Monday, April 30, 2012

Monday Motivations

This little baby will hopefully be helping me get my photo-taking mojo blogging has slacked a bit lately, not because I haven't been doing exciting things, or because I just sit on my - blogging is a lot about bringing life to my pictures for me, sharing my healthy living pieces through words AND images.  For far too long, I have been neglecting my baby point n' shoot and slacking on my posts as a result.  

When I don't have pictures to inspire my words or to capture my important/special/excited moments, I find it hard to post anything too exciting. 

My older sister just bought the above camera in December and then luckily won the T3i from a canon sweepstakes - so she offered to sell me her very slightly used T2i.  I am very excited to receive this package in the mail and get my photography mojo back in working order, so I can liven up my posts and share a bit more of my life and knowledge with you all!

What kind of camera do you own?

If you have an SLR, how long did it take you to learn the ins and outs (or at least how to take a decent picture in less than 5 minutes of fumbling around with settings)?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Center for Women and Business Inaugural Forum

Yesterday I had the pleasure to attend the Bentley Center for Women in Business' Inaugural Forum - Moving from Conversation to Action. As I am an undergrad and graduate alum of Bentley University, I was intrigued about this new endeavor - I also thought it would be a great way to network and gain some career inspiration, as I am still looking for that next piece of my professional journey.

The morning started at 8 AM with breakfast and registration and then shortly past 8:30, Gloria Larson, the President of the University, kicked off the forum.  The forum was a way to introduce the Center to the public and share its values and objectives - to research and build programs to help women envision and reach their potential at every stage of professional life.

Gloria shared some staggering numbers with us, such as that despite efforts made to diversify the workplace, and the fact that women make up 46% of workforce, only 5% are in the CEO position.  She also mentioned how much our thinking and actions have progressed over the years, telling us that in the 70's men were considered women's mortal enemies in business, where as now they are considered strategic partners.

Next up to the podium was the Founding Director for the center, a woman who has previous served as senior adviser to Barack Obama, was COO of and Chair of Women for Obama, served on Clinton's administration, and served as director of the Small Business Administration Office of Women's Business Ownership at Harvard - Betsy Myers.  Betsy is such a strong speaker and will be a great asset to the Center as it gets it's feet on the ground and running.  She highlighted some staggering statistics about women and men in the workforce, noting that globally, only 17% of white men actually graduate college, yet only 12 - 15% of women hold top positions in the corporate world.  Also, did you know that 85% of consumer spending is done by women - well no surprise there, but did you know that 91% of those women consumers feel misunderstood, and that only 3% of women hold creative director positions at the ad agencies serving those consumer?!  Crazy, right?

One of her quotes that I really loved, although it was said in political context - it is still prevalent in how women are viewed today - "Women are no longer an interest group, we're half the population!" and leaving us with another zinger - "What got us here...won't get us there" - meaning there is an overpowering need to find new ways of reaching out, new ways of bringing change - utilizing the new technologies and mediums available to us today.

To continue with the great start to the day, Bob Moritz of PWC, took the mic for his keynote session and started with some personal, yet honest experiences of why he is so passionate about women initiatives and breaking down diversity walls in the workplace.  He describes this mission as a vision, and a "vision is the art of seeing something before others...then doing something about it!"

Keeping with the theme of the forum, he spoke about motivation to get things done - starting that discussion, to bring action and then results - and when going into a change movement, where you start matters, so start small and expand from there.  Although he covered some powerful stuff, what I found most important going forward from this speech, was his discussion of mentor versus sponsors, and how imperative it is to have a strong sponsorship structure in place to foster those discussions around diversity, push the women AND men to their limits, and help move each person along in their career in a way that fits.  He said a mentor is someone that will listen and advise, where as a sponsor is all of that, as well as someone that will break down barriers for you, make things happen that you might not even know they did, and embark on that career journey with you.

This rang so true, as I am personally struggling to find that right next step in my career, and although I have had a few people I consider mentors along the way, I have never had an environment that fosters sponsorship as a necessary and acceptable program.  Take Proctor & Gamble for example - each employee is encouraged to find a sponsor, someone that knows them professionally and personally, and this process is seen as inspirational and coveted to be chosen as that sponsor - in order to become a brand manager, you must have a sponsor who fulfills this. I would love for my next company to offer or grow a similar program to be a part of - heck, I might be able to help that initiative along now that I am more aware of the impacts and power a sponsor can have!

