Monday, November 26, 2007

Thanksgiving Recap!

lots of people! That was the theme of this thanksgiving with a 10,000 people full race morning, 9 people staying at our home for the whole long weekend, and 13 for thanksgiving dinner. It was all wonderful!

I'm keeping this short for now [edited- haha, when have I ever kept a blog post short? This one kept with tradition of long-windedness after all], as I have a 8-10 page paper due tomorrow that isn't quite started (I know, I know), but some pictures from the weekend got posted (all photos curtesy of David Badgerow), so I thought I'd do a bit of an update (and procratinate some more :) )

The race(s) went really really well, surprisingly, with the main thing holding me back being a horribly nasty cold that hit wednesday night and is still going strong (moved into my lungs, which means no running for a bit, as breathing is hard right now)

The 10k went great, with tons of people and the best running partner ever (Ed). It was his first race ever, and he promised to stick with me. We started conservatively and then I decided I wanted to push a bit and get in under an hour. About 2 miles from the end I started feeling somewhat lightheaded, so we backed off a bit, still making it in in 59:24. And, like the gentleman he is, Ed let me beat him by a whole one second :D

looking a bit tired still after the 10k. Refueling with a banana before the 5k that'll start in about 30 minutes

After resting for a bit in the car, we met up with the rest of the running group who were all doing the 5k

(back row, then front, left to right) My dad, Ashley (my older sister), James (her fiance), Ed, Pat (James' mom), me, and David (Ashley's good friend) all ready to go. My mom and little sister stayed home, per tradition, to watch the parade and make us breakfast :)

While waiting for the race to start, we figured out racing strategies. After much consideration, Ed decided to run alone, as he wanted to see what it would be like to push himself a bit. He's much faster than me, so I decided to let him free :) James and his mom would walk the race, and james was all set in his flip flops. As my dad and Ash both weren't doing so hot on the running front lately (my dad hurt his knee somehow and has been taking it really easy lately), they decided to stick together with the plan to run a bit a walk lots. David had been training apparently and wanted to try running the whole thing, so I offered to stick with him, so long as he wasn't too fast. He ended up being the perfect pace, so it was a good match!

Before we all split up into our respective paces

Ed had an awesome race, running a 23:04! That's a 7:26 pace, after doing the 10k, mind you. Being the amazingly sweet guy he is, he said that he was so used to running with me, that it really wasn't as much fun on his own, and he missed having me as his running partner :)

David and I had a great race, keeping a very conservative pace and catching up the whole time. The 3ish miles flew by and we coasted in with a 32ish minute 5k, per chip time.

This was the first time David ever ran the whole 5k (he's done this race with us a number of years) so it was really exciting for him that his training paid off. I felt great after the race, much better than after the 10k, but after the endorphins wore off, the sickness really took hold.

Thanksgiving dinner was great, with a huge table of fabulous food, friends, and family

Unfortunately, my cold really started hitting hard, and I had to excuse myself early to go lie down, missing out on dessert :(. That's when I know I'm really sick, as I always always eat dessert when I can.

Friday we went to Mission San Juan Capistrano, which was awesome Ed and I walking in the ruins of the mission

(more pictures from that to follow) but it exhausted me so much that the rest of the day was spent watching movies and resting. Ed stayed home with me that night while the rest of the crew went to the big bad voodoo daddies concert. We watched White Christmas on tv instead, and had a lovely evening :)

Saturday was Christmas decorating day (as per our thanksgiving tradition). With nine of us, the tree was decorated in record time, names were exchanged for the ornament exchange, and eggnog was drunk.

(all of us sans my mom, the photographer, with our completed tree)

All in all a great wonderful thanksgiving. Ed got along perfectly with everyone and was wonderful to have to share this holiday with. I'm so lucky :)

Less than three weeks until the quarter ends and I'm back home for a extended break. Just gotta make it to then!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On the Road Again

My holiday and driving buddy (with the lone cyprus, Monteray's famed tree off highway 17)

The time has come for another road trip, this time north to south, to be with my family for the holidays. Ed's coming along for the ride, which should make it a lot nicer. We'll have a full house with 4 guests plus our five person family (and an additional 4 for dinner tomorrow) which should be fun, and hopefully not too stressful!

