Thursday, June 30, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1) I work in development (fundraising, outreach & events) at a non-profit, and today is the close of our fiscal year. Also, we're planning a big conference that will take place in mid-August. To say the last couple weeks have been busy and stressful have been an understatement. The couple of weeks won't be much better, as the close of the fiscal year means the start of audit prep and doing data analysis for the Annual Report. Luckily I love data analysis! Here is what my desk looks like right now:

What can I say? I like to be hydrated.

2) I was finally going to stick around Lake Taco for an infamous holiday weekend, but I decided that I'm going to drive down to Santa Barbara instead. I'm super excited to listen to the audio version of World War Z on the drive! Does anyone else have any recommendations for good audio books?

3) As you might recall, I drunkenly signed up for a triathlon earlier this month. I had forgotten that, in the memo field, I had written something like "I'm drunk and signing up for a triathlon! Woo!" Or, had forgotten until I got something in the mail from Iron Girl. I got a race belt and a lovely hand written note:

Training for the upcoming Iron Girl triathlon is going pretty well. Katie is out of town this week, so it was difficult (ie impossible) to get out bed yesterday at 6 am for the swim. So, instead, I went after work. When I arrived at about 5:15, the desk attendant informed me that there was swim team practice until 6:30. My original plan had been to swim right after work, and then head to the gym to spin. But I asked myself, "Self, what are you more likely to do this weekend in Santa Barbara? Go for a run, or go for a bike ride?" Answer: definitely, bike ride. So I drove into Nevada, where I'd seen people trail running while out on my bike. I did a quick car change (good thing I almost always wear a sports bra to work!) and headed out on the trail. I got in a good 30 minute run, and then made it to the pool for a thirty minute swim. While I was swimming, a pine cone from one of the overhead trees fell into my lane and nearly hit me in the head. That certainly never happened in Santa Barbara!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Back from the Ham/Seatown

My trip to Washington was great! I got to see my favorite people, dance for hours (literally) at 80s night, and enjoy nice weather, despite the fact that it was supposed to rain!

Flying into Seattle at sunset over the San Juans is one of my favorite things.

Kelly, Drew and I drove up Chuckanut to Bellingham. We saw some big ass deer.

We drank PBR in the beer garden at the World Famous Up & Up tavern.

Better Lovers reuinited!

View from Kerry Park in Queen Anne of the Seattle skyline and Mt. Rainier.

Seattle celebrated Pride Week with a rainbow flag on top of the Space Needle. I'd forgotten about the Pride Parade on Sunday, so my parents and I attempted to drive downtown. Mistake. I think driving in that traffic took several years off of my dad's life.

The flight back to Sacramento was clear and sunny once we made it out of the Seattle area.

We flew over Crater Lake!

And Mt. Shasta. At least, I'm pretty sure that's Mt. Shasta. I know it was a Cascade Range volcano south of Crater Lake, and the pictures I googled of Mt. Shasta seemed to fit.

After an entirely too long drive back from Sacramento, (damn those motorhomes towing cars that don't use the pull outs!) I am back in Tahoe. I definitely did not do any working out (other than the hours of intense 80s dancing) while I was in Washington. I'm little sad about not getting to run at Lake Padden, but I'm ready to get back into training here in Tahoe.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Early morning swim, cocktails, and a plane ride

Some of my friends from work threw an awesome cocktail party last night for the solstice. The theme was Old Hollywood and fancy attire was requested. I squeezed myself into a pink silk Betsey Johnson dress (damn silk is not forgiving- but I still think I looked pretty good), put on eyeliner and heels and went to the party.

Marion, the party hostess, introduced me to Pimms at her winter solstice party. As excited as I was about actually dressing up for the first time since moving to Lake Taco, I was most excited about the Pimms. Unfortunately, a flight the next day and a 6:30 am swim date with Katie necessitated only two Pimms and an early leave time.

My early morning swim wasn't as painfully early as I was worried about, and felt great. I did 550 m and enjoyed the sun on my back and an energy boost before work. The county rec center where I swim has a decently nice pool, but the locker room leaves something to be desired. There's not even a swimsuit dryer! Creative solution:

I'm leaving work at 4 today to drive to Sacramento and then fly to Seattle. Tomorrow, KJW and I will drive up to Bellingham where the following things will happen:
Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

It's about damn time

I finally put pedals on my new bike and took it out. I know, I's been weeks since I got it.

