Thursday, December 31, 2015

2016 Goals

Another year has come and gone! And so it's time to reflect on the past year and set up a plan for the coming one. I've gone back through old posts and found my 2014 and 2015 goals. I've copied them here and added my 2016 goals in each category.

Putting these out there make it real and help keep me motivated to know that I will hold myself accountable throughout the year. Here we go! (Previous year goals are the abridged version.)


2014 Goal - 4 half or better runs and beat 1:50.

2014 Actual - I got in all 4 of my half or better runs. I did NOT get under 1:50.

2015 Goals -  5 Half or better races for me this year! I'll still be working toward under 1:50.

2015 Actual - I squeezed in 6 half or better with one clocking in at 1:45:12. It was quite literally an all downhill race, but under 1:50 nonetheless! I had a few right at 1:50 but none others that were under much to my chagrin. 

2016 Goal - 6 half or better races and have a non-downhill race under 1:50. In fact, my stretch goal this year is a sub 1:45 although I know it is indeed a stretch. I only have one race on the books right now so I need to get planning! 


2014 Actuals - All of our Timber Run homes are now under contract and we had 50% more custom home deposits than our goal. Additionally, we purchased lots in a new subdivision and that wasn't really even on our radar for the year.

2015 Goals - If 2014 brought high expectations, 2015's goals are mountainous! By the end the year, we are expecting great things!

2015 Actuals - This year was my favorite year so far in the home building industry! We closed out Timber Run, launched and broke ground on a new subdivision, Summerset, and built more custom homes than any previous year. Also, we purchased and renovated a new building for our offices in downtown Greenfield and have enjoyed our short time there with our great team. 

2016 Goals - Tom and I have an appointment on our calendar to sit down and talk through these goals. I'm excited to see what the new year will bring!


2014 Goal - Read 24 books. 

2014 Actual - Didn't get there. There's always another year. :)

2015 Goal - Read 24 books. That was easy. 

2015 Actual - Finally I did it. Hopefully there will be a follow up post to this with the books that made the list! We will have to see how much time I have on my hands!


2014 Actual -
Lost weight but didn't hit my goal of pre-kid weight.

2015 Goal - Lose the rest.

2015 Actual - I did pretty well here this year, but still didn't hit that number. I did another round of elimiating sugar, and this time with no artificial sweeteners either. That was hard. I did stay off the Diet Coke for the whole year. Although, I will treat myself to a Diet Dr. Pepper every once in a while. I don't think it's a coincidence that cutting out the Diet Coke has led to holding close to my most recent low weight. 

2016 Goals - I'm not sure that "weight" will ever not be a yearly goal. I just love to eat too much and can't ever seem to get the hang of "moderation." So, I always just try to keep things reasonable and find new little tricks to keep me motivated. This year, I was able to actually get under the weight I have listed on my driver's license. In 2016, I want to be five pounds under that number and hold steady there.  I'm not exactly sure how many pounds that is as of this moment, probably 8-10 depending on how bad the holidays play out on the scale. 

New Goals for 2016

I have a couple of new goal categories for the year. I think these will help with my running goals and my weight loss goals. 

Mileage - I've never set a mileage goal for the year nor have I done a great job of tracking mileage. I will do this in 2016. Tom went for 1,000 running miles this year and blew past it! I think it sounds like a fun thing to track. So, in 2016, I will run 1,200 miles which works out to 100 miles per month. This will not be a small task. It works out to about 23 miles a week which would be more than I run when I'm not in a training cycle. I'm hoping this will motivate me to not skip runs and to up my weekly runs from my usual 5 up to 6 and to keep a long run every week. 

Steps - This year, I had over 5,000,000 steps (5,080,909 as of this second). For 2016, I'm going for 5,500,000 which is just over 15,000 a day. This should go hand and hand with the increased mileage goal. 

Pull-ups - Right now, I can do exactly zero pull-ups. I keep saying I want to master at least one but now I've officially put it in writing. My plan is to start with my bands and eventually work up to at least one unassisted this year and maybe even two. It's doable, but I will have to work pretty hard toward achieving it. Upper body has never been one of my strengths! 