The morning topped off with a panel comprised of some top hitters in the corporate world today, and great thinkers/innovators to boot! There was William Bacic, NE Managing Partner - Deloitte, who spoke about how Deloitte is bringing about change for women in their organization through their WIN program, as well as their Lattice (rather than ladder) policy where women and men alike are allowed to dial down or up (essentially pace) their own career and decide how quickly and how far they can take their career. Then there was Micheline Germanos, Senior Director at Microsoft Corporation, who highlighted the need for consistency in order to get policies and  new ways of thinking to stick, as well as something I think resonates with many women, and especially women athletes - that we need to free our minds, make decisions and do things ourselves - no more time spent feeling guilty for leaving for that Dr.'s appointment - you can either choose to feel guilty, or you can take charge and own the choice you made and feel good about it.
Patricia Flynn (professor at Bentley who led the panel), Bill Bacic (Deloitte), Micheline Germanos (Microsoft), Paul Sagan (Akamai) and Lauren Sen (BJ's).

The panel finished up with Paul Sagan, of Akamai technologies, and Lauren Sen, CEO of BJ's Wholesale Club, both of whom pushed the need for non-traditional fixes to issues in the workplace and organic growth of female presence in the workplace.
Betsy Myers and Tom Peters debriefing on the morning's discussions
After some lunch and afternoon discussion about the forum with Tom Peters, we parted ways with a full head of things to consider, notice and act well spent if I do say so myself!!

I am still trying to digest everything I heard and learned yesterday, and there was so, so much more covered at the event (this is my highlights and notes) but I am really happy I chose to attend this event, and I am excited to see what more this Center will bring!!

I know this was a more unconventional post, but I saw a lot of relationships to female athletes and my own personal road interwoven throughout the conversations, something to open the mind and start noticing in your own communities.

Have a great rest of the weekend, I know I plan on it!!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Monday Motivations

Look what just came in the mail! Now I gotta break em in!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Boston Marathon...through the eyes of a support leg

We are being honestly blessed with sunshine and great temps today...not too hot...not too cold...a little different seen from the brutal dry heat that was the 116th Boston Marathon on Monday.

I had been planning on running a few miles with my running buddy Chris, as this would be his second marathon and he was killing his training for it - no seriously, I could barely keep up during his 21 mile training run (and I was only doing 10.5!).  Although I would have loved to be training for this too, it just wasn't in the cards this year, and it is a good thing I wasn't the one slated for the full 26.2, as I had a bachelorette party on the schedule for the weekend of the marathon, and I was going to have less than ideal nutrition and hydration going into this.

This last piece turned out to be a negative for anyone planning on even being outside on Monday, let alone running 10, or 13, or 26.2 see, I received a frantic call Tuesday morning (after checking the weather Sunday evening and seeing a nice low 60s and cloudy in the 10-day forecast for race day), I barely had a chance to say hi when I hear "did you see the weather report for Monday?", to which I cooly responded, "yeah, I did, it looks like it is going to be close to perfect running weather!" Well, I was wrong and when I checked the information I heard next (high 80's and sunny), my jaw dropped a little, before I remembered that this was still almost a week out, and weather changes all the time....right?

Wrong...the weather advisories started on Friday, as everyone was heading to Boston to pick up their bibs and settle in before the race, Chris forwarded the next one to me, with an even more intense urgency, this time telling those who were running for charity or who were not seasoned runners should think about deferring until the next year's race.  After speaking with Chris, he told me he was going for it, and he had until just before the starting line to make his final decision.

I thoroughly enjoyed my bachelorette plans Friday - Sunday, trying not to think about the onslaught of heat that was to come on Monday.  Sunday and Monday morning were spent trying to re-hydrate, but not over-hydrate,  and trying to get some healthier foods into my system - with the weather predictions, I needed to be physically ready to help Chris, so I wouldn't be another worry to him any more than the situation already would be.

