Monday, July 18, 2011

Running progress

Two days ago I set out to run 8 miles and ended up running slightly more than a half marathon 13.1 was awesome considering my last long run (I use this term loosely as anything more than 7 miles is long to me) was more than a month ago on June first half marathon. 

We did a family fun run on June 26th and something bothered me during that run. I noticed that first mile/mile and a half or so, my legs were like lead and full of lactic acid. That meant that I was running faster than my body was accustomed to and it hurt enough that I had to walk off the acid. I decided that after this run, I was going to focus on shorter, more intense runs to strengthen my underdeveloped fast-twitch muscles. As a result, I reached a personal one mile best of 8 minutes 43 seconds which translates to 6.08 mph. Keep in mind that when I began this endeavor a mere six months ago, my top speed was 3.8 mph. If that is not progress, I don't know what is, lol ;D Although my recent half marathon is nothing to brag about, I did improve by 12 minutes.

Today, I ran one mile at 6.42 mph and that felt great. What felt even better was the random sprinting I was inspired to do. My muscles were faster! This again is nothing to brag about but I mention it because it is PROGRESS. I have never hit anything faster than 8mph on the treadmill and in today's 20-second sprints I hit speeds I've never felt and it was absolutely EXHILIRATING! Sprinting at 9.73 miles per hour made me feel like an ANIMAL. Seriously! It was akin to an out of body experience and I was observing some crazed woman. The wind in my hair, my elongated strides, my arms in sync propelling me forward...ahh...TOTAL BLISS I tell ya, TOTAL BLISS!!

From what I've been reading what I'm experiencing is the beginner's accelerated growth curve where a runner sees great progress in a fairly short amount of time weeks/months etc. Also, since I've built my endurance already, I feel a very strong pull to now build strength by cross training and doing speed-work because this will eventually yield to faster clock-in times 

I do have to throw something out there. I am a very cautious person by nature and am approaching this new found love for speed with caution. I have heard of newbies either injuring themselves or over-training or both because of an over-zealous need for speed. My mantra in everything I do is safety first. My daughter is thoroughly trained and when I say "Gigi, what do you have to be at all times?" She responds "I have to be safe mommy!" Yes, baby. Safety first. So far my granny-approach to training is working out well as I am now building upon a good foundation that I've step at a time = ) A close second to safety is education. With this regard, I'm devouring a running book and seriously listening to my body. One needs to train the mind, body, & spirit so you know when to GO..., GO FASTER, SLOW DOWN, REST and STOP!

I pray to continue to run injury-free and to enjoy the good health & energy this activity gives me ;D

I feel immensely blessed to have found such joy in this sport that I hopefully inspire someone new to take it on. Here's an article on how to start. It starts with walking. I started with walking and have no shame with admitting shouldn't either!

Hope you find your own "running fix" whatever that is as long as you're MOVING! lol! ;D 

Have a C&B week everyone ;D!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Running lingo, racing, & more

Who knew running and air guitaring went so well together? ;D Running = pure bliss =)

Running lingo

As info, when someone says "I ran a marathon" that is equivalent to saying "I ran 26.2 miles." In running lingo a marathon = 26.2 miles, a half marathon = 13.1 miles, a 10K = 6.2 miles, and a 5K = 3.1 miles and the "K" is short for "kilometer." Just thought I'd fill you in because when I hear someone say "I ran my first marathon on Sunday" and they actually did a 5K I kind of internally cringe because 26.2 miles is vastly different from 3.1 miles. Ya dig? If you run you feel me. Each mile one racks up is like a shiny medal you wear on your chest. Proudly. Why? Because you physically went that distance with your body. One foot after another. Step. Step. Step. Through sweat, discomfort, and making babysitting arrangements for little ones. Okay. You get my drift. Here's a quick cheat sheet as reminder of the lingo:

Marathon = 26.2 miles
1/2 Marathon = 13.1 miles
10K = 6.2 miles
5K = 3.1 miles


I have decided that I will no longer run anything more than half marathons from now on. After the Honolulu Marathon in 2004, I gave up running for years...Yes. I was that turned off. I think I developed some minor injuries as well as I was unable to wear heels for months after that race. Seriously. Marathon runners are somethin' else and that somethin' is not me.

Fast forward to my second race which was seven years after my first...last month, June 5, 2011 to be exact. After doing 13.1 miles I felt phenomenal! Not blasted and nearly disabled like I did after 26.2 miles in 2004 and seven years younger! To top of the half marathon high, I joined with two good friends, Leilani & Helen
= ) Here's a shiny, happy picture of us at Crown Memorial Beach in Alameda having just finished all of our very first half-marathon (A See Jane Run Event):

I was not so serious about the race at the time and me being me, slowed down to take many photos on the way. Here are a few:

My third race was another first: our first family fun run, with strollers and all. This was a lot of fun because we rolled pretty deep that day. Let's count. 1) me 2) gee 3) gigi 4) gavin 5) lorna 6) noy 7) lorenzo 8) april 9) mama 10) auntie tek 11) niko 12) matt. WOW. A dozen deep! We ran in memory of our JuJu at the 1st annual Stanford Scamper in Palo Alto. We had such an awesome time we decided to make this run an annual event. It was SUPER organizedVERY family friendly, and:

-they served coffee, water, & snacks before and after the race
-they gave away essentials like sunblock and lip balm before the race
-they had a professional DJ (star 101.3) & an enthusiastic MC
-the course was flat and very easy to maneuver with a stroller

Here are some pics:

GOOOOOOD morning!

racers snacking before the race

thank you for the sunblock & lipbalm too

you rock!

you do too!
I was a little snotty about running on my own. You know if you're a runner, you don't need to enter races right? You just DO IT. Boy was I WRONG! The EXHILIRATION of a race really pushes you to be your best. The ENERGY during a race is absolutely palpable. Even for a slowie like me, I ran faster than I expected. RACE DAY is like an energy drink with a kick and it's absolutely addicting!

