Pumpkin Carving

Every year, Jason and I do a pumpkin carving contest.  We get the trick-or-treaters to vote as they come around.  He won for a long time; that is until I figured out what the trick-or-treating public wanted.  Then I started destroying the contest.  Jason finally caught on, and last year slayed me - all the trick-or-treaters voted for his.

This year, I have been a bit distracted with Ironman training (2.5 more weeks!), so my pumpkin carving isn't up to the usual standards.  Here's what I came up with:

Get it??
Ha ha - pumpkin "pi"!
(I may have just outed myself as a huge nerd)

Here are some selections from past years.  Funny though, I couldn't find a picture of my best pumpkin ever: a big monster pumpkin eating a tiny pumpkin.  All the pictures seemed to have disappeared... suspicious.

My first winner - I figured out what the kids liked.
Another winner.

Didn't win, but a nod to my youth.
(Pacman chasing Inky)
Jason's triumph.

New Wetsuit

The time had come for a new wetsuit. My current one was getting a bit big, and I never mind replacing something with a smaller size! Of course it's fall now, which meant trying out the new wetsuit in a pretty cold lake...

We have had a really warm autumn - warmest and driest ever - but of course I get the new suit and it gets cool and rainy. Definitely cool enough at night to really cool off the lake water, and cool enough during the day to make me not want to go to the lake! The other option is the ocean, so in the end the lake wins.


Yep - cold water. Cold enough to make me do my sea otter impersonation of hands, feet, and head out... Until I was brave enough to actually swim. Suits fits and I didn't plan a whole workout; I lasted about 5 minutes before time to get out.

I'm glad my car has heated seats!


Swift Kick!

I know it's only fall - and as far as I'm concerned it's newly-minted fall at that!  Despite the calendar saying autumn officially started on Sept. 21, the weather just became fall-like here a few days ago.  But even though it's only fall, a new year is looming on the horizon.  Yes, 2013 will be here before we know it!

What happens at the beginning of the year?  We all make new year's resolutions to be a better person, healthier, more organized, nicer, neater... wherever we think our weaknesses lie.  A common resolution is to exercise more.  I have an offer for you - how about we fire up that new year's resolution a bit early... let me give you a "Swift Kick" in the posterior region to get you started!

GOTRIbal is offering you a kick in the butt to help you commit to running a 5K on New Year's Day.  Yeppers... January 1.  I can't think of a better day to toe the line in a 5k race, can you?  Ha ha.  But seriously, the Swift Kick program starts October 29, and is an 8-week training program including coaching, online resources, weekly tips, online forums, and yes - even some sweet surprise schwag to wear in that 5k on Jan. 1.   This is more than a program though, it's a lifestyle!  Check it out at GOTRIbal's Swift Kick page.

For those of you in the US, you can check out if you are near one of the 35 cities that have Commitment Day 5k races on January 1.  If you're not, like me, then just pledge with me to run 5k on January 1 at race pace.  No sluggish run... if we're going to work off those holiday indulgences it better be at a good clip!

I've been thinking about when I first started running, back in the mid-90's.  I basically had a pair of running shoes, a sports bra, and inspiration from some super-fit friends.  I didn't know what I was doing, I'd just head out the door and run for half an hour or so.  No plan, no coach, no goals.  Do you need all that?  Not really, but sometimes it really helps to have that "swift kick" when you don't feel like getting out the door, are not sure what you should be doing to improve, or just want to connect with like-minded other cool chicks who are active too.

I am sure my stupidest running moment is yet to come, but I do recall one total newbie move... it was my first half marathon; the Capital City Marathon and Half Marathon in Olympia, WA, 1996.  I had never run that far, and the idea of running 21k was pretty intimidating.  Jason was doing the marathon which started first, so I said goodbye to him as he toed the line and I wandered around until my start.  When everyone was lining up to self-seed, I had no idea of the proper running etiquette, and I didn't want to run a step further than that 21k.  I think you see where I'm going with this... yep, I lined up RIGHT on the start line.  Got some funny looks of course from the elite runners, and pretty much everyone else.  The first 15 minutes of the race consisted of thousands of people streaming by me.  I told Jason what happened once we'd both finished, and he had a good laugh.  Don't let this happen to you!  Sign up for Swift Kick and get the knowledge you need to not look like a total goober like me!

I will see you all on January 1 cranking out a 5k with me, right?

Tough Love

Tough Love.  It was the name of the trainer workout I did a few days ago, and the name pretty much says it all.  Three hours on the trainer, with pretty high-intensity stuff.  Ouch.  And tough love from Kiki is no understatement, as she had me follow it up with a 30 minute transition run. Which to my surprise turned out to be one of my best runs in a long time.  Goes to show how we will all rise to the challenge when necessary.

The task was made a bit more monumental thanks to the fabulous weather.  The calendar says it's officially fall, but our daytime temperatures here on the Island are still very much summer-like.   Even with a fan on full blast, I had sweat pouring off me in the basement that afternoon.  Good times!  I love that the workouts are getting harder, and I'm still along for the ride.

Start of workout...

End of 3 hours - still smiling!