Upcoming Events

Hello again. I think if I can find time to blog once a month these days I would be doing pretty good.  Job is just so busy and the last thing I want to do is sit in front of the computer again when i get home from 8 hours at work.  I am much better at tweeting these days.  Shorter messages on the phone.

Anyway, I have a couple of exciting running events coming up in the next couple days, weeks, months!  I have been terrible about training for these upcoming events, but it doesn’t stop me from participating.  So what if I have to walk, I will still finish!

So first ups: Dana Point Turkey Trot.  I have ran the 5k in years past, but this year since I had finished the half marathon in October and will run the Rock n Roll Half Marathon in Vegas (next paragraph), I thought I will step it up and run the 10k.  Eek!  I am so not ready. But luckily the course is absolutely gorgeous down by the Dana Point Wharf.  I also love this race because it’s Thanksgiving day and I really feel less guilty for gorging on the Turkey Day foods after running in the morning. Oh and this year we will be getting finishers medals to add to my collection!

Next up: Strip at Night, Las Vegas Rock n Roll Marathon. December 4th.  Hmmm.. this gives me 1/5 weeks to go. EEK!  If I’m not ready for a 10k in 2 days, I’m sure as hell not ready for a half marathon in 12 days… but again… IT’S OK.  I will finish even if I have to walk most of it.  Again the course will be lovely.  Who wouldn’t want to run/walk the Fabulous Vegas Strip at night?

And the last one on the schedule (for now): New Orleans Rock n Roll Half Marathon. March 4th. This one was a whim.  They run this promotion code, SAINTSWIN, for every point the Saints win by we get $1 off… then there was the game week 7 where the Saint annihilated the Colts 62-7. With a discount of $55, the race entry cost me (and 6 of my friends) $35!  This race will be run about 2 weeks after my 30th birthday.  I think this is the perfect way to celebrate this milestone.  Running a half marathon and food touring through New Orleans!  This one I plan to train train for… like how I trained for San Jose Rock n Roll. 😉

Alright… so there are my upcoming events.  I will try to keep blogging.  😉

Happy running and happy eating!

Rockin’ the San Jose Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon

So, I initially started this blog to keep me in check while I was training for the San Jose Rock n Roll Marathon.  Well… I did it.  A few weeks ago on October 2nd, I ran (and walked) my 13.1 miles.

I had been derailed a tad in September from the training schedule due to… well… life. In a nutshell, I had to find and start a new job and I had a friend pass away unexpectedly.

Anywho… the race… it was pretty awesome! I was shooting for under 3 hours (and really to beat my sister and her friend).  Unfortunately, I ended up finishing a little over 3 hours (3:05).  I am a little disappointed, but not really. Overall, I am really happy with my performance.

Let’s just put it this way… this is the farthest I have ever run (walked)!  It was after the 10k mark where I realized my accomplishment (but had foolishly forgot that I had done a pretty good job run walking Bay to Breakers in 2009, a 12k).  I was still on pace to finish under 3 hours by the 10k mark.

But by the 10 or 11 mile marker, my right leg was starting to bug me.  I didn’t realize what it was until after, but it was my IT band.  I was tough to move and though running on it didn’t hurt as much once i got going, I didn’t want to do any major damage and decided to just walk for the majority of the last 2-3 miles.

The last mile was really emotional.  I knew I was really close to the end, but my leg was not cooperating.  I think it was the LAST turn til the finish line there were many other runners with their medals cheering us on.  I kept hearing, “Just around the corner.” “You are almost there” “You can do it”… and lots of cheering and clapping.  As I crossed the finish line, I was overwhelmed with A LOT of emotion. I admit, I shed a tear or two.  I couldn’t help it. I was proud of myself for finishing.  Even though I didn’t make my goal time, I was happy.

Next ups… Rock n Roll Vegas!

Returning From Blog Hiatus… and Race This Weekend

Hi Bloggisphere.

I apologize for my absence.  The last month or so have been really busy and slightly chaotic.  I recently started a new job that requires me to drive 45 mins to an hour each way to and from work. That missing 1.5-2 hours of the day are really missed.  I have had to get used to a new schedule. I have battled with myself, Do I gym before work OR  Do I gym after work? AND Do I go to the gym near my work?  Lets just put it this way… I HATE traffic.  I have never had to commute more than 15/20 mins before to work.  The other factor I have to figure out is When do I EAT???? I need food for energy for the gym… I am learning to have more snack handy at work. Essentially I have more food in the work refrigerator than I have at home.

