Sunday, June 30, 2013


A few weeks ago, I spent 3 days at Woofstock - one of the biggest dog show clusters around here - to participate in our beardie club's regional specialty and show a couple extra days.  It's our last time for the immediate future attending the regional and was if nothing else a big opportunity just to hang with many show friends that we may not see for a year or two.

Thursday, Shannon and I started the weekend off right with beer before we went in the ring with our boys

Stan was quite excited to be at a show!  I also showed Puck on Thursday but his competition didn't show up.

Friday was the day of our regional.  First up I had Stanley in the obedience ring for the first time ever.  After a crazy long delay and missing Puck's ring time, we were finally in.  I was SUPER pleased with his performance for me on a hot day at an all breed show.  We made one mistake that cost us a Q but otherwise it was quite good.

Next up, I had Max back in the show ring in the veteran sweepstakes and altered dog class.  It's always fun to get the old man back out there again.

Finally, I got in the ring for Best of Breed with Stanley.  It was 90+ degrees out and we worked hard out there - Stan just kept floating around the ring and showing himself off…and we were thrilled to receive an Award of Merit!  Shannon and best buddy Beckham won the breed - a great followup to their win at the National.

Saturday was the day at Woofstock where everyone - handlers and judges - dresses up in tie-dye and hippie clothes.  I've always missed this particular day at the show so I was excited to participate.

How can you not have fun when everyone is dressed like this?!

I'm going to miss her SO MUCH when we move!

Stanley waiting to show

After another time 'round the ring

On Sunday I took the beardies and we ran that whole show out of our systems at an agility trial - I only entered the boys in Jumpers and they both kicked ass!  Max got a 4th place in his masters class.

The spoils from our weekend.  I LOVE my new grooming table cover!

And finally our official shot from the regional arrived a few days ago.  The best win photo I have of Stanley as an adult!  What a fabulous way to go out on top from our time here in the NorCal beardie world :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Training, Life, Yadda Yadda

It's race week so I finally have a little down time to write about what's going on.  I've got a sprint tri this weekend and another in 2 weeks, with Nationals 4 weeks after that.  As expected, training has gotten fairly race-specific at this point.

I'm starting to see the method to the madness as we get closer to the races.  I looked at my early track workouts 6 or 7 weeks ago…my times for most intervals are about a minute faster now.  If nothing else, I think the experience of finding that push point and just going hard around the track will pay off on race day.  Or, as I said in my race plan, "gasping for air and making dying animal noises."

The insane bike interval workouts are feeling easier (note: NOT easy, but easier) - word from the boss is that I should take a bike test.  Thank goodness my upcoming race is flat and therefore may serve as my test.  This weekend in the middle of our long ride, I finally tackled Old La Honda, a very very popular cycling road in the area.  It looks like this…

And as far as the swim, well I just keep showing up and doing whatever I can to keep up with my lane mates.  Sometimes, it really hurts.  Last week there was a crazy set of IM 25s that left me at one point wondering if I might crap myself in the pool.

Last week my agility friends took me out for a going-away dinner (even though I'll still be in class with them for another month, the timing was just convenient for everyone).

It was so nice to see everyone outside of class - we clean up ok!

I've been taking agility classes from Tania for over 10 years now!

First Mary was my agility classmate and now she's my masters lane mate too!

The nice part about a super-fun evening out with friends is that it made it very easy to swear off alcohol afterwards as part of my get-serious-about-race-weight-for-nationals initiative.  Once we got back from Boston, I stocked the house back up with proper healthy foods and have just focused on eating clean consistently.  It's amazing how fast you see results from such things!  Minimal alcohol drinking, very little sugar, just lots of fruits and veggies and healthy carbs like (stolen from my coach) baked sweet potatoes (which by the way fill a sweet craving nicely!).  Not only that but Jeff and I usually eat out most nights…we've cooked 6 out of the past 7 evenings at home (every night except my agility class outing) and they've been exceptionally healthy meals at that.  

I'm alternately thrilled and sad about all these goodbyes and parties.  This is the start of my last full week at the office…I'll go back in next Monday to close things out and do paperwork but this is really finally the end!  After nearly 7 years at this company and 13 years with some of my coworkers (including my boss), I feel ready for the exciting changes ahead.  The countdown is truly down to single digits.  My "real" summer starts in one week!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Shipping Up to Boston

Every June, Jeff goes to his hometown in SE Massachusetts for a little golf tournament his childhood best friend puts on.  This year, I decided to tag along and make a train-cation out of it.  I haven't been back there since we got married 6 years ago so I was due!

