Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring arrives, spring goes away

It was gorgeous here over the weekend. Three days of hot, sunny weather with barely a breeze. A perfect hint of lazy hazy summer weather. It's gone now. It's cool, overcast, windy. Oh well, something to look forward to.

I had an active weekend, a productive time. I took a vacation day Friday so I could unpack my mom's kitchen. In a 9 hour day I managed to unpack and put away the contents of all but 2 (huge) boxes so her kitchen is usable, if she so wishes. Since right now she's varying between going out to eat and not eating at all, I probably should have just unpacked another room. But the kitchen is the only place with cabinets and shelves to unload everything onto so that's what I did. I think I cleared out a bazillion boxes but I may have miscounted by a few.

Friday evening I met up with my friend Ellen for a dinner we'd scheduled four months earlier. Since she's so busy with training her dogs and I'm so busy training for marathons (in theory) we have to plan way in advance. We went to our favorite local Mexican restaurant, Casa Orozco in Dublin, and found ourselves being very restrained with only one margarita each. I also had their great shrimp fajitas and one or two (or a hundred) chips. It was good nourishment for my body and my brain. We chatted on for hours and caught up on all the news.

Saturday morning's plan was to meet Bree and Sandy in Lafayette for a run along the Lafayette-Moraga Trail. I wanted to run 6 miles, mostly to see if I could. I planned to walk whatever I couldn't run. They were going 10 miles so at the Senior Center I turned around and they continued on. Despite the forecast for later, it was coolish and great weather. A beautiful morning to be out and running and I was thrilled beyond words to be able to be out there. I try never to forget how fortunate I am to live in such a spectacular area, and to have the capabilities to be out and about to enjoy it. Running was a struggle; my endurance is shot from 3 months off, the air had a lot of pollen, and my knee was sore. No shooting pains, just a steady dull ache that didn't seem to get worse during the run. The trail in that direction is fun since the last mile is a downgrade for almost the entire thing and it feels like you're flying when you're (I'm) really just creeping along.

I had planned to go for an afternoon bike ride with Bree but she canceled because for some reason she didn't feel like riding in 90 degree sunshine this early in the season. Go figure. So that, along with an increasingly sore knee, lots of work around the house to do, a very comfortable couch for napping and dinner plans made me decide that skipping the ride was a good idea for me too.

For dinner on Saturday I had told my mom I was taking her out. As I was driving over to pick her up I was thinking that some place quick and easy would be best; I was beat. When I got to her house she was ready to go. All dressed up and looking lovely. I was in jeans and a tee shirt. She wanted festive. So I took her to a place that had been recommended to me, the Patio in Lafayette. Very good choice. We started the right way, with Mojitos. Then an order of Yuca y Maduros (deep-fried yucca and plantain with an incredible sauce) and an order of Ceviche made with sole. We were incredibly impressed with the tastes and even more so when our main dish, Paella de Mariscos, arrived. Paella is one of my favorite dishes and this was an excellent example of a very good one. Everything tasted fresh and perfect. We had no room for dessert but almost changed our minds when we saw the choices on the dessert menu. I was glad afterward that my mom had dressed up and we had decided to treat ourselves. We'll be returning to sample the rest of the menu!

Sunday morning was the Brenda Donato Rainbow Run 5k in Walnut Creek. It was like old home week to me. I think everyone there was related in some fashion to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Team in Training, or to a person who had done TnT. I saw lots of people I hadn't seen for months. It was well done, not just for a small event or a new event, but for any local 5k. The volunteers all had personal connections to Brenda and were that much more intent on making the event special for everyone. I walked the entire thing, a 55 minute 5k. That may be a record for me. It was another gorgeous morning, warmer than Saturday, very crowded out on the trails.

I had a chance to catch up with Coach Al and spin him a tale of my knee aggravations. I told him that although running still hurt, I was building my mileage back up. I also told him that I thought I could do the half marathon in two weeks. He told me not to do it. But Coach, said I, my therapist said that maybe I could! He replied I'm your coach and I told you that you can't! Hmmm. That's a dilemma! I'd hate to go against what Coach says. But we all know that at this point my intent is to try the race, right?? We may just have to keep this our secret.

After the great meals all weekend I had a much less exciting dinner Sunday night. I was tired, didn't feel like cooking or even nuking. I had a bag of baked Cheetos. Yumm, neon orange nutrition. With a glass of wine.

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