Anyway, I need to stop complaining about this commute. I have a race this weekend!! I think I started this blog about 12 weeks ago when I signed up for the San Jose Rock n Roll Marathon. I wanted to keep myself accountable for this race and document all my yummy foods.  Well, folks, the day has come.  This Sunday October 2nd, I will be attempting to run my first half marathon.

Though I am feeling very scared and unprepared, this is how I have been getting ready for the race:

  • Drinking more Water – I know I have had bad training runs because I feel dehydrated, so I’ve upped the H2O intake
  • A banana a day will (hopefully) keep the cramping muscles away – My water polo coach in High School once told me the potassium in bananas help mitigate the cramps… why not? Thirteen point one miles is no joke!
  • Not eating too much junk food – despite my foodspotting adventures, I have “cut back” on the junk food.  Okay okay, I caved with some Del Taco Deluxe Chili Cheese Fries when I was visiting home, but in my defense… we don’t have Del Tacos where I live in NorCal… so I think that’s OK 😉
  • Stretching and using The Stick – I want to keep my muscles all nice and stretched out.  I have been stretching more and massaging my leg muscles to prep for the race.
  • Not wearing heels! – If you know me, you know I am prone to falls (and sometimes falls down the stairs)… so no high heels for me.  Lets stay injury free!
  • Making a new playlist! – I try to make a new playlist for every race.  I know this race will be special with all the bands along the route, but I will have my new playlist ready for me just in case.
  • Outfit decision – Well… I have too much Lululemon now… so what should I wear? I think it will be my newly acquired Run: Swiftly Tank & Run: Turbo Crop.  I don’t have links, but I’ll try to add a photo later

Okay… so wish me luck!  I will take this race one mile at time… time 13.1.  I think since I haven’t been able to run so much, I will try and run intervals of 5 mins running and 1 min of walking.  My goal is still under 3 hours.

Next post will most likely be my race update! Woot woot!

The Giant Race 10k: Setting a Goal (revising it) and Crushing it!

On Saturday August 27th, I participated in the Giant Race 10k.  I had run the 5k at last year’s race and had a great time running it, so here I am again this year.  Things I like about this race:

  • Running in SF down the Embarcadero with no cars
  • Finishing on the field at AT&T Park
  • Tim Lincecum Bobblehead for all finishers
  • Finisher Medal (I had told a friend that I won’t run a race this year unless there is a medal waiting for me at the finish line – so far, 4 races, 4 medals)
  • T-shirt
  • Good swag at the Post Race Expo
Setting the Goal: All the “stuff” aside, I ended up having a really good run.  I had originally set my goal time at 1:30 (1 hour and 30 minutes).  This was based on my last (and only other) 10k I ran.  I ran in the Cinco de Mayo 10k in my hometown of Irvine back in 2009.  At that time, I was running a lot more than I have been running in recent months.  I was in a similar situation where I was training for a half marathon and was challenging myself to see how far I could run without stopping.  I remember running 5 of those 6 miles and then needing to stop.  I ended up finishing that race in 1:20.  Fast Forward 2 years, I do NOT feel as fit or as prepared as I did in 2009.  I have barely been able to run more than 2 miles without stopping during my training runs. Anyway, this was my rationale for setting my goal at 1:30.

Revising the Goal: A couple days ago, after a 4 mile training run at the gym, I decided to revise my goal to 1:25.  I was able to walk/run the 4 miles on the treddy (with an incline of 1.0) in a little less than an hour.  I talked to a friend of mine about revising my goal ans shooting for the 1:20.  I really just did not think it was possible to get the time I had back in 2009 so we compromised to revise it at 1:25.

The Race: So race day was Saturday… I ran… and walked… and ran… and walked… and ran… until I got to the finish line.  The course was lovely, my usual Saturday course along the water in San Francisco all the way to Pier 39 and back to the ball park.  As I crossed the finish line on the warning track of AT&T Park, I saw that the clock read 1:21 or something like that. I saw that my Nike+ GPS app read 1:18 (but that thing always seems to be off). I thought… NO WAY I got that close to 1:20 (my stretch goal).

Crushed it!: I went to check my official time on these laptops set up at the Post-Race Expo… and there is was… an official time of just under 1:18.  Not only did I crush my original goal of 1:30 and my realistic goal of 1:25, I even beat my stretch goal of 1:20 by 2 minutes!  I was in disbelief most of the morning.  Is all this eating and running really working?!  I guess it is… because I am still running, right?

