December 23, 2009

Turkey Trot 09!

by Suzy

Last year, we swore we were gonna get those turkey hats (check the blog entry if you don't believe me), and by gosh, we did! (It is amazing to live in a world where you can type "cooked turkey hat" into google and receive several options.)

Fierce fashionistas that we are, naturally we had to accessorize them. Everything is better when it's beadazzled!

Mielle ran with Gabe in the kids race this year... she is doing so much better than a year ago.

And they're off...

Billy, Gabe and Mielle kill time, Lenny shoots, and the mamas hoof it...

And here we come -- look at that form! So tight, soooooo pro!

Steph's not in the mood for the paparrazzi:
Kirsten and Claudia finish with a flash of white meat, just like the hat says:
And my happiness upon winning the next-to-last bottle of two-buck-chuck in the post-race raffle. Awwwww yeah.

Big Sur Half (in Monterey, not Big Sur)

by Suzy

We had two last-minute disappointments right before the race in Monterey - both Steph and Nicole had to back out due to illness. Big, big, bummer. But Claudia, Kirsten, and I persevered, and had a FANtastic time. Arrived the day before the race, picked up our packets and did a little gear-shopping at the expo, checked into our room, wandered around quaint Carmel and had an amazing meal at one of my favorite restaurants in the area, The Forge in the Forest. They have a sweet outdoor seating area filed with vines and plants, fireplaces and heat lamps! Super cozy and the food is perfect.

The next day, race day, was GORGEOUS. Sunny and cool. I guess there were about 10,000 people there altogether, although I'm not sure. It was really well organized so we corralled up and started off shortly thereafter. What a glorious route... almost entirely along the coastline, and totally stunning. No real hills to speak of... fun bands playing and plenty of water stops... even some good samaritans handing out dixie cups of Coors Light at around mile 11.5. Very very very nice. We got lazy and didn't even bring a camera for the actual race, and now I regret it... but at the time, it was nice to just BE, and RUN, and not worry about documenting it. Just that once!

After the race we ate some snacks but quickly headed out in search of real food. We found it at a dark little English pub, where we loaded up on red meat, potatoes and bloody mary-s for K and C (what's the plural of bloody mary, anyway??) and beer for me. Then headed back to our hotel for hot tub and a swim (brrrr!), shower, and nap. All refreshed, we enjoyed tea in the sweet garden patio of the hotel, then headed back to Carmel to watch the sunset on the beach. Here we are:

Pretty mellow, man. The sunset was awesome. I have some pics of it, just not sure where!

Sooo, then it was a little shopping and - get this - back to the same restaurant for dinner. We felt kinda lame not going somewhere else, but it was just so good that we decided to go for the sure thing. And it was the right decision!

After all that, we were collapsed in bed and sound asleep by 9:30.

Could a day be any more perfect?

November 14, 2009

Off to Monterey

by Suzy

We're headed to Monterey today for the Big Sur Half Marathon tomorrow! It's just the ladies this time - no men or children allowed - so we're all excited about a girlie weekend away. Hot tubs, yummy food, and, oh yeah - 13.1 miles!

November 6, 2009

Next Races!

by Suzy

Our next race is coming right up... November 15, Big Sur Half Marathon! Yippeee!

Can't forget about the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day... we'll be making a fashion statement...

And then Mielle, Lucien, Lenny and I will travel to Austin to rendezvous with 50 other Cure JM families and run the Austin Half Marathon on February 14.

Just got the new fundraising page up and running...

Thanks for your support!

September 30, 2009

One Year Anniversary

by Suzy

Yes, the blogging has slowed down of late. When I'm running, I always think of all the stuff I want to write about, but there never seems to be time, and before long I've forgotten all those great ponderings... (Hey, I just realized that this could be a rationale to buy that new iPod nano that I truly don't need, but kinda really want, because it's so CUTE and it has a videocamera in it, for crying out loud! I could use the video camera as a voice recorder to capture all of my profound musings on the road! And then still probably NOT write about most of them!! But I digress...)