There you have it. These are a few areas of focus for me this year. Do I have other plans as well? Sure but these areas are concrete areas of my life in which I can set attainable and measurable goals which is really the whole reason I choose to run in general. It's such a great mechanism for me to set, track and achieve goals as an adult! 

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon - The Rest of Training

Seeing this video making it's way around social media this week made me realize that I haven't updated the world on my marathon training! (My favorite line is when she says, "Why would I talk about something that is interesting to no one?!") Well, this post is all about marathon training so if you're not interested, click away. :)

I left off at Week 7 and I'm now in Week 19. Without a ton of specifics, I ran a lot. Not as much as many people run during marathon training, but enough to keep me eating and sleeping more! Plus, I added in a handful of spin classes and continued strength training once a week.

I also squeezed in two half marathons in September which means I hit my 2015 running goals! One of the races I even got under 1:50! It may have an asterisk but I'm counting it! The full marathon wasn't even on my radar for the year. (Race posts upcoming!)

I'll do a quick update via photos for the missed weeks...

First up was our 14 mile run. I say "our"... Steph is in! She's doing the whole thing too! Soooooo thankful that we've been able to do all of our long runs together!

I've been on a mission to fix some foot issues. This was an attempt at heat moldable inserts. Boiling inserts on my stove is not something I ever pictured myself doing! (They didn't work.)

Next up was a 16 miler. Slow and steady has been our game plan! I'm totally convinced that this theory has made training so much more doable. I didn't start needing a nap and eating like crazy until 18 or 20 mile runs. "Slow" running is the best. :) (I'm probably running 45-60 seconds per mile slower than I did last round, but plan on beating my time in the race.)

New favorite song on my playlist this round.

After the insoles, I tried a Brooks Ghost 7 in a larger size. No dice. I then tried out some Altra's. Numb toes. Absolutely loved the cushioning though! Just a little funky looking!

Really, in total, I've only had two runs this entire time that felt bad. And, they felt terrible. The first was 18. Ugh. Plodding along and sore knees. 

I also did my first specialty 5K - the Glow Run! Super fun with black-lights and neon powder. Glow in the dark tattoo...

Here's my personal marathon cheerleader - Monica. Remember how she stood out in the freezing cold rain last time around?! She always makes everything super fun! 

The next day was a very early 20 mile run. I carb-loaded with some pancakes at Denny's around 11PM so I was ready to go! Headlamps were necessary for this one! (Maybe I should have just kept my light up glasses and necklace!) 

This 20 miler felt SO much better than the 18 of the previous week. How does that even work?! It must have felt good for Steph too because she signed up after this one!

Tom and I both ran before church that morning! 50K (31 miles) between the two of us! Not too shabby!

The next week, we took off for Virginia for Fall Break. I owe a big post on that one! On a running note though, Josie ran 4 miles with Tom at a great pace. Look at her stride! 

I got a run in at the park too and a few others on a treadmill. This morning, I had the entire State Park to myself! I seriously only saw one truck and one other runner the whole time!

Home again. I love our trails in the neighborhood, especially in the fall. So familiar!

Finally, the last 20 miler came around. This was the other awful one. I know why though I think. I slept badly, didn't fuel right and didn't have enough water. I suffered through though even if I did take to the couch until 6PM. Tough. Didn't even get any pictures. :) Appreciated seeing this on IG the next week though!

Last weekend was a 10 mile run at race pace. We brought it home with an 8:45 pace. And, talked the whole time. Piece of cake! 

Oh year. And, Tom decided he will take on the full as well. What a guy! I'm sure he'll be able to do it and I'm excited to see what he thinks!

So, here we are. Race day shows up on the 10 day forecast tomorrow.  We have less than 20 miles left in our training program. We're there folks. Bring it. 


Saturday, August 22, 2015

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon - Weeks 6 & 7 (And, some wedding pics!)

Week 7 was another pull back week. This plan basically increases mileage for two weeks and then pulls back a little as a mini-rest week. I like those weeks because of the rest, but since I've been calorie counting, I miss my mega-calorie burn Saturdays. :)

Speaking of calories... one of my goals for this round is to NOT gain weight. In fact, I really want to lose 10 pounds through the process. I started this training cycle around 10 pounds under where I was at the last full marathon and with the additional 10 pounds, that will put me 20 pounds under that number. I think it's doable.