Getting ready for the next race: So coming off the good 5k Run at the SF Marathon and this good 10k run, I am feeling less nervous for the upcoming San Jose Rock n Roll Marathon (PS if anyone wants to save $10 thru August 31, enter discount code “GIANTS” when you register). I do have a goal for the San Jose Rock n Roll of less than 3 hours, but would really like to beat my sister and her friend’s times from their San Diego Half Marathon (2:51).

Moral of the Story: So I think the lesson learned here: is set realistic goals, revise them if you need… and really don’t underestimate your talents!

In closing: Here are some photos I took with my iPhone after the race.  🙂 Happy Running!

Ridiculous Weekend Of Eating… (time to run)

So the “weekend” started on Thursday… and I have been non-stop eating!  It is time to get back on the road (and treadmill) and run off some of the calories I consumed this weekend.

I have the Giant Race 10k next Saturday and haven’t run very much this week.  I did the Cross Fit thing on Tuesday and then ran 2 miles at the gym and 3 miles in the city on Saturday.  I have to get my booty in gear for next week’s race AND my Half Marathon in 6 (OMG 6) short weeks!

Anyway, here are the food photos from this weekend:

Thurday: Off the Grid: Haight

I ended up eating 1.5 orders of ribs at The Rib Whip!  I also had the mac n cheese and baked beans from the Rib Whip. So freaking good!  I had a nice chat with the Rib Whip dude.  They are working on a second truck and permits for other counties. I work on the peninsula so I hope the ribs will be coming my way!

Dessert was courtesy of the CupKates Truck.  I had tried a couple flavors before and believe that this cupcake is the best!  She does a great job with both the cake and the frosting.  For example, Sprinkles… Sprinkles is good, but the frosting (for me) is just too sweet!  CupKates is just plain awesome!

Pictured here, 1- double chocolate, 1- double vanilla, 2- red velvet, 2- salted caramel.  And then a photo of the double vanilla… I just love how you can see the vanilla bean specks in the frosting and the batter… divine!

Friday: PPQ Dungeness Island 

I had been here a couple times before.  With my friend leaving for Chicago next week for grad school, we had to come back here for some dungeness crab!

We ordered the Peppercorn Crab (with tons of garlicy goodness!). Roasted Crab, Papaya Salad, and Garlic Noodles.

Saturday: SF Ferry Building Roti Roti

The Ferry Building has been a weekly routine since the 4th of July weekend. It’s been nice to get out of the gym and run along the water.  Anyway, so my weekly routine usually consists of my run from the Ferry Building to AT&T Park (and back), a New Orleans Iced Coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee Co., Porchetta Sandwich from Roti Roti, then a walk around the Farmer’s Market.  I love this weekly routine!  I have also recruited my roommate and some friends to come along too 🙂

Sunday: Brunch Drunk Love

Okay… and here we are at Sunday Brunch!  This is the brunch place of Top Chefestant Ryan Scott.  He is also known for his lunch truck, 3 Sum Eats which I have also tried (please refer to my Top Chef post).  The location of Brunch Drunk Love is inside Bruno’s in San Francisco’s Mission District.  I went with 3 other people who love to eat, so we got to try a little bit of everything.  Check out the menu at this link.  I had the special for the day which was “spicy braised pork cheeks with jack cheese stuffed anaheim chilis, plantains, a black bean sauce and topped with 2 fried eggs” (taken from their Facebook page).  I also ordered the Mission Mary (it had bacon crumbles… how could I say no?).  And I loved how the check came in a Sweet Valley High book… LOL. (one of my friends even started to read it as the rest of us were figuring out the bill). Awesome!

Alright… I am done… When I started this post, I knew I was already guilty and needed to run some of this off… Now, at the end of the post… I am hungry again and STILL need to run it off!  Here I go!  I’m gonna shoot for 3 mile (maybe 4 ;-)).

BON APPETIT!!!! And Happy Running (it off)!!!

Intro to CrossFit

Yesterday I went down to the Cross Fit in San Mateo with a couple friends to take the Intro to Cross Fit session.  I had heard bits and pieces about Cross Fit for the last year or so.  I have a Facebook friend who would post her comments about her workouts on her profile.  I didn’t really know what it was all about, but all I did know is that she looks GOOD!

So the Intro session… It was really good.  We first started with a quick explanation of a typical day and a look around the facility.  The facility is across the way from the San Mateo CalTrain station and is located among some warehouse looking businesses.  Inside, it’s pretty basic; the front room has some equipment, a desk and then the back room has the exercise floor covering with most of the equipment as well as the white boards with the WOD (Work Out of the Day) and other extreme looking workouts.

