Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Couch-to-5k Third Workout

For the first and second runs of my Couch-To-5k Workout, go here and here.

Tonight Justinbustin had youth group down in south Austin, so Brando, Shawners, and I dropped him off then went and parked at Zilker Park so I could run Town Lake Trail aka Lady Bird Lake Trail while Shawners and Brando hung out at Zilker. Brilliant. I left the watch I'd been borrowing from Justinbustin at home, so I used his iTouch to time my run instead.

7:25pm Running down rocks to the trail. This was not so smart. Guy running up the rocks. Strange.
7:26pm Why the heck is the walk part the longest most boring part ever? And what the heck is up with these gnats on the trail? *swat*
7:27pm Seriously, am I the only one dealing with these gnats. They can't just be following me, can they? *nervous glance at other walkers/runners to see if they seem to be bothered*
7:28pm Okay, this is going so slow. Time to enjoy the beauty of the lake you're walking alongside.
7:29pm 30 seconds Ooh, pretty plants next to the water.
7:31pm Thank God that's over. The plants and lake are pretty, but what is that stench?
7:31pm First run. Slight side cramp. Nooo!
7:31pm 30 seconds Oops, I forgot water again. Maybe that's why I have the side cramp. Good thing I'm running by Brando's car where I left my water bottle.
7:32pm 30 seconds Banging on the car window trying to wake Brando up so I don't break my time. Success.
7:32pm 45 seconds Water in hand. Why did that guy ask me how I was doing as I was running past him? Did he not see I was busy?
7:33pm Run back to the trail. Seriously, the whoot out of the car is tried and failed. Just keep driving guys.
7:33pm 15 sec Man, these gnats are EVERYwhere. And it's not just me. I see other people swatting.
7:33pm 30 sec Ooh, look, I just saw that walking girl running a minute ago. She must be doing intervals, too.
7:34pm I feel like pig pen from peanuts. These gnats are following me. And they're worse when the stench of the lake gets worse.
7:35pm Back to running. Sweet, I'm ten minutes in. I can do this. And no more side cramps!
7:36pm Smooth sailing with my water. Love it.
7:37pm 30 seconds More running.
7:38pm Uh oh, I feel like throwing up. Maybe eating before running wasn't the smartest idea. Especially after adding water on top of it.
7:38pm 30 seconds Thank goodness I get to walk again. I seriously am starting to feel food coming up.
7:39pm Almost to the point I need to turn around. Dang, there are so many sweaty, huffing, puffing people around. I do not like this.
7:39pm 30 seconds I can do this. Just breathe.
7:40pm Time to run and turn around. I'm skipping the trail and taking the grassy way back to the car.
7:40pm 30 seconds Ahhh, peace. No gnats, no stench, no people. I love running on the grassy field.
7:41pm I did another run. No upchuck. Thank goodness.
7:42pm I love walking all by myself. Town Lake Trail is so not my cup of tea to run.
7:43pm 30 seconds Last run! Can't believe I did this again. This time was the most challenging with the new terrain, the people, and the nasty gnats. Wonder how many I swallowed.
7:44pm 30 seconds Victory lap around the parking lot where Brando and Shawners are parked.
7:45pm 30 seconds Okay, really, it's a final cool down lap so nothing comes up. Can't wait to get back to the car and let my stomach settle.
7:46pm Back to the car. So happy I pushed through and finished!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pure Relaxation

For a rundown of the whole trip and links to other activities from our vacation, go here.

Our first day in Pismo Beach we hit up the natural mineral springs hot tubs in Avila Beach at Sycamore Mineral Springs Resort. Brando had the brilliant idea of splurging on massages beforehand. Generally they have you use the hot tubs beforehand, but because we were headed to dinner afterwards and Brando wanted to make sure we could rinse the massage off, he insisted we use them afterwards. Fortunately, Ashley (oh I hope that's her name!) at Sycamore Mineral Springs was kind enough to make sure we would have one afterwards as she knew they were not booked at all for the Friday afternoon.