I enlisted a little help from Matt Fitzgerald, an author who writes about running and diet. I really like a lot of what he has to say in "Racing Weight." His Diet Quality Scale (DQS) makes perfect sense and allows you to get away from counting calories if you eat real foods and not junk. I have definitely upped my carbs as well in the form of Ezekiel bread and high fiber cereals. I will say "Racing Weight" is more geared toward an elite runner, but definitely good for the casual runner too.

My favorite nugget from his book is, "A 160 lb. runner expends 6.5% more energy than a 150 lb. runner at the same pace." That's good stuff and reason enough to shed 10 pounds. 

On another diet related note, my friend Claudia asked if I would participate in a no sugar added challenge that included artificial sweeteners too. That was tougher in some ways than I thought! I really missed my iced tea with sweetener and a few other treats as well. I got through it though and even did my 11 mile run with no gels! 

My birthday fell in this time frame and my mom sent some fantastic new workout clothes to me! So excited! (Side Note: I can't even tell you how much I sweat. All.The.Time. Dripping!)

Week 8 was a fun one! We traveled to San Diego for my brother's wedding! It was a beautiful long weekend and I got in two beach view runs with my mom. I also managed to 5:30AM workouts this week. I did spin with my friends on Tuesday and then ran on Wednesday morning since I knew I'd be on a plane most of the afternoon and evening. Got it done!

My speed work started up this week as well. Wednesdays are now my tempo runs. This plan calls for three different tempo runs. The first "A" workout is Walk 5 minutes, East Run 10, {Hard 5, Easy 2} x4, Easy Run 5, Walk 5. It felt good to speed up a bit! 

The beach view 12 mile run was one of my favorites so far. It was incredible scenery and running with my mom is always a treat! She cranked out 12 miles even though her previous recent long run was only 7. Go mom!

And, then this was our recovery Sunday view...

It was a beautiful wedding and so much fun to be with so many of our family and friends to celebrate! Congrats Matt & Sarah!

Week 6

Monday - 50 minutes 
Tuesday - Strength Training
Wednesday - Tempo A
Thursday - Rest
Friday - 40 minutes 
Saturday -  Rest
Sunday - 7 miles

Total for the Week - 21 miles
Total Training Mileage - 134.9 miles

Week 7

Monday - 60 minutes 
Tuesday - Spinning
Wednesday - Tempo A
Thursday - Rest
Friday - 40 minutes 
Saturday -  12 miles
Sunday - Rest

Total for the Week - 28 miles
Total Training Mileage - 162.9 miles

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon - Week 3, 4 & 5

5 weeks down and 14 to go! (For what it's worth, I totally wrote out this post forever ago and could have sworn I hit publish. Guess not... it was only saved as a draft with a few paragraphs. Oh well...)

Week 5 was a pull-back week for mileage but only by about 2 miles (10%). I managed to work out 6 out of 7 days of the week which is the first time I've done that in forever. Admittedly, the yoga video I did on Tuesday was not great, or challenging, or good for much of anything, but I showed up.

I mentioned earlier that I like this plan because of the four days of running. I'm really settling into a good routine with it by now and it all seems so doable. A run on Monday and a rest on Tuesday then speed work on Wednesday, strength training Thursday and a short run on Friday. Then, all that's left is the long run on Saturday.

Week 6 kicked it back up again with adding 5 minutes on Monday and a 10 mile run on Saturday. By Week 7, it is up to 11 miles on the weekend. Both of those weeks, I got in my 4 days of running and 1 day of strength training.

Things are still feeling good. Not too hungry or sore or tired. I suppose it will come. I bought a foam roller this week to start working out some of the more achy spots, especially that IT band.

July brought my highest mileage month yet - 98.8. August will surpass that as will September and October, but I do feel like I'm building a great foundation.

Steph has stuck with me on my long runs - both the 10 and 11 miles. We've been very lucky to have beautiful mornings to hit the trail!

That's the only running related pic I have for the 3 weeks! 


