T, Me and my Mosquito Bite do a 5K

Something bit me.

On Thursday night I decided to do some jogging outside to prepare one last time for this upcoming 5K.  I really fell behind training outside - it's very different jogging on asphalt and on uneven surfaces rather than the treadmill.   So I got home from work, changed into running gear, waited a little for the heavy commuter traffic to die down and headed up my main street for about 3 miles or so.

I don't know exactly when I got bit but by the time I got home the area behind my left knee was itchy and starting to swell.  By Friday I had about a 4 inch swollen disk-like welt forming and I was wondering if maybe it was a spider bite.  Hideous.  I just kept piling on the cortizone cream so I wouldn't scratch and make it worse.  I'm hugely sensitive to mosquito bites so I figured I'd just given an extra pint of blood that night out jogging.

My friend P inspired me to try running a little over a year ago.  Some of you who have followed my posts from the beginning in here may recall me mentioning her a few times.  She recommended the Couch to 5K program as a way for a beginner runner to, yes, get off the couch and slowly get into running by walking and jogging in various intervals a few times a week.  Gradually the amount of walking decreases as the jogging increases.  At the end of the program it's pretty much jogging 30 minutes 3 times a week, which is right around the time one can complete a 5K at a decent pace.  Don't you love the name "Couch to 5K" - ? 

In fact, it was my plunge into the Couch to 5K program last summer that got me into what is now this Blog.  I started posting my weekly progress in my Facebook Notes, and some people started leaving comments, cheering me on, and seeming to like what I had to say and how I injected some humor into my recaps.  So combine a few good strokes and being out of work last summer and fall and - ta daaaaaa - here we are nearly a year later in fivenineteen!

Today's 5K was the 16th annual Swedish SummeRun, a benefit for ovarian cancer research underwritten by Swedish Medical Center, a highly-renowned, non-profit medical provider in Seattle's First Hill neighborhood, just east up the hill from the downtown core.  A couple of months ago my friend T asked if I'd like to do this with her and I said YES without hesitation. 

I went to the registration site online, paid my fee and then saw the fine print:


Ummm...are you kidding me?  Start time is at 6:30am?  I'm a terrible morning person, even moreso on the weekends.  But it made total sense to get an early start as it's usually pretty hot here this time of year and the course is on asphalt.

Side note:  if you are planning an outdoor event in the Seattle area, plan it for this last weekend in July.  Statistics show it's only rained here once or twice that weekend in about 70 years - no joke!  And even this year where our summer's been a little shy, soggy and schizo, she delivered the goods this weekend.  Sunshine!

This was only my 3rd ever 5K (I did two last summer) so I'm still perfecting my routine of what to wear, eat and how to get a good night's sleep the night before.  Given I suck at mornings, I tend to freak out that my alarm is misset or won't go off when it's supposed to.  And I toss and turn like a dumbass the night before, when normally I'm a very sound sleeper.  I do this whenever I have a special occasion early the next morning, like a flight to catch or some other event.  And I have to rely on adrenaline to get me through the next day.  So while my routine may still be gelling, I know how I'll behave the night before and how I'll get through.  And I laugh at myself too - that helps.

Thankfully that 6:30am was for the start of sign-in, not the run itself.  And thankfully there is zero traffic at that hour on Sunday mornings.  I met T at a park and ride lot and we carpooled into the city. I left my house a little later than I'd planned but it was eerily quiet on the streets and I pretty much zoomed to the park and ride and didn't hit any stoplights (I took surface streets).  I guess it was too early even for the cops as well.  Lake Washington was calm and gloriously glassy.  I spotted tons of street barricades in downtown Bellevue just waiting to be lined up again for the arts & crafts fair later in the day (a HUGE event).

It was a postcard-perfect day...blue sky and zero clouds.  T and I got our number bibs, timing chips for our shoes and just hung out for awhile soaking in the surroundings.  The hospitals go on for blocks and blocks in the First Hill neighborhood.  I looked upwards at the buildings and wondered, wow, somewhere in this neighborhood was where I came into the world!  Deep.

This was a well-organized event with an emcee telling us where to go and when, and a live band keeping us entertained while we waited.  The 10K race kicked off first, followed by the 5K runners and walkers.

And as we got underway, I remembered what I told myself on my inaugural 5K last summer:  run your own race!!

