California Dreamin’

Here ya go.  After almost 6 weeks back home, I’m finally posting some shots from our trip to California.

Lighthouse

I promise you though.  I have not been lazy.

I’ve been RUNNING!

Take a look at these totals.  I cannot believe I’ve run this much.  170 miles in August.  I’d say I was all in for August all right.  I’m 45 miles so far for September and by the end of the weekend, I’ll be over 85.  That’s right.  I’ve got a 28 miler on Saturday and a 12 miler on Sunday on the ‘ole training log.  I’m not the least bit nervous.  I’m excited.  The first 23 on Saturday will be with all my best buds at Galloway and then I’m sure Ron will run some with me on Sunday.

Running totals

And then I’ll almost be there.  Only 2 weeks left until Hinson Lake, and the next 14 days are all about taper.

During these last 6 weeks, I’ve really focused.  I’ve tried to go to CrossFit as much as possible.  I’ve made it 2x week every week and sometimes 3x.  I’ve done my ITB exercises some. (I wish I could say I did more.)  Lastly, I have watched my diet.  I haven’t really stressed so much about what I’ve been eating but I have kept track of my weight. Two times this week someone noticed that I was loosing and I was so excited.  I looked it up and I’ve lost 8 pounds since vacation.  Yay!!

But enough about running and health.  I owe you these awesome shots.

Aww…The Ferry Building along the Embarcadero.  So pretty.

Clock tower

We toured in and around this building both on Saturday and on Sunday.   We walked up and down The Embarcadero and had so much fun.

SF skyline

Sailboat and clouds

Safeway was Ron’s grocery store growing up so I had to get a picture the first time I saw one.

Safeway

We had an awesome lunch at  The Plant!

Ron at Plant

Plant burger

Pier 39

Pier 39

play fighting

loner

just getting up

Holt Tower

Holt Tower

crowds

All the piers were cool and we both had a blast.  The sea lions were so interesting, I could have watched them forever.  The crowds were kinda big and that’s the only thing I didn’t care for so much.  The next morning when we ran by all these sites it was very quiet.  The smell of the sourdough bread baking was heaven on earth.  San Francisco rules!

On the Monday after the marathon, we headed out of San Francisco and traveled down the Pacific Coast Highway toward San Luis Obispo.

First up was the lighthouse at the top of this post, Pigeon Point.

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Lighthouse3

cliff at lighthouse

sun on the rocks

Pigeon Point might have been my favorite spot of the whole day!  The have a hostel there and we met 2 bikers.  They were headed to Mexico from Canada.  I was impressed!

Our next stop was Pescadero State Beach.

PCH and Mel

Pescadero State Beach

Suculants

Tai Chi Ron

The entire way was lovely.  Sometimes I was a little scared.  I didn’t get carsick but I was very glad Ron was driving.

We stopped at Carmel and had some breakfast at the cutest cafe.

Cafe Strvaganza

cafe

Greek omlettes

Yummo!

Hearst Castle was breathtaking!

HC

Herst

pool 2

pool

This view from Hearst’s bedroom was my favorite!

view from the castle

Limekiln State Park and the Redwood were gorgeous!  I wished we could have stayed there for a week!

among the Redwoods

redwoods

Bixby!  Really really cool!

Bixby

Bixby Bridge 1932

Ron at Bixby

Elephant Seals!

Elephant Seals

in the ocean 3

in the ocean


Sunbathing

Sunbathing

As we got closer to the place that we were getting off the PCH, I spotted this spooky rock.  Can you see it in the distance in the ocean?

spooky rock

These shrimping boats were cool too.

Shrimp boats

Before we knew it our day was done and we had made it to San Lusis Obispo.  I loved this city!

SLO

SLO

We walked around a little that night and then the next morning we had breakfast at Bliss Cafe and then toured the mission.

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Ron at the fountain

misson

misson 2

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After we left SLO, we spent some great times with Ron’s family.

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Joseph, Dad, and Ron

lunch at Aunt Linda's

the guys

So much LOVE all around.

One day we went to Sequoia National Park and had a really BIG day!

Ron and Dad at GS

Sequoia

Sequoias

Sequoias

top of GS

going up to Sequoia

And then on the next to the last day on our way to LA, we saw WINDMILLS!

windmills

Windmills 4

windmills

windmills

Now our plan for retirement is after we hike the entire AT, we’re going to be camp hosts in California!

Love you all!

Gotta run.  LOL

Bed is calling.

I’ll check back in one more time before my 50 miler and give you an update on my last 2 weeks of training.

The City by the Bay

The San Francisco marathon had been on my bucket list for a long time.  The romance of the Golden Gate Bridge and the City by the Bay was so appealing!  So, when Ron finally announced that this was the summer we were flying to Cali to see his family, I jumped at the chance that we might could squeeze in a few days to ourselves in Frisco.

We signed up for the half marathon and boy was it a doosey!

The marathon was top notch all the way.  The expo was at Fort Mason and was very well run.

Fort Mason

It was a big race but they had plenty of volunteers to keep things moving right along.

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fitbit was a sponsor of the race and they had this neat photo booth.

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Another cool thing was I got to meet Joel from Allied Medal Hangers.

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They made ours and we love them so much!

Melissa's medalsRon's medals

(I promise, Ron designed his own. LOL)

After we looked at everything at the expo, we went to the beer garden they had right outside and both enjoyed a Lagunitas.  This was our view from the garden.

Alcatraz with ferry

Alcatraz!

We were tired the day we arrived so we decided to stick to East Coast time and so for the early morning marathon on Sunday we were all smiles.

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Here’s a nice shot of that bridge (The San Francisco – Oakland Bridge) in the daytime.

SF - Oakland Bridge

Hoka was another sponsor of the race and they let us download these race photos for FREE!  So cool!

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Ron and I did so well!  We were both thrilled with our race.

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Yes, they gave out space blankets in July!  It was pretty chilly once we stopped running.  Oh, and there was no beer at the end of the half.  You got Irish Coffees!  That was awesome especially since it was so chilly.  My beer lovin’ husband even warmed up to the idea and had and Irish Coffee too.

Here’s our results:

Mel SF resultsRon SF results

That was an 18 minute improvement for me over our June race and 27 minute improvement for Ron.  I know we both trained better but I think that it was the cooler weather and the pure joy of running.  We had a blast.  I was so happy for Ron!

The big question that everyone asks me about this race is about the hills.  To be honest, they really weren’t that bad.  We had 2 pretty good hills before and after the bridge and then near the end there was a lot of rolling hills.  The hardest for me was this one big downhill that we had.  It was huge!  I caught myself trying to hold back and I could really feel it in my quads.  I even saw one racer get a bad cramp and have to hop over to the side of the road.  When I saw that, I decided to just stop being scared and I decided to fly down that hill!  It was exhilarating.

Here’s a shot of the medal and the shirt.  I love the shirt but the medal was a little skimpy.  I saw the full medal and it was much prettier.

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We took the shuttle back to the full marathon finish line and enjoyed the post race celebrations.  Then before we went back to our hotel for showers, we rode a trolley!  Smile

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Ron was singing this song and I had it stuck in my head the rest of the day.

I really did love SF and this race was a dream come true!

Happy Racing!