Sunday, December 28, 2008

I Survived Christmas!

Phew! Survived first official Christmas with the in-laws! And it wasn't too bad. Actually, it was really really fun. There were lots of food, merry-making and laughter. My parents, sister and her husband joined us for dinner, too. It was quite a great day, overall. :-) And no, I didn't get a Garmin for Christmas. I didn't ask for one, actually. (I got something shiny instead!) But reading about all of you who did get one, I'm thinking maybe I should have? Hehe. Ok, I'm going to stick with my NikePlus for now but who knows... maybe when my birthday comes around?? Duane, baby, are you reading this? ;-)

I'm not quite ready to post my 2008 running recap, just yet... Still a few days left to get a few more runs in! (Besides, I'm quite attached to 2008 and not quite ready to let it go!!)

But, here's my race list for 2009:

February 1: Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon
February 7: Jed Smith Ultra Classic 50k (Maybe?)
March 1: Napa Valley Marathon
March 15: Across the Bay 12 K
April 26 : Big Sur Marathon (Maybe?)
May 30: See Jane Run Half Marathon
July 19: Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon
July 26: San Francisco Marathon (5th year in a row!!)
October 11: Chicago Marathon
October 18: Nike Women's Marathon
November 1: ING New York City Marathon (Lottery)
December 6: California International Marathon

I should mention that the list is a very ambitious one and not sure if I will actually run all the marathons in 2009! But who knows, I may run more, too! The only race that I've officially signed up for is the Kaiser Perm Half in February. Of course, there are couple of marathons that are by lottery only so we'll have to see. The Jed Smith Ultra 50k is a huge maybe. I don't know if I'd be ready for this ULTRA race. Although, I've always wanted to run one. Leslie, my blog mom is running it and I am seriously *thinking* about it right now.

I finally got back on the "saddle" this week. After my feast-fest Christmas dinner, I was READY to run. Forget the burn out, I was jealous anytime I saw anyone running outside. Oh and expecially when I read about your runs! So, on Friday, I went for a 8 miler, which I thought was relatively fast. Well, I ran it at about 8:55 min pace, which is pretty fast for me. I was triumphant! I was back! Yesterday, I looked up my training schedule for the Napa Valley Marathon and it called for a 14 miles. My train of thought was, "I ran 8 yesterday, I'm sure I could do 14. And I got lots of rest this week!" What I didn't take into consideration was that after a week of rest, the 8 miler was maybe a bit too much for me. And my legs were quite fatigued! I totally felt the fatigue in the legs about 3 miles into my long run yesterday. Thank goodness for the Roctane, otherwise, I may not have made it through the 14 miles. I took the Roctane around mile 5 and felt I could push it to another 2 for my out and back route. But I definitely struggled through the last 5 miles. Maybe 10 miles would have been a better distance for me yesterday. I'm glad I ran it but today, my legs are shot! Definitely a rest day today. (More on the Roctane later this week!)

OH and I ordered my iPhone 16 gig today for $199!! AT&T is having a refurbished iPhone sale and I bit the bullet and ordered one. I'll let you know how the refurbished phone goes. Supposedly these are the "previously owned devices that have been unused or lightly used and returned during the 30-day trial period," according to an explanation on AT&T's website. I can't wait to get mine in the mail!! Sorry Blackberry Curve... it's time for me to move on.

Anyone got some exciting New Year's Eve plans? D and I are going to friend's for dinner and NYE hoopla in SF... Wishing all of you the very best in 2009! And of course, looking forward to reading your running adventures. :-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

And We Have a Winner!

I've been on vacation for 2 days now but haven't had a chance to sleep in or be a lazy bum or surf the net all day, like I was hoping to. As you can imagine, I've been running around buying last minute gifts, decorating the house for the Christmas family dinner, cleaning up, visiting peeps, etc. Phew! I can't believe tomorrow is Christmas EVE! I am excited to spend my first Christmas as a married woman. :-)

I also had a chance to go to to draw a name randomly for my running shoes giveaway! And I am THRILLED to announce my winner!!!

Are you ready??

Congratulations to JoyRuN!!

And her comment was "Reading blogs like yours is what gets me out the door. That & the hope of maybe one day getting a wee bit faster!"

Joy, hope these shoes help you get a "wee bit faster". (Oh and make sure you email me your contact info!)

And thanks to for letting me participate and conduct their shoe giveaway contest! Go check 'em out you guys. :-)

And, of course, Thank YOU all for reading and commenting!!!

Oh and I don't have much to report on the running front. I went on a 7 miler with Tara, Aron and Maritza on Saturday. It was about 34 degrees at the start but we quickly warmed up. I didn't have a very good run that morning. I had to stop a few times and had a hard time in general. I haven't run at all since. Pitiful. Sure there's the rain but overall, not motivated. I think I'm a little bit burnt out from running. *gasp* I plan to give myself some time off this week but will plan to hit the road again next week.

