Saturday, August 30, 2008

Redwood 50k anyone?

I haven't been talking this up too much, just since I've been super busy, but my amazing boyfriend is running his first 50k next weekend :) He's doing Redwood with PCTR and I think he's going to do awesome. Two weekends ago he ran 22 miles of the course, meaning he got to check out all the race trails and knows what he's getting himself into. As we speak, we're watching "Running on the Sun" (before which we watched "a race for the soul"). So much like me before my first 50k :D. I'm excited to be attending an ultra again as well, since it's been almost a year since my last. Can't believe it's been that long...

It's been nice to live vicariously through his running, as it seems more and more like I'm not getting better any time soon. After spending the time and money last week getting an MRI of my back and an ultrasound of my leg, the tests came back totally normal, which means still there are no clues of what's wrong and how I can get better. On a side note, I didn't think these were the right tests. Apparently, though, "people don't get MRIS of legs". I just wish there was some way to see inside of my leg to look at the muscles, because I feel like there's something there. I'm getting new insurance the beginning of October and can hopefully start seeing a better doctor who will be able to help me.

It feels sad to be so out of shape now. I miss how I used to be. I've now been not running longer than I ever ran ultras. It feels like a world ago.

But, I get to come back and visit that world again with Ed. Next weekend will be so much fun (anyone else going to be there?), and it'll be nice to get to take care of him on the trails like he did for me during my 50 miler. He keeps promising that someday we'll run ultras together.

I sure hope so :D

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

I love teaching :)

I need to go do lesson planning but I just wanted to say teaching is amazing. I know this is still the honeymoon period (for me as well as my students) but this is a great group of kids and I love that I get to be their teacher. I've already had kids and parents tell me they love my class which feels so wonderful.

I feel so lucky (tired but lucky) :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Teaching Tomorrow!

Hi guys, sorry I've been pretty absent around here lately. I started my orientations and things last week and have been going at pretty much breakneck speed since then. I've spent pretty much every hour I possibly could in the classroom getting ready (clocking a whopping 11 hours yesterday (including lunch)). But, at this point I'm about as ready as I'm going to be. The kids arrive tomorrow at 9 am and will be my responsiblity for the next year!!! I'm so excited but so incredibly nervous as well. A bit like I felt before running 50 miles :P

This is definitely going to be an endurance event, and I'm so excited to get started. I'll try to pop on again soon, but I'm sure to be swamped for a while. I hope you are all doing amazingly and I"ll catch up when I can!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Grand Canyon

Tomorrow is my first orientation for my job (which is incredibly scary/exciting) and from here on out I'll be up to my neck (or just over my head) as I get ready for my first day of teaching a week from tuesday.

Since I am going to essentially have no free time from here on out, I'm going to try to get out my family trip photos as well as some great camping ones asap, and perhaps have them as more photo tours than real posts.

So, without further ado, here's the grand canyon (where apparently I had a thing for dead trees) :)


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

First days in Zion

I'm feeling a bit tired, so for now I'll let the pictures do the talking for my amazing trip to Zion, which is one of my new favorite places!

this is a photo on the way to utah from las vegas. We decided the desert around las vegas is very bare and not all that appealing!

Small Vent

Before I launch into my hopefully enjoyable and fun post about my favorite place of our family trip, I have to vent for a tiny bit on my frustration with my leg. I went to the doctor's hoping to get an appointment that would show what was wrong with me. However, apparently the MRI I thought would be a solution isn't going to help me. Apparently "no one gets leg mris". The doctor still thinks its a back problem, which I'm not sure I buy, but I obviously don't have the answer. She did agree to get me a back MRI and a leg ultrasound, but at this point, I have no idea when I'll be able to do those.

My doctor is 40 minutes away in the middle of the mountains, and her referrals for the testing are all over the hill in Santa Cruz (a 45 minute drive). Next week I have teaching orientation every day but wednesday, and during those full days of training (and the 'day off') I need to somehow transform the storage room that is my classroom into a real classroom. It's been the dumping ground for years and is totally inadequate right now for teaching. Since I was there last, they removed both my blackboards leaving ugly unpainted empty walls that I need to somehow make pretty. I don't have enough desks, and very little supplies. I also just learned I might only have textbooks for every other student. I feel like I really need to focus on teaching things, so I'm really unsure if I'm even going to have time to deal with my leg for a while.

