Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Whole Lotta Zero

I threw in a zero this week. Zero miles run.

That's simultaneously incredibly depressing and not bothersome at all. Wait... is that even possible?

On the one hand, I didn't stress about not running so when I wasn't able to squeeze in a run, well, I wasn't surprised so therefore not bothersome.

At the same time, no running means no exercise, no endorphin high, no time to tune out and think about whatever runs through my mind when I run.

I will make it a point to run this week, though, which helps take the sting off what could be a sad situation.

Since this is the last week of summer vacation for the girls, we will make a point of it to transition back into school smoothly. That means a 6:30 wake-up call for them every day, including Monday. So we'll wake up early, get dressed and go to the track. I will get in at least four miles on Monday morning and will start off the week with four miles. That's a good start to any week.

My plan will be to run 10 miles next Sunday. That's when we have our pace leader meeting (!) so I have to run that day and I figure why not run 10? Actually I'd like to run 12 or something but I think getting to double digits will be good.

On Aug. 14 is the first day of Lopers so I will be excited to get out there and start the season. So that's my target, to start the season off with a couple of solid weeks of runs under my belt. And when the season does start, the girls will be back in school and I'll have more time to run.

See, even with a zero week, it ain't too bad.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Stretch Crawl

I haven't had a chance to run much lately. I think I had like 16 miles last week, maybe less.

To top it off, my bike has a flat tire so I can't even do that right now. Sad.

I'm trying not to be a Negative... uh... Nick.... about it. I've accepted the situation and that's that. Besides, my girls start school on Aug. 9 and so only one more week after this and I'll be running again.

That doesn't mean though that right now I can't lament the fact that there have been some unexpectedly cool mornings (overcast, no sun til 9-10) that I have not taken advantage of and that I feel a bit bummed about it.

Anyway, my girls are starting school as I mentioned before. This has led to some interesting mornings this week around the house. All summer long, I've not woken them up at a certain time. I've let them sleep until they get up by themselves (which has sorta led to my lack of running). Now, they don't sleep all morning. The tend to wake up anywhere from like 7 to 7:45, maybe once in a while one of them will sleep past 8.

But during school, I make them get up at 6:30. I really should make them get up at 6:15 and I might do more of that this school year, but 6:30 even is still much earlier than they are getting up now. So this week we've had the alarm set for 7 and next week I'm going to make it 6:30, just for them to get used to it.

Surprisingly Kennedy has taken to it quite well. Not sure if she has a sixth sense or something but she's beaten the alarm every day. She's been sprite and full of energy in the morning. That's... good I guess. Well, a large dose of 5-year-old energy at 6:45 a.m. is sometimes difficult to deal with.

That part is good. The other part that I've neglected is their actual schoolwork. I thought I would make more time for them to write and do math problems and stuff so they don't start school not remembering anything they learned last year. It hasn't happened. The only thing the girls have done a lot of has been reading. That's a given in our house, that they'll read books. Yvie has read an inordinate amount of books this summer. She's read several books twice or more, chapter books. She's into this series of books called English Roses which were written by Madonna. She also has read Diary of a Wimpy Kid and some Judy Blume books.

Anyway, school's almost here and these last 12 days or so left of summer vacation will be geared towards getting ready for that. For them, it means getting up early and working on some schoolwork. For me, it means biding my time until I can run again.

See, it ain't too bad. Could be much, much worse, right?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Bittersweet Anniversary

On July 25, 2010 I felt like king of the world.

Today, not so much.

A year ago today I ran the San Francisco Marathon. I've done lots of things in my brief tenure as a runner but I can't imagine running a more challenging, rewarding and outstanding course as San Francisco. The City offers stunning views, from the Golden Gate Bridge to Golden Gate Park and the Embarcadero. The hills of course are notorious but getting over and surviving them really puts you in a class of our own. Not everyone can do that and survive, after all.

Alas, despite planning on running this race again in 2011, things did not quite work out that way. I won't be doing the San Francisco Marathon, and even though I'd held out hope of doing one of the day's half marathons, I won't be in San Francisco at all.

Sad face.

I will always have my memories of San Francisco. I will have the medal to remind me of the hard work I put in, not only to run the course itself but to train for it, how my heel nearly gave out on me during training because I was running hills like a madman to prepare for them, the solo 20-miler I did in preparation for it and how it nearly destroyed me mentally and a 22-miler I ran on July 4, 2010, the first 17 miles of which I ran alone.