What I've been thinking about lately is my one-year anniversary of running. It's right about now. I remember, because I photographed a wedding last year on October 4, and it turned out that the bride and groom were big marathoners. I summoned up all my courage and sheepishly mentioned to them that I'd begun running - it had been less than a week and I was still in the throes of all that early embarrassment and insecurity. They were, of course, lovely and encouraging, and now I will always remember that date, and that it was a few days prior to October 4 that I began.

I'm proud, thrilled, grateful, relieved, and generally ecstatic that, one year later, I am still running.

If anyone had told me that I would ever willingly peel the covers back in the dark of pre-dawn, pull on some shorts, eat a banana and head out to run, I would have thought s/he was absolutely delusional. Yet, I did just that this morning. And I wasn't even meeting any of my fabulous mamajoggers. It was just me today, and I just got the hell up and ran, and it felt great.

I simply cannot overstate what running has come to mean to me, and how it has saved me during the hands-down most painful and challenging period in my life. Of course, it's the physiology - the endorphins, and the shifts in body chemistry - and the getting out, the breathing fresh air, the being in nature. But it goes so much deeper than I ever dreamed it would, and that is because of friendships, and community, and love.

A year ago, when I asked Kirsten and Steph if they would take pity and run with me now and then as I just started out, I had no idea that they would immediately step up and offer to actually run the Carlsbad race with me. I was so blown away that they would do that with me, and for me! And then, lo and behold, Nicole signed on, and Claudia too! The depth of their caring was overwhelming. And over the course of weeks and months of training, and long runs, and cold runs, and wet runs, our friendships became deeper, wider, and more meaningful than I ever could have anticipated. This is what running has brought to my life.

Fast forward to the next race - more wonderful women signing on. Old friends, like Barb (all the way from Seattle!) and Jan, and newer friends, like Anna and Jennifer and Debamitra, and friends of friends, like Jen and Amy. Our group was a little harder to coordinate, but it was also incredibly gratifying to continue building our community; and for me personally, it was deeply meaningful that these ladies would take up Mielle's cause.

I was giddy with the possibilities for Mamajog... I wanted it to go national! Viral! Global! I was, and still am, mesmerized by the power of this simple act: running, and using the running as leverage to raise money and awareness for a cause (not even necessarily MY cause). I still dream of growing the Mamajog idea - and I'm still "living it" in my own way - but circumstances of life have forced me to postpone my plans for world domination! (At the same time that Mielle's health has been steadily improving, my son has presented us with some special challenges as well, and he needs much of our attention at the moment).

Today I revisited the firstgiving page that collected most of our donations - all the entries, all the comments. Of course, in the moment, I appreciated each and every one profoundly, but at the time, in the heat of the fundraising drive, and the running, and all the coordination with all the Mamajoggers for the last race, it was just one of many things that were happening all at once, competing for attention. Now, in the calm of this moment, I am stunned all over again with length and depth and breadth of that list. Family, friends, people unknown to me but beloved by other Mamajoggers, and perfect strangers. How amazing that all of those people could care enough about my little girl to want to help, and choose to join us in this new community of ours.

So, there you have it. The deepening of friendships, the spread of compassion, the creation of something beautiful from a truly dreadful situation... and the community created from these... all of this is the true magic that running has brought to my life. (Simply running - honestly, can you believe it!) I don't care to know where I'd be right now, without it.

I'm one year in, and it feels wonderful to have made it this far, and still love it - and I really really REALLY hope that it will stay this way for many more years to come.

July 27, 2009

Sooo late - Alameda Half!

by Suzy

D'oh! How did... ahem... two months pass since the See Jane Run Half Marathon? I dunno.