I ended up taking this week off from running since my leg was (is) doing a weird thing of feeling sort of tingly and a bit numb on the top of the foot. My kneecap has also been popping out of place a bit. Not sure what's going on here.... I'm doing the 10k and 5k thanksgiving morning, so hopefully my body is up for that! Looking forward to hopefully seeing some OCTR running people while I'm home and at least getting in some nice hikes if running doesn't seem to be happening beyond the race. There are 7 of our 9 family/guests doing at least one of the races, so it should be great. My dad, Ed, and I are signed up for both, but we'll see how that pans out. My dad's knee has been bugging him lately, so none of us (besides Ed) are in great condition right now. It should be a fun day regardless :D

I'm looking forward to lots of nice relaxing time (hopefully I won't spend too much time doing work) enjoying socal and being with my wonderful family. Pictures will be taken, of course, and I'll possibly be checking in over the break. Otherwise, see you guys sunday!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving :D

Thursday, November 15, 2007


An awe inspiring breaking of waves along seventeen mile drive last weekend.

This word describes so much of my evening. Foremost, the breaking waves. Also the breaking moonlight filtering through the foggy clouds and onto the ocean waters. The headlights breaking through the fences along the pathway, making patterns on the pavement. My thoughts, that I haven't really been alone with in any meaningful way lately, breaking over me, reminding me of the specialness running provides. And the breaking of my three week streak of no running.

Tonight I decided to test my body and see where I am, healing wise. I thought an evening run would be nice, since I hadn't done one since Berkeley, and missed it dearly. I chose to run along west cliff because it was a nice paved path, only 2 miles long so I couldn't get too carried away, and I thought it'd be relatively safe, with houses all on one side. Plus, running by the ocean sounded lovely and poetic. I packed layers and my headlamp, since I wasn't sure what the weather was going to be like, and I wasn't sure about the lighting along there.

It was a perfect 55 degrees, which felt a little cold at first, but was perfect in my long sleeved shirt and shorts. All you traditionalists will yell at me, but I *almost* wore headphones, as part of what I love in running alone is getting to listen to music. It's part of my special running time :) But, I was going to be running by the ocean, and I figured it would be nice to be kept company by the sounds of nature. And it was. I loved the variations in sound of the waves break, the seals and sea lions barking, the wind. The endless stream of waves constantly coming in was amazing. There was just enough light on the water to see them in their relentless form, and see the huge breakers on the shore. There were a few others out, but it was pretty dark in spots and I was able to relish in being alone. I was glad I had the headlamp, though I had it out probably half the time, as it made me feel a bit safer :)

Overall, my body did pretty well. I ran about 3 miles or so, for 35 minutes. I tried really hard to listen to my body, and when I started to hear that calf a bit, turned around (okay, I still ran for a few more minutes, but I did turn around relatively soon after hearing it!). I'll see how I feel tomorrow, which I think will be the trying test. Right now I feel it a bit, but not too much. I'm thinking I'll swim tomorrow and just keep doing small chunks, but, boy, was it nice to be out there!

I had forgotten about how you get all warm after a half mile or so, and the slightly chilled temperature becomes perfect. I forgot how strong and natural it feels to run. I forgot what it felt like to run "fresh". Yes, I've lost fitness, but I started the run not sore, and it's been so long since I've done that. I was so tired at the end of my 50 miler training that I think I was just always sore. It was amazing to feel springy and free.

Lest it all sounds too perfect, there were some other things I forgot about that weren't as great. Mainly, I forgot that as much as you want to be alone in your run, sometimes the few others out there just won't let you. I ran by some charming gentlemen towards the end of my run who yelled, as I went past, "you f***ing hippy S.O.B" expletives in their full glory. However, that comment made absolutely no sense as I'm not a man, and nothing about my headlamped wicking fabric adorned running self said hippy, so I let it roll over me, like the waves rolling in from the ocean. The men saying it were, I believe, on a drug of some kind (and smoking something or other) so I don't think they were really all to cognisant of reality. A car went by and people yelled (slightly ambiguous whether this was aimed at me) and someone else honked at me, which I don't really get, but whatever. The evening was so perfectly beautiful that these things don't matter.

At the very end of my run, I ran past a church just as the bells starting tolling for 7 pm, and it was beautiful. Hearing the bells while looking over the water and just taking in the night air. This is going to be my regular night running spot and I'm looking forward to many more moonlight filled evenings.

Thank goodness I'm (at least slightly) back

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Reminders of the Positives

A beautiful little flower bud at the Carmel Mission. Just starting out its life, like my great students, with so much potential to come

Well, I taught my lesson today, and overall was reminded by just how great my class really is. The lesson itself didn't go all that well just because I tried to do too much and made things too complicated (that's what this learning process is all about though), but the beginning and the end went really well and that's the important thing.

