Week in Review: 8/20/18

This week's stats:

On Monday, I headed into a windowless LapCorp office to get my blood drawn.  After four vials were taken, I had to wait six more days to get the results back from Athlete Blood Test.  I've been tracking my ferritin levels since 2001, with my lowest ferritin level of 4.  In those 17 years, I've never received such a comprehensive blood report like the one from ABT.  Not only did ABT provide a summary of the critical steps to be taken immediately, they also provided tables with recommended/ideal ranges for both normal people as well as athletes.    The two main takeaways were:

  1. I do have low ferritin - value of 10, ideal is about 30-35 for me.  Once I dip below 20, I usually feel like crap.  
  2. I likely have over-training syndrome based on the training tolerance panel, including low total testosterone, low DHEA-S, and low free testosterone 

I do have a couple of explanations for why this happened.  For complete transparency, it's entirely my fault because of two main reasons. First, I stopped taking iron supplements over a year ago because I was doing a great job of getting my iron through plant-based sources such as spinach, kale, hemp, quinoa, apricots and other dried fruits.  But, in the last 8 weeks, I've been busy at work from 9AM-2PM leading calls, which means that I wasn't eating until 2:30PM...leading us to the second reason:  I was under-eating.  Therefore, I wasn't getting the nutrients that aid in recovery and the calories that could help me get my energy levels back up.   I'm sure that's why my ferritin levels dropped.  To combat this, I've ordered meals through Thistle so that I have healthy, plant-based meals ready to go for those days when I'm too busy to make my own food.  I plan to do this for at least the next 3-6 weeks.  Additionally, I'm reducing the quality that I'm doing for the next two weeks to see how I do.

One thing that's really tough about having low ferritin / OTS is managing the mental aspect.  It's easier to cave in on a workout now that I know I have a reason.  I usually don't like to get my blood tested until after a race because it generally messes with my head.  

Regardless, I feel like I have a solid plan of action and am confident that I can still race strong at the Rock n Roll San Jose Half.  

 

Week in Review: 8/13/18

This week's stats:

  • 54 miles DOWN WEEK
  • 5 x 2KM at 84-80 per lap with 400m jog
  • 14M with 4M @ 604, 1M jog, 4.75M @ 545-540
  • 0 doubles
  • 1 lift day
  • 1 day off

Without any answers about my seemingly precipitous decline of performance last week, I continued soldiering on this week with workouts, but all other runs only 6-7 miles.  After communicating with Brad, we decided to keep this a down week, reduce the long run, and let myself recover.  For the first workout of the week, I headed to the track again with my trusty partners of Jay, Yu and JOB to run 2KM repeats.  After feeling like crap on the first interval, I decided to modify the splits a little bit and went out at 84 and gradually increased the pace on each one. I was grateful to have a full rest of 3 minutes because, if my suspicions about low ferritin were true, a longer rest would ensure I could complete the workout at least.  The whole time, my breathing felt completely out of whack, so I told the guys that I would sit back and let them do all the work.  While I completed the entire workout and felt happy about that, the execution of the workout wasn't necessarily what I wanted.  I still was left scratching my head as to why the effort for a slower pace than what I've done in previous weeks suddenly felt soooo much harder. I just felt like I was not recovering and that I was weak.   

For the second workout, it was a daunting 8M simulation tempo at goal half marathon pace.  Brad called though and said to just get an effort in at a hard pace.  The bad news is that the first 4 miles of our course are slightly uphill, so I felt like complete doo doo, with labored breathing on the first part.  I slowed down and jogged for a mile until Leon, Yu and Jay turned around and then picked the pace back up with them on the downhill portion.  The good news is that I felt like a million bucks on the downhill. After Yu dropped the pace, I continued pushing until Leon and Jay both dropped off.  With Yu out of sight, I was left to my own devices as I pressed forward to get as close to 540 as possible.  

At the time, I was a little upset about my performance for the simulation, but now looking back, I'm actually pretty damn happy about how this went.  There's a very high chance that I'm low on iron, and, by giving myself a break, I was able to still complete practically a 2 x4M workout.  I'm fit; my breathing just doesn't make me feel fit.

The good news is that I ordered a blood test for Monday and will hopefully have answers soon to explain my lethargy and overall doo-dooness.