I was really excited to try this course as I'd never run in Seattle proper before.  My prior 2 5Ks were in much more rural areas.  The route took us through part of First Hill and up north into Capitol Hill toward Volunteer Park and Seattle Preparatory School.  What a trip jogging through what are usually jam-packed city streets.  I could really take in and admire the beautiful homes in these well-established neighborhoods. 

How can you not have fun and be in a great mood on a gorgeous morning, outside exercising, knowing this is for a great cause?  Well, one douchebag bystander apparently had a big glass of Grumpy for breakfast, for as I passed him he was bitching to a cop, complaining about his street being closed!  For the love of all things holy, dude, I'm sure you and your neighbors were notified up the wazzoo about this!  "I'm gonna complain to the Mayor about this..." he yelled.  Umm, sure, you do that, Dude.

Oh 12th Avenue East, you sneaky little bitch.  This was the long, northward part of our course and dang if that oh-so-slight incline upwards didn't kick me in the ass (and lungs) at some point.  Yikes.  I slowed down and walked a bit.  Then I passed the 1st mile marker.  Only 1 mile down?  Holy moly I am out of shape.

The 5K course veered off to the west and then back south again along 11th Avenue.  And we suddenly merged in with the rest of the 10K runners - many looked like they hadn't even broken a sweat!  Wow.  At every corner there were volunteers cheering us on and random people passing by who were waving, thanking us - gosh that felt great!  And cops standing by as well - one was even blasting Lady Gaga from his parked car and I gave him a thumbs up.  I kept on jogging as I swooped up a cup of water at the water stop (thank you, volunteers!)  And then BOOM...another unevenly paved steep hill up East Howell.

And then at the top of that hill I suddenly saw a huge sea of walkers all in teal green (the color for ovarian cancer awareness).  Team Leslie.  The emcee had announced this Team was over 300 strong and by far the largest one participating!  Wow, how moving!  I wondered who Leslie is and if she's still with us or not.  Whomever she is or was, she is remarkable I'm sure.

And how wonderful are those neighbors who turned on their sprinklers and pointed them into the street for us!  The sun was rising ever higher and it was getting hotter and hotter minute by minute, so a quick dash through a few sprinklers felt amazing.

Well dang, we had one last hill to conquer and then we were onto the finish line at Swedish Hospital!  I didn't even notice the clocks or anyone cheering as we got closer to the finish line.  I tend to get into focused, tunnel vision mode at that point and everything goes silent those last couple hundred feet or so.  In the Zone I guess!

I had such a great time at this race and it was even more special being there with T as it was her very first and she did amazing!  Her friend J had joined as well and she is really interested in getting people together for triathalon training.  Ummm, sure I'll go swim a few laps perhaps, but baby steps for now.

My 5K time?  41:08.  Not bad for having fallen off the training wagon, walking a bit and a somewhat-hilly course! 

Someday I will finish a 5K in under 30 minutes.  Time to step it up!


Soaking in Those Compliments...Post #70!

Seventy posts??  How in the hell did I churn out that many these past nine or ten months?  I'm having a blast in here and if any of you out there take a little time to read or skim my ramblings my heartfelt and humble thanks!  If you found me here by accident, take a moment to check out some other posts as it's a big, fun ball of random in here.

It's a beautiful mid-July weekend and somehow I came down with a stupid cold just in time for it.  I woke up yesterday with a slightly tickly, sore throat but I thought it was from perhaps accidentally sleeping with my mouth open for awhile (meaning, my throat was all dry and irritated).  But hmmm...is it allergies or a cold?  Sadly, I don't have time for either.  I'm running a 5K a week from this Sunday and am woefully behind in my training plans.  And my energy level is going up and down in waves even as I sit here typing.  Methinks it's a cold.

So, since I need to get the neon white legs moving and prep for this 5K but felt a little rundown this morning I got a jumpstart:  I made a pot of coffee.  Forza Coffee in the Italiano blend.  Fabulous stuff.  I love it so much I even picked up an extra pound bag for a good friend of mine who loves her coffee and has been out of town for a week.  I swung by her house last night to water her plants and take care of a few things and put her coffee on the kitchen counter in lavender gift wrap.  A nice welcome back gift I hope!

