Aug 10, 2010

Ready For the Flood!

I went on an easy 5ish mile run today after I got home from work and made it a point to take a picture of this:

Because the other day as I was driving around town, I saw this:

While I was running, I was trying to come up with some reasonable explanation for this.  Pack rat extremists?  Or maybe they were too lazy to have to pack and then unpack all of their things, so they just decided to literally pick up the whole house and move it.  Or they were robbed!!  I wish I got a picture of the police officer pushing a stalled minivan from behind as the owner of the car sat in the driver's seat and steered.  I don't think that was something he signed up for that day.

As for my run, it was just OK.  Knees were bothering, left shoulder was hurting, pain in my feet (especially the right), and my low back on the left side still kind of hurts from when I slept funny on my couch.  I feel like an old granny and smell like one too since I used tiger balm.  I'm really hoping I don't get hurt to the point where I can't run the marathon (knock on wood).  So I know I must be good about taking care of myself after my runs.  Ice ice baby!

Aug 9, 2010

Let The Marathon Training Begin!!

My brother and I are officially signed up for the Honolulu Marathon, so that means it's time to start training!  It's been a long while since I've written on this thing, and I figured this would probably be a better time than ever to get started again.  I decided to join a training group since it will be my first marathon and figured I'd need the extra help when trying to complete 20-something miles on my own.  The group I'm with is training for the California International Marathon in Sac in December, which worked out because it's exactly one week before the Honolulu Marathon.  Our first long run was yesterday in Sac, and I felt awesome on this one, especially my knees.  We ran along the American River, and it was nice to actually see a body of water.. I don't remember the last time I ran near water?  Anyway, it was just pleasant to run a different route than the same old ones I'm used to.  What's also nice is that with the other people around you running too, it almost feels like a race setting minus the bib, so I think it helped push me a little bit.  It was the one time I actually felt really awkward to pass people.  Usually in races, I almost make it a goal to pass someone I see in front of me, but it was supposed to be an easy run, so they probably just thought I was a showoff or something.  I'm really not a fast runner and what really happened was that I started late at the beginning as I was fumbling with my iPod, changing the settings and getting it to play, so I just started way in the back.  If I explained this to them, then they would probably just call me an idiot and say I don't need music to run and should enjoy nature's sound.  Whatever.  In either case, I enjoyed my run :)

Disneyland Half Marathon is coming up faster than I expected, and I'll be headed down to Southern California in a couple weeks for that.  So yesterday after we did our 5 mile long run, I ended up doing an extra 3 just to stay on top of my half marathon training.  I think that extra 3 miles gave me a new perspective on Sacramento.  I always stereotyped it as being this run down, ghetto city where I have to hunch down a little as I'm driving in my car and double check to make sure I locked my doors, but it actually has some really nice parts of town.  I got lost in these neighborhood streets and just stared at each house as I ran by it.  They were all these custom homes with perfectly trimmed yards, and the old oak trees canopied over the street.  As a kid, I remember my mom taking me to look at model homes or even just driving through really nice neighborhoods and how much I liked it.  It was a great way to enjoy my Sunday morning and am excited to find more of these hidden treasures in Sacramento.

May 28, 2010

Yikes!

I can't believe it's been over two weeks since I last wrote.  Geez louise!  In short...

1) I FINALLY finished school!  I can't believe I've been taking classes nonstop since I graduated from college, and now I can say I'm done!  Well, at least until I get into nursing school.  But it feels good to just be able to work now and not have to worry about homework or studying too.  And you think I would write more without having to deal with school.  Sheesh.

2) Spin spin spin!  I became spin certified last weekend and had such an awesome time taking the class.  I have been talking about doing this probably for a year now and actually followed through this time.  The instructor was amazing and so inspiring.  I can't wait to start teaching!  I'm going to sub one of my boss's classes next week so I'll update on how that goes.

3) I had my first Lululemon experience.  Since my spin cert class was in SF, Mr. C and I stayed for the weekend and hung out around the city the day before.  I've heard a lot about this company but had never tried on any of their clothes.  So I dragged Mr. C with me and felt like a kid in a (super expensive) candy shop.  I tried on these knee-high spandex shorts and a couple tops to see how the sizing was.  It was actually really comfortable and fit well.  It was probably the most flattering spandex shorts I've ever worn, and Lulu stuck to the promise of the "say no to the camel toe."  As much as I liked them, I couldn't get myself to shell over the 48 buckeroos for a pair of shorts, especially with already having spent mucho moola for my cert. 

