Sunday, October 29, 2006

10/29/06 Detroit Marathon

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3:19:16 - a new PR!
The weather was ideal, and the extra hour of tossing & turning last night didn't hurt either. During the first mile, a band played "One, Two, Three O'Clock, Four O'Clock Rock" which permanently embedded itself on loop play in my brain. The only hills to speak of were the verrrry steep bridge at mile 3 into Canada and the tunnel to get back into America. The Canadians were quite supportive and could be heard to cheer us on with, "Good pace, eh!" and "Keep it going, eh!" Then at mile 7 we returned to the States via underwater bridge, the only international underwater mile in a marathon. Little did I know that the underwater mile was timed. Mine was 6:55 which was apparently good enough to allow me to re-enter my home country. The tunnel also provided a nice break from the wind. Although it was sunny, the wind was non-stop. One of my later miles was 7:35 but I must admit that was the only time we were traveling with the wind at our backs. Everything else seemed like the gusts were from the side or straight against us. I'm no wind expert but others were heard to say that the gusts reached up to 25 miles per hour. The scenery was either really dull (factories) or really spectacular (running alongside the river inside a park with amazing fall colors in the trees). It was a particularly great race for a sports fan since we ran past the Joe Louis hockey arena, the Comerica baseball park, and finished on the 50 yard line of the Ford Field football stadium which was fortunately a dome stadium and warm and indoors and wind-free. Spectators filled the seats and finishers were shown on a giant indoor television monitor, which is as close as I've ever gotten to having an NFL career!
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Starting into the sunrise.

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The fall colors were amazing!

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General Motors world headquarters in the background.

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Approaching the finish inside Ford Field on the 50 yard line!

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Mom and I are both thrilled at the finish!

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Mom and the medal!

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A few days after the marathon, we took a trip to Niagra Falls!
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Mom and I are amazed!

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The Niagra Conservatory was colorful and beautiful.

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Walking with Mom.

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A highlight of the trip was the Detroit Red Wings game on November 1st.

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But before the game, we had to gear up with official Red Wings souvenirs at HockeyTown!
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Having lived in Detroit, Lorenzo is a true "Wing Nut!"

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Red Wings jersey and foam finger, mandatory items for every true fan!
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Great seats!

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An exciting game winning goal in the third period!
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This statue is called "The Spirit of Detroit" and I'm showing my spirit!

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Lorenzo and Angela near GM headquarters.

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Running along the river two days after the race.

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Outside the Joe Louis Arena, just a half mile from our hotel.

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The Ambassador Bridge to Canada, which was mile 3 of the race and the steepest part.

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A statue of Joe Louis' fist.

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Getting a "high five" from Joe.

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Angela tries to keep warm near the cold hard fist.

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Lorenzo learns to pick on someone his own size...

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Had a great lunch with my 2nd cousin Sherry in Ann Arbor.

Monday, October 02, 2006

10/02/06 Lorenzo's Account of San Luis Obispo Trip

Tired of running around LA and Santa Monica, Angela was hoping for some new scenery on her long training runs in preparation for the Detroit Marathon. Solution? Couchsurfing in San Luis Obispo! Of course, while we're up there, what else to do?
Rockclimbing, of course!
We stayed with the most amazing folks in the most amazing house. I wish I had taken pictures! Laurie, Sean and Larry actually live in Atascadero, not far from SLO. Their house is practically a resort - definitely a "retreat" - at least for easy-going, eco-conscious, nature-loving weirdos... like us!
We arrived Friday night, having left work early. Lucky for us, Laurie and her housemates were hosting a Raw Vegan Foods dinner party, and several friends came over to help prepare and share. Angela and I spent some fun, messy time cramming hundreds of tiny green grapes into a noisy, thrashing juicer. The grapes came from a local un-tended vineyard, and they had brought back at least 50 lbs! The resulting juice was incredible. Dinner was a wonderful event, and afterward we all "retired" to the living room for hula-hoops, juggling, acrobatic yoga and fun trivia quiz!
Saturday morning Angela ran a quick 7 miles on a paved trail from the 101 to Avila Beach, while I rode my bike along for company. Afterward we went back to the house and packed up for climbing. Laurie and Larry had never been rockclimbing before, even though SLO offers some excellent crags and supports a healthy community of climbers. So we got to break them in... and WOW - Cabrillo Rock couldn't have been a better spot to do it! At the end of the day we were still up on the mountain for the sunset. We paused our activities and sat on the rock to watch the sun sink below the horizon. I'm confident it was the most amazing sunset I've ever witnessed.
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After an amazing afternoon and evening of climbing, Sunday dawned cold and damp, and Angela had 15 miles on the training schedule. We went out into the wine country and did a loop route through the rolling hills of vineyards. As usual I rode my bike - I have a long way to go before I can run anything like this with the strong and speedy Angela. Under an occasional light drizzle and cool breezes, the SLO valleys were foggy and clouds hugged the low mountains around the valley. Why didn't I bring my camera?! The back roads through the vineyards are perfect for running and road cycling, though our route did take us on a little too much 4-lane highway. We'll plan the route more carefully next time.
We made some wonderful new friends and we're all planning a Joshua Tree climbing trip soon, which I'm sure will generate even more to photograph and write about.
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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

8/19/06-8/20/06 Big Bear Biking Camping Climbing Fishing & Running

Be sure to look for the blood all over my right leg - just a scrape, but looks really hardcore! Saturday was fishing and mountain biking. Don cooked an amazing dinner - curry stew over rice. Saturday night was a snipe hunt and ghost stories, then card games and chess. Sunday was a four mile run, followed by Giuliana's Mickey Mouse shaped pancakes. Then we climbed all day. Dinner was at a local Big Bear cafe with magnificent burgers and we sang "Happy Birthday" to Giuliana.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

7/30/06 San Francisco Marathon

Yes, it was even worse than it looks.

Four minutes shy of a PR on a course that was way more uphilly than anticipated, I finished in 3:24:04. Fifth in my division and the sixteenth overall female.
Had to work both Friday and Monday (race was Sunday) so it was a quick trip. No sightseeing (unless you count the Marathon Expo - which was right downstairs from my hotel room).
During all the uphills, I kept wishing for a downhill. Then I finally hit the Haight Ashbury district which included a 200 yard crazy steep painful downhill, as if to say "Be careful what you wish for..." So I spent the rest of the race wishing for some nice flat sections. My wish didn't come true until the last mile. Note to self: make wish in the FIRST mile of the race.

The Golden Gate Bridge.

Coach John and I at the Expo, getting goofy on free Goo samples!

Fun with feet.

Milk & Muffin: Breakfast of well, 16th placers.

Warming up at 5:00am. Race start is 5:35am. Temperature about 55 F.

No smile, I was saving my strength for the race.

Sure wish I had known there were wings coming out of my head, I could've used those.

Running the Golden Gate Bridge.

Haight Street, should be renamed "I Hate Uphill" Street...

Lots of uphills and trivia signs. John ran the last 2 miles with me.

Uphill towards the finish.

The Port, on the starboard side.

Highlight of the race? Spitting on a Barry Bonds plaque at AT&T Park.

Marina by the ball park.

Finish line.

Runners' high.

These kids sure could use a nap.

Men in uniform handing out medals.

Looking stronger than I actually felt.

With Coach/Runner John.

Me, The Marthon Angel (aka: Lorenzo), and the Bay Bridge.

Thanks to Lorenzo for picking up all the wet & sweaty things I threw at him during the race, and for the great photos! And to John for understanding when I told him to "SHUSH!" during the last two miles. Hopefully, with their help, I can get that coveted PR in Detroit on 10/29/06!