Monthly Archives: June 2015

Napa Chef Garden Coop

I discovered the Napa chefs have a local garden for their restaurants right on the Napa River. I think this is a great idea as it allows them to grow their own produce which the chefs can then serve to the customers in the restaurant. It sounds like it is something similar to a farm to table restaurant. By working with local produce, as well as local farmers, this is probably a cheaper way to get all of the ingredients that you need to make a successful restaurant. And as this local garden is a new discovery of mine, I can’t wait to look into this further.

I headed toward downtown Napa for my run again this morning. I ran past the Oxbow Market, and noticed a huge garden to my left. Wow! Was this the local community garden? It certainly was big.

Napa Chef Garden Coop

Napa Chef Garden Coop

I crossed the Napa River bridge, crossed the street, back over the bridge, and saw yet more vegetable gardens! Then I saw the sign:

Napa Chef Garden Coop

Wow. When they mean local, they mean a couple of hundred feet away from their restaurants!

After a little internet research, it seems the garden coop was the former Copia Gardens. COPIA was a non-profit discovery center whose mission was to explore, celebrate, and share the pleasures and benefits of wine, its relationship to food, and its significance to culture. Located in Napa Valley, COPIA offered visitors wine and food tasting programs, exhibitions, organic edible gardens, films, concerts, fine and casual dining, and shopping. The center was in business from 2001 to 2008.

The gardens were rejuvenated by the local chef community around 2010. The land, which had gone into bankruptcy, was just sitting vacant and the gardens had gone to weed. It’s cool to see that the Napa community bonded together and have a great local place to grow vegetables!

Napa Garden Coop.



Napa Vacation Day One-We’re Off!

We decided on visiting Napa winery region for our 25th wedding anniversary trip.

The day began kind of rudely. We woke up at 430 am to a text message-our flight was delay until 10 am, then 12 pm. The only problem was, our connecting flight in Houston was at 1125 am..

I hopped online to see about completely redoing our flights and the computer told me there was actually a back up flight for us, a NON STOP from Cleveland to San Francisco-which is what I wanted in the first place (which wasn’t available when I booked our flights). We just took off for the airport and the ticket counter. I wasn’t going to sit onhold for 36 minutes like I had done on Thursday for our return home flight rebook. Luckily we got onto the nonstop flight, and ended up in San Francisco at 930am local time, about 6 hours before we should have been there!

Not only that, we were able to grab the 10am shuttle to Napa. We were not going to drive out of San Francisco. It was far less stressful to sit on an air conditioned bus and look out the window for the hour drive! In California there is always so much beauty to admire. I’ve always hoped to move to this great state at some point. My personal favourite part is Pismo Beach. If you harbour any desire to take the plunge and make the move then you may wish to click this link. This will provide you with a vast amount of information on building your own villa.

There are so many beautiful hotels and rentals in California, you really are spoilt for choice. We are staying again at the Best Western Elm House Inn that we stayed in five years ago. We have a strange sense of loyalty to this hotel after our amazing stay all those years ago, so that is why we have decided to go back. If you would rather somewhere closer to a beach, our friends have recommended Surf City Rentals in Santa Cruz to us. It’s even pet friendly, which is nice if you have pets who you like to holiday with. Anyway, I’m looking forward to returning to Elm House Inn and seeing if anything has changed.


The only downfall with our scramble for flights was..we didn’t get breakfast, nor enough time to stand in line at Subway at the airport for lunch to go. I subsisted off a granola bar, smoked almonds, beef jerky, and some fruity snacks for about eight hours.

We finally made it to lunch in Napa at the Hog Island Oyster Company and inhaled our lunch along with a nice California Albarino. It was finally time to relax and unwind and realize we actually made it to California-without any fights!

Halfway Through June!!!

How did this happen? It seems like once the June calendar rolled over, it is like I’ve summitted the big mountain and am now running downhill, the days keep clicking over quicker and quicker. I work this weekend, then we leave for Napa for five days-then I’m home for five days or so and then I leave for Colorado! Eeek!

Time is fleeting

Laurel Highlands came and went. I got a very nice run with Slim from mile 11 to zero and back out to 11 on a very hot day. Four snakes were spotted, but no copperheads.

I’m still sleeping in the altitude tent. I will have a post-Part Two- of that experience. I’ve worked on my Hardrock splits and have come up with a working schedule on when I should be where. This helps with packing of my dropbags and where I want to pick up a light or two.

I’m seeing alot of pictures of Hardrockers already arriving in the San Juans. I have to remind myself  that’s their HR experience, not mine. I have to work with my time off and training.

It looks like it will be a snow year!

National Trails Day

National Trails Day

The first Saturday in June is designated National Trails Day.

June 6, 2015 is American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day®, the country’s largest celebration of trails.

What did I do to celebrate National Trails Day?

I went trail running. Natch.

Salt Fork State Park

It was another race day at Salt Fork State Park, this time it was the “Buckeye Buster” 50K. I managed to get out on the loop before the runners began. I decided to do my smaller 4 mile “loop” within the loop to begin with.  There is a nice climb on the red hiking trail that I like to climb.


I was also listening to some old podcasts during this section without runners. Got some good info on “Trail Runner Nation” with interviews with Jared Campbell, Adam Campbell, and Coach Karl.