We arrived for our massages and entered the cute little gift shop area,
and then through a walkway to our massage area. We were met in the lobby by Ashley and sent back to change in the lush bathrooms.
Once changed into our robes we headed to our beautiful private couples massage room.
I love the details adorning the door handles.
The entire grounds surrounding the massage room were stunning.
Inside the rooms you could hear the birds tweeting outside. The ceilings were open at one time when the rooms were private jacuzzi rooms and now have gorgeous wood covering them giving them an open airy feeling. The black curtain appears to be used to separate the two massage tables. After our fantastic massages (wish I could remember the names of the masseuses),
we headed straight up to our private outdoor natural mineral springs jacuzzi. The walk itself was lush green, and gorgeous. When we got to our stairs that had the sign directing us to our hot tub,
I absolutely LOVEd that we had a private little walkway to our very own hot tub.
The views of the other hot tubs through the trees was beautiful.
Once we got to our own little place (as you can see, I couldn't be bothered to stop walking to take the picture, thus the blur of action)
we were relieved to see no one could be looking down on us from above.
Brando hopped in right away.
An hour or so of soaking,
taking fun photos,
and taking in the beauty surrounding us, we leisurely headed back to the main shop area to walk around.
We had seen a purple tree orchard and a sign for a labyrinth on the way in, so now was the perfect time to check it out before the sun set.

The labyrinth was mesmerizing.
Yes, I attempted to walk it, but gave up after the first 5 minutes as were on our way to dinner to see my childhood best friend. The purple tree orchard was my priority any way, with it's gorgeous blossoms and volcanic mountains in the background.
Stunning. I love how relaxed my smile looked and felt after the massages and soak.

Couch-to-5k Second Workout

Second interval run. So proud of myself!

3:55pm Starting out with walking. Most boring part ever.
3:57pm Seriously, it's only been two minutes?
3:58pm Mmm, smells like barbeque weather. Love all the purple flowers on the patios.
3:59pm I'm also at the end of my running area, where the heck am I going to run. Should've taken the road.
4:00pm First run. Not bad. Uh-oh, slight side cramp. Shoot, this better not put me down for the count.
4:02pm Yay, the walking time totally allows for the cramp to be breathed away.
4:03pm Guess I'll go run over where they are doing the new construction. Oops, I'll have to jump fences during my running time. That counts.
4:03pm 30 sec Wow, I've worked up a sweat already. Awesome.
4:05pm Ooh, pretty sunset through the trees from the construction area.
4:07pm Running time. Uh-oh, did I seriously forget water? I am breathing heavy and this side cramp is coming back with every run. At least it's leaving with the walks.
4:08pm Better head back to my place.
4:09pm 30 seconds Can't believe I forgot water. Dumb. Hope it doesn't ruin my good feeling about running. Note to self: BRING WATER.
4:10pm Routine at this point. Side cramp while running, walk off the side cramp, run again. Thinking this may have to do with my lack of water.
4:14pm Almost back to the house, but need to walk off this last cramp.
4:15pm Totally covered in sweat. Love it.
4:15pm 30 sec Back at the house within 30 seconds of my target time. Awesome.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Holy S*@# I Did It

I did my first interval. Thanks to K's and KT's inspiration, I did it! After reading about K's running group my first thought was "I could do that. I could really, really do that." So I printed out this program and set it aside, thinking "I WILL do that. One day." This morning I texted KT and said, "I'm back. Just unpacking. Come by anytime." Five minutes later she is at my doorstep with coffee in both hands with her fabulous new dark hair that matches mine. It took me a few seconds to recognize her through the peephole but the second I did I threw open and welcomed her with the jumping up and down squeal we normally do when we see each other. An hour later after one our inspirational talks, she was off to work, and I was throwing on my tennis shoes as she walked out the door to take my first interval. Here is how it went down:

8:57am Walking 5 minutes. This is a pleasant way to start. I like walking.
8:59am Wow, this is boring as s*@#. How am I going to do this for twenty minutes?!
9:02am Time to start running. 60 seconds is SO long. How am I going to do this?
9:02am 45sec How can it have been 45 seconds already? I only have 15 seconds left. Wow, time flies.
9:03am Time to start walking again. This is awesome. I can run, heck I don't even have to run, jog for 60 seconds at a time.
9:03am 45sec This is taking forever. How much longer do I have to walk?
9:04am 30sec I'm running out of soft ground to run on. I don't want to jolt my back
9:05am 30 sec Time to start walking again. Sweet, I only have 20 minutes left.
9:07am Running time. Dang, the place I wanted to go is fenced off. I'll try and explore a path through on walking time.
9:08am Oh, sweet! I only have TEN minutes left, not 20 - the total time is supposed to be twenty. Time to turn around soon.
9:09am 30sec Dang, can't find a path through the fence. Got to head back any way.
9:12am Walking again. Shoot, am I going to make it back in time?
9:13am 30 sec Can't wait to blog about my random-arse thoughts on this run.
9:14am Looks like I'm going to make it back just in time.
9:16am Running time - by now it goes so fast I look forward to the running instead of the walking. Oh, look, there's Mar's old apartment and our old apartment. Such sweet memories. Means I'm close to home.
9:16am 30 sec Hell, yes. I am walking up the stairs to my apartment. Okay, running, but I love when I estimate time exactly to the second and I will make it to my door at 9:17am exactly.
9:17am At my door. Fist pump
9:18am Blogging time. Wow, my back is covered in sweat and I didn't even feel it on the run. In love.
9:27am Time to go shower and pick Justinbustin up for lunch.