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

TGIF Photo Friday & Other Miscellany

Here's to my first TGIF Photo Friday hosted by Nike Mom! It also works great because Nicole was telling me about the 6" of snow she got in her backyard this week and she told me she was going to post the photo of the snow. (Which she did.) I told her I would take a photo of the view from our house in the Bay Area and share it, too. Actually, it was taken in back in October. It's too gray and gloomy to see anything clear today. On a clear day, we get a great view of San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

View of the Bay
View of the Golden Gate Bridge... kinda far but still!
I've been blogging like mad this week. And finally catching up on my blog reading. I really love getting to know you guys.

So, a few more things:

1. Does anyone want a free blood glucose monitoring system? If you're a diabetic or know someone who is, this is an excellent meter to track your diabetes and simply your diabetes management. And I'm not just saying that because we make it. Seriously, though. Bayer = brand you can trust. Let me know if you have any questions!

2. My free running shoes giveaway in conjunction with is still going on until Dec 22nd. I really really enjoyed reading your motivations for running. Some of them are really touching and some of them, just plain funny. You guys are a riot! Anyway, if you're interested, click here.

3. Thanks to Erik, I found the most awesome greeting card site for runners! And they are so funny! You guys should check it out. As runners, I know we will all appreciate this site. They have cards for swimming, cycling and yoga, too... among others.

Have a great weekend everyone and I'm off to do some holiday shopping this weekend. :-)
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Thursday, December 18, 2008

TIaRT: A Year in Review in 52 words or Less!

And, here is my contribution to Take It and Run Thursday at Runner's Lounge! Today's theme is .... A year In Review in 52 words or less:

Who'd have thought I would run 3 marathons this year and one under 4 hours? And, I ran one 5 days before my wedding in August. I *heart* running and so happy to have found an outlet to express it. AND, I found this amazing running community that seems to share my passion for running!

Ok, that wasn't exactly 52 words but hey, I'm close. And I am seriously sleep deprived right now.

Don't forget to leave a comment in my previous post to win a free pair of running shoes from! My giveaway ends on Monday at midnight! Seriously, your chances of winning are pretty good! :-)

I came home and found this in our front living room!!Duane and I have been talking about getting a Christmas tree but we haven't gotten around to it and didn't think we were going to really get one! It's a bit bare right now but we'll decorate it tomorrow. He put up 1 ornament up with the lights. :-)

The ONE ornament on the tree. (From Duane's sister)

I think it's the most beautiful Christmas tree ... ever! Even if it's only got one ornament on the tree!

Went on a 7 miler during my lunch time today. It was a terrible run but glad I went out there. I need to rack up some points for the HBBC! 31 points to date! Oh and I'm on vacation for 2 weeks starting tomorrow! Yay!

Don't you wish all my posts were this short? :-)
(Don't answer that! It's relatively shorter than my usual posts, right? Don't answer that, either!)
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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

What Motivates You? (Free Running Shoes Giveaway!)

Runners! I'm having a FREE running shoes GIVEAWAY courtesy of!

I know we have days when we don't want to get out of bed, let alone go for a run or hit the gym. Now that WINTER is upon us with freezing temperatures and darkness, Winter tempts us to stay in doors. I'm still amazed to read your stories of running even in the worst conditions. Seriously, I can't believe some of you guys run in snow, get ice crystals on your face after a run, go out looking like a burglar (cute one, of course) or with 20 layers, and even use special gear like Yak Trax. Seriously, I am impressed with your dedication and tenacity. And there so many of you, too! :-)

I wrote in my previous post about a run in "cold" 40 degree weather yesterday... I didn't want to. Really! I wanted to stay indoors and maybe make something warm to drink. But I decided to go. I still believe in my own potential that I can improve myself. That I might run just a little big faster. And that potential makes me not want to waste even one day. That maybe, just maybe I can be a better athlete/runner. Strange, I never considered myself as an athlete. So, I guess I am motivated by my own potential!

So, what motivates you? and are promoting a contest where they are giving away running shoes to a lucky commenter (randomly chosen, I promise). Leave me a comment and share your motivational tip and you could win a pair of free running shoes from ASICS, Adidas, Saucony or Brooks! You just have to leave a comment by Monday, December 22nd! (You never know unless you enter!) Good luck to my readers!

** There's been a change to this post today (12/18/2008)! Originally, I asked you to go to to enter you comments BUT you can enter them on my blog comments. And I'll be picking out a winner randomly. I'm so excited to have my OWN giveaway!!! If you left me a comment alreaady, you're entered. :-)

Looking for Great Running Gloves?