I'm just not really sure what to do....I am so sick of being constantly in pain and I miss running (or even being regularly active) so much, but I just don't know that I can make any progress right now. Plus, of course, I'm getting new insurance in a week or so, and will have to start all over again.

*sigh* okay.....all done with the venting. Today was just a very overwhelming day, as the true difficulties of being a first year teacher are starting to sink in, and more or less wasting hours getting to and from the doctors for possibly nothing was just too much.

Luckily, tomorrow I go camping with ed for a long weekend at Lake Chabot in Oakland, so he can try out the course for the PCTR Redwood 50k, since his first 50k is in less than a month!!!! (I"m soo happy and proud for him :) )

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Las Vegas!

Our first destination in our family trip was the city of sin. This was going to be only my second time to this city. My first visit was in 9th grade for a marching band competition, so I wasn't exactly taking the city up on any of its unique charm :). This time around, I wasn't really sure what to expect. Sure, I was 22 now, past that magic age of 21, but am not really into the wild drinking/gambling scene. In fact, I haven't yet delved into the gambling facet of the post-21 age.

So, we arrived after a 4ish hour drive at New York, New York.

It was my younger sister's first trip here, so we were both trying to wrap our heads around this disneyesque world of recreated wonders. From the outside, the New York was our favorite of the hotels in our area. It's pretty cool from the outside, complete with skyscrapers, the brooklyn bridge, and the statue of liberty. The bright sun reflected off the buildings and made the already intense heat just a little bit stronger.

However, as soon as we stepped through those doors, it was nighttime. We were affronted with black ceilings and walls and rows upon rows of slot machines. Though it was only 2:30, it might as well have been 10:30 for how it looked inside. We guessed that the decor was done this way so people didn't feel weird drinking and gambling in the early hours of the day.

Our room was on the 23rd floor,

meaning that we had a pretty darn spectacular view of the strip from our windows. While that was great, we found that the darkness of the downstairs decor had followed us to the bedroom. While the decorations were modern and somewhat classy, the room itself just seemed very dark. After a quick cleansing rinse in the shower, we were off to explore the strip, going through excalibur, and the luxor

(where we tried to see an exhibit on the titanic, but it was closed) and finally to mandalay bay. We stopped there for drinks (I had the risque choice of apple juice because I was feeling a bit dehydrated) and then took a tram back to our hotel. We relaxed for a bit then headed down to dinner at el fornaio, which was in our hotel.

Next, we did was was unquestionably the highlight of the vegas experience- an Elton John concert :)

Having grown up listening to songs like crocodile rock, this was really exciting. I've never really gone to any kind of concert besides the classical variety, so this was really fun. The show was great, Elton was great, and the props were...well...great, if also quite over the top.

After the show we walked down the strip where at least every block there were people propositioning men to go to some kind of sleezy thing involving women. We did get to catch the water show at the bellagio,

which was beautiful, but we were glad to get back.

The next morning we slept in until about 8:30, grabbed breakfast, and somewhat gladly said goodbye to vegas. My sister and I decided that 1/2 a day was more than enough to take in the grandeur and glitz of vegas without becoming too overwhelmed. This city is certainly an experience, and we also had an amazing time with the concert and a good dinner. However, we were ready to leave.

I was excited to get onto the more nature-y part of our trip as we went onto Zion :)

2 trips down to vegas, and I've still never gambled...

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A New Name :)

Thanks everyone for all the suggestions, and especially Bob for the suggestion I decided to choose :)

I have a new doctor appointment this coming wednesday where I will *hopefully* get that MRI referral I've been needing. Fingers crossed that I get some answers soon!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Back from Vacation!

I've just returned from a whilwind trip to Vegas, Zion, Sedona, and the Grand Canyon with my family and have many stories and photos to share (836 photos to be exact), so it'll take me a bit to go through and find the best shots and stories to post here. Summer is wrapping up with (ack!) a mere 12 days until I report for my first day of 'work' (a training session). I'm back to norcal in a mere 3 days and will finally get to see my boyfriend again after 6 1/2 weeks! I'm so excited :D

Look for pictures from some amazing hikes in the next few days!

(oh, and on the new name, I've gotten some great suggestions (thanks everyone!) and have a few favorites that I'm toying between. That change will also be showing up soon!)