Hahaha, okay I just realized I did this all in California time as I was using Justinbustin's watch still set to Cali time. Fast forward all those time two hours and it'll be accurate, but, really, who cares? Go me either way.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Why not begin with the last?

For a rundown of the whole trip and links to other activities from our vacation, go here.

It may've been one of the last days, but it was one of my favorite days. Oh, who am I kidding, they were all my favorite days. Still, this was a treat to see Capitola so stormy. In all my 17 years of growing up there I never once saw the beach completely covered in water. See where the foam ends? That's normally where the shore line begins.
The restaurants on the beach are now restaurants on the ocean.This was the only sand around, and apparently had been underwater itself the last few days as, hold your ears if you are eating, have a sensitive stomach, or generally cry when you hear about sadness with animals - there was a beached seal.I felt I was making a fapaux when I took his picture, but I had to record the moment in all it's sadness. Even then I couldn't take a picture of his sweet face.

Seal aside, it was a gorgeous day to view the power of the ocean. Though all of these photos were taken at the same time, some are perfectly sunny on the west side and stormy on the east as the storm was coming in from the east. Brando and I walked out onto the wharfand felt the power of the waves crash against the pier, making it shake as we walked across it.I held my camera over the side and videoed the oft small waves, now big, and rolling in right after the other. This was definitely an upside to being in California with so many storms rolling through - not only did we manage to drive from town to town avoiding the storms, we got to see the amazing after effects in the powerful, huge waves of the ocean - normally, a passive roll with a decent wave or two, now five powerful, amazing breaks coming in every which way we turned.

One of my favorite parts of Capitola is the brightly colored Venetian buildings. They are tiny vacation homes and always make me think of what the Mediterranean coasts must look like. The color of the buildings with the contrast of the storm behind it makes me in love with this photo.
A fun view point from the sidewalk as we walked in front of the buildings.

Top Shelf

Ooh, how exciting! As I was cleaning out my inbox, I deleted an email with "media invite" in the subject line. Curious, I used gmail's search feature to search for the email again, and what do you know? I came across not one, but three media invites. Two for SXSW - one for a Red Bull SXSW party,and one for the SXSW France Rocks Austin parties put on by the French Bureauexport. The other invite was for Tribeza Wedding Day,an event I went to and LOVEd last year when it was hosted by the Driskill. Unfortunately, they are all for past events, and several of them were for events I was not in town for, but I am going to be keeping a sharper eye out for these emails. How fun!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Before I Forget

This trip has been epic. Oh, and my back recovered later on Saturday, thank goodness. Not 100% up to par, but definitely not feeling like I need to be back in bed. The chiropractor said recovery would be quicker, and I'm glad that has been happening! This is becoming a story of my back blog, so back to the trip...

Thursday -
Arrived in Santa Cruz
Had lunch at In n Out (the first of many at In n Out) with my Mommy
Brando and I went to an event my dad put on at a restaurant in San Jose and had a delicious dinner while the boys stayed with Brando's Mom

Friday -
Lunch at Walnut Avenue Cafe with Brando's Mom
Shopping with Brando's Mom - got a new wardrobe, whoo - spoiled me!
Dinner at Kianti's with my family

Saturday -
Watched the sunrise over the city and the ocean
Watched the tsunami hit SC at West Cliff while on the phone with my Mom who was watching it at the harbor
Had breakfast at Kellye's French Pastries - delicious
Lunch at Crow's Nest on the beach with my Mom, sister, nieces & nephews
Took the boys to the Boardwalk on the beach
Watched the boys play on the beach and in the ocean

Sunday -
Ate breakfast at Aldo's on the harbor with Grandma and Grandpa
Took the boys to Seymour Marine Center to hold starfish and see dolphins while Grandma and Grandpa napped in their RV
Took the boys to the movies to see Rango with Grandma and Grandpa

Monday -
Lunch with my Mom at Paradise Beach Grille on the ocean
Headed to Sacramento to stay with my sister

Tuesday -
Went to Northstar where Brando & Justinbustin snowboarded and I skiied
Brando and Justinbustin snowboarded down the mountain all day
Went all the way up to the summit on my first time skiing and very second run - the first run was the bunny hill - Brando has a video of me going down it then turning around and saying, "Okay, I'm ready to go up the mountain!"