Monday morning I watched the pre-show to the marathon, the announcements and starts of the wheelchair division, elite women, and then elite men.  As the first and second wave of qualified runners started their journey through the already soaring temps (high-80s at the final starts), I started my journey to the halfway point of the race.  I took the commuter rail out to mile 13 (Wellesley Square) and watched in awe as these amazing athletes kept plodding along in front of me - some showing signs of the heat and some looking as if they had just started out!  I actually spotted both Dorothy and SkinnyRunner at the halfway point, both looking strong, despite their internal battles.  It was a sight to behold, and I was happy I had chosen this spot to join in with Chris.

After a couple of hours of watching and waiting, I spotted Chris and jumped in in step with him.  He said the heat was hurting him and he was having a slow race, to which I told him not to worry - everyone was having a slow race, even the Kenyans finished 10 minutes later than they had last year.  I think this brought a brief smile to his face before his determination and focus on the race ahead of him returned.

He told me he had been running until the water stops and then recovering his heart-rate with a fast walk until beginning again - I told him he is lucky the weather is so shitty, or I would have turned into drill-sergeant mode and made him run more.

Mile 15 his calf started cramping and we slowed to a walk.  He told me he didn't think it was a great idea to continue and that he might just stop.  I told him it wasn't a great to start, but he was out here now and he could finish this.  He trained so hard, and I know how bad he wanted that finish line.  We walked for a little bit then would pick up the pace, at the water stops we would walk again for a bit, and then pick up the pace.  He took time to slap the crowd high fives, we took in water at each aide station, and dumped some over our heads, he ran through these incredible human car wash things - as well as hoses and hydrants - to keep cool.  There was barely a cloud in the sky and the sun was just beating on our backs.

We made it to heart-break and kept a brisk walk pace up the devil, we didn't talk a ton (well he didn't, I don't know how to shut up), but there wasn't much to be said - it was hot, really hot - there were runners dropping every mile, it was enough to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

We each took a "shot" of beer from the BC frat guys, we enjoyed popsicles and fruit along the way.  The crowds at BC were insane, I have never seen anything like that - Chris and I ran the fastest we had the whole second half as we slapped hands and cheered back with the crowd.  This feeling alone solidified my need to run this race myself one day.

We ran into a group of friends around mile 23, the same spot I was planning on jumping off the course and into the bar, but I told them I was going to continue on - I could tell Chris needed that, he needed it to keep going, he needed to keep sane.

The walk/jog continued for the next couple miles, but so did the cheers - the closer we got to Fenway, the closer we got to that Citgo sign, the closer we got to the finish - the crowds just got louder, bigger, more intense.  My heart was beating out of my chest from excitement, not exhaustion - the smile on our faces couldn't be replaced.  When we got through the Fenway crowd and past mile 25, to the turn up towards Boylston, Chris turned back on the jets and said this is it - we are running to the finish.  I tried to duck out, but he told me I was coming through with him and that just made the whole 13.4 miles we ran together worth it.  The finisher's shoot of Boston is something unlike anything I had ever experienced - even a few hours after the winners finished, the area was packed...the cheers were roaring...

We finished with huge smiles and walked the half a mile trek to the family area - collecting waters, food, his medal and space blanket along the way.  After meeting up with his wife, mother and mother-in-law and decompressing a little, we wondered into a close bar and finally sat down.  We enjoyed a nice cold Samuel Adams 26.2 (brewed especially for the marathon) and finally breathed in cool air, took in the sights of our bodies, soaking wet with sweat and water, and who knows what else, our legs covered with paper cup debris and salt.

I just keep thinking how proud I am of Chris...of all the, athletes...that finished on Monday - some with huge PRs, and some just barely crossing the line - but all of them faced the brutality of the heat and conquered it.  This is a marathon for the books, and I am so happy and blessed to have been a part of it...if only as a support leg for a friend.

Did you watch/run the 116th Boston Marathon? What was your favorite part?

The crowds - never in my life have I experienced the feeling they evoked!

Would you have deferred your entry due to the severe heat and medical warnings?

Honestly, had I had a number - after the training and dedication put into the race, I would have run it

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

One Year Ago Today...

I pressed Publish on my first post...which ironically was titled "Horizon Hunting".  Why is this ironic you might ask, well I have come full circle in the past year and I am once again hunting for that next horizon...the next adventure...the new challenge to push me to my limits.

