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Local Race Love

I love our local running community, and last Sunday was our big party–aka, the Two Cities Marathon and Half!  This was my 6th year running it (2008-2010, 2012-14–what was I thinking in 2011?!?!?!  I STILL regret skipping it).

There is a race suited for everyone–a full marathon that takes you through the cities of both Clovis and Fresno; a half through Clovis; a half through Fresno; a half marathon relay; a 5k; and a kids fun run.

I have very strong feelings about which race to tackle–I’ve run both the Clovis half (two way traffic on the running trail–no bueno) and the Fresno (wide open road, running along a quiet, tree lined lane on the edge of town with beautiful views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, all white capped with snow…and one, teensy 1 mile long hill).

Guess which one I prefer?

We have had an insane drought here for the last year.  So when does it decide to rain?  At packet pickup at the expo.  Super soaked doesn’t even begin to describe the trip from the parking lot to the expo.

That didn’t stop this girl from carbo loading:


The morning of the race, it was amazing to luxuriate in bed thinking “Hey, the marathon has started.  I don’t have to get up for 10 more minutes.”  I got up and indulged in my pre-race favorites–one cup of coffee, a fun sized snickers bar, and enough body glide to wax a surfboard.

I jump in my car thinking I have 30 whole minutes to drive across town to the start line.  A mile from home, I realize that I forgot my Garmin–I was disappointed I forgot it for my last half, so decided to go back for it.

Good thing, because it was sitting right next to my race bib.  Oops.

Made it to the start line at 7:13, and then realized my part of the race began at 7:30, not 7:15.  I could have slept 15 more minutes! Plenty of time for a pre race selfie!!

The race itself:  beautiful, cool, comforting.  I’ve run this route 4 times (minus the year I ran Clovis and the year it was a single half with a different route), and it’s always nice to run an old favorite.  With all the rain the day before, the view of the snow-capped (!) mountains was crystal clear. It was absolutely beautifuL.  Glorious.

I ran this race alone, and I ran it slowly.  My goal was to beat my Santa Rosa time of 2:18.  I cried like a baby when the 2:20 pacing group passed me.  Full-out sobs.  Not my finest moment.

Another downside–only ONE person on the entire route appreciated my bib.  Sad face.

BUT!  This is the first race in ages my knee didn’t act up.  No pain during, minimal soreness after. So slow = hurt pride not muscles.  Good to know.

The finishers area was awesome as always.  They have great food (Ice cream sundaes!  Coffee!  Bananas! And to a lesser extent, Breakfast!); the shirt didn’t suck this year (I’m not a fan of brightly colored sweatshirts–the understated, lightweight long sleeve was perfect); it was fun to meet up with the LLL running group at the foam roller/stretching station they set up (and very, very helpful for recovery); and the beer garden was a great place to socialize (and after running–2 beers was almost enough to knock me out.)

Even though I forgot my race bib and watch, I you bet your ass I had my ID for the beer garden.

This race truly is homecoming for the local running community! And great big ball of love I feel is indescribable.

Until next year!

My Milkshake WILL Bring all the Boys to the Yard

I feel like I have been hiding out under a veil of net and lace for the last few months!  It’s wedding season, but it seams (<-LOL) to have calmed down.  October 4th was the big fall day for weddings his year–it was wonderful to help so many feel beautiful for their big day.

I must still be tired–I went to spinning this morning, and left the house wearing two different shoes.  Guess it pays to turn on the light when getting dressed?

But tonight!  I’m so excited for this list!  A split HIIT workout with some new (to me) music!

Intro                  Jump Around (House of Pain)
Warmup           Shake It Off (Taylor Swift)
Wake Me Up (Avicii)
Run and increase tension every 15 second (1/4 turn)
Roar (Katy Perry)
Hill                Mirrors (Justin Timberlake)
HIIT #1–2 minutes on, 1 minute recovery x 3 rounds
                            I Wanna Go (Britney Spears)
I Like It (Enrique Inglesias featuring Pitbull)
I’m a Machine (David Guetta)
Recovery     Milkshake (Kelis)
Hill               Yeah! (Usher featuring Lil John and Ludacris)
You and I (Lady Gaga)
Team (Lorde)
Recovery     Who Knew (Pink)
HIIT #2–2 minutes on, 1 minute recovery x 3 rounds
What the Hell (Avril Lavigne)
Magic (B.O.B)
Shake it (Metro Station)
Recovery     Stay with Me (Seven Lions)
C’mon (Ke$ha)

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Pandora Surprise!