 

Week in Review: 8/6/18

This week's stats:

This week the BURN guys were recovering from an ultra, so JOB and I were left to do some 800m repeats solo at the track.  Fortunately, school still hasn't started which means that we're able to still use the Whisman Sports Complex track, which is nicer than both my high school and college facilities.  

After warmup, we met up with Rachel, who recently relocated from Boston and was also coached by Terry, and started our workouts.  Since Rachel was doing 400m repeats, we were able to run together on every 3rd repeat for one lap.  It was great!  However, I felt like complete doo doo. While the goal was to go from 2:40 --> 2:30, we hovered around 2:37/2:38 and squeaked out a 2:35 on the 10th interval.  Considering how killer my workouts had been going up to this point, surely something had to be off.  Since the sky looked a little hazy, we wondered if the air quality was bad from the fires. When I got home, I immediately checked the AQI, and was disappointed to read a number so low as 35.  So, that didn't explain it.

After slogging through some more runs the rest of the week, my legs still hadn't recovered by Friday's long run with Yu and Jay.  We kept it easy for about 10 miles, and then eventually dropped down to 600's for a little 5KM tempo.  I felt like absolutely death, which was odd because the 800m repeats weren't anything out of the ordinary for me.  After this, I began to wonder if my ferritin was low or if I was about the cross the line into overtraining syndrome territory.  Those two issues would definitely explain why there was a sudden drop-off in my performance, not just on workouts, but also on easy runs.  In response to my body's reaction, I decided to take Saturday off since we left early to check out a venue in Big Sur.  Instead of going for a run in the evening, Peter and I drove to Paso Robles for dinner and a date at the brewery.  The next day, I did an easy six miles along the California coastline.  My body didn't feel like it had just enjoyed a day off; rather, it felt like I had done another 18 miler.  Something definitely wasn't right....

Week in Review: 7/30/18

This week's stats:

  • 85 miles
  • 12M MLR
  • 12M with 2KM @ 82,81,79,81,79, 3:20 rest, 2x (600m-500m-400m-300m-200m w/ 2:00 rest) via 1:53, 1:30, 72.6, 50.5, 32.1, 4:55 jog, 1:52, 1:29, 70.9, 51.2, 32.7, 5:00 jog, 2km splits 83/79/81/79/79
  • 17M with with 10M progression from 615 - 555
  • 2 doubles
  • 2 lift days

Week in Review: 6/18/18

This week's stats:

  • 85 Miles
  • 3 Days in CLT
  • 13M with 4M tempo @ 543/544/537/535 + 8 x 45s hills with 3:00 jog
  • 13M with 3x2M @ 534/537 (2:16), 527/531 (2:16), 525/528 (4:00), 4 x 200m in 34/35
  • 17M with 2M warmup, 8M @ 650-620, 4M @ 6603/555/601/540, 2M CD
  • 2 Doubles / 0 Days off
  • 2 Lift days / 2 rock climbing days

Traveling to Charlotte in the middle of the summer won't stop me from getting in my miles! Hopefully I won't jinx myself for gleefully proclaiming this on my blog.  Even if it was hot and humid in CLT, I still logged 30 miles with my Charlotte Running Club friends over the course of 48 hours.  Despite the time change, I fell asleep at 10PM every night so I could magically get 8 hours of sleep every night while I was there. 

Billy was my trusty workout companion on Tuesday and we headed for the Dilworth Speed Loop for a 4 mile tempo.  After running sub-540 for the last 2 miles (with the assistance of a nice downhill to Freedom Park), we headed to East Blvd to do some hill repeats.  I felt like absolute death on the hill repeats and cut it short to 45 seconds instead of 60s.  

After two days of planning sessions with all of our teams at the Convention Center, I was more than ready to head home Wednesday night.  Gary, Pam and I headed to the airport and enjoyed some mexican together before boarding the plane to wait out a lightning delay.

Of course, after sitting on the plane for 7+ hours on Wednesday night, my run on Thursday was brutal and I slogged along, begging my legs to just move a little.  Yet, somehow my legs bounced back rather quickly on Friday morning and I was able to run a great 3x2 mile workout at Stanford.  It might have even been a workout PR for average time, but I'm not quite sure.  Shrug.