Wednesday -
Headed back to SC by way of San Francisco
Took the boys to the Golden Gate bridge with the view of Alcatraz, Angel Island, and the coast
Had dinner with my cousins and their baby
Made the final stretch to SC

Thursday -
Brando and I went on our romantic venture to Pismo Beach by way of Carmel & Pebble Beach
Stopped at the Farm in Aptos for our favorite lunch ever and orgasmic tasting coconut macaroons
Brando bought me a beautiful bracelet and necklace at the Farm to take the place on the trip of the special ones I usually bring but accidentally left at home
Hiked Point Lobos in Carmel
Had dinner with my aunt and uncle at Pebble Beach
Made the final stretch to Pismo

Friday -
Rode ATVs from BJs on the beach
Drove on the beach at Oceano
Had massages at Sycamore Mineral Springs
Soaked in the natural mineral springs hot tubs at same
Ate delicious sushi at Yanagi (yummy eel, tuna, and salmon rolls) with my childhood best friend and her new boyfriend

Saturday -
Watched the sunrise on the beach with delicious cinnamon rolls from Old West Cinnamon Rolls
Visited with another aunt and uncle
Stopped by Edna Valley Vineyard and wine tasted with a gorgeous view (stinkin' headache afterward but it was worth it)
Went to Montana De Oro
Drove by Avila Beach

Sunday -
Had cinnamon rolls with my childhood best friend
Headed home to SC a day early to avoid the storm hitting Pismo
Said goodbye to my sister who had come in for the weekend and was heading back home
Brando's Mom took the boys out to feed the seals, shop, and have lunch so Brando and I could finish off our weekend
Went shopping - California has such awesome clothing and prices
Dinner at Soif, one of Brando's and my old haunts - so romantic to go back
Gelatto at Riva's on the Wharf

Monday -
Had brunch at my favorite bakery and cafe ever, The Farm, in Aptos
Shopped at The Farm as they also have my favorite gift store ever
Found our own private scenic view of the coast on the way to Capitola, a first for both of us
Walked in Capitola Village
Walked Capitola Wharf
Lunch at Bocci's Cellar with Brando's Mom for her birthday
Dinner at the ever beautiful Shadowbrook with my family

Tuesday -
Took Justinbustin surfing in the morning
Met a new blogger friend while he was out in the water with her friends
Had lunch at the Farm again with Brando's Mom
Drove over the hill on the way to the airport
Ate at In N Out
Hung out in my parent's RV
And we were off, just like that - sadness

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Romantic Update

Been having an AMAZING trip thus far. Got massages yesterday - not because I needed one but because Brando did after snowboarding. She worked really, really hard on one knot and worked me over pretty good all over. I walked away sore and now, I've been up and in pain since 3am - catching up on the Bachelor while I'm at it harhar. ARGH. I am hoping I recover tomorrow because we still have so MUCH to do these next few days and they're the days Brando and I have alone - our time alone started on Thursday and it's only Friday! If not, it's been an amazing trip already and I hope I can be content with that.

PS We went ATV riding and drove in our car on the BEACH today. Seriously, I should be SO happy with that if that's all I get to do, right?!!

Monday, March 07, 2011

Trip & Mend

Tall Sassy Gal had a good question on my last post - is it just Brando and I, or are the kids coming with? The answer is since our anniversary date in November is so busy with Thanksgiving and birthdays, we celebrate our anniversary over Spring Break. We take the kids to the grandparents in our coastal hometown in Cali, spend a day to a few days with them, then take off on our own. This time we will take the kids to the snow for a few days before we come back to our hometown and take off. So, yes, it's just Brando and I.

Also, I found an aaaamazing chiropractor for my back. One that won't make me come in three times a week forever (because, let's face it, I won't, besides not having the money, never mind the time). I've had two appointments so far with another eight or so to go and am already feeling HUMUNGOUS times better. Unfortunately I was an idiot and vacuumed my house on Saturday after having the appointment Friday and feeling FANTASTIC through errands, halfway putting on a spare, and sitting an hour and a half in traffic. Apparently activities like vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, and raking (you know all the things that DESPERATELY need to happen after five weeks of me being in bed) are triggers because of all the twisting and holding weight out at arms length - hence my forty pound vacuum triggering me being back on my bed for three hours. Fortunately, I actually recovered and felt almost fantastic again Sunday! I went back for my second appointment today and feel like the triggers I set off with the vacuuming are gone, thank GOODness.