4) Mr. C had knee surgery this past week :( It was his second surgery on the same knee and this time they removed 2/3 of his medial meniscus.  He's an active guy, but I think the fact that I made him run a 10K with me in February was kind of the straw that broke the camel's back.  Mucho love!  On the bright side, his parents came to town and we got to spend time with them.  Always fun hanging out with the C family :)

5) I saw Sex and the City 2 with my gym buddies!!!  Loved it.

On a low note, I still haven't been running.  I guess that's part of the reason why I haven't written in so long because I'd feel like a foney.  I'm planning on returning my shoes that I bought recently because they've been bothering the bottom of my feet, which makes me sad because I'm gonna have to trade in the pretty yellow for some generic blue.  Oh well, comfort over color.

May 14, 2010

Double-Booked

Listening to a three hour lecture online is such a snoozer.  Especially since it's on my computer, I get easily distracted and start surfing the internet.  Online shopping, Yahoo! headline news, Facebook (as you can see in the tab below), you name it.  Oddly enough, the lecture started with sedatives and hypnotics (sleep-aid meds).  How appropriate.  Anyway, during my lecture, I decided to search all the California races going on between now and December to set up my calendar for the rest of the year.  I realized that some of the races I really wanted to do fall on the same day :( and I've tried to come up with ways to run both, but I don't think it's humanly possible, no matter how fast I run.

Dilemma #1 October 17th: Nike Women's Half Marathon & Long Beach Half Marathon


I'm already registered for the Nike Half so my decision is made for dilemma #1.  I was quite disappointed though because I was hoping to start/complete the California Dreamin' Racing Series in 2010, so now it looks like I'll have to put that on hold indefinitely.  Though, a Tiffany's necklace handed to me on a silver platter from a fireman in a tuxedo doesn't sound too shabby. 

Dilemma #2 November 14th: Big Sur Half Marathon & Skirt Chaser 5K-San Francisco
This one I feel torn!  I had so much fun last year running Big Sur (Monterey) with Lee and hoped to recreate the experience, but I was really looking forward to the Skirt Chaser 5K coming to San Fran!  I have never done a Skirt Chaser race before, but my friend was telling me about it and thought it was a funny concept.  The men "chase" the women who get a 3-minute head start.  The idea can seem kind of sexist but I think it sounds like good fun.  Plus, it gives me a reason to buy a running skirt since it comes with the race registration fee.  I'll have to sit on this one and think about it.

May 13, 2010

Swim With Aloha!

I honestly haven't ran since Parkway and am kind of on a hiatus.  It just seems like my feet are fighting the pavement, and frankly I just have a somewhat sour taste in my mouth after Parkway.  In relationship terms, I guess you can say we are on a break.

In the meantime, I've really gotten into swimming and cycling and did a little of both today.  The low impact of swimming has been good to my joints and has been fun now that the weather is getting warmer.  I think being in the water and not drenched in sweat masks how good of a workout it is and I don't realize it until the next day when my body feels achey.  Cycling has also been great too.  I've taken classes (inconsistently) for a while now and am ready to become certified and start teaching myself.  I'm super excited to be able to lead my own class to some awesome music and have a good time!

I figure I'll lace up my running shoes when I'm in the mood again.  You can't force the shoe if the shoe don't fit, if you know what I mean.

May 10, 2010

Allied Medal Hangers

Race t-shirts and finisher's medals are two reasons why I get excited for races.  I've gotten a few medals now since September and have watched them pile on my desk and even had to run my Swiffer duster across them a few times.  I feel narcissistic hanging them on my wall for everyone to see (kind of like those singers who hang their platinum albums just to rub it in about their awesomeness), but I figure I've earned them so I might as well turn them into decoration for my room.  I Googled all sorts of things to try and find the perfect way to display my medals and came across a company called Allied Medal Hangers.  There were a few other companies that also designed medal hangers, but I personally liked this one the most.  You can either order a pre-made design or make your own.