On Sunday, Natalie, Jay and JOB met up to do a 13 mile loop through Los Altos Hills.  It wasn't too terrible of a climb initially, but my legs were begging for mercy early on.  Jay and I hung about 4 strides back from Natalie and JOB, who seemed to be feeling great.  With some high mileage on our tired legs, Jay and I continued pushing.  Once we hit the steepest climb, and after a slight detour trying to figure out the route, we all were back together again in a pack before we started the marathon pace portion.  Natalie took off and I hung back, not wanting to destroy my quads too terribly on the downhills.  By the time we hit downtown Los Altos, it was flat again, and the running gods forced Natalie to stop at a light, which allowed me to make up those 3 seconds she had on me.  For the rest of the run, we pushed each other to run a 540 last mile which was totally fun!  

Overall, this was a great week. It's a lot easier to get in the work if you're doing it with friends, that's for sure!

 

Week in Review: 6/11/18

This week's stats:

  • 80 Miles
  • 11M in AM with 5M uphill in 627/647/727/623/618 and then 3M cool down in 630 + 10KM in PM with 10x200m @ 34-35 with Peter and Trevor
  • 12M MLR
  • 16M with 1M warmup, 5M in 645-650 7M of 3 min on/off for average of 611/619/627/605/611/601/623, 3M at 610/600/550
  • 2 doubles / 0 days off
  • 1 day in Redding to look at puppies
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It's hard to believe that I'm 4 weeks into a new training program; time certainly has flown by.  But, after having 5 hard efforts in ~10 days, my body very acutely feels the effects of the legit training.  The best example to illustrate how beat up my body feels was my run today, where I shuffled my way through a 4 miler at an average of 830 pace.  I couldn't go any faster, unless I gave my body 4 more miles to warmup.  If I've learned anything about running competitively over the age of 30, it's that sometimes your body feels like the Tinman from Wizard of Oz, and you need a lil grease to get the body moving again.  

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I definitely don't care if I have an easy run or three every week.  If my body needs it, I take it. So after a couple of strength building workouts on hills, I headed to the Los Gatos Creek Trail on Saturday to get some company on a mixed pace long run.  Joining up with probably the most well organized running club in the Bay, Max, Ibet, Jeff and I met with the BURN running group.  With the lure of a professional grade photographer, this club convinced 50+ people to show up at 630AM in the morning for a long run.  Insane, and AWESOME. It was fun to run with Jay's buddies and to have some much needed company for the run.  

Overall, I'm really pleased with how my fitness seems to be progressing. I'm hoping my body continues to handle the stressors of running at such an increased intensity.  So long as I focus on the weight lifting, I trust that I'll make it to Wharf to Wharf ready to race.

Across the Bay 12KM Race Recap

This week's stats:

  • 81 Miles with 2 days of doubles
  • 12M with 40 minutes of 1 min on/off with splits of 615/604/600/551/552/556/601 for 6.7M + 4 x 200m Hill Sprints
  • 12M MLR
  • 10M with 10 x short hill sprints
  • 10M with 4 x 200m, 2M @ 540/533, 1M slow, 4x200m, 1M cool down
  • 12KM Race:  1st overall, 43:11 with splits of 521/633/546/512/538/548/545/550 for 13M Total

What a big week.  Without any work travel, it's time to put in (running) work.  I was able to hit my highest mileage in who knows how long, while also competing in a race on Sunday.  While I felt really good about my minuters workout on Monday with Jay, I went into Thursday's workout feeling tired and emotionally zapped.  Last week was a pretty big week in terms of quality, and I felt the effects of that on my legs this week.  So, by Thursday, I wasn't fully in to the workout, but wanted to still try it out with Job.  I was supposed to do a 4 mile tempo progressing from 540-532, but I ended it after 2 miles and figured that I'll try again another time.  After all, I'm still 17 weeks out from the Rock n Roll San Jose Half Marathon, so now isn't the time to push my body to the well.  From an emotional standpoint, it's really difficult to keep up with a full-time job, 2 workouts during the week, plus a long run on the weekend. I feel like I'm constantly texting friends to see if they want to play pacemaker for me.  It's like there's no downtime from planning; right after I finish one workout, I'm already on to the next one, planning it out with my other friends who work full time.  For me, I've learned that what's most manageable is doing 2 workouts every other week.  This way I'll still be able to get in more sustained efforts, but also get a break every other week when I can just focus on one hard workout during that time.

 Spoiler alert: I won.

Spoiler alert: I won.