And I will always remember how I felt down the stretch, seeing Mrs. LB after such a long and harrowing journey, of coming into the finish area and feeling like a champion, of nearly collapsing once I finished running, and of course how I felt after the race. I did not feel as beat-up and worn-down after any of my other marathons as I did after San Francisco, but this is a good thing, trust me.

So why did I not decide to do it? After running the Diamond Valley Lake Marathon in April, I took two weeks off to rest my body and mind. I had planned on hitting it hard in May but once the end of May came and I realized that my time was short if I wanted to do San Francisco, I knew it was either crank it up or forget about it.

Summer vacation came early for the girls and thus I realized that it would be a massive struggle to get enough miles in each week to run a marathon in late July. Judging how little I've run these last few weeks, I made the right decision.

It's just disappointing, though. I did not make this a priority but figured I would just do all the training involved and then the race itself. Things did not work out the way I wanted them to, though.

I'm not sure about next year. I want to do it but I want to do other summer races as well. Perhaps if I apply for and get to be a race ambassador, I'll do it again. But if not, that's fine. I do want to run more than two marathons in 2012 (sure, I say that now but come back to me in a year). LA is one (March 18) but a late summer one would be great as it would cut down on my training time.

I don't know what next year has in store for me. I barely keep up with the days and weeks, let alone next year. But I hope to run more regularly in 2012 and if I am fortunate enough to run San Francisco next year, awesome. If not, I will always have my memories of when conquered San Francisco in 2010.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Tres Cosas Jueves

1. I Know The Way To LA: I know it's quite a ways away, as in more than seven months away, but I signed up for what will be my fifth marathon. I registered for the 2012 LA Marathon. Why so early? Well, a few reasons, but mostly financial. Instead of the $145 it would have cost me, I saved 20 bucks so, with taxes, it cost me $130-something. Wow. Absurd prices, but I'll save that for another blog post. I am quite excited that I signed up because I will run LA next year and because it gives me a target. Plus when I start my pace-group leader duties, I can tell all the newbies that I will pace them through hell if need be and I have the proof to show that - my four marathon medals and my registration for the fifth 26.2-mile torture/glory session.

2. Standout Run: I got my run in for the week on Tuesday when I took the girls to the beach. My youngest brother Jesse went with us and he stayed with the girls while I went running. I say "my run in for the week" kind of half-joking. No runs on Monday or Wednesday and Thursday was looking dicey as of 7 a.m. PT. Anyway, Tuesday's run was grand. Not only did it feel good to stretch my legs but it was great scenery, good weather (maybe a bit too sunny) and the path wasn't too congested. Plus, the route I took was part of the Surf City course, and it never gets old running that. The Surf City course... okay, maybe some of the memories weren't the greatest. I remembered the latter miles, like 23 and 24, and.... those aren't great times. Those are times you just have to endure. Anyway, a splendid run.

3. Planning: Since I'm pace leader and I want/need to go by the Loper training schedule, I don't plan on running another marathon from now until March 18. Long time, I know. But I want to get back into the groove with marathons so I can start to look for marathons in the late spring/summer of 2012, to see what's out there. Without doing too much research yet, my pie-in-the-sky scenario would be Seattle in June and Salt Lake City (Deseret News Marathon) in July. It would be great fun to do both of those in one summer. I ran two marathons in 2010, will run two in 2011 but next year may be the year I am mentally strong and physically able enough to run more than three in one year. These marathons, they're kinda tough ya know.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Amazement Just Around The Bend

I've been an all-too absent blogger lately, but not having had the chance to run much lately, I've been sapped of energy to blog about... not running.

Instead of focusing on the negatives (only one run last week, sadness) I will focus on the positives from my recent vacation.

I blogged about one memorable run a week ago but I had two memorable runs in northern Arizona. The second one was to something called Horseshoe Bend. Now, the annual vacation is to Lake Powell and we always stay in nearby Page, Ariz. So when researching Page, it's inevitable to find information on Horseshoe Bend.

This year, I made it a point to go there.

After my run on Saturday, I was encouraged. I wanted to get to Horseshoe Bend the next morning, go do some exploring and see what I came back with. I realized that not only was I within running distance of Horseshoe Bend, but that I was actually quite close. From our hotel, Horseshoe Bend was just two miles away.