I got one made for my brother and myself with the "Run With Aloha" slogan.  I'm kind of (a lot of) a perfectionist when it comes to these types of things, and they were super cooperative working with me.  I think we emailed back and forth 15+ times until I was satisfied with the final design.  They look so sleek, and I'm really happy with how they turned out!  The custom ones are a little pricey though and for some reason I expected it to be bigger when I got it even though they tell you the length of it, but I think it was worth it and makes a great gift for any runner.  If you're on a budget, the pre-made templates are great too.  Check out their website if you're looking for a creative and fun way to show off your medals!

May 3, 2010

Sock-A-Knee?

I've been loyal to Saucony ever since I trained for my very first race back in 2006 and have always stuck to the ProGrid Omni 8.  This might also be because Lee was the one that introduced me them and I want to be like her, but they really have treated me well so far.  This time, though, I decided to try something new.  Well, not entirely a break from the Saucony tradition, but I went with a different model.  I've been having this weird prickly pain up the lateral side of my left calf for a while now; it's not constant though and kind of has a mind of it's own.  It started a few years ago when I took hula and has come and gone ever since.  For example, when I went on that 9 mile run recently, I bent down to adjust my knee brace and BOOM it was back.  It's kind of like that carnival game where you test your strength by using the hammer and that peg travel up to ring the bell.  Exactly like that.  So anyway, the pain lingered longer than it usually does and it made me a little worried.  I went to Fleet Feet and explained this to the shoe guru, wondering if maybe it was the shoe.  I naturally put a lot of weight on the outside of my feet, so much that my feet start to drift off the base a little.  He watched me run and decided that maybe I have too much support from the Omnis.  I'm not a shoe expert, but I trusted him and went with the ProGrid Ride 2, which is a neutral shoe.  The shoe felt great when I did my test run down the sidewalk outside the store, but I must say I was probably a little biased towards getting them because they were yellow. It's not very often you get to choose what color running shoes you get.

Unfortunately, I think these shoes are a no go :(  After 3 miles or so, I start to get pain along the bottom of my right foot to the point where I'd have to stop running.  I'm planning on running in them a couple more times before I totally give up on them and hopefully it goes away.

By the way, if you're ever looking for a new pair of shoes, I highly recommend trying Fleet Feet, or any running store for that matter.  They might be a little more pricey compared to buying them at some other sporting goods store, but I think it's worth the extra bucks to get fitted correctly.  Even though the shoes may not work for you after you leave the store, they are extremely helpful and will help you correct the problem or just get you a new shoe altogether.  One time, they even took the shoe inserts back after I had ran a half marathon in them.  They really are sympathetic towards a runner's feet.

May 2, 2010

Race Recap: Parkway Half Marathon

I recently just started watching ABC's Lost (addicting if you aren't hooked already), and after running the Parkway Half Marathon, I just keep thinking of John Locke and how he was before he got on the island; it's exactly how my legs feel.  They are SO sore, I'm beginning to think I'm paralyzed from the waist down.  I don't ever remember being this sore after the other halves I've done!  Other than Locke, I also keep thinking about the previous post I wrote in regards to prepping for this race and feel like a complete cocky douche for ever underestimating how difficult a half marathon is.  So I went into the race with my douchey attitude and felt like I started off pretty strong.  I'm no Speed Gonzalez by any means and am super stoked when I can comfortably hold a 9 something pace.  I always have to clarify  to people that I'm not one of those "born to run" 5-minute milers because they just automatically assume runner=fast.  I checked my watch at every mile marker.  5K split was 27 something.  Not bad.  My legs felt great and didn't feel too winded.  I found ways to keep myself entertained for the first half of the race and it kept me motivated.  For example, I would follow people who had pretty colored shirts on.  Seafoam green and yellow (of course) seemed the most popular, and they were soothing to look at.  Others had nice backings like the Nike reflective shirts.  Or some had funny sayings that I can't remember anymore.  What was the most exciting was finding Mr. C's four-eye doppleganger from behind.  I followed him for a while and just stared at the back of his head pretending I was chasing him.  Though, this didn't last long because look-a-like Mr. C was kind of a snail (no offense to you if you happen to be reading this) even to me, so I passed him and found something else to keep me moving.