Week 3

Monday - 45 minutes 
Tuesday - Yoga
Wednesday - 60 minutes with 5 Pickups (short bursts of faster pace) 
Thursday - Strength Training 
Friday - 40 minutes (I ran this one extremely slow for some reason!)
Saturday - 7 miles 
Sunday - Rest

Total for the Week - 20.4 miles
Total Training Mileage - 63 miles

Week 4 

Monday - 50 minutes 
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - 60 minutes with 5 Pickups (short bursts of faster pace) 
Thursday - Strength Training 
Friday - 40 minutes 
Saturday - 10 miles 
Sunday - Rest

Total for the Week - 24.7 miles
Total Training Mileage - 87.7 miles

Week 5 

Monday - 50 minutes 
Tuesday - Strength Training
Wednesday - Rest 
Thursday - 60 minutes with 5 Pickups (short bursts of faster pace) 
Friday - 40 minutes 
Saturday - 11 miles 
Sunday - Rest

Total for the Week - 26.2 miles
Total Training Mileage - 113.9 miles

{I think it's worth noting that week 5 was 26.2 miles which is the exact marathon distance. One week versus one day...}

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Indianapolis Monumental Marathon - Training Begins!

I'm pretty sure I said that I wouldn't do this again. That didn't stop me from signing up anyway.

On November 7th, I will be running my second full marathon. 26.2 miles through and around Indy at the Indianapolis Monumental.

I signed up on the same day I signed up for my first marathon. I had been considering it for a while and told myself I would make my decision by the time this popped up on Timehop.

It was also the day I hung this bad boy. A gift from my brother two years ago when I was training for my first. 

I've had a couple people ask why I would do it again. Well, it's the shortest marathon training I think I will ever have. I have a half already planned for September 12th (The REVEL Big Cottonwood Canyon Race) so I will already be training for that. In reality, I only have to tack on 6 or 7 weeks to that training to make it work. Plus, I just want to see if I can do better than last time. 

I will be following the Jenny Hadfield Intermediate Marathon Plan. I picked this one for a few reasons. 

First, it fits in with my newest obsessions - heart rate training. I've been doing a lot of research on the subject mainly based on "Heart Rate Training for the Compleat Idiot" by John L. Parker Jr. There's a great article that explains the concept in a few pages. Even more of a quick recap goes like this...

- Runners don't run their easy runs easy enough which can cause us not to run our hard runs hard enough due to fatigue and injury.  
- "Easy" runs now have a new definition. They're very easy and very slow (at first) and honestly, more enjoyable. (And, by slow, I mean slower than an 11 minute mile for me to keep my heart rate down. In contrast, I been running the half around 8:30.)

Second, I liked that this one has only four runs and two days of cross training. I know that five days of running doesn't work for me for a variety of reasons. And, a lot of marathon plans call for five or even six days. My plan is to run all four days as many weeks as I possibly can and get in a strength workout with Devon. Then, on the 6th day, attempt yoga or some other type of stretching. 

Finally, the weekly runs don't exceed an hour. Again, something else I've learned through the years that I need in a training plan. 

I managed to screw things up right off the bat by miscalculating how many weeks out and when to start. So, I missed the first week of 20. I think I'll be OK. 

Last week (Week 1) went like this...

Monday - 45 minutes 
Tuesday - Yoga
Wednesday - 50 minutes 
Thursday - Rest
Friday - 40 minutes
Saturday - 8 miles 
Sunday - Rest

Total for the Week - 20.5 miles

This week (Week 2)...

Monday - 45 minutes 
Tuesday - Rest
Wednesday - 50 minutes with 5 Pickups (short bursts of faster pace) 
Thursday - Training - and this was a crazy one leaving me exhausted!
Friday - 40 minutes - this was my toughest run so far - see Thursday :) 
Saturday - 9 miles 
Sunday - Rest

Total for the Week - 22.1 miles
Total Training Mileage - 42.6

For today's run, my friend, Steph joined me. I texted her last night to see if she wanted to join me for any part of my run and she said she would try all 9. And she did it! Nothing to it! I was so glad to have her there - all the talking makes the time just fly by! We started at 6AM and were done by 7:30 which is an amazing way to start a weekend.  

Two weeks down... 17 to go!

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Race Recap - Indy Mini 2015

Another Mini has come and gone! Actually, it's been gone quite a long time. It's been almost 2 months so I remember very little. But, I must post so I can move on with life...