I set out early, getting up again before 5 and hitting the asphalt shortly thereafter. The northern Arizona skies greeted me.

It was a strange feeling right from the start. The day before, I'd been running to something visible; my destination was in front of me and there were buildings and signs of life around me as well. But this way, I felt as if I was in the middle of nowhere about one minute after starting off on my way.

I'm not sure if this made the run seem any longer or if it was the slight elevation that was making me feel sluggish but I got through the first two miles in about 21 or 22 minutes, not the fastest time.

Now, I'd read about the turnoff to Horseshoe Bend. It supposedly was a small sign that unless you were specifically looking for it, you probably wouldn't realize it was there. Sure enough, I saw a small sign on the side of the road shortly after Mile 2 and knew I was there.

I turned down towards the parking lot and saw a sign with some warnings and general information. "Do not stand on the edge" seemed like a prominent warning, and since there were no railings, I figured it was a smart warning to heed.

I made my way up the hill, just past the parking lot...

... but didn't see much of anything.
Somewhere out there, though, was Horseshoe Bend. There was an unmistakable ravine over there but the splendid and magnificent glory that Horseshoe Bend holds was nowhere near evident from the top.

The trail there was sandy and the footing wasn't the greatest but I still ran down it. Once I got close to the overlook, the trail ended and there were simply massive rocks to stand on.

I got close to the edge. Not too close, but close enough. Like a giant's open-palmed slap to the face, I was instantly hit with the glory and amazement that was Horseshoe Bend.

I shut off my music, took the headphones out of my ears and soaked in the silence. I was in shock. Disbelief. Awe. Amazement. I felt so meaningless, so completely and utterly insignificant. Here was nature's glory, nature's treasure. This was far more beautiful than any man-made structure could possibly be, more awe-inspiring and stunning than any sight I'd seen since... I don't know. It's been nearly two weeks since and I haven't yet thought of something that took me aback quite like that.

I felt lucky to be there, yet also felt a bit unworthy. Shouldn't something like this be reserved for truly deserving people? Aside from running nearly three miles to get there, what did I do to earn the right to see such an amazing sight?

I'm really sorry that these pictures in no way capture the glory and amazement that is Horseshoe Bend. It's almost like a cheap imitation, looking at these shots. You can't fit such glory and splendor into a photograph, but I tried to capture the scene nevertheless. The ominous cliffs overlooking a mirror-like Colorado River. The protruding rock in the middle that over thousands of years forced the river to bend and twist and swerve to avoid it. The tiny trees and debris down below - part of that debris were kayaks and tents, property of amazing souls who were able to use Horseshoe Bend as their five-star hotel for the night.

Taking in all the scenery, pondering all these thoughts, I was overcome by emotion. I teared up. Couldn't help it. It's not every day a possibly undeserving soul is privy to such sights. This, after all, was nature at its finest, crafting such a beautiful picture on an already gorgeous canvas.

Others were headed down and I felt a tinge of excitement. Soon, they would behold Horseshoe Bend's glory.

I took a few more pictures, and wasn't quite sure how long I'd been sitting there, lost in thought. Had it been 10 minutes? 15? 20? Whatever the case, I knew it was time to head back. I smiled at one of the visitors, and went off running up the sandy trail. I didn't look back. I ran up the trail, legs burning but plowed on through and at the top I kept on going. I didn't want my last memory of Horseshoe Bend to be watching some people standing by the side of a ravine that I couldn't see. I wanted to remember Horseshoe Bend as it stood.
Out on the road, I was in a sort of stunned disbelief, not having yet digested what exactly had happened. But I felt good, felt strong. If anything, the visit to Horseshoe Bend had re-energized me. The run back was faster than it had been on the way there

Just at the end of my run, the skies opened up. Rain came down on me and I was helpless to stop it. I was close to the hotel so I wasn't in the rain too long, just long enough to drench me.

But not even the rain could dampen my mood that morning.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

MIA: Midweek Runs

I'm not quite there yet because I really am enjoying this time right now but pretty soon I will be ready for school to start up again.

Dang, I can't believe I said that out loud... well, you know what I mean.

I love my girls and love the time we are spending with each other. Sometimes I need some space but for the most part we have been having fun doing all sorts of things - namely, Disneyland and riding our bikes.

However, there has been one huge negative to our time together. I have barely been running.

Sad face.