My inner competitiveness came out in full force during the last half mile at the Stanford Scamper when this mommy pushing the same kind of jogging stroller as Gavin's was slowly catching up to me. Of course I go faster and I left her behind. THEN her husband comes to her rescue and she starts running faster by herself with no stroller getting ahead of me while I'm pushing Gavin in our carbon-copy-jogging-stroller. I think to myself "OH HELLLLLLLLLL NO, YOU'RE NOT GOING TO BEAT ME. Even if your husband relieved you of your strolling-duties, YOU WILL NOT BEAT ME!" So, I HAULED MAJOR A$$ and LEFT THAT MAMA W/ NO STROLLER IN THE DUST and you know what?? It felt so DAMNED! GOOD! LOL! ...

You see? You only get that kind of fire lit under your butt when you enter a race =) :) ;D

Here I go again, sacrificing precious sleeping-hours to indulge in some therapeutic writing, which I love. *happy sigh* Goodnight all and have a C&B week!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Puppy boy toddles!

Gavin took his first independent, non-accidental steps last night but we were unable to capture it on video.

This afternoon I got lucky and captured our little puppy-boy toddling and making his first steps:

Toddles3rd person singular present, plural of tod·dle

Noun: A young child's unsteady walk.
Verb: (of a young child) Move with short unsteady steps while learning to walk.

**DISCLAIMER** turn volume DOWN (i'm nearly screaming)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adventures in Cake Poppery

For Gigi's 3rd Birthday

This blog post is waaay overdue and even if I've got a jillion things on my to-do list today, I feel compelled to write this because I am baking cake pops as I type. Today I am trying carrot cake & red velvet. Let's see how these bad boys will turn out as I am baking for the girl's princess party (Alina, Gigi, & Lily) and baby Chloe's coming out party (Crystal's baby shower) this weekend.

For Gavin's 1st Birthday

Below is a link to basic cake pop instructions:

For Gerald's Birthday

I do have a couple tidbits to share as far as best practice/advice goes. Here are some common pitfalls on cake-poppery-making and how to avoid them:

1) The balls don't adhere to the stick.

  a) This could be an adhesive issue

    Adhesive issues: Dip the stick in un-thinned, melted, candy melts. I double dip and make sure I get a good  amount on the stick and onto the cake pop itself.


  b) An architectural issue

 Architectural issues:

  a) The cake pop could be too moist (too much frosting in the mix or your cake mix is too gooey) and a proper ball cannot hold the stick. How to avoid this. Make sure the cake mix + frosting is not too squishy and that after you ball up your little ballie it is structurally sound. I stick to the 3/4 of frosting to 1 cake mix ratio and that works fine for me.

Have a C&B week everyone!

Friday, July 1, 2011

Date Night

One of my favorite bosses from my past was this man who adored his wife. He was the Controller of the company I worked for at the time and I really respected him because he did not partake in bullsh*t office politics. Not like the CEO who gave me advice like "you are better off befriending so and so because they are next in line for a promotion and you should hitch your wagon to a rising star." This was coming from a highly-educated-man.WTF?! No study this, get good at this, (merit-based stuff) but politicking-bullsh*t advice. (I also suspected that he was having an affair with a young office staffer. *Gross* Dirty-old-man.) 

If this was the tone of the CEO, no wonder there was so much drama in the air. *Whatever* I bounced from that place as soon as it got bought out by another company and we all got bonuses for the time we were there.

Anyhow, going back to the Controller (Mr.C), he would tell his staff that once we all got married (we were all young-yuns in our early twenties) that we needed to have RM with our spouses. RM = Relationship Maintenance, a.k.a date nights. 

He and his wife had two daughters they adored and even when they were little, would get babysitting so that he and the Mrs. could go out by themselves. Each Friday he would be dressed in his Aloha shirt, let us out early, and he and his wife would go dancing or out to dinner or just get dressed up and "go out." This man and his wife were in their 50's with a one year old grandson! How cool is that? 

Since it is Friday and all, I encourage all you lovebirds out there (wed or unwed) to please practice some relationship maintenance (RM.) Most especially for those of us who have children, sometimes we forget how much we enjoy the company of our significant other without the presence of anyone else. Speaking of which, Gerald and I are kicking off the first of July, a Friday, with a date night later on this evening. Thank you mama for watching the kiddies :)

It doesn't even have to be fancy, bowling can be romantic right? Here's a great deal from Groupon I just found:

That's all for now folks.

Have a charmed & blessed 4th of July weekend all! :) ;D =)