I remember very little of the race other than the last few miles, which is the opposite of normal. I held a very steady pace of a little better than 8:20 through the race which was exactly where I needed to be to break 1:50. I told myself I could speed up at mile 10 if I still had anything left. I didn't. My last three miles slowed to an 8:32 pace.

Even though my average pace (8:21) should have earned a PR and under 1:50, the course was longer that 13.1 miles which it always seems to be. I thought I had accounted for this in my calculations, but I had used 13.2 and it was actually 13.25 or something. Crazy how that makes a difference! But, when you're only 30-some seconds from your goal, every tenth makes a difference.

It doesn't really matter because I had no juice left in the tank anyway! It sure seemed to get hot during those last few miles too which I'm sure didn't help! And, once again, that last mile was an eternity!

It was a course record for me and only 8 seconds (8 seconds?!?!) from a PR. Surely I had that in me?! Either way, I'll have another go at it.

I will say that all of my strength training totally paid off. My legs were fresh as a daisy during the entire run and soreness was virtually non-existent after the race. That alone is worth it all!

And now for some photos...

The day before the race, I sat with Estrella in the waiting room at Riley while her son, Koby, was undergoing open heart surgery. Koby is the most recent Gift of Life child to receive heart surgery as part of the program.

Gram and Pop arrived in time to see Tessa's art in the county-wide Art Show. 

And, then, our annual pasta dinner! Complete with mom's Bison Meatballs!

New shirt for the big day! And new Gu packs. The vanilla is yummy. The coffee (cappuccino? mocha?) flavored one at mile 10? Not so much. Gross...

The day was beautiful!

And, at the finish!

Mom and dad...

Where was our selfie stick when we needed it?!

And, couldn't miss the Indy sign. Dad makes a nice, tall "I."

We wrapped up the day with lunch at a new place in Greenfield. 

So happy this is part of our May tradition now! A great way to kick off summer!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pre-Race Thoughts - Indy Mini 2015

Well, we're only one sleep away from the big race! This is the one where I beat 1:50 and all of my wildest dreams come true! Or that's what happens in the fairy tale finish anyway.

Hard to believe it's my 6th Indy Mini and my 13th Half Marathon!

I haven't written about this training cycle at all really.  After my near sub-1:50 in Austin (only missing it by 22 seconds), I decided to pull out the big guns and hire a trainer. He put together a run schedule for me but also, and I think most importantly, a strength training schedule.  This is one area in which I need some major work. That was blatantly obvious during my first few sessions when I could barely make it through a "real" sit up. I can see so many weaknesses in my core strength and even leg strength. I can also see how improving those areas will show a great improvement during the race.

The running has been so-so really. It feels like I "feel" each mile more this time around and have dread/put off more runs this time around. I think as our lives get busier, running seems like something that I can put off and becomes a burden. I need to work on this one. Just get it done. That being said, I had a lot of 5 run weeks and that is not common for me.

I have enjoyed the hills, speed work and timed events like 5k, 10k, mile etc. Those felt good. Once they were done anyway.  Building up the cardio on those should, in theory, help too.

The last piece of the training puzzle was diet. I was convinced that losing weight would magically take time off of my race. I'm still not unconvinced. Heading into the race on Saturday, I am within a pound or three of where I was last year, which is 10-15 pounds lighter than previous years.  Here's the difference though. I now have muscle. My measurements have decreased. (And I'll add for vanity's sake, my clothes fit better.) I attribute it to both diet and strength training.

My last few weeks have been less than stellar for multiple reasons. But, it only comes down to running two seconds faster each mile than my best and I'm better trained than I was then. Minuscule really. I'm shooting for 8:20 per mile with a few at 8:15 or so to give me a little buffer. No starting fast. That puts me in around 1:50 pretty comfortably even if the course is longer than 13.1 which it will inevitably be 13.2 at least.

I can do it. I know that. Whether it is tomorrow may be another question. I will certainly give it my best shot. That I know. I have some playlist work to do and some scouring of previous blogs to remember how great it all is. And, maybe even a bedtime of pre-10 PM.

Let's do this.

Friday, April 3, 2015

San Diego Mermaid Half - Part Two - Race Recap

This is another trip to knock off a state in my friend Claudia's quest to run a half in all 50 states. (You can read about the rest of the trip in this post.) I've now been to ColoradoGeorgiaTexas and California with her. This is a super fun way to get in some traveling (especially to warm places in the winter) and some races. Claudia's friend, Becky, was also on this trip and I was so glad to get to know her better!