This week, I ran all of five miles. All of them were on Monday. On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday I had the same distance - 0. Not sure if I'll be able to run Friday. I might have enough time on Saturday to run 5 and Sunday I'm hoping to do 13. Best case scenario I'll get 23 miles in this week.

My legs want school to start already.

I treasure our vacation though so I don't want it to end yet. The girls will have three full weeks of summer before going back to school on Aug. 9 (which doubles as my birthday). So, come August I will be able to plan runs and actually follow through on them.

Until then, it's just going to be mostly cramming runs in when I have a chance.

Now, while my running has suffered, not everything else has....

After seeing Judy Moody

Joke's on me

Holding a baby lizard

At Disney's California Adventure

Midway through a bike ride

Summer will be long gone before I know it. Next thing I know, the weather will be cool and I'll be longing for a day off with my babies.

So, I'm not ready to hit the accelerator quite yet on our vacation. If I miss runs, I miss runs. I'll chalk that up to perils of being a work-from-home parent.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Glen Canyon Run

Vacation is a time to unwind, get away from it all and just relax. Being a freelancer, I don't often get to indulge in taking full days off and not worrying about a deadline, a story, an interview or some other work-related task I have to fulfill.

But on Saturday I was able to not worry about work at all. While on vacation at Lake Powell on the border of Arizona and Utah, I was relaxed. Perhaps this played into my mood as I set out on an early-morning run from my hotel room in Page, Ariz., to the Glen Canyon Dam.

Now, I've done this run before. In fact, one previous run was very memorable. So in a way I knew what to expect and the newness of it all was just not there. At least, I didn't think it would be there but it certainly felt like it was a new experience.

Arizona in early July seemed like a daunting prospect. I wasn't quite sure of how the heat would affect me, and actually I wasn't quite sure what time it was. I'd set my alarm for 5:30 but beat it by about 20 minutes as I woke up at 5:10. But it was actually 4:10 Arizona time. My phone, for some reason, was showing Utah time.

I was up and dressed at 4:30 a.m. but stayed in the dark and quiet hotel room for a bit longer, careful not to awake any of the slumbering females in the room.

Around 5 a.m., I finally made my way outside.

What I saw at the start of my run

I figured it was a good thing that I got up super early. After all, the inevitable heat wouldn't wilt me.

Off I went. The road to the Glen Canyon Dam is actually Highway 89, the portion there being a one-lane highway. I did my best to stay on the side of the road but there weren't very many motorists to dodge.

Before too long, the sun started showing signs of life.

Sunrise in Page, Ariz.

I wasn't quite fearing the heat but rather in awe of the sunrise.

I was nearing the end of the second mile and looked ahead to see my eventual destination. Somewhere beyond that terrain was a bridge that stood 1,000 feet above the Colorado River and the Glen Canyon Dam, which allowed for the existence of Lake Powell.

Can you spot the Glen Canyon Bridge?

I glided forward. I was so into the run, so into my surroundings and my environment that I barely felt any strain on my body as I moved forward. I was in running ecstasy, being carried forward on air. I smiled, threw my arms in the air and to my side and thanked myself for the umpteenth time for having taken up running in the first place.

Finally, I made the turn and came upon the Glen Canyon Bridge in all of its glory.

Just don't look down and you'll be okay

I didn't exactly debate whether or not I should run over it. I knew I was going to run over it, but my legs gave the slightest bit of hesitation, a final are-you-sure-you-want-to-do-this? pause before I set across on the bridge.

Right away I looked down. I smiled a nervous smile, and muttered "Holy crap" to myself.

It's a loooong way down.

Luckily, I was safe. A chain-link fence stood between me and an enormous fall. Once on the other side and on firm ground again, I crossed the desolate highway and ran past the visitor's center. Before me was the Glen Canyon Dam in all its grandeur.

The Glen Canyon Dam, magnificent and intimidating

Also bearing its glory to me was Lake Powell, a stunning sight in the early-morning hours.

Unadulterated beauty exists in nature

I stood there for a minute, watching the sight before me. I looked over at the bridge once more moments before I set out to scale it again.

The Glen Canyon Bridge, a sight unto its own.

On my way to the bridge, I was reminded of what sort of area I was in, and the history it possessed.

How often do you see dinosaur tracks during your runs?

Afterward, I set across on the bridge. The second part of the run did not seem as exciting. After all, it was bound to be fairly anticlimactic, what with the payoff already in my rear-view mirror. But that didn't stop me from enjoying the run as my high carried over well into the second part of the run.

