running wherever we go

Yesterday’s sixteen hour travel day took us from one fabulous vacation spot to another. Beside the travel taking twice as long as it should have between Wyoming and Hawaii and Baby A’s readiness to wake up at 4:20 this morning, I can’t complain.


What did I do pre-dawn with an energetic baby? The same thing I always do when my husband isn't around to take morning duty: I went running. We didn't even have a running stroller but the lightweight pop-up my mom keeps at her house worked in a pinch.
At 5am, the air was already heavy and warm, and Ala Moana park was full of hardcore locals and sleepy tourists. Three miles felt fairly easy after training at 6,000 feet the past two weeks and I had the energy for a short swim later in the morning.

Our week of pure vacation has just begun but even though I was working in the Tetons for two weeks before this, I found plenty of time for running and hiking. I even did a tandem paraglide Saturday morning! We ran off the side of the mountain and flew down to where my husband and Baby A were eagerly waiting my arrival, snapping pictures and munching on grass. What fun!

August 4th marks the official start to my half marathon training. In the mean time, I'm keeping my weekly mileage up and taking my physical therapy seriously to prevent imbalances which could lead to injury!

the workouts: 3-5 mile runs, totaling 15+ miles/ week



holiday exercise

Yesterday my husband and I both thought a morning swim would be a fantastic idea, so after Bill (the turkey) went into the oven, we drove to the pool.  We had hoped we’d be late enough that the crowds would already be doing meal preparation but we were wrong.  We filled out a lane with four people swimming different speeds.  Luckily we were all conscientious and noticed when someone wanted to pass.  I didn’t take any rest periods between sets but did stop frequently on the wall to let another swimmer go by.  I was thrilled when the sun came out at the beginning of my workout, as I was positioned in the perfect lane to catch some rays from the high pool windows.  I got out of the pool feeling energized and ready to tackle a Thanksgiving meal!

Today, post-traditional turkey dinner (and oxtail soup and chicken caccitore and the most beautiful salad I’ve ever seen and three desserts), I’m making oatmeal to begin the day in a healthy fashion, then we will meet family members for a hike.  I’ve never been to Point Lobos before and am excited to spend some time in nature!


We’re on our flight home from Mexico and the pilot just informed us that it’s 60 degrees in SF. I’m already dreaming of the warm water and heat we left just a few hours ago! We opted to stay close to home and spend the past couple of days at Colomitos beach again. We found that if we arrived before noon we had the lagoon to ourselves. Yesterday we borrowed sea kayaks and paddled down the river to the bay. We were greeted by two dolphins shortly after leaving our home beach where river meets bay. We watched them for a few minutes then continued into open water. We reached the lagoon in about 15 minutes of easy paddling. I was surprised at the nearness since hiking over had taken a while. I was relieved to step out of the kayak and onto shore because my back felt a little strained from the lack of support, but the ache quickly subsided. I used to be able to sit comfortably with legs extended straight in front of me, so in retrospect, doing it again yesterday, after my back challenges of the past few years, means I’ve come a long way in regaining strength & flexibility! After a few hours of swimming & reading on the beach, I was feeling the heat so we decided to call it a day and go rest before dinner. The trip back took much longer because of currents and mid-day heat. I reached our dock totally exhausted and was so grateful for a cool shower and to lay down with my feet up!
This morning we decided to spend our last few hours hiking and swimming. I was energetic despite lack of sleep (wild dogs & confused roosters) and my husband seemed mostly recovered after a long night of upset stomach. Ironically, we’d gone to a nice restaurant to celebrate his birthday and after that meal was the only time either of us felt unwell from the food in Boca. As a side note, the best food we ate was from the local woman who opens her porch to business on the weekends. Posole & tortes Saturday, enchiladas Sunday. Yumm!!! Anyway, back at the lagoon… we bobbed in the water and splashed around for an hour before (right on cue at noon) The America and a couple other tour boats dumped orange life vest-clad passengers into the water. The small beach became crowded and that was our cue to pack up and hike home. The hiking today was more slippery today and the air super heavy after last night’s downpour. We arrived back at our room dripping, once again, arguing over who got the first cold shower!

