After what was probably my 2 busiest and most stressful months ever at my job, I am vacationing in California. The work crush ended on December 30 and I am actually relaxing rather than worrying about work.
When I get home, I will post some totally awesome pictures. My two favorites are of the Bixby Bridge along Route 1 near Big Sur and of the sunset in Oceanside. They show the scenic beauty of both North and South California. Postcard worthy and IMHO:
Recovered quickly from the 50K trail run and am running 10K on a very nice trail in San Marcos this morning once I've had my requisite quantity of coffee. It took me 4 days after my November road marathon before I even thought about running. 2 days for this. Part is the difference between racing and running but mostly it is just much easier on the body to run trails.
Today's agenda here in Cal:
Running trails in shorts, golfing, and seeing live jazz at a club in San Diego tonight.
If I was home in Pittsburgh:
Work followed by snow shoveling
3-5 inches of snow expected.
We found out the day before the run that a 50K had been added so we switched from the marathon to the 50K. Unfortunately, that extra 5 miles (and a nasty 4 mile uphill in that stretch) required better hydration than I was prepared for. My hand held water bottle is missing (probably in my wife's car) and the hilliest stretch of the course included 8.9 miles without an aid station.
But it was meant to be a training run and not a race. My time was 6:35:35 which was not far from my goal time of 6:30. And a pace of just under 12:45 per mile on a long trail training run is decent enough. Temps in the 40's and no rain helped.
Did I mention that I was 2nd in my age group?
Probably because I think there were only 2 runners in my age group.
Course was beautiful with nice trails and many redwood trees. A few trees had fallen across the trail presenting a challenge but overall it was a well run event. And we found a small winery in Woodside, CA where the race was held called Chaine D'Or and got a couple very reasonably priced bottles of cabernet.
Time for a shower, to be follower by some oysters and IPAs.
As a Christmas present, my wife and I took our middle daughter and her boyfriend to Niagara Falls, Ontario for New Year's Eve. I paid for his passport card as he has never been out of the country. My wife booked a room with a view of the Falls at the (appropriately named) Sheraton Fallsview. Here is the view from our room:
Not too shabby!
They have fireworks at 9:00 p.m. and midnight. We watched the 9:00 fireworks from Victoria Park and the midnight ones from our room. They were superb from the room as we had a balcony door that opened and the fireworks reflected off a casino building on the American side.
Between 9:00 and midnight we attended a free concert in the park starring Barenaked Ladies and Great Big Sea. This shows where we were watching the concert. It is not a great pic but you can see we were not far from the stage. We could have been closer but wanted to be able to watch the monitor on the left for closeups. This is BL:
Great Big Sea is an excellent Celtic Rock band from Newfoundland. The best band from that island but the music reminded me of an Irish pub I used to frequent and I couldn't get past feeling a need for a pint of Guinness in my hand.
Finally, here is a shot of some of the holiday lights that are at the Falls for the kiddos to enjoy:
Dictionary.Com doesn't: "flink- no dictionary results"
Neither does Spell Check (no surprise there).
I occasionally drink All Natural Snapple Mango Green Tea which has 55mg EGCG (whatever that is) per bottle and contains a "Real Fact" on the inside of every bottle cap. Real Fact #752: A group of twelve or more cows is called a flink.
That's not a word I ever heard when I worked on a dairy farm in 1972. But it is true! I have been feeling poorly today with a headache/hangover and upset tummy but now I feel a tad smarter.
Only 4 of each since I am not going to bother making resolutions that I make and break every year.
1. Less procrastination. Starting tomorrow.
2. Take some vitamins. Maybe Centrum Silver.
3. Write more.
4. Resolve my left foot pain.
1. 1,500 miles walking or running.
2. 20,000 fitness minutes.
3. Reach goal weight.
4. Break 3:30 in the marathon.
2010 was my first full year as a Sparker and it was a wonderful year. I lost weight to reach a decades low point, successfully met my goal of running across the Grand Canyon and back to celebrate my 60th birthday, ran a 3:35:06 marathon that would probably have been sub-3:30 but for a train blocking the course after the 19 mile mark, wrote a short story, and read 75 books.
2011 would be hard pressed to equal 2010 but I'm hoping it can be another great year.