I took in the scenery the area had to offer. After all, I didn't get to run with this on my side very often.
The Vermillion Cliffs

I glided on through to the end, and if my feet hit the ground during the run I was blissfully unaware of it. There were no onlookers, there was no medal waiting for me at the end, nor was there a finish line or chute to carry me through the end. But this run was what made running enjoyable, what made running grand.

Seeing these kinds of sights up close, being witness to the sun's rise above the desert and lake and staring at the Colorado River from above... if there is a better way to spend an hour-plus on a Saturday morning, I have yet to experience it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Spectacular Runs, Pictures

Greetings from Mesquite, Nevada.

We are on the last leg of our vacation, as we spent the weekend at Lake Powell in Arizona/Utah. It was an actual vacation for me as I didn't have work to do, which is rare for me. I also got the chance to go on a pair of absolutely amazing runs.

I will have much more on these runs in the coming days but I did want to share my two best pictures from the weekend. In fact, these might be two of the best pictures I've ever taken. Period.

The first picture was in the middle of my run on Saturday morning. It's of Lake Powell, just after sunrise.

The water is like a mirror as people hadn't quite yet been out on the lake carving it up with their boats and jet skis.

The next one is simply majestic. It's called Horseshoe Bend, a place where the Colorado River carved a unique formation.

That's extremely high up, as in a 1,000-foot drop to the bottom. And there were no railings there so you have to be extremely careful. I was of course.

I took loads of pictures during each run and will share them here soon. Anyway, just wanted to say greetings and share these with you now.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Remember during the winter when I would brag write about the weather here in SoCal?

If you were a reader then, I'm sure you must. Especially if you live in a landlocked frozen wasteland of a state like... well, like many that aren't California.

Well, all that glitters isn't gold.

It's been very hot around here lately. As in, too hot to run unless you set out before 7 a.m., and preferably before 6 a.m. if you are doing anything longer than five or six miles.

On Sunday, I ran 11 miles. I left on the run at about 6:10 and it was already warm when I set out. Every time I stopped to take a drink or GU or something, the fatigue slapped me in the face. I didn't realize that I was so tired while I was running, but the sun really does a number on you when you do run.

I can't take advantage of the cool not-as-warm-but-getting-there mornings because I can't leave the girls alone here while I run so I haven't been running as much as I would like. It really does make for a strange and difficult schedule - run early or not at all.

(You're probably wondering why don't I just run at night, and while this is a valid point, two things prevent me from that - 1) I enjoy spending the evenings at home with Mrs. LB since she commutes and gets up early and I don't like to just leave her here on weekdays, and 2) I've never really enjoyed running in the evenings.

Anyway, that day above (which is Wednesday, today) doesn't seem too bad and I plan on taking advantage of it. The clouds make a big difference and we have had blazingly clear skies which makes it feel hotter than it is.

Anyway, I know I'm not getting much sympathy for all the times I boasted rejoiced in my good fortune during the winter. We have quite mild winters in SoCal and I'm grateful for that. But that comes with a price, and triple-digit temperatures don't always make for the greatest running conditions.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Run That Keeps On Giving

There are some runs that you remember long after you've finished them, whether because it was a new distance, a blazingly fast time or perhaps a unique location. Then there are runs that are seared in your memory, runs that seem so vivid you may as well have done it that very same day.

I have several runs that fall into the last category and the only one in that bunch that was not a race was the run that catapulted me to the runner I am today.

My best run ever was on Nov. 22, 2009 in Renton, Wash. I ran 18 miles in pouring rain and 40-degree weather on the Cedar River Trail that day. With so much time removed from then, so many other grueling and not-so-grueling runs, I can say now without bias that that run made me a full-fledged runner.

I earned my runner badge along the Cedar River Trail.

I reminisced about that run recently because aside from the rain that pelted me on the trail, I came across two area runners who recently ran their first 26.2 mile run. In researching the area and potential running sites, I came across Kerrie T. of Mom vs. Marathon. Now, I had an 18-mile run on the schedule and was going to be up in Seattle on business, far away from the comforts of my running group. I was not going to skip an 18-mile run and was determined to run it.

Kerrie gave me some advice and suggested the CRT. Since I had no other options really, I figured why not follow the advice of a local?