Spoiler... this one certainly wasn't a personal best but not a worst either. Although it was my first over two hours in three years. All of the fun (and walking and hiking) we had contributed I'm sure, but it was all worth it. ~On that note, one of us did get a PR, so I probably shouldn't use the walking as an excuse. :)~

First up... Packet Pick Up - a little less than exciting and, in retrospect, we should have probably just gotten there a little early on race day. (Lots of traffic to and from and out of our way since we weren't staying in the city.)

On the way to the race, Claudia was looking up things to do afterward. She asked if we wanted to hike as she had found a few that looked interesting. I tried to convince her to go for a win on the race so she may be too tired to hike later. :) It didn't work. We did hike later and it was great.

We got to the race only a little early and probably should have gotten out of the car a little sooner but it was chilly that morning. My biggest complaint about the whole race was the very limited number of toilets at the start line. This is a race for women. I swear there were only 20 of them. For over 1000 women and their spectators. Needless to say, we didn't make it through the line before the start.

Other than that, the parking and start line were pretty well organized. First, an obligatory pre-race selfie...

Yes, there were men in the race. Not sure why. But, they weren't prohibited. They just couldn't win any awards.

I took no photos during the race. The first part was beautiful with the sun coming up over the bay. I was also running way too fast (I was ahead of the 1:50 pacer until mile 5 or so) which began to catch up with me, oh, around the time the 1:50 pacer passed me. In general, it wasn't a great feeling race for me. I also don't remember very much. Here's what I do remember...

There was a guy who kept passing me and getting directly in front of me after he did. This was not a crowded race or one with a lot of curves so no need to do that. When he came back in front of me, he would slow down considerably. Or, one time, he stopped to tie his shoe. It was incredibly annoying. 

I talked with a lady around mile 11 who was gunning for under 2 hours. She was right on pace by our watches. However, the mile 10 (or was it 11) mile marker was way off. There is no thing much more discouraging than that. So, she wasn't sure. I ran with her a while but then took another walking break. I'll bet she made it. 

Speaking of those walking breaks. Man, I took a lot of them from mile 10 on. I was out of juice and hot. I really didn't have much left so I don't feel terrible about it. Plus, this is the first time I've done two races within two weeks, so maybe I didn't recover fully. Either way, it was a pretty cruddy feeling race and I was thrilled when it was over. 

These are not the most flattering photos. I'm sharing them with you to show the agony. And, because I know you all love me anyway. (I didn't know these were being taken - I may have tried to smile if I'd known!)

I was so glad Matt was able to come to the finish line! I've said it before and I'll say it over and over again, race spectators are just the best! 

Claudia and Becky both won prizes in their age divisions! Way to go girls! 

Most excitedly, Becky got a PR, which is highly impressive on so many levels! But, particularly impressive when it's a new course, across the country and after Mexican food the previous day. :) Way to go Becky!

Aside from the lack of toilets at the beginning of the race, everything was well done. Plenty of water stations and a well marked course. Easy to get to and really nice scenery. It was pretty darned flat too. They gave out little necklaces instead of medals which is a cute idea. The only other downside was that the shirts were generic Mermaid series shirts and didn't say San Diego. Not a huge deal, but notable nonetheless. 

Glad to have race #2 out of 5 for the year checked off the list! And, always love the destination races!

San Diego Mermaid Half - Part One - Everything But the Half

Only a month and half late... I'm sure you've all been waiting with baited breath. Well, here it is. The race itself was fine and I'll recap that in another post.

This is another trip to knock off a state in my friend Claudia's quest to run a half in all 50 states. I've now been to Colorado, Georgia, Texas and California with her. This is a super fun way to get in some traveling (especially to warm places in the winter) and some races. Claudia's friend, Becky, was also on this trip and I was so glad to get to know her better! She was a lot of fun, always up for whatever and really a lot like me. We all got along great!

A crack of dawn flight got us to San Diego with some time for breakfast with my brother. (Matt and his fiance, Sarah, live near San Diego and were our awesome hosts for the weekend.) He met us near Torrey Pines since we were heading there next. He scored us some free passes to the PGA Tour Event that day. Claudia and Becky had never been to something like this before and it was a lot of fun to walk around and check it out. Plus, the views were amazing!