Horizons are a funny can try your hardest to get to that line...and then realize it extends even can make it to that second line, and see again, that it continues to stretch a little further.

This time last year, April 18th, as I hit publish on my first ever blog post, I was riding the high of a new and exciting position at my company, had just watched a record breaking 115th Boston Marathon with a new-found passion to race, and race hard, I was gearing up for my second relay race experience, and I was searching for my own (and first) 26.2 to enter.

Well...I did finish that relay, and our team really excelled

That marathon? After 8 weeks of injury pre-race and little to no running - I finished smiling in under 4 hours

That job? Well it didn't pan out as well as the team expected and I am now one of the 8% - but hey, everything happens for a reason, and I just know the next big opportunity is around the corner.

Oh, how so much changes in a year...but how, at the same time, it can feel so similar to the previous year, and the one before that.

My physical horizons haven't really changed...I still want to get that BQ, and even more so after my experience pacing my friend Chris during Monday's brutal "Boston Boiler" Marathon, I am looking for the next adventure outside of straight racing (perhaps a triathlon of some sort), and I am looking for a new career.

I want to find that sweet spot of passion and reward, I want to wake up energized for my job and my training...this is my new horizon, which isn't entirely new I suppose, but a new expansion from the horizon I tackled last year.

Thank you all who have followed along, and who are just jumping in...hope you will all be here for the (not-so) terrible twos :)  The blogging community is an incredible network and I happy to have found you!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boston Marathon Excitement at the Museum of Science!

Hi friends!! I hope you all have been having a fantastic weekend!! I for one have been go, go, going again this weekend, with Boston Marathon excitement and a good friend's bachelorette down in Newport, RI.

I know I am usually a bit MIA on Sundays, but I just wanted to check in with you all and let you know about a neat event going on at the Boston Museum of Science in honor of this year's Boston Marathon.

In conjunction with the Boston Athletic Association, the Museum of Science is inviting you all to explore the science behind long-distance endurance, with several programs throughout the museum.  There are hands-on activities, guest presentations and some information around how the human body copes with the intense pressures of training for and running a marathon.

There is also a new display showing the changing history of women's running apparel and euquipment throughout the years, including one from the first woman to run the Boston Marathon, and the outfit Caroline Killiel won for female last year (2011).

It was pretty incredible to see the women's apparal throughout the years, and especially the kind of footwear they wore - as the debate over minimalist, supportive and barefoot seems to continue on, you can see how non-technical the shoe of the female winners have been throughout history and still produced success.

I had a little trouble finding any of the guest presentations, but I was able to have a little fun with Science in the Park, and see how many Newtons (unit of force) your body experiences when jumping, or even just swinging your arms back and forth.  It was interesting to see the science behind why swinging your arms, really does help you to propel forward when running, and might save some energy in the legs, especially in longer distance running.
getting some air on the newton calculator
As you can see, the harder and higher I jumped, the sharper the angles on the graph became, that meant I was expending more energy and my body was experiencing greater force.

Here, my friend Emma, was just flapping her arms (the first shorter angles) then squatting down suddenly (the middle spikes) and then swinging her arms again...the angles are not as rigid as the graph above of me jumping, but she is still experiencing force to the body even when her legs aren't necessarily moving.
Science in the park also has a small run-way that you can check your sprint speed.  The run-way is lined with a row of lights, that when activated will light up in order at the speed you indicate before running.
You could set the lights to change over at a speed of 1 meter/sec, to a speed of 4 meters/second

I didn't get a chance to check it out, but as you can see, this little kid really stuck it to the lights, flying past them!
We also ran into a little science on endorphins, those feel good vibes you get from a great run, spin class or weight lifting sessions.

Just boosting some endorphin activity 
 Did you know that you can also get that endorphin feeling from consuming caffeine, chocolate,  chili peppers, from getting a massage or having sex?!  There are so many ways to release those feel-good endorphins each and every day - so get out there and experiment with some spicy foods or indulge in that massage session!
I had a great time checking out all of the science behind exercising, and viewing some of the Boston Marathon display, and I suggest you try to check it out yourself this weekend or tomorrow even to get into the marathon spirit, or just check out some of this great info for yourself!!