The run itself was brutal. From the start. It was in the low 40s and rainy at the beginning and it was in the high 40s and rainy at the end. It didn't really let up either.

Somewhere around Mile 6, I literally ran across Kerrie and her friend Zoë of Run Zoë Run. We stopped, chatted, took a picture... or six...

They were training for a half marathon which in fact would be the following Sunday. They looked fresh and I wanted to run with them but they were going one way, I was going another and I was probably a bit too shy. Oh well.

I made it to Mile 9, turned around and all I needed to do was to run back to my rental car. Easier said than done. By about mile 13 or 14, I was feeling it. Water had long since penetrated through my shoes and socks and the cold threatened to do the same. By Mile 16, I was done but I had to push through, and push through I did. After running/walking/shuffling/hobbling for the last two miles, I made it Mile 18 and stopped.

I still remember vividly how it felt to finish that run. The lush green trees on my left, the beginnings of a rock-laden parking lot on my right, a foot bridge separating me from the final steps before getting to the car, taking my hat off and feeling the brunt of the rain on my face for the first time, the aches and pains that shot up through my legs, feeling the icy blocks that were my feet.

I got through that run and afterward really felt like I could run a marathon. Not physically, in fact I wondered how in the heck I was going to run another eight miles on top of that come Surf City 2010. But I knew proper training and a couple of longer runs would prepare me. Mentally, I was ready. I had all the confidence I'd need. Ever. After running that long, in those conditions, virtually alone, you can do anything, right? Indeed. I ran my first marathon about 10 weeks afterward, ran my second marathon later in 2010 and have run two other marathons since.

Now, my running buddies from that day are also marathoners. Kerrie and Zoë are full-fledged marathoners, having run the Seattle Rock n Roll Marathon on June 25. They ran every step together, finishing in 4:42:51. (read Kerrie's recap here)

That's an odd time. It's a great time of course but it's odd because I ran my first marathon in 4:42:26. It's almost like it was meant to be. Well, maybe they don't remember that run as fondly as I do but to me that time speaks a lot.

Now, when I look back on that run, I will be able to not only see my own progress from that day but also will be able to use that meeting as further motivation. After all, those three runners had never run more than 15 miles on that day and now, less than two years later, are marathoners.

Friday, July 1, 2011

June Recap/Stats

It is really already July? Unbelievable. Half of 2011 is gone. I'm sad about that. Time just goes by too damn fast.

Miles ran: 81

Long runs: 2 - (10 miles, 10)

Highest mileage week: 22

Favorite run: The six-miler that was the first half of my brick (run-bike). I stretched my run to six miles, was anticipating the bike ride the whole time.

Most hardcore run: The Camp Pendleton Mud Run!

Race(s): Set a monster PR at Fontana Days Half (1:48:34); ran the Camp Pendleton Mud Run for the fourth consecutive year.

Current Reads: I really need to read me some books more often.

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure: Playing with my iPhone. It's seriously an awesome piece of technology.

Current Obsessions: I've been keep track of my calories like crazy for the last couple of weeks (thank you, My Fitness Pal app). It's really helped me get ahold of my food intake and take control of what I eat.

Current Drink: Water, especially now that the temperatures are in the 90s and 100s.

Current Song: The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash

Current Wish List: A babysitter, so I can get my runs in early in the mornings. Prime running time is wasted because I can't leave the girls alone and I don't want to wake them up early so I can run. The babysitter can get here at 6 a.m. and leave at 8, and the girls would be asleep for most of that time. How easy of a gig is that?

Current Need: A new holder for my iPhone. I've been just holding it during runs and that's getting old.

Current Triumph: I finally was able to get all of my music from my external hard drive onto my Mac. Yes, I've had the Mac for more than a year and I never really needed to get the music but since I got my iPhone, I needed to get it onto the Mac in order to put it on my iPhone, so that was finally the impetus for change.

Current Bane of my Existence: My wrist. It doesn't hurt a ton anymore and I don't wear the brace but every now and then I'll get a shot of pain on the outside of my right wrist :(

Current Goal: To get in 3-4 runs a week. I've found it difficult to squeeze in runs this summer, more than I thought.

Current Indulgence: I love to drink coffee, even now when the temperatures are soaring.

Current Blessings: My girls, Kennedy and Yvie.

Current Excitement: Our annual summer family vacay is coming up. I might actually get to enjoy most of it since I won't have to work too much during the trip. Holler.