Fortunately, the lackluster performance on Thursday morning didn't deter me from going into the Across the Bay 12KM with the intention to win.  I figured the race wouldn't be too competitive since most people were racing at Portland, or moving on to other target races in the summer.  I was right about the competition - or so I thought until about mile 2.  On Sunday morning, Peter drove Max, Michael and I up to Vista Point at Golden Gate Bridge, where we ran off to warmup to the start line together.  Peter eventually made his way back to the finish line at Fort Mason.  

At the start of the race, the familiar faces from Wolfpack, Aggies and Impala track clubs all made their way to the front of the line.  I didn't see any familiar faces from the SacTown 10 miler, or Bay to Breakers.  My prospect of winning looked good. The gun went off, and I took off with Michael, and situated myself behind some other men.  The first mile was downhill flat, and I tried not to go too crazy since a huge uphill climb to the bridge would greet us in mile 2.  During mile 2, I ran back and forth on the switchbacks up to the bridge.  I passed a few guys, and a few passed me.  After I peaked the crest of the hill, no one else would pass me for the rest of the race. 

In the middle of the bridge, I heard what was definitely female breathing behind me.  I glanced to my right, and sure enough, a woman was giving me a run for my money.  Crap, I thought.  I'm going to have to push harder on this part.  It was still slightly uphill and I didn't feel like going faster yet, so I let her take the lead for a bit, until a slight downhill began.  At that point, I decided I had no reason not to push harder now, and picked up the pace.  During that time, I passed one guy and for the remainder of the race, would be staring at the back of the singlet of a man about 30-40 meters ahed of me.  

Mile 3 was almost all downhill, as we snaked our way down along the water, to Chrissy Field.  The next 3 miles can be summarized the same: I was running scared, unsure of where the woman was behind me.  I listened for people cheering, and deduced that she probably was pretty far back from me, but I still couldn't be 100% certain.  These miles were flat, along the bay, overlooking Alcatraz Island.  The sun was shining directly into my eyes and I tried to focus on the man in front of me because my legs were starting to feel pretty tired. By mile 7, I had caught the guy in front of me, but on the steep 400m climb, he passed me right back.  On the downhill into the finish, I wasn't able to catch him, and lost motivation to kick it in any harder.  I was pretty tired.

 Max, Caitlin and Michael at the end of the race

Max, Caitlin and Michael at the end of the race

I got to break the finish line tape, which is a first for me in a California race.  Even though I won the 2016 Pride Run and the 2016 San Francisco Half, they didn't have tape at the finish lines.  So, it was pretty special to win!  My goal for this year is to win the PA USATF Long Distance Grand Prix, and this win helps secure my #1 position.  

At the end of the race, Max, Michael and I very slowly cooled down before the awards and then walked to a cute neighborhood brunch spot.  All in all, everyone was pleased with their performance!

 

Week in Review: 5/28/18

This week's stats:

  • 72 miles with 2 doubles
  • 10M with 45 minutes of 30s on / 2:30 off for splits of 631/626/626/629/646/625
  • 12M MLR
  • 9M with 45 min of 45s on / 2:15 off for splits of 634/628/634/633/635/628/630
  • 12M MLR with 4M @ 635-645, 4 miles of 1 min on/off in 613 ave, 4M tempo in 613/611/603/556
 Just a lil bike ride on Memorial Day!

Just a lil bike ride on Memorial Day!

Sometimes the universe just aligns itself so that you have a regular training buddy.  That's definitely what happened this week.  Tania is injured with a mystery hip issue, and that means that Job is eager to run with me.  I'm totally cool knowing that I'm his #2 priority.  I'm never gonna complain about company on a run!  This week was my first week back to "real" training since the Vancouver Half.  I started out with two fartlek variation workouts, all based on effort, without looking at the watch to check paces.  I had Jay help out for one, and Job for another.  It was a win-win situation for all as each of us are targeting races in early October.  

Even though it was quite warm on a workout day and on the long run day, I still came away feeling really happy with my effort this week.  I'm definitely starting to get excited for the summer of training!  The week was nice because of the Memorial Day holiday, which allowed me to get in a bike ride with Peter on Arastadero!