To answer Rick's question, my book ends (mostly because I had already spent over 2 hours making the darn thing and hadn't done a lesson plan yet) somewhat abruptly. I have 7 fish in shallow waters with various amounts swimming away to contexualize subtraction. Running out of paper, my last problem has the seven fish with 6 getting scared by a boat and just the one fish is left. Not knowing how to make this a positive ending, I just added, as the last page "all alone" with the fish giving a big smile, as though he's happy all the other fish got scared away. Of course, my kids ask me why that fish is so happy to be alone and, not having a better answer, I explain that the fish probably needed some alone time and was happy to have some space from his friends :D. My cooperating teacher couldn't stop from laughing! My kids sort of seemed to accept that though, so that was nice!

Though today was really exhausting, it's the first time I've been there for the full day in a while, and it was just really nice. I love doing full days. I really feel like I connect with the kids more and get to see more sweet moments, like one of the boys wanting to hold my hand going out to pe, playing duck duck goose, and getting in the mush pot because I can't run in my teacher shoes, and having kids want to share things with me. They've already grown so much since I've been here, and I know they're all going to turn into such amazing people.

And lest I neglect running completely in this teaching infused post, I talked to the parents of one of the boys in the class and they told me that they were talking with their son about christmas gifts for his teachers and he told them "We should get Ms. Bonner-Lyon something to help her run fast, because she has lots of races and needs to be able to run faster. Maybe we could get her a special water bottle!"

My heart just melts around these guys :D

Sometimes I think I don't necessarily connect with a lot of the students, just because I'm not there enough, but talking with the parents helps me see that I am really a presence for these kids in the classroom and I am adding to their experience here. Can't wait to have my own class of kids!

[Got my shoes in the mail so tomorrow will be attempt #1 at a run. I'm thinking after class in the evening (its' been perfect evening temps lately) perhaps on west cliff just a mile or two. I'm excited!]

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Life Flying By

No running yet (it's been exactly one month since Dick Collins today!), though after a whole week of no activity (student teaching is overtaking my life!) my calf feels miraculously so much better. Who would have thought pure rest could be so beneficial ;). Anyways, my new running shoes have been delivered but are in the apartment office, so I'll hopefully get a hold of them tomorrow sometime and try my first run back on Thursday :D

Student teaching is crazy with just over a month left in our quarter. I was observed today in a lesson that I taught on the "-at" word family (rat, bat, cat, vat, hat, pat, fat, sat, and mat). Tomorrow I teach the exciting idea of subtraction patterns!!!

Okay, not that exciting, but I've just spent two hours making a book entitled, "the seven little fish" about little fish who scare easily, to convey the concepts, hopefully. I'm being filmed and peer reviewed for this one! Still working on the lesson plans.

Amidst the craziness, I'm still getting out to enjoy this beautiful world. We celebrated Ed's birthday yesterday by going down and driving the famed 17 mile drive south of Monterey (by places like Pebble Beach for you golf folk). I took tons of pictures, which I'll share in spurts, but here's one to give you an idea of the the day we had :)

Have great ones all! Hopefully I'll be posting about runs again really soon!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

The Pool of Fog

some very cute penguins swimming in a very not foggy pool :) Photo is obviously not mine, but a gentleman's by the name of Michale Leibow

Well, the pool wasn't filled with fog, but it was certainly covered with it when I got in Tuesday night at 6pm after class. We've been hit hard by fall fog this week, adding an eriee presence to the redwoods covering out campus. The fog has been twarting city efforts to air spray this county (and many others) to stop the reproduction of Brown Apple Moths. Though the city promises there will be no adverse health risks to the spray, the idea of chemicals misting down over everything at least once a week for 2 1/2 years seems like a recipe for some kind of health reactions. But, with no visibility, sprayings can't happen. Once they do, people are saying not to be outside in the evenings and mornings. Fabulous.

So, with no chemicals yet in the air, and a crisp lower 50s temperature in the fog filled night, I got into the pool for my second attempt at lap swimming. What I hadn't calculated was the change in perception night swimming would offer. Now, on a clear bright day, I can't always swim in a straight line. When one is sharing a lane, this becomes a bit of an issue. Usually I try to error on the side of caution and end up hitting or entangling myself in the lane separator, much to my embarrassment, and I'm sure the amusement of others. Swimming in the artificially lit (and well heated!) pool, I got varying senses of claustrophobia, that I was sinking, and that I was a good 2 feet over from where I actually was. I did manage to never hit my lane sharing buddy (a super speedy New Zealander-I"m guessing from his accent- who literally sent waves across our lane with his ridiculous swimming abilities) and never did any too permenant damage to the lane divider :D. The pool closes at 7 on Tuesdays, so I was limited in my time and was only able to do 40 minutes. Still in that time I was able to swim 50 laps!