He started us out with a quick run down the street… to the one corner… back down the street (past the CrossFit studio)… to the other corner… and then back to the studio. Then we did squats, push-ups, mountain climbers (I hate those) and a hip stretch.  The first round we did together and the last two rounds we did on our own.

Now we get to the workout (though I was already sweating from this “warm up” round).  The CrossFit Coach gave us a work out that looked like this:

21-15-9

  • *Corner Run
  • Squats
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups

This meant we had to run to the corner and back (literally leave the gym… run to the corner and back), do 21 squats, 21 push-ups (sigh), 21 sit-ups… run to the corner and back, 15 squats (still panting from the run… and not enough time to recover), 15 push-ups (this is where things get quivery), 15 sit ups (this is where the H2O in my tummy made me want to throw up)…. run to the corner and back (not gonna lie… I had to walk a little), 9 squats (still panting), 9 push-ups (like 2 at a time because my arms were shaking like a twig in a hurricane), 9 sit-ups… call time.

I completed this work out in 12:04.  Not too bad, but it was pretty intense.  I think for a good 30-45 mins after the workout I was exhausted.  But after that, I felt so exhilarated! I was ready for more!

After the CrossFit work out, we walked down the street to hit up this Taqueria, Pancho Villa, for dinner. I celebrated my work out with Chipotle Prawns and a Strawberry agua fresca 🙂

In closing, I am seriously thinking about this CrossFit thing.  I think coming off the reallylackluster and disappointing Boot Camp CrossFit is exactly what I had been looking for. The classes here are limited to 12 people (after a 4 week 3 person limited class) and the sense of community and support is very apparent.  I like that the boys we worked out with (who both finished in the 6 minute range) and the other CrossFit Coaches in the studio were cheering me and my friends on as we finished the workout.  I really liked that.  I am starting a new job in a couple weeks that includes a longer commute. This just means I need to figure out how long it will actually take to get to and from the new job.  My plan is to check out a couple more fitness programs before I commit to one (though CrossFit is definitely at the top of the list). Next up is the $100 New Client Unlimited Month at the Bar Method in Palo Alto.

An Anti-climactic End to Boot Camp

So about a month ago, I bought and signed up for a boot camp in Burlingame. I was so excited to give my running more strength and power.  I am satisfied with my run during and post booter, but the boot camp itself was disappointing.

I guess I can’t be too dissatisfied because I got what I wanted out of this month.  I have baby biceps out of it and my runs feel a lot stronger.  I can run for longer (and sometimes faster) without getting tired.  I think the boot camp wasn’t at all what I expected.  I understood that this indoor boot camp would be different and I guess I just didn’t like the format.  I prefer the outdoor, military style boot camp.

So what made this boot camp ending so blah was this week….

1) Our “core” warm-up was essentially the P90X Ab Ripper X DVD.  I have P90X… I have done Ab Ripper X, don’t get me wrong, it’s good 15 minute ab work, but really?! I could do this shiz at home.

2) Wednesday we ran out of time… it was Tabata day (high interval training, 40 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 8 rounds per station).  I mean I am not a math genius, but seriously, do some math (like a grade school word problem).  You have 7 exercises, 8 rounds of 40 seconds/10 seconds, at each station.  (To be generous, lets say 1 minute per round).  How much time do you need to finish the circuit?

Let’s see, 7 exercises time 8 rounds equals 56 round (7 x 8 = 56) at 1 minute (ish) per round… that is 56 minutes… Boot camp is supposed to be 60 minutes… and of course we did warm up stretches and our lame P90X Ab Ripper X rip off warm up… there wasn’t enough time to finish!  I think we got through 3 full rounds before it was time to go… yeah…

Okay, I apologize for my blog rant, but when I completed the boot camp in Southern California I was filled with such happiness and pride.  After completed this boot camp on Wednesday morning… I did not have any of those feelings. :-/

All I have to say now is it’s over.  I got what I paid for… a discounted booter (thanks to Groupon) and the strength I wanted to get through longer runs.  I don’t think I will be returning to this boot camp.  If people ask me about it, I will be truthful.  I will tell them that the women I met there were very happy with the boot camp, but as for me, I wanted something more like the outdoor, military style booter.

Now that booter is over… I will start running more.  Where I am in my training schedule calls for long week day runs.  I will add a strength class about once or twice a week (I’ll just take BobyPump at my local 24 Hour Fitness).

TWO (2) WEEKS before my 10k at the Giant Race!

And SEVEN (7) WEEKS til the San Jose Rock n Roll Half…. OMG… EEKS!