Week in Review: 5/21/18

This week's stats:

  • 65 Miles with 0 days off
  • 12M MLR
  • 14M Hilly Los Altos Hills run @ 6:51 pace
 Sonoma

Sonoma

After running Bay to Breakers, this week was just about coming back and enjoying running with friends.  I ran with Natalie, Victoria, Jonah, Jenna, Shal, Tom, Nick, Jay, Ben, Peter, and Jeff this week!  Incredible! I welcomed a long holiday weekend, because Peter and I have spent so many weekends either traveling or hosting guests that it was time for us to just live at the seat of our pants.  We decided last minute to go to Sonoma to check out a few wineries.  The weather was a little on the hot side, but we had a blast checking out the scenery with Alex.  

Bay to Breakers 12KM Race Recap

This week's stats:

  • 55 Miles with 0 days off
  • 2 Lift Sessions with Lyndsay @ Evolution Trainers with Pete
  • 10M with mini tempo with Jenna
  • Bay to Breakers 12KM Race:  12th OA, 4th Bay Area, 44:29 with splits of 533, 12:27, 617, 602, 544, 545, 2:41
  • 3 days with my mom
 Matching fur!

Matching fur!

So, I took 7 days off last week and this week I raced a 12KM across the city of San Francisco.  But neither of things are as important as the fact that I GOT MY CAT CICERO BACK!!!!!  It.  Is.  Official.  I am a cat mom again!  After 28 months, Cicero is a finally a resident of California. 

While I fretted over whether or not Cicero would disappear during the moments he'd have to go through the security machine at the airport, my brother flawlessly escorted my cat through the airport with ease, and safely secured him below the seat in front of him.  After several reassuring texts, my mom, brother and cat were in the air, flying from St. Louis to San Jose.  

 Seriously, how CUTE is my mama???

Seriously, how CUTE is my mama???

 

We spent most of the weekend doing normal things, such as making vegan treats in my dehydrator with mom, going on a mini-hike at Rancho San Antonio, making dinner together and watching Westworld.  My mom even got to watch me race, which she hopefully has enjoyed for the last 22 years.    We didn't hang much in the city, most likely because I had a race on Sunday, but I hope that next time we can do more things in nature!  

So - about Bay to Breakers.  Boy, it was rough.  Honestly, coming out of the Vancouver Half, I wasn't in the right mind space to race again.  I felt pretty burnt out...most likely because I had been running strong since December's Club XC Champs.  I needed a break.  And so I took that break, and did not run for a week after Vancouver.  I would have taken even more days off, but I've spent so much money on making a new place my home that I wanted to take a stab at getting some $$ from the local bay area Bay to Breakers prize purse.  So, with that, I decided to start running after 7 days off, mostly so my legs weren't in shock when I raced up the 1000M climb on Hayes Street. 

While last year's race went pretty well, this year was the opposite.  It was windy.  There was a lot more competition.  Ultimately, I ran 40 seconds slower than last year.  Two or three women just blasted me on the final 3 miles of the course, which is where I really excelled last year.  My legs felt completely zapped after peaking at the top of Golden Gate Park, and I barely could find it within me to push as hard as I did last year on the downhill stretch from mile 5 to the finish line.  

To complicate matters, with about 300 meters to go, I felt like my heart couldn't keep up with the effort level I was sustaining.  The only natural thing to do was the slow down, which I did for about 10 meters.  I seriously thought I might not be able to finish the race.  I wasn't sure if it was a heart attack, so I just did what felt like the most natural thing - slow down.  After slowing down, it felt more normal, but the odd sensation came back again, so I slowed again.  Ultimately, my heart started to feel normal again and I obviously finished the race.  But, I should probably get that checked out.  As I write this (4 weeks later), I still have not seen a cardiologist.  

Regardless, I ended up 4th place Bay Area resident, which was good enough for $250.  With my goal achieved, I could rest easy and spend the rest of Sunday hanging with my family!

Week in Review: 5/7/18

This week's stats:

  • 0 miles
  • 2 Lift Sessions
  • 4 days in CLT

I didn't run this week.  Instead, I traveled to Charlotte for work.  I surprised Aaron for his 45th birthday.  And I melted in the NC heat.  It was time for a much needed break, and I thoroughly enjoyed every second!