The race was fantastic. All mamajogs finished handily - and a few weren't so sure they would, due to illness, crazy work, injuries, etc. in the month preceding the race. I don't want to blather on - I think the photos tell the story. But of course, I have to offer a thousand thanks to all my fabulous gals who ran... to everyone that donated, or spread the word... thanks to Claudia for designing our awesome t-shirts, and to Court who gave us a great deal printing them... to all the spouses who spent many Sunday mornings alone with the kids while mamas ran... to Julie for documenting, to Mike for popping up all over the route to cheer and snap (and thanks for letting me use your some of your images) and on and on. All told (through two races, two events, and the simple act of asking loved ones to help) we've raised over $30,000 for Cure JM in the past year. I think that's pretty damned impressive.

Now, the photos!

Another late-night t-shirt painting session... they were barely dry...

Anna, are those Shot Bloks in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

Pre-race warm-up silliness... and Art, trying not to drown in the sea of estrogen...

Heather, Barb, and Luca came all the way from Seattle to join us for the race!

Heather's sneaky way of catching a shot of an elderly couple in their pajamas, watching from their living room window.

For a while, we weren't sure if Lenny, Mielle and Lucien would actually make it before the race started... this is me finally seeing them and heading over for final hugs, just as the horn blew

And they're off!

One last sweet hug from Claudia before taking off. This just kills me.

Our great friends Gabriel and Kelly came from Vallejo to cheer us on - it was a surprise and it put a HUGE smile on my face! Thanks, guys!

Looking good, ladies!

Barb, hitting her stride...

Meanwhile, Kirsten was already kicking back with a cold one. She was recovering from a marathon the previous month, so she ran the 5k. I'm noticing how much more champagne she got... seriously... by the time we got ours, it was a tiny splash at the bottom of the glass! No fair! ; )

Hey Billy, ya got something stuck to your leg...

A slew of chillins! Thanks for entertaining the kids during the 2+ hour wait for us to cross the finish line. (It's true that no speed records were broken that day - but we finished, dammit!)

With my girl at the finish!

She immediately swiped my medal, and I had a hard time getting it back -- but I got it back - it's MINE!

A shout out from our man Lucien!

Couldn't do any of this without this guy. Love.

Lene (Mielle's best friend) ran with Claudia (her mom) in the last little stretch.

Claudia was on cloud nine, seriously - the highest runner's high ever in history, I do believe! She'd been in serious doubt as to whether she could finish - but she DID - because she is a Serious BadAss!

I pity the fool that tries to swipe HER medal!

Triumphant ladies. You are all wonderful, and amazing, and I love you!

Soooooo, when's the next race? : )

June 7, 2009

Yeah, Baby!!

(it seems that we are all a bit too tuckered out to write about is just yet, but's the short version....)

May 29, 2009

We're Gonna Rock It!

by Debamitra

I just read Suzy's recent blog and wanted to add that YES we are going to rock it in whatever way we can:) I know I can speak for all of us when I say no matter what happens tomorrow, just the journey to get here as been amazing. I realized I could do something that I never in a million years thought I could do and in the process I also got to meet some amazing women and build friendships. But that's it about me. Everything else is about the cause we are running for and what it means to Suzy and her family. I am glad that we could help out in this way Suzy!

Good night and see you all tomorrow bright and early!

The... RACE??

by Suzy

Wow, I can't believe the race is tomorrow! How on earth did that happen?

I can't help feeling that it's a little anti-climactic. For the last race, it was a production: we traveled to Carlsbad, we had events with Cure JM folks, etc. etc. I pondered a lot about the race coming up.

This time, I'm swept up in the midst of life, children and work and barely have time to think about the race! And it seems the same for everyone. Claudia's CRAZY busy with work. Anna's sick. Kirsten's been having trouble with leg pain since her marathon. I was out of the country for a job last week and am still way behind the eight-ball. Nicole's hubby is suddenly, unexpectedly leaving for a job - the MORNING OF THE RACE. Many of the hubs have to leave during or immediately after the race to work or whatever. Seems like nobody's been able to actually run much, lately. And Jan? I have no idea what's happening with Jan, because we haven't even had the chance to speak in weeks.