What a difference a couple of months make!  Remember all my bitching and moaning about the job search and how once I got my current offer my start date was delayed over three weeks (causing me to re-resume connections with other opportunities I'd declined thinking I'd be at this new gig fairly quickly)?  I can't believe how fast the time has flown.  And how much I've soaked in and learned. And how while I won't soon forget the stress and anger from all those delays the layers are slowly sloughing away.

Getting comfortable in a new job takes time.  I haven't even begun to begin to understand all the nuances of my current work assignment and this company's business unit in general.  And it's refreshing to discover that a lot of what we're doing is actually new in general so even those who've been around since things got underway a couple of years ago (which is eternity in the world of technology) are also marching ahead into new, uncharted territory.  Yep, we're all in this together!

I can't quite put my finger on exactly when it happened, but in the past few weeks a bunch of things started clicking.  I suddenly understood more about different people's roles and what exactly that means, not just their titles.  I learned how to not get lost in the crazy, labyrinthian hallways - good grief these buildings are butt kickers.  And I started slowly carving out a few things to take ownership of, document and speak to in meetings.  How wonderful a feeling after all these months with no job and feeling like a ship without a rudder to start to feeling a little more stable.

And with that comes a more relaxed Me in general - and my humor and more layers of my personality come out.  I love friendly banter and having a good laugh as people get better acquainted with me and me with them.  I LOVE being around people in general - a strong team environment is absolutely crucial for me to feel productive at work, so while it's nice to have technology to telecommute (and a work culture that supports this wholeheartedly) I choose to come to the office and be fully present.  Plus I'm still developing rapport and relationships with the various groups, and the best way to do that is face to face.  After being at home and out of work for so long it's nice to get out of the house on a daily basis for a change of scenery (along with getting stuff done and real paychecks, woo hoo!)

Some of you may know I worked onsite at this same company for about 7 1/2 years, but in a completely different part of the business.  Those were transforming years personally and professionally.  I made the switch from having direct reports, managing technical teams of 15-20 or so, into Project Management and had about 4 or 5 job changes to get there.  I first set foot on the campus in 1999 a month shy of turning 32 and left in the fall of 2006 at age 39.  Lots can happen in those years and sure as hell did.  Y2K. An opportunity to move out of state (which I turned down).  A few relationships - some serious, some not.  September 11th.  The loss of two grandparents, my cousin's 2 1/2 year old son (a horrific drowning accident), and the welcoming of my 2 nephews and niece for starters.

So returning back to this company after a 4 year hiatus has been an interesting journey.  The culture is pretty much the same as I remember but maybe has a slightly softer edge to it.  Is this really true or is it just me with a softer filter - both physically and perhaps mentally too, ha ha.  Ah, the joys of early middle age.

One thing that I remember well is the "no news is good news" culture, especially for someone in a contingent role (my work assignment is slated to run a year).  That hasn't changed at all.  If you're doing as expected you likely won't hear anything.  But if there's a concern or problem you will and in extreme cases you will be excused from your assignment and asked to leave.  It's just that simple. There is a high-energy, silent vibe of restlessness deep in this company's core.  It's rare to hear kudos and praise - maybe a nice thanks or two - but expectations are high and when they're met that just simply isn't good enough.  Everyone is expected to constantly stretch, innovate and DO MORE.

So you can imagine my surprise when out of the blue a peer of my manager - I'm working with his team getting a new project framed up and underway - suddenly asked me, "How long were you at this company your last time here again?"  And when I told him he asked if I had been contingent or full-time permanent.  [I'd been contingent].  He asked if I'd ever considered pursuing a full-time opportunity here past or present and I about fell on the floor.  I did NOT expect to hear this and certainly wasn't fishing.  "...you're doing a GREAT job, fivenineteen, and you're definitely this company's type of material." Um...WOW. Now THAT was unexpected. 

He also mentioned he's noticed my tactic of just going in head first and going for it, whatever "it" might be with our work.  Yes, that's the life of a consultant/contractor...dive into the deep end of the pool and figure it out already! I joke that zooming in and out of different work assignments (this is my 5th in the 4 years since leaving this company in 2006) feels like being an Army Brat or an exchange student.  You get some thick skin and learn how to learn quickly. I may have floated through the rest of the day in a state of glorious shock receiving those compliments.

A few minutes later I got an email in response to some documentation I'd prepared following a kickoff session.  "My God, you are amazing."  This came from one of our technical gurus.  He admired how well I was able to focus and capture what we'd covered and how quickly the documents were put together and distributed.  OK, I'll take it!  Damn that felt good.

