My WS weekend, abbreviated version

Most people know by now that Western States 100 was canceled. If you didn't, well now you do. Shocking I know. But there are many fires raging in CA and they are threatening the course and if that's not enough, the smoke is so thick it is incredibly unhealthy. Disappointing, yes. Devastating, not so much, it simply is what it is. As I say and live by, no resistance, no stress. I have attempted to make alternative 100 plans and look forward towards the rest of my year and how it shapes up. I am back in Seattle and just going to enjoy my weekend off by running a marathon and then running home, cooking, hanging out with friends and hopefully bringing home my new addition to my family, a ex-racing greyhound! My brief trip to SF was still valid since I got to see my sick grandmother in the hospital and spend some time with my sister whom I miss very much and for whom I would have stayed the weekend in SF if the air quality wasn't so toxic and would have allowed me some good runs.

WS Memorial Run- The pink knee sock'd dark horsie rides again
My one run in SF wasn't much to write home about. In fact, I was tired and just emotionally drained. That and the air, even in the Headlands was smoky and greasy. All that aside, I donned my pink knee highs, laced up a pair of my sister's kicks (why I don't know, since I had 4 pairs of running shoes with me....) and headed out for my favorite Headlands loop before turning around and flying back to Seattle.

I did a "mini 100", i.e. 10 miles. My lungs felt awful due to the smoke that was hanging in the air and as you can see from the picture, obscuring the sun strangely. I brought my camera along because I love the view from the top, looking back to the city, but unfortunately, the one time I bring my camera, the bridge and city beyond are blotted out by smoke. I ran, not well, but I ran and celebrated in my heart and soul the fact that I came, I was ready, I did the work and that is the truest triumph. Getting to the start line ready is the point, the race itself is just frosting on the cake. As it is said, "I will prepare and then perhaps, my chance will come....". I am ready and now, perhaps my chance, my opportunity will come.

The smoky sun

This really IS an amazing view without the smoke and the inability to see anything...

It's windy up here (the obligatory WTF face)

Rep'in for the club that shall remain nameless

I am lucky not to get blown off this ridge.

Birthday BBQ
Last Saturday, I celebrated my birthday 2 days early by holding a BBQ at my Uncle's house. It turned out really well and the weather held. I was so blessed to have so many friends come out and celebrate with me. I made tons of food, including burgers, veggie kabobs, a huge bowl of guacamole and tons of other fun stuff. The birthday cake from Flying Apron was absolutely amazing, PB&J Chocolate cake, vegan, gluten free and alternatively sweetened!

Having experienced a lot of disappointing birthdays in the past due to having a summer birthday, I was worried that no one would show up. But many did and I truly felt loved. Secretly, it really brought me to tears. My ecclectic group of friends and family took to each other like fish to water.... runners, vegans, librarians, childhood and long time friends. I had friends come from near and far, on foot and by motorcycle (all the way from Bellingham!). I had such a great time and am so blessed for the experience.

Dagan, Krissy, Cousin Erica, & Jonathan

I wanted to just eat it with a fork...but noooooo...

I knew everyone was enjoying their burgers and food cuz it got very very quiet on the deck.

Me and the darling, amazing best friend, Tara

And that is just the appetizers