Claudia noted that everyone seemed to peak about a month ago - we were mostly running strong then - and it's kinda been downhill from there for many of us, in many different ways including work crises, illness, injury, etc.! Crazy!

But, we do have our plan for where to meet tomorrow. I'm sure that once we gather in the wee hours, scarfing bagels and bananas and coffee, things will sink in.... the race is here... we're going to run it and we're going to ROCK it!! (umm, we hope!) : )

May 19, 2009

Mamajog Shirts

by Claudia

Hot off the press....Mamajog shirts....wear one on May 30th and come cheer us on!

Please post a comment here if you are interested in purchasing one: we have women's ($20.-), men's ($20.-) and children's sizes ($15.-). 100% of the proceeds are donated to the Cure JM foundation. Click on the image for a large view of the Design.

May 12, 2009

May 10, 2009

Nr. 11991 & friends

by Claudia

This weekend, we will be tackling our longest training-run before the actual race: 14 miles, according to the training-plan.
We haven't made the final decision on whether we should run the full 14, or rather keep it to 12.5, since Nicole and I weren't able to run 12.5 miles the last long-run weekend (we were both down with the flu, and have a little catching up to do).

Another reason is that some of us just want to savor the great feeling of running farther than we ever have before, and reserve that pleasure for the actual race-day, when we will hit the 13+ mile marker.

But what we DO know is that we have a super-fun course picked out (thanks to Nicole's GENIOUS idea): to mix it up a bit, we all signed up to run the infamous "Bay to Breakers" race in San Francisco (all the way across the City and through Golden Gate Park, from Embarcadero to Ocean Beach). And - no - we will not run naked, or fabricate a float, but it'll still be fun. The Bay to Breakers-course is 7.5 miles long, so basically, we'll get to run to our halfway-point in a crowd of totally fun people in costume, wearing a number and a timing-chip, pick up a medal at the finish-line, and then cruise along the Coastline and back for another 5 to 6.5 miles for desert.

A few days ago, my B to B race-package with my number-bib and timing chip arrived in the mail, and I realized that I am ready to take on this race...instead of shaking in my sneakers at the thought of the 14 miles, I just tacked the envelope onto my fridge, wearing a big-fat, anticipatory grin on my face.

May 7, 2009

Sweet 6

by Suzy

Had to really force myself to get out there today. Told myself I just need to go 3, and once I got out it felt soooo great that I ran 6. Sweet.

May 4, 2009

Meet Debamitra!

by Suzy

This is Debamitra, with whom I've been acquainted ever since we moved to our fair island city nearly 7 years ago. We traveled in mom's-group circles that overlapped, and our kids now go to the same elementary school (her son is one grade higher than Mielle.) Anyway, after mamajoggers ran the first half-marathon, I was chatting with Debamitra in the schoolyard and she told me she wanted to run the next one with us. Fabulous!

Now, like several of us, Debamitra has never run before. And it hasn't been easy for her. In the beginning, she was easily winded and really had a difficult time running even the shorter distances. But she kept at it. I recall that one Sunday, early in the training, when we were all having a post-run breakfast at our favorite cafe (the Blue Dot), who should happen by? Yep, Debamitra. She didn't make it in time to meet us for the run, so she headed out on her own. In the rain, no less. Another time, a couple mamajoggers were running the lagoon loop and bumped into her - again, running on her own. She often had conflicts on Sundays when we did our usual runs, but she kept on going - having started from scratch - and made it all the way up to 8 miles, running solo.

Let me just take a moment to say that I, personally, have not run more than 6 miles all by myself. I really rely on the company of my ladies to pull me through the longer runs!

Anyway, Debamitra was doing this amazing thing all by herself, but by this time she had fallen a little behind on the schedule, and was really struggling to push beyond the 8 miles. The next distance to tackle was 9.5, and in fact she made 3 attempts, but each time made it only to 6 miles. We encouraged her to keep going, but also (and ever-so-gently) reminded her that there is also a 5K component of the race; she could run that distance this time, and go for the half-marathon next time around. There would be no shame in it! She was doing great, but maybe it was just too much to go from zero to 13 miles in only a few months!