After months and months of No or Non-Responsiveness during these past jobless months I shamelessly eat up kudos with a spoon.  Because around here, they're few and far between.  By design.

And if that wasn't enough strumming of my strings I also received some good strokes from one of the journalists I met last weekend at a friend's dinner party.  Talk about uber incredible listening skills - she remembered many of the things we'd talked about and acknowledged them in an email to me after skimming through a couple of my posts in here.  Food for a part of my soul that didn't even know it was starving:

"Maybe you should think about doing more writing for public outlets as well."


Wonderfully Tired

Ever have one of those days that starts out fabulous and then just keeps getting better and better into the evening?  A day that is so scrumptious and delicious it feels like more than one day?  I pinched myself yesterday to remind me I still had one day left of the weekend...Sunday!

I actually kicked off the weekend with a beer after work with a few of my new co-workers on Friday.  The entire week had a funny vibe to it as not only was it a short workweek after the 4th of July holiday but the SUN and HOT WEATHER suddenly arrived like a hot bomb out of nowhere.  After a soggy, cold spring (including a wet, miserable 4th of July under umbrellas for those brave enough to head out to the fireworks shows) it was a breath of fresh, hot sunshine we so desperately needed.  So we headed over to the Three Lions Pub right next to the British Pantry in Redmond for a quick toast and some laughs.

Saturday was an amazing day both indoors and out.  I met my friend L for lunch and spa'ing - something we'd talked about doing to celebrate my birthday last year but we never got around to it.  And then *poof* another year went by so we decided THIS was the year to do it.  Had it really been an entire year?  Funny how when you get to be our age a year is a blink of an eye, not a long, drawn out period of Wait.

L is one of the 4 or 5 friends I get together with a few times a year for dinner.  One of my old friends going all the way back to elementary school.  I can look at her and smile and not say a word and I know she's remembering the same things I am too - walking to school together, boy drama, growing up issues in general...we sat outside for lunch overlooking Lake Washington and just relishing how gorgeous it was outside.  My default lunch drink order is (plain) iced tea and a glass of water.  But we jazzed it up this time and toasted with a couple of bloody marys.  Nice.

After a couple of ho-hum salads we headed over to the spa at the Woodmark Hotel for some major pampering...facials and manicures!  L was SO generous treating me to this!  The spa is newly-remodeled and just recently re-opened about a week ago so this was my first time back after it had been closed for a few months.  So fun seeing my long-time esthetician M and giving her a big hug!  She truly, truly loves what she does and it shows.

Now, I've been going to this spa for nearly 10 years but hardly ever have gotten a facial.  Just some periodic waxing (peach fuzz on the face and, ummmm, some 'downstairs' cleanup too - heh) and brow tinting.  Not real pampering like a facial.

And boy did I forget what I'd been missing!  The facial experience is not only steaming, extractions, masking and other treatments but also a neck, shoulder and pecs massage as well.  I guess I really was overdue for this as I literally felt like tensions were released and now flowing freely through my entire body.  I felt like I was floating on air when it was over.

Next, we changed out of our spa robes and slippers and headed over to get manicures.  I normally love to keep my nails polished and groomed but the past few weeks I've just kept it to clear polish and some filing to keep them neat.  So, it was time to bust out some bright pink!  And the forearm massage and heated paraffin treatment were out of this world.  Again, I felt the tension in my arms - which I didn't realize I'd had - release like an internal, freed-up logjam and just FLOW.  Just flowing away into nothingness.

Behind L and me were a couple of other women celebrating a birthday and I laughed when one of them started getting a little lively on her second glass of champagne.  "HEY!  Is that Pink #14?"  I smiled and looked over my shoulder..."why yes, it is!!"  HA!  Damn if that girl has an eagle eye for polish colors or what!  Too funny.

I gave L a huge hug and thank you for such a generous gift!  We both looked relaxed and glowing...this spa treatment stuff works wonders!  I strolled leisurely back to my car and drove home in a state of relaxed bliss.

But the day wasn't over yet.