the workouts:
3 mile kayak
1 1/2 hr hike



Yesterday, our morning began with tea & coffee, left outside our door by the wonderful host at Casa la Ventana. We went upstairs to the open-air common area to eat fresh tamales as the sun rose over the lush green mountains. Boca de Tomatlan is in a valley, cut in half by a river that runs into the Bay of Banderas. The village feels remote, though it’s only an hour south of Puerta Vallarta. Casa la Ventana is a gorgeous B&B built up the mountain on the south side, which means you need to walk across the skinny bridge and down a path littered with chickens to reach it.
After breakfast we began our first day’s exploration by continuing along the footpath toward the bay. We passed unfinished vacation homes, massive, deserted lodges and the occasional home still in use. The path soon wound it’s way through the dense mountain jungle with stunning views of the ocean below. Tropical fruits were plentiful but all unfortunately unripe, still hanging green in the branches. It’s rainy season so we just missed the mangos and the passion fruit won’t be ready for another couple of weeks! Black & yellow crabs scurried into holes and lizards of every color ran across the path. After about an hour we hit Colomitos beach, our own private lagoon with crisp river water rushing to meet the warm green ocean. We swam out to the far rocks and sunned ourselves with the pelicans for a brief period before diving back in and swimming to shore. After swimming nearly every day last week in chlorine at 8,000 feet, swimming in the ocean felt wonderfully easy!
When tour boats began taking over our lagoon we packed up and continued along the trail. We wandered slowly, entertaining ourselves by taking photos, exploring ruins & spelling words in Hebrew (I’m slowly improving!). The heat and humidity were oppressive so every chance we had, we walked through the water, cooling off. When we finally reaches las Animas, we were exhausted and hungry, but found the place quite touristy and food less than satisfying. We rested a while then made the decision the walk back instead of taking the water taxi. The walk back was beautiful but uneventful until my husband (who was hiking in flip-flops) stubbed his toe. It’s extremely bruised and possibly broken but I’m betting I won’t hear another word about it since he’s not the complainer between us! He’s two for two with flip flop hiking- in the middle of our last hike in Rocky Mountain National Park, the flip flop toe divider came out of its hole and we used string to hold it in place so he could get down the mountain.
Anyway, we made it back to the house dripping with sweat and exhausted but completely exhilarated! Today we’re taking a bus to the botanical gardens and bringing out suits for a dip in the river. Hopefully the rain will hold!

the workout:
600ish yd ocean swim
5 hr jungle hike



Everyone woke up before me this morning and the girls already had a hiking plan in the works by the time I saw the messages on my phone.  With just enough time to fill my water bottle and eat an apricot,  I grabbed my  sunscreen and raced out the front door to wait for KM and Birch.  Two stops later we were heading over the GG bridge to find a trail not too far away.  GC flipped through the hiking book while RJ and I soothed Birch, who was overwhelmed by the excitement of so much company in the car.

We settled on a trail just outside Sausalito which connected with miles of Marin headlands trails and stripped off sweatshirts to enjoy the heat of the sunshine (finally!).   As we climbed, a couple mountain bikers passed us, then a couple cyclists with skinny tires zipped by on their descent (crazy riding road bikes on a trail!). We followed whomever was in the lead (usually Birch) and wandered along the dirt roads and trails until we reached the top of our hill, boasting incredible views from all sides.  The way down could have turned into an adventure if KM hadn’t spotted the horse before Birch saw him and taken control of the situation.  The beautiful tan horse’s rider exchanged pleasantries as they passed us and we snapped a few shots before making our way back down to the car.

A day with the girls wouldn’t be complete without a stop for coffee!  However, it was already lunch time so iced coffee was enjoyed with panini and salads under the orange umbrella outside Cibo.   What a fabulous morning!

Dipsea hike

I just read that the Dipsea trail begins with 688 steps, split into three staircases.  Today’s hike took us up all of those steps, then a couple miles further.  Hiking was a really nice change from the triathlon-specific training I’ve been doing lately and I loved catching up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a long time.  We hiked for an hour in, then turned around and walked back through Mill Valley, both of

us surprised to have sore legs after such a short walk.  Guess it was the steps!  We ate a delicious lunch in Mill Valley at Avatar’s Punjabi Burritos.

summer hike

I meant to switch yesterday’s workout with today’s since I did my long run yesterday. However, I arrived to find the pool closed for it’s yearly deep clean and was planning to meet a friend for a hike so my short run was skipped entirely.
I drove north and met my friend at Tutti Melon for a pre-hike treat. The key lime flavor was tart and delicious with pieces of graham cracker. Yum!
After icecream we drove just ten minutes farther north and found ourselves in hot, dry summer heat… the kind I love!
The hike was dusty and trail tricky to find in places. It smelled like late summer and blackberries. There was a tiny trickle of a stream and we crossed back and forth over the mostly dry streambed. We moved quickly and sweated in the heat, winding our way up until the trail became too dusty and there was a dangerous lack of footholds.
We reluctantly turned around and headed back to the car and regular life of picking kids up from school and fog on the bridge.
It was a lovely hike and I will happily trade more 45 minute runs for hikes! My last short race before the marathon is, after all, a 10k trail run!