Unfortunately, and potentially as a result of leaving the pool with wet hair and walking to my car in the cold night air, the cold that has been threatening for weeks finally decended, leaving me sounding like a frog (or mouse, potentially, as my voice does have a sqeaky aspect to it) and not working out tonight. I'd really like to, but the cold has totally settled in my lungs making breathing a bit more difficult, and me feeling just super low energy. So, time to get some good rest, yet again :)

Hopefully I'll be able to go swimming again soon!

On a separate and unrelated note, I broke 10,000 visitors to my site today :D Granted, I think it counts me when I come to upload stuff, so that number is a little inflated, but its still pretty cool. I've been really enjoying this whole blogging thing and all the people I have 'met' (or actually met) through it. Hopefully I'll be back to more substantial and picture filled postings soon!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Lovely Soreness

After Saturday's great workout, tiredness Sunday and Schoolness monday kept me from a repeat effort. But tuesday I got myself ready for a full 12 hours away from home, and had a wonderful packed day. School and then class took me to 2pm, where I then headed to the gym for 1/2 an hour on the stairmaster (which somehow doesn't too badly aggrevate my calf) 15 minutes on the Elliptical (suprisingly, this is harder on it) and 20 minutes of fast walking (wohoo...I so wanted to run, but didn't). Lots of stretching then, and I got to try out a foam roller b/c one was at the gym. Wow!!! Those are cool! Plus I got a bit of an arm workout holding myself up, with the way I was using it (need to look up some directions online to see how far off I was). It did help, but made me more cognicant of the specific spot on my calf that is sore. I've put off calling a PT, hoping it'll just heal on its own, but I'm not sure how effective that strategy is. Thursday will be exactly 2 weeks since my last run. I might try something short this thursday to see how things are going and, if they still aren't better, then I'll call a PT.

I then went to 2 more hours of class, and to end the long day, jumped in the pool for a 40 minute evening swim (pool closed 1 hour after class ended, which put some serious limits on my time). Did 50 laps, which felt great. I did more freestyle and less breaststroke, since I'm so slow at the breaststroke. One of the things I really love about swimming is it works your whole body! I'm really not a huge fan of doing weights, but want a strong upper body, and this seems to be a good solution. I already feel like my arms are stronger :).

Still deciding if I am going to work out tonight, as I have a busy day with work, followed by the US Constitution test (anybody, ask me an ammendment! I know lots of random ones now, including the 16th ammendment which established Federal Income Tax and the 21st, which, ironically, repealed the 18th ammendment's prohibition of alcohol) that I have to pass to be allowed to teach. Then, a party with teaching people to celebrate taking this test. So, we'll see if working out after the party is a good idea. My calf is still a bit sore today, so it's possible I should take a break...

On the plus side, I've been having fun with online shopping, and got myself a swimsuit (the "learn to swim speedo swimsuit" - that's seriously what it's called- for those cheap swimmers who don't want to invest in a $80 suit!) for $35 including shipping, and new running shoes! ($95 and they gave me free shipping!). No stores around here carry my running shoes or I would have gone local, but it seems online is where I'll be getting my shoes for a while. They seem to have changed my running shoes back to the older design from the pictures, and they are cute! I'm excited :) Now I just need to be able to run again...

Sunday, November 04, 2007


So, I've decided to use this off time from running to take up a new sport. Namely, swimming. However, apparently I've miscalculated my efforts here. See, apparently swimming is a seasonal sport. Even in California. So, no one, anywhere, seems to carry swimsuits right now! I do have a few swimsuits, but they are definitely more of the lounging variety than the working out kind. I might try to order something online, or just deal with wearing my oh so cute hawaiin flower halter top two piece swimsuit to swim laps in. I feel a little silly not having an exercising swimsuit, but what can you do?

Still, despite the suit limiations, I finally got into the pool yesterday :)

I got to they gym right when it opened at the extra early hour of 10am (seriously....apparently no one at UCSC like to work out at a normal working out hour). Much to my surprise, the pool was relativley empty! Granted, it is november, but it was 70 degrees and blue skies, perfect swimming weather. I actually got a tiny bit sunburned!!

Anyways, I swam for just over an hour, at my ridiculously slow pace, which got me 70 laps (25 meters for each lap, I think, so a total distance of 1.16 miles since apparently the swimmer's mile is 1500 meters, according to a site I saw). So, hopefully I'll get better!

I did also see those water running belts, so I might have to try that out. Maybe next saturday when I can count on the pool being empty again :)

My my crosstraining efforts definitely fell short this week with just 4 hours of cardio and a 1/2 hour of weights. Still, better than nothing! I'm really sore from yesterday's swimming and hour of crosstraining and weights, so I took today off, but hopefully will do swimming and crosstraining again tomorrow! It's nice to be somewhat active again :D

Thanks everyone for giving me confidence to get in that pool!