I headed off to a dinner party at another friend's house (yes, another "L" and her boyfriend D).  L has a fabulous, large L-shaped backyard which is perfect for outdoor dining and entertaining.  And on summer nights like this Saturday it was the perfect showcase.  Dining outside by candlelight surrounded by wonderful people, incredible food, barbecued ribs, chicken, salmon, you name it...wine, roasted beets, salads...a foodie's paradise.  And the surroundings of her garden...the hydrangeas, herbs and other flowers in a secluded backyard was just, well, magical.  Humorous and sophisticated conversation...books, travel...I found myself enjoying incredible salmon and salad seated right next to two long-time journalists; I learned one had written one of the very first books about the greenhouse effect (which was endorsed by then-Senator Al Gore).  Wow!  What a ground breaker.

And while it may seem a little vain or silly, I gotta say it here:  I actually went totally bare-faced to this party.  ZERO makeup.  I stopped home after my facial to quickly change clothes, grab a bottle of wine and head up to the house.  I was running a little late - beyond what might be considered fashionably late - and I glanced at myself in the mirror.  Oh my goodness...I was glowing!  My face looked fresh and relaxed.  My skin tone looked even...the famous ruddy cheeks looked toned down and not screaming for a coverup of foundation or powder.  And my mood was so relaxed I didn't feel self-conscious at all.  What a fabulous day (and evening!)

And even today (Sunday) - that sneaky, ever-deepening vertical furrow in my brow?  Nearly vanished.

I may have found an alternative to a first-time Botox appointment after all.


My Radiating Forearms...

I haven't had a good road trip out of town - or ANY time out of town for that matter - in about a year.  OK, except for a couple business trips earlier in 2009, but those were truly just like getting off a plane and then working in a building with different scenery outside.  No time for any R&R to explore or spend time with relatives in those cities. 

I look back on the past 365 days or so and now I realize why I hadn't taken any time away - the good ol' job hunt.  I was so focused on networking, interviewing and finding a new job that I didn't carve out time to get out of town for awhile and just relax.  It might sound silly now, but I know myself well...if I HAD forced myself to take a short vacation I would not have been able to truly relax.  I would have been stewing and wondering if that weekend or week I'd chosen to go off the grid - out of cell phone range, say - might have been THE time a wonderful new opportunity would have come and gone unbeknownst to me.  Especially in this still-shaky economy and all.  Job hunting WAS my full-time job.  And there still is residual networking going on; this new gig is now a few weeks under my belt and I am slowing merging in the traffic and getting in a groove.  I do hope I can hang my hat with this team for awhile but I've also learned that nothing is ever given or constant.

So, at last it was time for a long-overdue break! 

Funny though, I really don't feel overly wound up or stressed about work just yet...when you've been at a job just a few weeks there still is a big element of "I don't know what I don't know."  Typical ramping-up stuff.  Seriously...in just 5 or 6 weeks we've already had Memorial Day and now the 4th of July.  I don't feel I've "earned" days off just yet but I'll take it!

And what better place to take a long weekend than at one of the getaways most near and dear to my heart...Ocean Park, WA.

No, no, not Ocean Shores - Ocean PARK.  Take a moment to find it on a map!

How can such a tiny, mile-wide peninsula be packed with so many memories and so much love?  Yes, this magical place is full of generations of goodness. 

And getting there is half the fun.  I cut my workday short on Friday, threw the laptop briefcase in the trunk of my car and blasted out of town.  I've always loved road trips and never got tired of watching the world go by when we'd go to Ocean Park every summer when I was a kid.  I couldn't wait to be old enough to drive - to drive that route myself.

Once I get off the main freeway full of RVs, campers and motor homes in the stop and go traffic and onto the more rural, 2-lane highways it starts getting even more exciting.  The highways zoom through beautiful farmland and mud flats...the extreme southern end of Puget Sound. I see political campaign signs for people I've never heard of.  Fireworks stands.  I'd forgotten to bring CDs for the trip but that's no worry...I blast the radio.  I smile as I keep driving and the radio stations begin to sputter and fight with one another.  That's when I REALLY know I'm getting away. 

I drive through the twist and turns of Highway 101.  How many hundreds of times have I driven or ridden this route - it's new to me every single time.  Glorious.  I pass through miles of stumpy stumps - trees cut down either from logging over the years or that blew down during the big storms last winter.  I spot a turnoff for a now ill-fated condo/housing development - how strange to have its access road look so desolate.  Gone are the huge, promotional signs; all that remains is the street sign turnoff which I nearly missed.  And the access road is smack in the middle of the stumpy stumps.  But why does that road intrigue me so?  I always toy with the idea of turning off the highway and checking out side streets to the smaller towns for random detours...Brooklyn, Melbourne, Bay Center...even the logging roads which look both inviting and ominous.  Probably not a good idea for those steep, gravelly roads in my sedan. 