Check out the finale of the program starting at 9 AM today (Sunday, April 15) and tomorrow (Mon. April 16th - Marathon day!).  For more information and to check out more events from the Museum of Science, Boston, go check out this link: The apparal display is located in the Green, Wing Level 2, across from the Human Body Connection).

The Museum also has a team running in the marathon tomorrow, so check out their site if you get a chance and get yourself tuned into Marathon Monday!! You can check out the museum's live race feed and see if you can spot the Museum's marathon runners!

**I was given access to this program free of charge, but the opinions and descriptions are all my own.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Wine kind of place

Hi everyone! Hope you are having a fantastic week! I know I have been pleasantly busy, with the Easter holiday, staying home for a couple days with the family and getting back into the swing of things here in Boston - so without further ado...I give you the final piece of our trip to California, wine country tour of Santa Rosa!

Let's see where I left off...oh yes, we were just getting on our way North from Berkeley to Santa Rosa, to check into our next hotel and explore a bit of wine country on the way.  We stayed at the Hilton Sonoma County and it was a pretty little place, with an outdoor heated pool and hot tub, which as soon as we were done putting our bags down, we were jumping into.  It was a pretty full day, what with the 7.5 mile trail run, closing of summit, and drive north - so the pool and hot tub was a great way to unwind and lounge out a bit.

We started our time in Sonoma County out right, with a trip to Glen Ellen Inn for dinner and our first taste of CA wine (of the trip of course).  The dinner was top notch, the Inn was cozy and the service was great...oh and the cocktails and wine weren't too bad either.
We ordered the mussels as an app, which wasn't a huge portion, but a great taster...and coupled with the homemade foccaccia bread and scones, it was the perfect starter.  J and I ordered the Italian fish stew, which was top notch, and well presented as a plus.
After some great martinis, food, and a bottle of wine, we were pretty full and satisfied, but the desserts were too irresistible to try so we shared a little mix (homemade truffles, caramel popcorn ice-cream sundae, and tiramisu!).
After dinner we headed back to the hotel for some de-briefing of the weekend and another bottle of red wine as a night cap (hey, with four girls, a bottle doesn't last too long!) and then it was off to bed for an early wake up and wine tour!

Monday morning we met up with Ken, from Platypus Wine Tours, at our hotel to start our expedition through Santa Rosa (Dry Creek Valley) wine country - mainly private estate tours in this part of the region.  I have used Platypus before, for a wine tour of Sonoma County and had an absolutely phenomenal time, so I convinced the ladies to book them again.  Ken had prepared us a picnic lunch and a cooler of water for our trip, and we left the hotel with his words of wisdom "it's ok to not finish every glass, or else you are going to be hammered, so remember to PACE yourself" - see wine touring is kind of like running a marathon - it can take 4 or 5 hours to conquer miles of terrain and carbs.

First stop, Harvest Moon Vineyard.  We paired each wine with a different cheese or chocolate, and the favorite for me was the  Dry Sparkling Gew├╝rztraminer paired with the manchego cheese, but I unfortunately did not snag a bottle.  I wanted to pace my bottle purchases so I didn't end up with half of wine country and no way to get it all home! The woman helping us with the tasting was fun and laid back, we didn't feel like we were being ignorant or wine-snobbed out, which was comforting, since none of us know a whole lot about the complexity of each wine...we just wanted to see what we could learn, taste some good wine, and have some fun (not to spoil the story, but mission accomplished...)
Next up, Hook n Ladder Winery, right next door to Harvest Moon.  This was a nifty barn full of wine barrels and old firemen T-shirts left as memories of the firemen from all over the country who have come to visit this winery.  We spotted the Boston shirt right away, but were more interested in getting our second tasting of the day in and taking pics with the towering pile of barrels.  I had some success here though, and brought home a great Cabernet mix, The Tillerman.

Third stop = lunch stop.  Ken had set it up so that were picnic lunching during our time at the third estate vineyard, Foppoli. Foppoli is a not a wide-spread wine to the best of my knowledge, but the retail production was started a few years ago by one of the younger sons in the family in his young 20's (he is still 29, or at least that is what he told us).  So while we dined on turkey sandwiches and brownies, Dominic (the young owner), told us the history of his family's involvement with wine making, which dated back much further into northern Italy, and then in CA around the time of prohibition, to selling their grapes to other vineyards in the area instead of making their own wine, all the way to him re-starting the wine making process in 2005.