Speaking of the trip, the chiropractor vetoed some of my crazier activities I reported in my previous post (apparently, not to scare me he said, but he's seen two people have to have back surgery from going on a high speed power boat and getting hurt when the boat came down and hit the waves - I've been on a boat in choppy waters in a lake and was literally crying until I realized sitting in the back was much much better, so I can't imagine what being on the ocean would be like - he said sitting by the engine would be fine, but now I'm not sure I want to chance it). I have a few more activities to ask him about when I see him once more before we go on our trip. I can't help it, when I feel myself (like I am feeling closer and closer to these days - hallelujah!!) I want to do EVERYthing. I am finding out more and more these days that is who I am : ) .

Saturday, March 05, 2011

So Many Choices So Little Time

This spring break we have been debating spending time in Napa, Pismo Beach, Yosemite, or Lake Tahoe. Lake Tahoe is for the kiddos with the snow, Napa would be for wine, Yosemite would be for hiking, and Pismo would be for wine, beach, hiking, AND wine. So obviously Pismo wins.

I have been wanting to do Napa forEVER, but I think there's a reason I haven't done it yet. I don't really want to. I'm not *that* into wine these days since wine gives me a killer headache the next day and counts me out for the day, even with one glass. Recently I found out I'm allergic to the tannins in wine. Tannins are added for flavor, and I discovered that Pinot Noir has super low tannins, especially the least expensive ones. Perfect! Of course, only being able to drink one option of wine doesn't make for a very exciting trip to Napa. Besides, I'm more of a mountain and beach girl, than a valley girl I am realizing. The idea of spending my vacation time drinking something that generally gives me a headache and being surrounded by mountains that I'm not on, as well as the nearest beach being more than three hours away has started to sound less appealing to me.

Yosemite presents a similar problem. Though there is FANTASTIC hiking - which I am not up to par for at the moment - the closest beach is even farther away, and hiking seems the only option. That and gorgeous views of waterfalls.

Lake Tahoe is a must-do, but not as a getaway for Brando and I. We'll hit the slopes with the kids there and possibly try some snow mobiling and zip lining this time.

If you can't tell by now, I'm an options girl. After weeks of research on Napa and finding only winery after winery, I was completely ECSTATIC just now when I started my research for Pismo Beach. The options I found within half an hour of research blow my mind and have me absolutely giddy. As always, I've found too much to do.

Hearst Castle
Sycamore Mineral Springs (for the hot springs jacuzzis)
Wine Tasting (specifically Edna Valley Winery overlooking Islay Hill, a dormant volcano)
Corralina Coves for tidepooling
Montana de Oro State Park for horse back riding
Elephant Seal Beach at San Simeon
Moonstone Beach Drive boardwalk along the beach
Paso Robles Wine Events
ATV Riding on the sand dunes and along the water
Hang Gliding
Kayaking (in a bird sanctuary with pelicans)
Sea Lions at Avila Beach Drive
Morro Rock at low tide
Jet Skiing
High Speed Boat Ride coastal tour
Bike Cruisers (love doing this along the beach)
Hummer Sand Dune tours

I'll have to choose between the activities, I'm sure, as try as I might we couldn't quite possibly do them all and actually enjoy them all. As I went through that list I found even MORE to do that I added above and am now so over the top excited I actually squealed and Shawners asked if that was a cat. And the best part? My Aunt has a vacation home we can use there. Now to just figure out what days to be there, and what days to be at the snow.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Shoal Creek Trail

I've been wanting to hike this trail forever. Driving along Lamar it looks like the most peaceful completely accessible hike alongside the road. So the other day Brando decided he was going to take us hiking and mentioned it would be somewhere along Lamar. I was so excited because I realized it was exactly the place I've been wanting to go forever. Warning: me using my new to me but Brando's old camera, plus Brando with his camera = a plethora of photos : ) .

Little did I know that just off the side of the road was a wonderland of nature that was so fascinating I didn't even notice the road just on the other side of the creek.
except for when it crossed the creek over pretty bridges.

The parking was so easy to get to and immediately you felt like you were in nature with trees budding with random flowers,

a babbling creek,

a dried bamboo forest

that was way too tempting for two little boys,


fascinating bed rock that reminds me of the tide pools in Santa Cruz,

old stone steps that lead to nowhere (I love that mystery),

minnows and fishies,

reeds among the water,

and a Blair Witch like forest - this might've been my favorite part of the whole hike.

- that, and these adorable moments between brothers,

and the golden dried bamboo.
Fortunately flat ground hiking is one of the things that's relieving to me, and it was the perfect easy hike amongst our busy day of breakfast, a basketball game for Justinbustin, and lazily hanging out downtown at the park like we've been doing the last few Sundays.


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