in my very favorite city: Portland, Oregon!  Many thanks to Shauna for hosting the giveaway and to Roni of SkinnyMinnyMedia for sponsoring the prize!  My birthday mojo must have still been in effect, because this happened a mere two days after my big day!  Of course, being neither as fit as I would like nor a terribly active blogger during the past couple of years, I'm probably not the most deserving recipient.  But maybe this trip will re-spark both.  It will be great timing, just after my 5th "healthiversary".  I have to admit that I'm a little anxious about it, too, because I probably won't know very many people and am actually kind of a shy person in large groups.  Any advice on FitBloggin'?
  • Following that was the holiday weekend, and Lori of Finding Radiance's 3rd Annual Bloggers' Healthy Heart Weekend! My daughter had been sick that weekend, and my plans to do something amazing changed into OMG-I've-gotta-do-SOMETHING!!! So I turned to my faithful exercise bike and cranked out 6.5 miles. It wasn't the greatest-feeling workout, but I got it done and sent in my photo. (I made up for it the next day with an exhilarating outing to the Pillar Point bluffs for an excellent walk/jog.) So imagine my surprise when I won the shower gel/body butter prize! We are all enjoying it. Thanks, Lori, for hosting another great virtual event!
  • This past weekend, my hula sisters and I danced for the residents at Sunrise Assisted Living in San Mateo, then attended the Foster City Polynesian Festival.  I really enjoyed dancing for the residents, especially the last number: our instructor taught and we all led a sitting hula (noho style) to "Song of Old Hawaii."  It has pretty arm motions, and it was fun to include everyone.  I was impressed by the facility: the staff were very nice, and the ground floor common areas were so pleasant.  They even have a resident dog, cat, and bird. 
  • Finally, I was excited and happy to see that a group of some of myfavorite bloggers came together to start AIM: Adventures in Maintenance!  They post on the first Monday of every month on a weight maintenance-related topic, and I'm enjoying reading their posts in AIM as well as their regular postings.  Here are links to each of their web sites; click today (5/6/13) to see their latest AIM post:
    Lynn @ Lynn's Weigh
    Debbie @ debbyweighs in
Lots more goings-on, but that will have to do for now!  I'll be back sooner than I was last time:  I will have my See Jane Run (or, in this Jane's case, "ralk"), plus FitBloggin' adventures to share!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy "Renew" Year 2013

Well, it's 2013.  I greeted last year with giddy anticipation, and the year prior feeling "meh".  This year's kickoff was full of significant portents:  "Hey, it's Tuesday, and I'm on vacation! I get to be in my pajamas all day!  And drink lots of my peaberry Kona Christmas gift coffee!  Cool!"

And, being a child of Southern California, I watched the Rose Parade, and for many reasons was tickled that the theme was Dr. Seuss' "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"

Where I've Been

Not around here, obviously.  I only posted 8 entries in 2012.  Partly for a good reason:  work has been crazy busy!  I felt like I was stretched, and grew at work: socially, professionally, and intellectually.  The downside of feeling stretched is that sometimes I felt stretched a bit too thin.  Especially when the holidays came around, and we piled all of the school & community events (particularly hula) on top of the usual tasks.  But somehow, we held it together and made it to this vacation oasis.

Being stretched too thin, as many a person juggling career and family knows, means that often something has to give.  That "something" this year were the physical and emotional areas, which I had spent the past few years getting in order.  My "oxygen mask" mask of blogging and healthy eating and fitness habits?  Seems to have gotten sucked out the window and is lying, battered, in a cornfield somewhere.

Although I didn't post it here, I did pick a word for 2012.  That word was "realize," because I liked the duality of it:  awareness and accomplishment.  I think I realized a few things this past year:
  • I accomplished and grew a lot in 2012, in a myriad of ways.
  • Even if I'm not in the greatest physical condition of my life, I have so many reasons to be happy and grateful.
  • However, I can't really consider myself "successful" if I'm neglecting basic self-care.  Part of those above-mentioned "reasons" are my family, and they need me to be healthy.
  • I'm not sure how I'm going to do it, but I need to "un-slump" myself.  This prospect, of course, makes me want to go take a nap.

Where Do I Want to Go?

Taking a nap wasn't really the logical thing to do today.  I already had a good night's sleep and a stomach full of "spackle".  So I thought, "What other healthy thing do I want to do now?"  It was a gorgeous day, so the choice was easy-peasy:  I went for a hike.  I went to a place I like to go when I'm feeling thoughtful and want to get a sense of the grandeur of where I live, the bluffs north of the harbor. 

 Glad to have nice weather during my vacation!  
(Also glad that Picasa 3 added some cool photo editing's the little things.)
Beautiful Pillar Point...
...complete with "ice cream cone"

During my walk, I enjoyed the sunshine and fresh ocean air.  The "place" I really want to be, I thought to myself, is "well".  I remember, from my time in a club I was in during high school, that we filled out a sort of self-assessment that had areas like "physical," "emotional," "spiritual," etc.  It turns out that what we had learned about was the "Six Dimensions of Wellness" model by Dr. Bill Hettler.  I think that my next post will be my map for each of those areas for 2013.  I'm not much of a "new year's resolutions" type of girl, but I think having a sense of direction will be helpful, per a good quote I found today:
"Happiness is essentially a state of going somewhere, wholeheartedly, one-directionally, without regret or reservation." - William H. Sheldon
I have 4 more days to reflect and make my 2013 "Trip Tik"...which come to think of it, is a pretty good metaphor for what I need.  Anyone remember those, or travel using one?  I had one for my road trip to North Carolina back in 1989, and it was great!   It was a bound booklet, and each narrow strip of a page was a segment of the route.  It was handy to have a detailed picture of the next "chunk" of the trip, with clear direction about where to go.

I also saw the following one, but I'm still formulating what my "something to be enthusiastic about" will be, with respect to physical health.  In years past, it was triathlon, and recently it has been hula.  All I know is I want to bring back my quarterly events, even if I'm not the most serious of athletes, because they make me feel enthusiastic and alive.
"We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about." - Charles Kingsley