I then rejoined the  pink blazed trail which the racers were on and put away the headphones. I stepped off trail for any runners coming through.

I brought my hiking poles along today. The hiking poles are not needed for single track here in Ohio unless you are backpacking. But I carried them just to get used to carrying them. I will use them in at least 1/2 of Hardrock, so it’s time to get used to poles in hands.  I did utilize them on the uphills, but was just basically carrying them the rest of the run.


I had another good run today, 14 miles.

Did you get out for National Trails Day?

Halfway to Halfway


In six months I will turn fifty. As life expectancy goes, I should be around for another fifty years.

From googling life expenctancy calculators on the internet:

You are expected to live to 90.5 years old.

Chances are 50 percent that you will live between 84 and 98.5 years. but you have a 5% chance of dying before age 66.5 and a 5% chance of living past 107.

Another life expectancy calculator pegged me to live to age 101!

As I have pretty much not turned the calendar page past July 10, I haven’t considered much about the big milestone 50.

I haven’t started any “fifty before fifty” challenges. Perhaps I will do “fifty things when I am fifty” which will  hopefully include celebrating my birthday on the beach in Grenada.

I read a few books last year about aging and mid life. One was “I Dare Me” where a 53 year old journalist decides to do “one different thing, one new experience” daily, for one year. It was a pretty good idea, it helped the journalist get out of her daily rut/routine.

Another book was 20,000 Days by Robert D. Smith. How many days have you been alive? As of today, May 29, I’ve lived 18040 days. ” Most people measure their lives in years. But how would our thought process change if we measured our lives in


On the 20,000th day of his life, Robert D. Smith decided to put this concept to the test. He spent the next 48 hours planning his next 20,000 days — and walked away with life — changing information.

I don’t know if it was life changing for me, but interesting and motivational. I think I will reread the book soon.

Another book was “Younger Next Year for Women” by Chris Cowley.  The first few chapters are pretty dry, but the principles are simple: The key to the program is found in Harry’s Rules: Exercise six days a week. Don’t eat crap. Connect and commit to others. There are seven rules all together, based on the latest findings in cell physiology, evolutionary biology, anthropology, and experimental psychology.

Have I made the most, the best, out of my 18040 days on earth so far? Probably not.  I’ve diddled away far too much time on TV and bad books, bad moods and boredom. Can I have a much better next 20000 days? Yes, I think so. I think I have been steadily improving (I hope) as a person over the last ten years of so (which does correlate into becoming a runner.) I will make my next 20000 days count.

This post helps, I’ve already thought of at least 3 things to do for my “50 at 50” list. 🙂



National Running Day I Run to Appreciate my Health

It’s National Running Day!


Did you get your run in? I did!


I would say running has changed my life. I run and appreciate that I have good health and CAN run.

I started walking, to lose weight, which turned into a jog, because just walking wasn’t cutting it anymore.

My first race (I was in the middle of the Couch to 5K Program) was the Cy Young Run, a two mile race.

It was amazing. In the heart of overweight Appalachia, where I live, these fit people came out of the woodwork to run fast! Whoa! There are people like me out there!

Rite Aid 10K 2004

Rite Aid 10K 2004

I was a road runner. I had never heard of trails. I hated hills, didn’t like it that there was a hill in every direction I ran in. I despaired of ever getting faster.

My first half marathon Athens Ohio

My first half marathon Athens Ohio

I found trails and never looked back.

Mohican 2006

Mohican 2006

I ran my first 100 in 2007

Finishing Umstead 2007

Finishing Umstead 2007

I have had hiccups along the way. I struggled with what I would now term a “mid life” crisis; gained some weight back and struggled with finishing even 50Ks within time limits.

Then I got my mojo back. I started training, in earnest.

Adam Casseday and myself, WV Trilogy

Adam Casseday and myself, WV Trilogy

Got over some mental hurdles, with body image, weight and myself as a runner.

First time on TWOT 2010

First time on TWOT 2010

Finished Massanutten-several times!


Then came dream race. But I didn’t believe enough in myself, that I truly could do I didn’t.

Karma swings around again. After Hardrock, I decided I wanted to step it up a bit and break 30 hours at Massanutten. I hired a coach. That’s been the biggest help with my advancement as a runner since I began.

I started running consistently. Meaning every day. (Almost.) I had a schedule. I had a routine. I managed to get most runs in. I’ve been using Coach Karl since 2012 and have really improved as a runner.

Karma came back to me again. With low odds, I was again one of the lucky view to get to go to Silverton and experience the Hardrock course again.

This year has not been easy on me. Nor was last year, but last year’s stress was miniscule compared to this year. But I have been getting (most) of my running in. It was that important to me. And, probably most importantly, running was one of the few things within my realm to control.

Where was I going with this? I guess to sum up, running changed my life. It made me much more healthy. I’ve seen so much more of the world than before being a runner. I am also very grateful to have the good health to go out for a run, whether it’s four miles or forty miles.

I hope running helps you with your day to day stresses, and that you are able to get out and experience the day!


Welcome June!!


AND…it’s June!! Where did the first six months of the year go?

Numbers time. Weight: Still stuck around 169 pounds.


Numbers has improved a bit so I am pleased.

girlpower138 days til Hardrock!