This course was out and back, and it seemed like we literally turned around at the 6.55 mile mark.  The course didn't follow the same exact path on the way back and was on a parallel bike path closer to the river.  Like the Clarksburg Half Marathon, it just seemed like I bought myself a new virtual and interactive scenic background for my imaginary treadmill at home.  At least with Clarksburg there was the occasionally left or right turn, but the Parkway course was a straight shot out and a straight shot back with some rolling hills underneath the overpass along the way.  I guess I'm just high maintenance when it comes to races.  Maybe it's just cause I ran by myself and am used to running with other people, which definitely makes it more fun.  I will give the Parkway people credit, though, and they had some clever signs that were entertaining to read.  Perhaps the greatest and most memorable one was "running takes balls, other sports just play with them."  That was probably by far the greatest running quote I've ever read

The last half of the race was killer for me.  My blisters felt raw, and I was running out of ways to keep myself distracted from the pain.  My knees were giving out on me too and would just try to run it off.  There was an old guy wearing a dark green marathon shirt that would pass me, then he'd walk and I'd pass him.  We probably did this for 6 miles or so, and I was thinking to myself that he probably has the right idea with walking to give his body a break from the high impact of the sport.  But my pride got in the way, and I refused to walk, no matter how slow I had to run in the end.  The last 4 miles was a struggle, and I was only thinking of putting one foot in front of the other.  I slowed my pace down to a 10 minute mile, then to an 11 minute mile until I crossed the finish line.  I definitely did not PR on this one, but I was just happy to finish it.  I didn't use any kind of electrolyte chews this time, and maybe that's why I felt so dead towards the end.  Either way, I think Parkway taught me a lesson.  Moral of the story: don't ever underestimate the distance of a half.

My race firsts:
-Bag pipes at the start ("I guess when you play the bag pipes you only need to learn one song"-man standing next to me)
-Not having a single energy chew (bad idea)
-Getting doused with a pitcher of water.  They ran out of cups at one of the water stops.  I thought I could trust the old lady vs. the little kid.  I was very wrong.


Other race highlights:
-There's a course for everyone!  They specifically had a runner's and walker's course.  And with no time limit!
-Taiko drums!  Always a plus.
-Pretty organized, although we did start late because of people being shuttled over from the overflow parking lot.  They could probably use more buses next time.
-Gorgeous weather for the beginning of Spring.  Bluebird skies and light wind.  At one point, the trees separated and you could see the Sierras covered in snow.  Lots of trees and pollen flying around, though; allergies bad.
-Free Subway sandwiches after the race!  I didn't get one because the line was ridiculously long (I guess I should've ran faster), but the thought of it was nice.
-Awesome shirt!!!  Probably one of the best race shirts I've gotten.  The company is Green Layer and is super soft and fits extremely well.  I haven't tried running in it yet, but it deserves an 'A' in my book!


Check out the event website here
This is by far one of the most entertaining race websites to read, so take a look!

Apr 26, 2010

Inspiring.

Running down a dream: Leg amputee makes U.S. track team

I saw this article on the Yahoo! main page earlier today and felt very inspired after reading it.  It was like one of those "Just Do It" moments.  Very cool.

Apr 18, 2010

Laziness Wins

I told myself I would run at 7:00pm. It is now 7:37pm, and I am laying in bed with laptop perched up on my thighs acting as my electric heating blanket. I really did want to go on a run.. really! The weather was a pleasant 71 degrees with bluebird skies. I even got a new pair of running shoes earlier today (and they're yellow!) at Fleet Feet and was excited to test them out.

I also purchased the newest flavor of Clif Bloks called tropical punch and am itching to see how they taste. It's got 25mg of caffeine in it, which already makes me a fan of it. I'm not a coffee-goer, but I always stick to the energy chews that contain the caffeine. Maybe it's a mental thing, but it helps me get through those tough miles in the end. Anyway, since I opted to not go on a run today, I will force myself to wait until tomorrow to try them out.

I guess I can blame my laziness due to the craziness of festivities that occurred this past weekend. And the fact that my foot was bothering me pretty much solidified it that I wasn't going to run today as planned. My left leg/foot is just becoming a pest even when I walk, and realizing that I have a half marathon in two weeks from yesterday is kind of starting to stress me out. I'm lucky to say that so far I've never really had any serious injuries (knock on wood) and have never broken any bones (knock on wood again) not including my big thumb when I was 3 years old. I guess tonight will be an ice cup night and we'll wait and see what tomorrow brings.