We headed out on a 3-hours-delayed redeye last Wednesday night and landed in Boston Thursday morning.  After getting through the airport, baggage claim, rental car, and driving all the way down to Rehoboth (Massachuetts but near Providence, Rhode Island), the first order of business was to camp out in my mother-in-law's driveway and build my bike!  I headed out for an easy shakedown cruise on the backroads of Rehoboth while it drizzled lightly.

My entire hour looked more or less like this!  Quiet GREEN forest roads.

We got settled at the hotel and Jeff sat down for an afternoon of conference calls, while I went over to his old high school to do my track workout.  It was windy and pouring rain for most of my run but it felt special to be out there where my husband had lived his days of athletic glory :)

That night began the whirlwind of visits and overeating that characterized this trip.  We met Jeff's family for dinner and then his childhood best friend for "second dinner" and drinks.  There they are doing Jager shots.

I wanted to stay on track with workouts on this trip, so I did as much advance scouting as possible to find places to go.  The one that stymied me was the swim…pools listed on SwimmersGuide that appeared to not have lap swim anymore, or didn't allow visitors, or whatever.  But (!) I did find a rec center over in North Providence, RI that looked like it had potential.  I'm so NOT used to indoor pools so it was weird but I got my Friday swim done after sleeping till 9:30am to recover from the redeye flight.

While Jeff worked at the hotel again, I went off for a recovery ride - I had seen a flyer in the hotel for the East Bay Bike Path, which turned out to be a gorgeous paved path from East Providence on down the bay.  It was a blast!

That's downtown Providence in the distance here.

Friday night, we trekked up to Framingham, MA to watch Jeff's brother's band play.  Due to my infrequent trips to MA (this being only my 3rd one ever), I'd never managed to meet this particular sibling.  So, I just didn't tell him I was coming (we are Facebook friends) and surprised him.  The band is FABULOUS (great 80s/90s cover band) and I hope anyone in MA or RI goes to see The Freeze Pops first chance you get.

Oh yeah, more Jager shots.

Saturday was my long ride - the weather was hot and sunny - no complaints!  I had mapped out a big loop all over the small backroads and it worked out perfectly for 32 miles of riding through Rehoboth, Attleboro, Seekonk, and Swansea.  I saw old historic cemeteries, stone walls, lots of forest roads, and the reservoir that Jeff grew up playing hockey on.

After the ride…well, I spent the rest of the day eating.  A lot.  One social function to see friends after another…

Finally we met Jeff's father and brother for breakfast on Father's Day, then did a little "sightseeing" around town (it's not that big of a town) before returning to the airport.  In the continued theme of eating, I had a lobster roll on the way to the airport.

Little historic spot in Rehoboth
 And we climbed all the way to the top!

And thus concluded our crazy busy trip to MA.  When we landed in San Jose, I left straight from the airport to pick Stanley up from my friend who had been watching him - I got back at ~11:30pm and went straight to bed.  Thankfully for jetlag, I was still in the pool for masters at 5:30 the next morning!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Keep On Keepin' On

I keep meaning to blog and then…life intervenes.  I have to write about my crazy long weekend of dog activities but will wait till the photos all come in.  I hope the bruises are gone in a few weeks...

Training is chugging right along.  There isn't anything especially exciting to report.  I was pondering today whether I'm race ready just yet and…who knows.  What I do know is that I keep getting the work done and nailing my key workouts of the week - the tough bike intervals, the speed work on the track (OMG I love the track) - and I trust Coach will have me ready as always when the time comes.

About the track…with all the long course racing I've focused on the past few years, I haven't done a lot of serious "speed work" since my running-only days.  Lately I've had a weekly visit to the high school track across the street and I Love loooooove LOVE it!  Clearly I have no problem pushing myself on the run…and the paces so far are encouraging.  I guess we shall see!

Packing is coming along bit by bit.  We purged a lot of our random household shit with a garage sale last weekend.  I've only got a couple weeks left at work and then I can devote July full time to getting everything packed and prepared.  So many errands and tasks, so little time.

I'll try not to wait so long before posting again…we should have enough excitement coming up to be post-worthy :)