And, my new phone lock screen...

Years ago, Tom and I used to play Fantasy Golf on Yahoo. (Yes. Really.) Back then, I knew a lot more of the players. I only recognized a few this time though. We caught Phil Mickelson and then hung out for a few at one of the greens until Tiger arrived. He had his usual crowd of people but we had great spots since we'd been there for a while. As he was walking off after they were finished, Matt said to me, "Does he look like he's limping?" Well, he was and dropped out just a few holes later. (We were not supposed to take pictures, but we did anyway.)

That evening was spent at Matt's after a little grocery shopping. He cooked for us and we were able to relax. And, go to bed before 9. That time change and early wake up call did us in!

After the other two got back from a run, we went out for a hike at a place very close to Matt. It was a beautiful morning and we soaked up all the sun that we could!

Getting ready to head up the hill behind us...

At the top of the hill...

It was a great view...

And then getting ready to head down...

We took what we thought was a path down, but I'm pretty sure it was just eroded from water run off. It was a bit steep!

For the mid-morning, we went into Carlsbad for an Acai Bowl which was beyond highly recommended by Matt. (And, a totally California thing to do it seemed.) They were delish! And, a perfect morning snack. Carlsbad is beyond cute. I'm so excited to spend some time here in August for Matt & Sarah's wedding.

Claudia's face? Well, Becky had just dropped my phone and the screen broke. She felt so terrible! But, it was an easy fix and no big deal. When this Groupon came through on my phone a few days after we came home, I had to send it along. What a coincidence?!

We did some beach walking too. I seriously think we just wanted to soak up all the sun we could! We met Matt at Swami's, which is an ocean overlook and a great place to surf. Again with the views! 

If you look super close, you can see the little specks in the ocean and those are the surfers. 

We split up again after some fantastic Mexican right on the PCH. It's always a good idea to eat Mexican less than 24 hours before a race right? The girls had to hit the packet pick up but first, we needed to do a drive by of a house where the in-laws of one of Becky's friends lived. Well, we didn't exactly find it but we did find something else super cool. The Mt. Soledad Veteran's Memorial is pretty spectacular and it's location gives an awesome view of the city. 

The clouds/marine layer just over my shoulder are hiding the ocean - I'm pretty sure anyway.

Onto the Packet Pickup. I kept wanting to call it the "expo," but it wasn't one. In fact, it wasn't really even a "packet" pickup. More like a bib, some safety pins and a shirt. Matt, who is in sports marketing, had considered coming along just to check it out. I'm glad he didn't - nothing exciting. 

A quick dinner of spaghetti and we hit the hay to get ready for another early wake up. 

Check out THIS POST for details on the actual race. 

After quick showers and some lunch, we went out to find our next adventure. Another hike was on the schedule. Yes. A hike. After a half. It was not an insignificant hike either. But, it was beautiful and maybe helped get the soreness out.

See that little tiny house at the top of the mountain? In the center of the photo? That is on the peak that was across from where we hiked. We were at the same elevation, or even higher, at the top. 

We were sure to read the warnings before heading out. Matt neglected to mention the mountain lions. Although, to be fair, he did disclose the rattle snakes.

Once again, though, the views were amazing! A beautiful lake was waiting for us at the very top.

And, my phone's new lock screen.

Did I mention it wasn't exactly an easy hike?

More showers and we were ready to head out to dinner in Little Italy. No, our day was not finished! I think Matt kept thinking we would crash. But, we made it out for a delicious dinner. Another area of San Diego that is just too cute! Little Italy will be a stop on my next trip there too.

Saturday night, my Garmin Vivofit said I had taken 44,877 steps and I had fleeting thoughts of a lap around the house to get over 45,000. Instead, I flopped into bed. And, the other days, we didn't exactly slack - 18,900 steps on Thursday (with a cross country flight!), 17,800 steps on Friday and 13,340 steps on Sunday. 

Becky and Claudia were fantastic traveling buddies and Matt & Sarah really made us feel at home. What a trip! I definitely came home from this one refreshed yet exhausted! Another one for the books!