7 am is EARLY, especially on a Saturday. Well, not for early birds like me, but for the general spinning population out on the west side of town. On more than one occasion, my 7 am indoor cycling class has turned into a PANDORA SURPRISE!

Thankfully, my 1-2 regulars who join me every week are just as thrilled to toss out my planned playlist and just go with whatever the Hip hop/Power workout station (my favorite!) plays–only 1 skip allowed! 

If a commercial comes on—recovery!


  • Song 1                        Seated Warmup
  • Song 2                        Standing Warmup
  • Song 3                        Speed up on chorus/30 sec
  • Song 4                        Seated hill
  • Song 5/6        1 min interval; 30 sec recovery
  •                         2 min interval; 1 min recovery
  • Song 7                        Standing hill
  • Song 8                        Active recovery/speed up on chorus
  • Song 9/10/11 2 min interval; 1 min recovery
  •                         3 min interval; 1 min recovery
  • 2 min interval; 1 min recovery
  • 1 min interval; 30 second recovery to the end
  • Song 12          Seated hill
  • Song 13          Recovery
  • Song 14          Cool down


I use this same approach when I do my personal spin workouts—it’s a fun way to break it down. Give it a whirl!



Let’s live tweet an alteration!

This week, I got a call from my friends who own the bridal shop with which I work.

A bride ordered her dress in April.

The dress came in Thursday (9/4).

The wedding was (is?) today–as in she is celebrating with her family and friends RIGHT NOW.

We arranged for a noon fitting:

After a pesky 4 hours of work, I began altering the dress at 5 pm. I also decided to live tweet the alteration to keep the owners abreast of how it was going. I thought I was so smart–except that I hated stopping to take pics.

Live tweeting a rush job? Fail!


Thankfully, the alteration went SO SMOOTHLY. I got lucky–the beading was easy to tie off (so I only had to fill in a minimal amount on the end) and the bride requested that I not hem it.
Taking in the side seams, adding bra cups, re beading and adding a bustle all done in time for me to make it to the bar for the fourth quarter of the Packers v. Seahawks game. Disappointing outcome, but great to see all of my Packer fans together again.


Are you a Packers fan? Check out http://www.packerseverywhere. To find an official viewing spot in your town. It made all the difference for me when I moved out here and away from the homeland.

ANYWAY, the owner picked it up at 8 am the next morning. I’m still a little sad that I wasn’t able to be there for the final fitting, but judging from the lack of panicked text messages, I’m hoping it was awesome.

HIIT Ladders!

After attending a continuing education day last year, I have been OBSESSED with incorporating HIIT into my spin classes. The feedback I’ve gotten has been resoundingly positive.  Most of my regulars love incorporating one of these HIIT cardio sessions a week to balance out their other work outs, and it makes the class go so fast.  
I tried a new configuration for incorporating intervals last Wednesday–a ladder of increasing time and decreasing watts, broken up with a strong climb in between each round.  
One hour of fun.  I promise–it goes quickly!  Enjoy!
Intro                           POMPEII  by Bastille
Warmup                    AIN’T IT FUN (radio edit) by Paramore
                                  LET’S GO (feat. Ney Yo) by Calvin Harris
Sprint on Chorus        ANIMAL by Neon Trees
Seated Hill                PAPARAZZI by Lady Gaga
Interval #1:
    Sprints (RPM 100 – 110)–:30 on, :15 off (5 rounds)
                                TURBULENCE by Laidback Look, Lil Joh, and Steve Aoki
Standing Hill             RADIOACTIVE by Imagine Dragons
Interval #2:
    Power Sprints (watts at 200+) 1:00 on, :30 off (4 rounds)
                                SEXY AND I KNOW IT by LMFAO
                                WHO KNEW (Bimbo Jones Radio Mix) by Pink
Seated hill                MIRRORS by Justin Timberlake
Interval #3:
    Power Sprint (watts at 190+) 1:30 on, :45 off (4 rounds)
                                WORK WORK by Britney Spears
                                WE FOUND LOVE (Feat. Rhianna) by Calvin Harris
                                STARSTUKK by 3OH!3
Rolling hill              WAKING UP IN VEGAS by Katy Perry
Interval #4:
    Power Sprint (wats at 180+) 2:00 on; 45 off (2 rounds)
                                STRONGER by Kelly Clarkson
                                SCREAM by Usher
Recovery                C’MON by Ke$ha
Cool Down            FAITHFULLY by Journey
Have a great week!