His grapes grow on this really pretty and expansive farm, with cows, donkeys, roosters, the whole nine yards!  I picked up a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc here, but I am not going to lie, Dominic was not my favorite person on this trip - he was pretty full of himself and very "markety" if that makes sense, but we somehow managed to agree to meet back up with him later in the evening to show us the area and where we should go for dinner - but more on that later.  After many stories and way too much time spent at "lunch" we had burned through our time allotted to the fourth winery (we were supposed to go to 5, and only made it to 4) and had to go straight to the final estate, La Czar Vineyards.
The owner's backyard view at La Czar...not too shabby!
At La Czar, I would say the views were the main draw.  The wine was alright (not the best we had tasted, but it was also the fourth tasting and we had a bit of wine at the other estates), but he is closing his production so he can move south (Hawaii - tough life) so he offered us 50% off if we bought four bottles.  I had only bought 2 bottles up to this point, and the price of 4 w/ the discount was too good to beat, so I picked up 2 cabs, 1 zinfandel - maple vineyard (that was pretty darn fantastic) and a Sauvignon Blanc.
After La Czar we were all pretty tipsy and beat, so we headed back to the hotel, bid farewell to Ken and decided to rest a little.  After some coffee and showers, we were ready to get some dinner and headed out to meet up with Dominic to get some dinner in Healdsburg....everything post this was pretty fun, but also a slight crash n burn....we continued to drink at dinner, a few too many glasses of wine, a very small, but yummy portion of dinner and then...well the night went on a little longer than it needed to, but it was all good fun, so the hangover the next day was well worth it!
Final shot I had of the night, at Bear Republic Brewery for pre-dinner beers - I enjoyed a Racer 5 pint...mmmm
The next day was our last, so we headed back to San Francisco, where we were flying out of...on the way we explored the gorgeous Marin Headlands, some breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, and walked around Fisherman's Pier like true tourists! After a very full and tiring week, we flew out to Boston on the red-eye and never looked back...well maybe a little, but check out these pics and you will see why!
J and I with the view of the bridge 
Ashley and Julia at the top of one of the Marin Headlands hills

On top of the world!
And of course the Sea Lions at Fisherman'd Wharf, no trip to San Fran would be complete without this picture!
And that my friends, was my Cali trip in a nutshell! Thank you Luna and Clifbar & Co. for bringing us out there for three days of fun-filled activities and info, and thank you northern California wineries for making such yummy beverages and scenic drives :)

Do you drink wine? Have you ever been on a tour? 

Are you a red or white kind of person?

all the time, I am a red person, but I do enjoy a nice chilled prosecco or suavignon blanc in the summer months.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Luna Chix Summit 2012

Hey hey! Did you miss me? I have been go, go, going on fast forward since last Friday, and I can't wait to share my amazing weekend with you!  It will take a couple of posts, so just bare with me :)

Friday morning I flew out to San Francisco bright and early, en route to Berkeley for the 2012 Team Luna Chix Summit.  I had never really been to Berkeley, so I was excited to see a new area, and even more ecstatic to see some faces I hadn't seen in a year, and to meet so many new ones!! Luna Chix Summit is a great way to jump-start our season (all run, mountain bike, cycling and triathlon teams are invited) - trying newer products, getting our team uniforms (first run skirt ever!), and learning about what Clifbar & Co. is doing today and has planned for the coming year, as well as what the company we support has been doing, the Breast Cancer Fund.

I met Julia at Logan airport and arrived at SFO without a hitch. We jumped in a rental and were in Berkeley by 3 PM, just in time to check in, meet up with J and Ashley, and pop down to my first session - Nutrition Ambassador Training.  That is correct, I will be the nutrition ambassador for the Luna Chix Boston Run Team this season (that was the big news I had to share - and if have been around me much, you know I live for this stuff!)  It was a great session - not too much new information (I had received a lot of bar nutrition info at last year's summit) but still some good refreshers and great info! I will write a nutrition specific post later on and share what I learned.

