Archive for April, 2009

What is missing in this photo?

Remember the kids magazine Highlights and the hidden pictures, where you looked for items within the picture?  Let’s play a version of that game:

What is different in the below photos*?

Official Big Sur Marathon elevation profile

Official Big Sur Marathon elevation profile

Elevation profile from Eric's GPS watch

Elevation profile from Eric's GPS watch

 The top picture is the elevation chart posted on the Big Sur Website.  The second picture is from Eric’s GPS tracking watch.  Notice the difference between miles 15 and 25…I mistakenly thought we were in for some fairly smooth sailing.  Not quite!  Eric’s watch captures the rolling hills – which was the reality, they must have been “hidden” in the official profile!  When runners told us at the start this was a tough course…I began to really believe them around mile 16.  🙂  I still had a blast!

*Note: Miles 1-3 on the official chart is pretty accurate, Eric’s is off because the GPS was catching the tree tops as we were still in the redwoods.

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April 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm 3 comments

The Results

Tara – 4hrs, 14min. 

Eric – 3hrs, 33min.

The course had spectacular views, just breathtaking!  Strong headwind for ~20miles + many hills =  more challenging than we expected.  We feel pretty beat up right now, but it was totally worth it, we had a great race!

More stories, thoughts and impressions to come…

April 26, 2009 at 11:44 am 6 comments

Big Sur Marathon – Here we come!

We have trained.  We have planned.  We made ipod mixes.  We have packed our bags.  On Sunday, we will run! 

When we announced our move to California, Susan Matheny of Welcome Touch Massage told us that the Big Sur Marathon was the most amazing and breath-taking marathon she has run.  Eric promptly signed us up! 

The course looks beautiful.  We will start at 7am in Big Sur, then run along Highway 1 north to Carmel.  We start in the Redwoods, then spend most of the course along the coast with the mountains to our right and rocky cliffs to the powerful Pacific to our left.  They most challenging part of this race (other than running 26.2 miles…) is the 2 mile, 5% grade climb, to Hurricane Point between miles 10 and 12.  After this point, the view is said to be incredible as we cross the famous Bixby Bridge to the sounds of a grand piano. 

As we approach the race, I’m excited and anxious at the same time.  I feel confident in my training and well prepared, so I look forward to seeing what kind of time both Eric and I can run.  Although they say to add 20min to your marathon time for this race to account for the hills and wind, I hope to complete my race around 4hrs, 15min.  Eric will finish at least 30min before me.  Then after re-fueling at the finish line, catch the shuttle back to Monterey and take a long afternoon nap.  We’ll relax and enjoy Monterey on Sunday evening, then drive back to Sac-town on Monday. 

Please be thinking of us Sunday morning!  I’ll try to post Sunday afternoon with our times!

April 23, 2009 at 9:16 pm Leave a comment

California First Dates

I feel like I’ve been going on a lot of first dates recently.  First dates in respect to finding new service providers.  Most recently for me, it has been with a new hair stylist and dentist. 

Finding a new hair stylist is stressful business!  It takes time to build up a relationship with a stylist, to learn my hair, my tastes, with the ability to create a great customized cut and style.  Yesterday I finally ventured out and gave a salon up the street a try.  I figured it was a good bet since I received two recommendations for this place AND…they treated me well on our first date with a glass of wine while I waited.  SCORE!  I love my new stylist, Nicole.  She did a great job!

As for the dentist, I dread no more!  Tomorrow it will be our third date, and I am actually looking forward to it!  My friends, this dental experience was SO CALIFORNIA to me.  First, I had to “know someone” to get it.  Seriously, they don’t take new patients.  I totally had to name drop to get us appointments.  (Eric’s co-worker’s wife was my hook-up). 

This place is the Lexus of dentist offices.  It smells like a spa when you first enter the building, and the office itself has fresh brewed coffee for patients.  (Seriously?  I usually avoid tea, red wine, coffee and other staining beverages until AFTER my appointment).  My first visit they gave me a tour of the full office, every employee I saw welcomed me with a smile, I was half expecting them to burst into song together singing “Be Our Guest”.  The treatment at this place is with all the latest technology, it’s pain-free, and best of all, it’s practically free with Eric’s amazing dental insurance coverage!  They even sent a hand-written thank you note! 

The California “dating” scene is impressive!

Thank you note from our dentists

Thank you note from our dentists

April 21, 2009 at 9:11 pm Leave a comment

A Centenarian!

Last weekend we were in Naples, Florida to celebrate Fred Nelson’s 100th birthday!  We had a great time helping him celebrate his 100 years of life.  Grandpa has been part of my life the past 22 years, and has been such a blessing to me and many others.  He immigrated from Sweden as a young boy, and spent his career in the ministry, founding two new congregations along the way.  Grandpa shared some prepared words with his 70 adoring fans.  It was beautiful, and he honored Grandma, may she rest in peace, as the secret to his successful ministry.  I tried to soak up the sights, sounds and words of the day and secure them into my memory.  After his speech, I had a chance to chat with Grandpa.

Tara: Grandpa, I loved your speech, it was very moving.

Grandpa: Really?  Was is Ok?  I cut out the first part because it sounded too much like a sermon.  Are you sure it was Ok?

Tara: Grandpa, it was more than OK, it was WONDERFUL!  We loved it!  I really liked how you framed your message.  And I can’t believe you hardly used your notes! 

He’s so cute.  After all those years of preaching, he’s wondering if he’s still “got it”.  I think he does!

We also had a great time reconnecting with other relatives.  I hadn’t seen some of my cousins in 7 years!  Was fun to catch up and meet their children.   Cousin Christy shared with us the side benefit from all her bouldering, she can do a pull up on a door frame!  Of course the weekend would not have been complete without late night laughs with Justin.  He shared with us his mad cooking skills, ending with an “Uncle Louie” egg creations and cans of Bud Light.  Nice. 

The Birthday Boy!

The Birthday Boy!

Uncle Louie...Mmmm.

Uncle Louie...Mmmm.

April 13, 2009 at 7:43 pm Leave a comment