I arrive at the family beach home and bring my bag and extra tote into the mud room.  I turn around and whammo!  It's my 3-year-old nephew ready to give me a big hug!  Melt my heart.  Follow that by my hugs from my other nephew and my niece and I tell you, YES this is going to be a great getaway for sure.

There is something about the sound of the ocean and the salt air; I always sleep like a ROCK at the beach.  Not that I have trouble sleeping in general, but out there I always feel extra refreshed and rested.  And when I wake up I smile...I could be 5, 15, 22, 35...I've been coming to this house nearly every summer since I was an infant.  The memories run deep.

I look out at the meadow in front of our family home out to the west toward the ocean.  I'm in awe at the changes the ocean and dunes slowly yet dramatically unfold over the years.  What was once open sand and a clear view of the ocean waves just a 1/4 mile walk or so is now nearly eclipsed by a whole new generation of growing sand dunes, covered in green beach grass.  In fact, the trail we used to walk through so many times to the ocean directly in front of the house is nearly grown over once you pass the mowed-down, groomed meadow area.  We use a semi-paved, public access road a short walk up the street to get to the ocean now instead.

Fabulous, slow-paced mornings coated in mist...morning mist so thick it's hard to see where it ends and the ocean's horizon begins. And it sprinkles so lightly on my sunglasses (I'm really sensitive to glare and wear 'em even on cloudy days).  I spent this time out jogging with my brother, sister-in-law and their 3 kids on bikes just cruising around the side streets of Ocean Park.  I remind myself I've got a 5K in Seattle mere weeks away! 

We had an amazing gathering at another family home in Oysterville - a small town on the Willapa Bay side of the peninsula about 5 miles away.  So wonderful seeing aunts/uncles/cousins and friends again to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of my Dad's cousin and her husband.  Great conversations, food, relay races on the huge lawn for the kids.  And...SUNSHINE!  The sun has been incredibly elusive this spring so far, but holy smokes if it didn't bust out with some seriously blue sky mid afternoon.  And, as a result...my radiating (meaning, sunburned) forearms!  I'm one to bathe in sunscreen as a lot of you probably know, but the forecast was for heavy clouds and drizzle so I left the sunscreen at home. It felt good to feel warm sun especially since the Seattle area summer has been anything but.  Yes, my friends, yours truly can get sunburned even at 3:30 or 4:00 in the afternoon!

I watch the neighborhood fireworks sparkle and crackle against the soggy, grey, cloudy skies the next day and in the evening on TV after I get back home...like I told my young nephews and niece, the 4th of July goes on, rain or shine!  Happy Birthday, USA!!

So what to bring/wear at this laid back and fantastic, relaxing destination on the coast?  Key point:  LOW maintenance.

Now for me, "low maintenance" is always peppered with some luxuries...
What's in my getaway bag and tote?
  • Burberry shimmer-check cosmetics case - the perfect size to hold just a few essentials.
  • Dior Day 1 sunnies - these are my first real pair of super nice sunglasses.
  • Estee Lauder Double Wear foundation (SPF 10).  Might sound a little silly to wear makeup at a beach home getaway, however this stuff goes on lightweight and evens out my super ruddy cheeks.  Plus, the sunscreen saved my (facial) skin that afternoon my forearms got sunburned.
  • Lancome Bienfait Multi-vital sunscreen, SPF 30.  This stuff is so light it feels like a moisturizer, not a thick, high-powered sunscreen. It goes under my foundation and does its job.
  • MAC Greasepaint Stick in Dirty:  a fun, thick taupey-brown liner with a tiny touch of sparkle.  Just a little on my upper lids is a nice, finished look without looking too "done."
  • Makeup For Ever Smokey Lash mascara:  a little on the upper lashes is great.  A champ for travel.
  • A little lip balm and that's it!
  • Hair products?  I keep it simple...and leave the flat iron AT HOME.  Ahh, relief!
  • A good baseball hat, windbreaker, polar fleece top, couple pairs of sweats, yoga pants, t-shirts and Merrell or Keen sandals and you're good to go.
Oh, and don't forget the sunscreen...even on those cloudy days.