That evening, Clif & Co. hosted us all for dinner and tours at their Emeryville headquarters.  Our shuttle bus was a little late getting there, so we were some of the last to get dinner and I didn't get a chance to take a tour - but the food was worth every second and I had already seen the tour last year, so I don't think I missed much.  They really go all out on the food at Cliff HQ, making it that much more desirable to work there (it is no secret that I would love to work for this company - their values, benefits and attitude sell it all).  Gary, the co-owner of Clif & Co. led the Cliff & Co. band as our entertainment, and we were introduced to this year's Luna Pro Team (mainly cyclo-cross and tri members - but there is one running pro, Jane Kibii, who I ran the 2011 Tufts 10k with last fall).  One of the cool things about summit, is that we get to intermingle with the Pros and ask lots of good questions.

We didn't stay long after dinner and the entertainment, as we were tired and had an early morning of workouts and good info to look forward to - the only problem was that we woke up to monsoonish rain/winds on Saturday morning.  This caused our pre-run clinic (all about running coaches and different types of workouts, along with some dynamic stretches) to be inside in a conference room, which I wasn't complaining about as I watched the sideways rain.  We eventually packed on our rain gear and headed out around the marina we were staying at, for a 1.5 mile warm-up, and then about 3.5 miles of tempo runs - one of my favorite out of all of the different kinds of speed workouts.  The workout was pretty cool, and definitely one I will be repeating on my own to get in some speed work!!

It looked like this:

  • warm-up - 15 minutes
  • temp runs for time, not distance (using a slightly faster than 5k pace, but quicker than half marathon pace - I went with my 10k pace, low 7's)
    • 2 minutes out, 1 minute rest
    • 4 minutes out, 1 minute rest
    • 6 minutes out, 2 minutes rest
    • 5 minutes out, 2 minutes rest
    • 3 minutes out, 1 minute rest
    • 1 minute out, done!
  • cool-down - 10 - 15 minutes
We quickly got ourselves back inside, showered and warmed up - newspapers in shoes so they would be a bit dryer for the later clinics and off to lunch.  Post lunch we headed to another nutrition clinic (where more of the info from the day before was covered, but for everyone, not just the nutrition ambassadors), a clinic on strength training w/ just body weight (a lot of body weight moves to prevent injury and warm up the muscles pre-run/workout) and then we had some free time before dinner.
Ashley, me and Jessie at the nutrition and marketing talk
Dinner was a yummy buffet, some Clif & Co, wine, and a performance by a local improv comedy group.  Each skit they invited someone from the audience to come up on stage and act a part - in return whoever acted received some Luna sportsgear arm warmers.  I was called up for a skit where you line up, the host asks a question and starting with the end person, each person in line adds one word to the answer, and so on...I scored some sweet arm warmers, that I might have to try out soon - not used to the feel of them just yet!
4 of the 10 Luna Chix Boston Run Team - Ashley, me, Jessie and Julia
Sunday was our last day of summit, and the only big thing on everyone's schedule was either a ride (for the cyclists and mountain bikers) or a run (for the run teams) and an option to do yoga early in the AM (I partook in the 7 AM class, pre-run).  Between the three choices for the run (short & easy, long & flat and hard & hilly), I chose the hard & hilly.  Last year we were brought out to the Marin Headlands and it was an absolutely incredible run - hard, but rewarding.  This run on Sunday was just as rewarding, if not more! We ran about 7.5 miles through the Strawberry Canyon (located on UC Berkeley's campus), and it was hilly and a bit muddy - but worth every second.  I had to walk up two of the three steep parts (the first half was all uphill, but there were 3 "shelves" of steep inclines to tackle in that uphill trek).  I made it through with one of the front groups, so I had time to make it all the way to the top and then descend back to where we started, with about a 9:27 pace - not too shabby for walking up some portions and trying not to slip in the muddy areas! A little upset I didn't get any photos, but I am keeping an eye out for any that might have been taken to share!!
My poor white kinvaras are now a fantastic shade of light brown, even post bath...guess I need some trail shoes!
 After spending far too long in the shower trying to scrub the caked on mud off my calves and kinvaras, I met up with the other ladies of my team, enjoyed our final lunch of summit, claimed some more Luna and Clif bars to add to our stash, and packed up to head to Santa Rosa for some wine time!

Next country with the girls...