Nope. Debamitra insisted that she wanted to do the half-marathon. And she'd try again.

Last week, I met her for another attempt at 9.5. I'd been in Chicago all week with Mielle and hadn't been able to run, so I was happy for the chance to log some miles. We met at the usual spot and started off on the 9.5 lagoon loop, which has worked so well in the past. I knew that Debamitra walked periodically when she felt tired, and I thought it might help to just plan little walk-breaks into the run - maybe those planned breaks would help keep her energy up and prevent her from having to walk out of exhaustion. So we ran 10 minutes, then walked one. I think it helped, but we also did add a few unplanned walk breaks that were a bit longer... it was very stop-and-go!

Along the way, though, something wonderful happened. It was the first time that Debamitra and I had the opportunity to really talk and get to know one another. I heard the story of how she met her husband, and she heard the story of how I met mine. We talked about kids, and parents, and Alameda, and all sorts of other things. And we talked about running. I offered some suggestions, based on my own experience and the tiny tidbits I've read/heard/learned here and there; I suggested she try really pushing through those times when she is tempted to walk, and also to run shorter distances during the week - but run them faster, or do intervals. Debamitra finished the 9.5 mile run that day, and I know she had cleared a big psychological hurdle. She planned to tackle 11 the following week, while the rest of us would be running 12.5.

So that brings us to yesterday. Anna, Jen, Debamitra and I met at 7:30 and started off. As the miles ticked by, well... I was blown away. Debamitra just chugged along with us, powering through the distance. There was a light rain for most of the run, so although we did make a few pit stops for water, potty, etc. we didn't stop as often as we sometimes do on long runs. Even so, Debamitra only took one walking break, around mile 5, for maybe 2 minutes. She was truly a different runner than the week before. It was so incredibly impressive!

Toward the end of the run, around 10.5 miles, I looked over at her. I know how hard the last couple miles are, when it's the farthest distance you've ever run. The other gals were chatting and laughing, but Debamitra was focused. Eyes straight ahead, arms pumping, feet lifting. Her body was moving like a well-oiled machine at that point - I know she was feeling the miles, but she looked amazing, so intent on her goal, and utterly determined. It was truly awe-inspiring to see this incredible transformation!

In two weeks, Debamitra will run 12.5 miles, and two weeks after that, she WILL run the half-marathon. I am so, so proud of her.

Thanks for the inspiration, Debamitra - and of course, thank you for all you're doing to help Cure JM!

May 3, 2009

This should be interesting

by Suzy

Today I'll find out if it is possible to photograph a full-on wedding, ending Saturday at midnight, and then run 12.5 miles at 7:30 am the following day. I'm a little worried... but thinking about Kirsten and Stephanie rockin' the Avenue of the Giants Marathon today will provide inspiration. They're probably starting about now. One step at a time...

Good luck Steph and Kirsten!

Well, I'm up insomniacal again, and so I can be the first one to post that today, TODAY, is the day that two of our erstwhile mamajoggers, Kirsten and Stephanie, are running a marathon. That would be a FULL marathon, which is something I myself can only still imagine. The Avenue of the Giants Marathon, up there somewhere beautiful in Humbolt.

So, our two dears, you will not read this til later, but know that we are all with you in spirit. Run and breathe. (As Suzy so movingly put it in another blog.) Run and breathe, and we are so proud of you.

And hey, after this, will you start running with us again? Cuz we miss you.

April 29, 2009

About unexpected Gifts

by Claudia

A few weeks ago, it was my 40th Birthday. I used to really love a good party to mark that occasion, but around the time I turned into an adult that needed to show up for work in the morning, this somewhat changed. Now the main thing I want to do on my Birthday is just something different, something small, something I don't do every day. It could be having coffee in bed, having my kids sing HAPPY BIRTHDAY to me and draw me a crazy picture, a nice dinner with my husband, something that sets my birthday slightly apart from all the other 364 days of the year.

