Monday, October 10, 2011

An almost-perfect fall weekend!

"Almost-perfect" is kind of a lame way to describe a great weekend, but considering that I did spend a few hours (not nearly enough) sitting on my butt, grading papers, it would be hard to say that it truly was a chocolate-syrup-topped-with-a-cherry type of a weekend.  I'm now suddenly talking about sundaes, which have nothing to do with fall weekends.  Not even metaphorically!
Back to the perfect part of the weekend - it actually felt like a fall weekend here in Southern CA!  Not quite as much last year when we went to Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park and spent a night in one of the most beautiful places I've ever seen.  I am a sucker for the alpine lake experience, no doubt.  We briefly flirted with the idea of a return trip, but homework for Michael called and grading papers definitely loomed over my head.
So, we stayed home and enjoyed a great 3-day weekend!  As I said, there was something autumnal in the air, which is definitely not always the case here in Southern CA during the month of October.  Often, the Santa Ana winds kick up and the temperature rises.  However, a crazy winter storm mid-week put me in a fall-ish mood, and the weather - cool at night and warm but not hot during the day - did put my mind to a change of seasons.  The Halloween decorations that have begun to pop up around our neighborhood and others also help contribute to that feeling of "fall is here!".
As for our weekend, we ate well, and we both worked a bit, but the best part of the weekend was spending time outside.  Since we nixed a camping trip, I entertained the idea of a great hike, and that WOULD have been pretty awesome.  However, I also considered our busy schedules these days and decided that a lazy weekend might be appreciated, especially by Michael, who has lots of late nights these days.  Still, we did get out and about, and we took advantage of the good weather!
Michael has started to run a bit with me, which is such a new and different experience, in a great way.  He doesn't identify himself as a "runner" (neither do I, for that matter...), but I think that he'll soon trounce me.  We've been running the occasional 5K around the Rose Bowl, but on Saturday, we ended up on the Arroyo Seco trail in Pasadena.  It's funny - I tend to run all of the horse trails that are accessible from our house - just a block or two away - but I almost never venture over to the Arroyo Seco.  After our Saturday experience, however, that MUST change!  It was a great experience, and Michael far preferred it to running around the Rose Bowl which does, I admit, get rather boring.  We did a 3.5 mile run or so, and then he drove home, leaving me to hoof it back.  The run home was pretty uneventful, although much of it was uphill - we're talking a few miles of lots of uphill pushes!  I decided that if it didn't kill me, it would make me stronger.  As I came to the end of my more-or-less 9 mile run, I thought "I can't believe that I ran 10 miles after a longish swim and bike ride!  I'm AWESOME!".  I almost never think of myself as "awesome", so that was a nice thought, brief as it was.
After Saturday's excursion, we ended up taking the bikes out on Sunday.  I am embarrassed to say that it's the first time I've been in the saddle since the end of August.  Crazy!  Especially considering that the Tour de Colorado should have inspired us.  It was a short but really great ride - my legs felt strong and fresh, even after my Saturday run, and there was NO traffic on the road, so I felt pretty safe.  Michael and I had fun chasing each other - sometimes he would lead, other times I would lead.  While we aren't biking enough outside, I could feel the results on the hills of the crazy-kick-ass spin classes that we've - not that I 'dominated' the climb, but I did enjoy the hills and felt strong enough to push myself, rather than just hold on until the end.
So, a weekend of good weather, good eats, and lots of time outside - I'll consider that a success!
Now I just can't wait for the next one!


mindful mule said...

I love the Arroyo. Which part did you run? I was up there with Brad between the Rose Bowl and a little above JPL on Saturday morning, too. I guess we just missed each other.

Kristina said...

I've noticed that you are a huge Arroyo fan! I'm a convert. We were around the horse stables and archery range (??). I ended up on the pavement rather than trail once I hit the Rose Bowl (up to Linda Vista and then a straight shot - with some hills - home).