I get nervous about new things.

Since I was worried about how heavy this bike is compared to my hardtail that I'm used do, I decided to ease into it, and drove up to the Powerline trail head.

Hauling this thing around cemented my resolution to get a rack for Strawberry. Lifting that bike into the back of my CRV was not fun after swimming in the morning.

I pedaled/pushed my way up the first incline, and was greeted with this view:

I could even see a sliver of Lake Taco in this one:

Initially, this ride was pretty miserable, due to deep sand, unexpected mud and an unfamiliar bike. I'm glad I pressed through though, because it got awesome.

I got used to the new bike, and reveled in how smooth the suspension was! While it's definitely heavier than my hard tail, I was impressed by how well it climbed.

It turns out that when I'd been riding "Powerline" in the past, I was actually spending a good amount of time on a different trail (maybe Cedar?). This time, on my way back, I followed the signs correctly and rode the actual Powerline Trail. It ended up being even more fun that the one I usually ride. I even hit some steeper stuff, that I think I'd normally be too chicken to try.

All in all, it was a great first ride on my new bike! I even managed to get a tiny bit muddy.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Beer + Beer + Beer + Beer = Triathlon Registration?

This weekend, as many weekend nights go, Katie and I had a few beers at Lake Tahoe Brewery...Then we had a couple more...Then we ate some honey mustard pretzels...Then we ordered pizza...Then we signed up for a triathlon...

Hold up! One of these things is not like the other!

We'd been talking for awhile about doing the Lake Tahoe Iron Girl triathlon, but hadn't actually signed up yet, or really started training. In our beer-induced-(over?)confidence haze, we decided that it was time. We were signing up!

So we forked over our credit card information, and $95 later, we were registered! Woo hoo! I used a free sprint training plan to craft us a google doc spreadsheet (We're starting week 3 of a 16 week plan from

Sunday, we began our training with a 25 minute jog at Fallen Leaf Lake. I'd never ran here before, and I'm so excited Katie introduced me. It's gorgeous, shady, and not too steep!

When it gets a little warmer (or we can borrow wetsuits) we can do some open water swims here!

I'm excited to have a training partner for a lot of reasons, but especially for the extra motivation in the morning. After literally months of promising myself (and not following through) I woke up early and went swimming in the community pool before work. Since I was meeting Katie there at 6:30 am, I had to!

We swam for about 40 minutes, which included lots of breaks. Pretty good for my first time lap swimming in about 10 months. I'm not too sore yet, I think my arms are pretty strong from lifting, but my hip flexors definitely feel weird, if not sore or painful. Maybe that's from trail running yesterday?

I'm excited to have finally committed to a triathlon to do this summer, and I'm really looking forward to having a training partner!

Corral Trail - This Time With Pictures

On Friday afternoon, I headed up to Corral Trail again. This time I remembered my camera. Since I'm nervous about trying to pedal my full suspension bike up the hill, I took my trusty hard tail out again.

I pedaled up and up and up. It actually didn't feel as bad as it did on Wednesday, I think because I knew what to expect. I definitely took fewer breaks this time.

It definitely feels steeper than these pictures look!

Luckily, the view is gorgeous, and nicely shaded. I'm such a wimp when it comes to doing anything in hot weather.

I finally made it to the top! This is not my best angle.

I started down Corral to Sidewinder again, and noticed a snow flower off to the side, poking through the brown of the pine needles.

Sidewinder Trail, in all its swoopy glory:

I'm pretty sure that is Desolation Wilderness back there.

One of the few features on the trail that I didn't feel confident enough to tackle. Most of the few features I walked, I feel like I could handle with a full suspension bike and a full face helmet. This was not one of them.

Taking a breather most of the way down the trail. I love my Osprey hydration pack. Thanks, Drew at Second Ascent for selling it to me! I got the special "I'm performing your wedding ceremony" discount on it.

Towards the end of the trail, you cross a creek. Trout Creek, I think? Like all bodies of water in Tahoe right now, it's pretty full.

This is such a fun ride, and I can't wait to do it again!

Friday, June 17, 2011

The marsh is full & my Chacos are wet.

My bike commute to work is awesome. It is almost entirely on a completely off-road, paved bike path with views like this:

My goal is to see a bear on my ride to or from work. I've seen a coyote and a lot of birds, but no bear yet.