But this year, when my 40th was fast approaching and a lot of people asked me about what I had planned, I found that I hadn't really though about it...and yet, my Birthday ended up being so very special and memorable that I know I will never forget what I did that day:

I got up at an ungodly early hour, laced up my running shoes, and showed up at our favorite meeting spot in the local Park, at 5:30 am (since the clocks had changed just one night prior, my body-clock was convinced it was actually 4:30 am), where my fearless friend Kirsten was waiting, in the pitch dark, cold morning.

We went out for a beautiful run along the Waterfront, in almost complete darkness, with the full moon's bright reflection shimmering across the bay alongside of us. By the time we were about halfway into our run, we happened to turn around to see an enormous, gorgeous orange moon setting behind the San Francisco Skyline. It was so stunningly beautiful, and it seemed like it was all put on display just for us (after all, who else would be crazy enough to be out and about at this time in the freezing cold wind??!??!?!)....

When we reached the mark of the 6 miles we had planned to run, we both decided to rather keep going than freeze to death (it was still pretty cold and windy), so we just kept on going, only to realize that in the end, we had "accidentally" ran 8 miles, just to keep warm and finish our lovely chat. Painless. Fun.

For a lot of sporty people, this might not be that unusual of a way to start off your day, but had you told me a year ago how I would start off my 40th Birthday, I would have laughed really hard and called you crazy.

A year ago this time, I was so entangled into daily life and work that the only sporty activity I would make time for was chasing after my kids, up to the day when I had somewhat of a health-scare: in the end, it turned out to be just a very painful kidney stone, but the symptoms felt like I was having a heart attack, and it got me a speedy ride with an ambulance to the nearest ER. The main thought that was racing through my head as I was doubled over, waiting for the Paramedics to show up (thank you, Suzy, for racing right over to call 911 and hold my hand while I was freaking out!), was that I didn't want to suddenly kick the bucket and leave my children to grow up without their mom.

As a result I decided that by the time I turned 40, I would turn myself into the fittest and healthiest person I could become, so that I could be around for them for a very long time.

So....on my Birthday, I am grateful for the gift of a friend that rolls out of bed on a cold, dark, windy morning to go running with me.
I am grateful for the gift of being able to run 8 miles without even noticing, while holding a conversation. I am grateful for being able put this newfound ability to work as way to help Mielle. I am grateful for the gift of being able to redefine who I am and how I live. This year, I had a great and truly Happy Birthday.


Lucky me - I also got my handmade Card with a poem my daughter wrote for me....It goes something like this:

"Brothers, Sisters, A(u)nts
Uncles, Dads,
Grandma's and Grandpa's....
But no-one is so great
then the old smartie-pants."


Meet Barb!

by Barb, posting from Seattle, Washington

This shot was taken just after I got home from a 5 mile training run. Many of you know that I've joined Suzy and the other "Mama Joggers" who are raising money for the Cure JM Foundation. I'm registered for the See Jane Run Half Marathon in Alameda, CA on May 31, and have been training since the beginning of March. I'm also registered as part of a team for the Hood-to-Coast Relay at the end of August.

I've done similar events in the past, like the Marine Corps Marathon in 1998 to raise money for the Whitman Walker Clinic in DC, and the MS150 ride a couple of years ago. But this event is personal on so many levels and it would mean so much to me to have your support.

Mielle, the daughter of our good friends Suzy and Lenny, is afflicted with a rare autoimmune disease for which there is no cure. I had the privilege of getting to know Mielle when she was just a little baby. During my summer in San Francisco during law school, I always looked forward to leaving the cold foggy city behind and heading over to sunny Alameda. I would get to take long walks with Mielle in the sling, and read and play with her. I recall one afternoon Suzy came into the room laughing and asked why I always had such a goofy voice while reading to and playing with Mielle. I didn't have an answer other than it was worth looking and sounding like a goof to my adult friend in exchange for the wonderful smiles and responses I would get from Mielle.