The Santa Rosa Half!

On Monday, a post from a friend floated across my FB feed offering her bib up for the Santa Rosa half that coming Sunday.

In a moment of sheer madness–it is wedding season, after all AND I hadn’t run more than 6 miles in…4 months?–I decided to take her up on her offer. A weekend to stay with my brother and SIL, snuggle my 7 week old niece, and hang out with one of my runner girls for 13.1 miles? Yay!

I drove up on Saturday, and my brother’s family joined me for packet pickup at DeLoach Winery. So beautiful.

Barrel room.



Pretty, right?

And the best part:

We had a lovely dinner at Lagunitas Brewing Company, and headed back to my brother’s home to get some sleep.

Except this happened:


It was crazy–it felt like being on a train. But it woke me up in time to enjoy the Simpsons 138 Episode Spectacular hosted by Troy McClure on FXX.

After a 530 am wake up, a quick 5 min to sleepily get dressed, including my shiny new LLL pacesetter skirt (because that’s not madness–wearing something you’ve never ran in for a half. Spoiler alert: exceedingly positive review to come!), I jumped in my car and drove the half hour to Santa Rosa.

It was really easy to find my running friend–she’s a diehard Team in Training member and fantastic fundraiser! I don’t get to run with her much anymore, so it was awesome to spend the morning with her.

Plus, her husband is very tall and rumor has it that you look skinnier if a tall guy takes your pic.


It was an easy course–mostly flat along the trail next to a river. Every now and again I would look out and see cows and think “This is Just like Wisconsin!” Three seconds later, I’d run past a vineyard and be snapped back to the California reality.

My friend (who is FAST) had run another half just 8 days earlier, and her tired legs were happy to join me at a solid 10:34 pace for most of the race. I have never settled into a pace like that before–it was this weird comfort zone that inspired a heavenly chorus.

My original goal (remember, it had been a very long time since I had a long run) was to run the first 9 and walk whatever I needed for the last 4. We made it to mile 11 before settling into a comfortable walk .1 miles, run .4 interval.

My right knee started acting up at mile 11, so the all breaks were welcome.

I finished in 2:18. TWO FREAKING EIGHTEEN!!!! I am so, so happy with that.

The aftermath was….unpleasant. Once I stopped moving, my body freaked out and everything I ingested the previous 24 hours wanted OUT. The finishers jackets were at a completely separate pickup location (rather than right in the finishing chute) and waiting in line for a half hour was pure hell. All I wanted to do was lay down so I wouldn’t throw up.

Finally, I got my jacket and sat down.

Then I lay down.

Then it was a half hour later. I now can say I passed out after a race.

I felt AMAZING on the flip side of my nap.

I have no idea if there was food or anything like that afterwards (other than the Dixie cup of water they gave everyone at the end:/ ). That was largely irrelevant–I met up with my family for an amazing breakfast atthe Left Coast Depot in Notavo.

Overall a fantastic race and fantastic weekend. Looking forward to next year!

My New Toys

I bought myself 3 new fancy toys this summer. I tend to be pretty damn cheap, so this was a big deal for me.

1) After many, many years of borrowing one/going to someone else’s house to serge the tiniest part of an alteration, I finally bought a serger.

A Brother 1034D–delightfully basic, great reviews, great price, differential feed. Loving it so far!

2) We got married 4 years ago. So many of our dear family and friends gave us gift cards to Bed, Bath, and Beyond. They finally turned into this:

IMG_1033.JPG (bad pic, but amazing product.)
A Shark Navigator Liftaway Pro.Our house is primarily hardwood with a few area rugs, and this vacuum is perfect. The microfiber pad attachment? Brilliant. I love it.

3) I had an old Garmin eTrex gps that bit the dust 2 years ago. After a lovely conversation with a Garmin rep, I finally–FINALLY–traded the old unit in for a credit toward a Garmin Forerunner 15.


It arrived the same day as a necklace honoring my homeland.

So far, I LOVE the watch. I’ve never had one before, so I can’t comment on missing any of the advanced features that other watches provide. It tracks my distance, pace, calories, HR. Love using the heart rate monitor strap in my cycling classes–makes teaching much more focused!

I am still twirling with excitement over these three things.

do you have any recent purchases that have quickly become must haves?

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