Vancouver Race Recap

This week's stats:

  • 58 miles
  • 10M with 1M @ 542, 2x800m @ 240/238 with 2:00 jog, 1M @ 536, 2 x 400m @ 80/76
  • Half Marathon Race in 1:17:55, 4th place, with splits of
    • 5KM: 17:58 (547 pace)
    • 10KM: 18:41 (36:39) 601 pace
    • 15KM: 18:41 (55:20) 601 pace
    • 21.1KM: 22:35 (1:17:55) which is 18:30 5KM pace / 557 pace

It is very unlike me to not do research about a race and its course before I sign up.  I made an assumption, based on the fast times two of my friends posted at Vancouver, that the BMO Vancouver Half Marathon would be flat and fast.  Boy, was I SO very wrong!  I even convinced two other women - Jenna and Emilee - to do the race as well, with the misled expectation of getting a PR.  Face palm.

The course can best be summarized with a text from Jenna afterwards:  "Did you see that on Garmin, the course had 890 feet elevation gain."

So, there's that.  Here's how the course unfolded:  first there was a a very steep downhill for the first 2 miles.  Then there was a steep uphill for 600 meter around 6KM.  Then about every 1-2KM there was a hill that would pop up and just zap my legs of energy.  But, regardless of the hills that made me have splits so slow that I thought for certain the markers MUST be off, the course was beautiful and I left wanting to move to Vancouver.  

The elite coordinator, Lynn, is an Olympic Bronze Medalist in the 3,000M from the famed 1984 race with Zola Budd and Mary Decker.  Lynn did an incredible job putting on a fantastic event and making sure the elites didn't have to worry about the small things.  

At the start of the race, I figured my best case scenario would be to get fourth place, given that there was a Canadian national champion (Tasha Wodak), an African and one other who had much better PRs than me.  My goal was to come in fourth then.  I went out in the first 4KM trying to pace myself on the downhill, knowing there would be at least some small climbs later in the race. 

By 5KM, the top 3 women were so far in front that I knew I just had to maintain my position to reach my goal.  After 6KM, I was running with a pack of men and there were not any women around.  We climbed up another big hill back in downtown Vancouver before making our way to Stanley Park.  Here, I ran with two guys side-by-side, until they would drop me on a longer uphill.  I would eventually catch back up to them on a downhill, but it was rough for me mentally on the hills.  With 5KM to go, I was seriously doubting why I thought this course would be fast, but I knew that didn't matter at the current moment, so I focused instead on staying with the dudes around me.

With one final turn, we rounded in for a loooong 1000m climb up to the finish line.  It was absolutely brutal.  Crossing the finish line, I walked over to Peter immediately and said  "I'm definitely not doing Bay to Breakers."    I feel like this is a good indicator of how crushed I felt coming out of this race.  As I waited for Jenna, Erin and Emilee to finish, I reflected on my thoughts about the race and what's next.  I realized that this was my slowest half time in years.  All in all, with training for a track season for the first time in a decade, moving and consistently training since January, my body was ready for a break.   I decided to take at least a week off and go from there. 

Overall, it was a blast exploring Vancouver both during the race and after.  It's such a beautiful city with incredible food, super nice people and spectacular views!  I definitely learned my lesson to do better research next time before I convince athletes I coach to do a race for a PR!

Week in Review: 4/23/18

This week's stats:

  • 70 Miles
  • 14M with 3 x 2 mile with Jenna via 546/543 (2:06), 548/547 (2:06), 554/547, 1M jog, 800m in 2:44
  • 12M MLR
  • 14M with 5M via 607/605/602/559/547
 Hauling all my belongings a half mile to my new house!

Hauling all my belongings a half mile to my new house!

With just 7 days until the Vancouver Half, it was time to focus on just getting in the workouts while also packing up my stuff and moving into a new place!  Even though I only moved a half mile from my old Stierlin Road house, it still is a lot of work to pack up, haul it over and then unpack.  But, ever since I moved from North Carolina, I realized that there is lot of stuff you just don't actually need, so I was able to fit everything but my bed into my car!  Then Jason strapped my mattress onto the roof of his Ford Explorer and - viola! - all my stuff was in the new place!  Also, since Stierlin was furnished with all the kitchen needs, I realized there were all sorts of little things - such as dishes, glasses, scissors, etc - that I needed to buy.  So, after several trips to the store and lots of help from friends, we finally moved in to our own place. We even had time to be social and head up to Oakland for Athena's birthday party.  Even more impressive, we were able to have the house in good enough shape to host my sister on Sunday night!  I'm definitely glad the move is done before I head to Vancouver.