So when we learned about Mielle's suffering, diagnosis and the devastating effects of her treatment, I was deeply saddened and felt helpless. But Mielle and her family weren't going to wallow in self pity. Instead they have gotten busy trying to raise awareness and funds for research to find a cure. Suzy's first run inspired me to get a new pair of running shoes and commit to two races this summer.

This is the point in the story where self doubt kicked in. It's been over a decade since I've done a running event, and in the interim I've had more knee surgeries and other health problems, not to mention the weight I put on in my 30s. I kept putting off that first training run, even though it was only a mile. If anything, law school teaches one to rationalize just about any point. For me, it was reasons for not going out for that first run (for others like former Bush administration lawyers, it was torture). Finally, I just did it. And to my great relief and surprise I did just fine and went further than a mile. Sure, I was winded immediately, and I won't be setting any time records. But I was moving, it felt good, and I knew I would be able to help Mielle, even if only in a small way.

Not all runs go well, and I'm bummed that I'm not there to train with the other Mama Joggers. But when I need motivation to make it to the next walk break, signpost or whatever marker I think of Mielle and her family and all that they must endure. And I'm inspired by the grit and grace by which they have responded. Then I know that I can and will make it to the next marker that I've designated to break up the training run into manageable chunks.

With your help, we can break up the fundraising goal into manageable chunks, and more importantly help find a cure and give Mielle and her family the hope and support they need. So please give what you can to Cure JM.

With much appreciation,

April 20, 2009

Who’s it gonna be?

by Kirsten

Steph and I ran 20 miles on Sat. Our last long run before the marathon on May 3rd up on Humboldt. And if you think I’m bad ass for running 18 on my own the other week, how about Steph breezing through 20 after 4 cocktails and sushi with friends the night before? She might disagree with the word “breezing” but she never buckled and never barfed and I don’t know anyone else who could do that.

It wasn’t easy, but we worked it out. At mile 14 the idea of still having 6 more to go was a bit daunting. At mile 16 we stretched and regrouped. At 18, we got a donut. Oh yes we did. And it was The. Best. Donut. Ever. We sat on the curb in the shade and ate. I had the giggles the whole time we sat there. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky. Geese were nibbling in the grass across the street. There was a slight buzz from the power lines above and a summer smell of warm pine needles. Our feet were pulsating just a bit. While it was starting to get hot, the breeze was still very cool and it swirled across our wrung out bodies and it felt like pure delight.

We sat for a bit and gathered strength for the last 2 miles and schemed about what it would take to bribe a friend into coming with us to the marathon to cheer us on and provide a donut at mile 18. We do after all have a lovely room at a great hotel that is already paid for and Steph will be driving...

Who’s it gonna be?

April 19, 2009

11 miles on a hot summer day

with Jan, Anna, Claudia, Amy, and Nicole

by Suzy

Wow, what a glorious day in San Francisco! A real summer day, in April no less! We ran 11 along the coast and through Golden Gate Park today; luckily we started early before things heated up too much - and before the park got to terribly crowded. So nice, as always, to take a long run in a new place - sunlight filtering through the trees, scent of eucalyptus, gorgeous blooming flowers along the way... yes, lovely.

The running itself felt really manageable to me, despite the fact that I've been a bit of a slacker the last week or two... phew! Although, I have to say that I don't get anxious about the long runs anymore, the way I did the first time around. I guess that is the trade-off that comes with a little (a very little) more experience. I've lost the incredible sense of adventure and uncharted-territory-excitement with each longer run, but it's been replaced with a sense of... well, I guess I would call it... confidence! Amazing! And it's nice that I can actually get some sleep the night before the run, rather than toss and turn the night away in nervous anticipation.

Hmmm, 11 miles ran today, and now it's 11 pm. Time for bed.

Hottie Anna before the run. Fantastic hair light.

First few miles along the ocean

Cutting into the park. Love that windmill.

The 11-mile gang: Anna, Claudia, Amy, Nicole, Jan, and me.