As you may have heard, the Sierra got a lot of snow this winter. Now this snow is melting, and the marsh is full. So the water has no place to go, except on the bike path. The bike path was 6 - 10 inches deep in some parts.

Luckily, I was wearing my adventure sandals and shorts. So I just slogged through the marshy grass to the side with my bike. Fresh meltwater is still pretty cold at 8:15 am, even all the way down at 6,200 feet.

Don't rain on my parade

I was stoked to hit up Corral Trail again yesterday after work. I had my bike stuff in the car, changed in the office bathroom, hopped in my car and headed out.

I decided that if I didn't want to be a rage monster, I better stop at the grocery store and get a snack. I ran in and bought some Cliff Bars and strawberries. As I headed back to my car, I happened to glance up at the sky.

It looked pretty ominous.

As I did not have any rain gear, I made the executive decision to head to the gym instead. This is how I felt about that:

This was my first time running since my ill-advised 3 ish miler with two sprained toes. My toes haven't really been hurting lately, so I thought they were good to go.

Not so much. At least this time I quit after a reasonable 1.8 miles. Who would have thought that two small toes make such a difference? At least I can still lift, so that's what I did.

At my gym there is a "Ladies Only" training area with a couple of treadmills, ellipticals, bikes, some weight machines, and some dumbbells. I usually do most of my work out in the main area, but lift in the "Ladies Only" area because the weights are almost always not being used. The dumbbells in this area only go up to 25, and, as of yesterday, I graduated to the main weightlifting area.

Yay for me and my increase in strength!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Corral Trail

I've only lifted weights once in the last week and a half. It's just so hard to go inside at my gym when the weather is finally nice out.

Yesterday after work, I again ignored my noodle arms and did not go to the gym. But I did do something more fun instead. I rode Corral Loop Trail for the first time. I forgot to bring my camera, though, oops!

The trail starts with a two mile climb up and up and up. Luckily the road is paved, but I definitely was jealous of the people passing me in trucks (the trail is shuttle-able), but it definitely made me feel like more of a bad-ass when I made it to the top.

Corral splits branches off almost right away, with Corral being more technical and the offshoot, Sidewinder being more loopy, with twists and turns on (mostly) nice dirt. Since I was on my hardtail and didn't have my full face helmet with me, I decided to tackle the Sidewinder offshoot. There are a few slightly rocky sections- one of which caught me by surprise (and sitting down) and flung me directly into a bush. Ouch.

After a little over a mile, sidewinder reconnects with Corral, goes through some beautiful woods, and eventually dumps out on a road that leads back to the parking lot where I'd left my car.

Corral Loop was a really fun ride, and I can't wait to do it again. Since this was a text-y post with no pictures, here's a picture of me with a pinata shaped like Sully from Monsters Inc.

You're welcome.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I love summer

Here are some things I love about summer:
  • Swimming
  • Bike rides
  • Sundresses
  • Campfires
  • Drinking beer outside
This weekend, some of my favorite people and I went to the Truckee Brew Fest and I indulged in all of them.

Drinking beer outdoors with Kelly, Eva, Katie, and Allison (not pictured),

I got a lot of good swag, including this snap bracelet/beer coozy from Alaska Brewery.

After an afternoon of drinking, what's more fun than going on a little bike ride?

And by "little bike ride", I mean that Katie and I attempted to ride this bmx bike at the same time around a grass field.

We were not very successful.

We tried switching it up, with me on the handlebars. Still, no dice.

Some friendly bystanders even attempted to help us out with no luck. Oh, well.

We then walked to Allison's friend's house by the Truckee River, where we went for a little dip in the chilly water. I think most of the water in the Truckee right now was snow about an hour ago.

No pictures of swimming, as we were in our skivvies. Here is a picture of our host's dog instead. His name is Tucker.

I kept trying to rename him Travis and steal him. I was not successful.

The night ended, like any awesome summer night, with a campfire. Also, Tucker/Travis kept humping Kelly. It was pretty funny.

The next morning we were not the most energetic lot, so after brunch at Jax (their veggie burgers are amazing!), we each bought 4 different types of liquids and laid on the public docks at Donner Lake.

It was a beautiful day, best appreciated through sunglasses.

On the way home, we drove by a Renaissance Fair and saw some LARP-ers.

The End