I went on a 7.5 mile run yesterday. The first "long" run since CIM. I worked from home yesterday and in the afternoon, I was itching to run. Sure it was cold and rainy but I had to get out there. And, the dreadmill was not an option! It was about 41 degrees out and to this Californian, pretty darn cold. I can't believe last year around this time I was running around Central Park in NYC in below freezing temperatures! What was I thinking?? Duane was also working from home yesterday so he took out his creaky old bike out to ride next to me. It was nice to have company and also, I noticed I was running much faster than my regular runs... Probably because Duane was pacing me at a faster pace on his bicycle. Fortunately, during the time I was out there, it didn't rain at all. But it was cold. The weather reminded me of race day at CIM and it felt familiar and almost comforting. THANK GOODNESS I remembered to wear my running gloves. I love these Saucony 3 Season gloves! I got them for $20 at the Fleet Feet booth at the CIM expo. I just looked at the inside label and turned out it's a men's small! Hmmm. That would explain why it felt like something was "off"... But for the most part, these Saucony running gloves do a good job keeping my hands dry and warm. I like that it's got good insulation and rubbery dots at the fingertips for traction. AND, the best part was that it didn't chaffe my nose too badly when I used them to wipe my nose. I know, gross but what's a girl to do when your nose is running?

Final stats: 7.8 miles at 9:14 pace. :-)

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Oh and btw, for those of you that asked, I really like the CommentLuv features. I had to spend some time watching the tutorial video to get it right but it works well!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Coming Up for Air!

Where do I begin? I've been away from the blogging world for about a week and I feel so behind! I am planning on catching up on the reading this week, though! I am dying to read all the race reports, of course!

As for me... I have done no running at all this week. Well, besides the 1 miler recovery run on Tuesday since the CIM, I have done zero running and exercise. I am sure I am in last place for the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, too. But, today I started up on my running/exercise regiment again. 3 miles on the treadmill and 45 min on the elliptical machine. I really wanted to run outside but it's been rainy and cold the past few days.

I also passed my Professional Project Manager Certification exam last Friday. Thank you for all the best wishes and good lucks! I think they helped! I had holed myself up for a week in total isolation to study for the exam. My only distractions were my husband, Facebook and Twitter. The last two of which are apps on my Blackberry so that little blinking light would distract me. Each blink was a cry of "check me, check me". And it was really really hard not to reach for the phone. You're probably wondering why I didn't put the phone in the other room? Because I have serious co-dependency issues with my phone and I can't be part from it for more than a minute. The little red blinking light is like my security blanket! Anyway, if you want to connect with me on FB or Twitter, let me know! :-)

This past weekend, I had a few holiday parties and even a cookie exchange. I chose 2 recipes from the Food Network's 12 Days of Cookies and they both turned out really well!!

Both were really delicious. I really think I had the best cookies at the exchange. Ha! This is only the 2nd time I've baked something from scratch. Recall my Low-Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake? That was my first!

Also, Duane and I made way over to the first holiday party of the season for us. Aron's Black and White Christmas Party. Which was one classy affair. I got to meet Maritza and Kristin for the first time and was happy to see Aron and Tara again. Our favorite conversation topic was running, of course. And reading. . . lots of books! Our second loves! I really had a good time imbibing and catching up with these girls! Here is some of my favorite moments:

The girls... Kristin, Tara, Maritza, Aron and me
Aron had props!Chillaxin' on the sofaDuane & me!

Oh and looking forward to being off for 2 weeks starting next Monday. Oh I plan to catch up on the reading. Oh yes, I will! Also trying something new with the comment section. Bear with me while I figure it out myself...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

CIM 2008: One Long A$$ Race Report

I keep having flashbacks of the moment where I crossed the finish line on Sunday and I get choked up. You know, the whole teary eyes with stingy nose thing. And I revel every moment of it! And it's still so fresh on my mind. It all culminated into that one point... As soon as I saw that my sub-4 hour finish was within grasp, I sprinted toward the finish line. Well, I *think* I sprinted. Not quite sure. Everything felt slow. Very slow.

So here are the official stats:

Gun Time: 03:59:18
Chip Time: 03:58:17
Half Marathon Split Time: 01:56:40
Pace: 9:08
Age Group (30-34): 151
Athena Category: 6

Yes, I actually qualified for the Athena weight division, which I have very mixed feelings about. I knew I had gained weight but seriously, that much? Of course, I did weigh in fully clothed with shoes but still! Actually, how 2 people know how much I weigh. SLB (for the Swap Beat) and that guy who weighed me at the Expo. :-/

But, even with the weight gain, I was still able to beat my best time by over 11 minutes!

D and I headed drove up to Sacramento after the Lollipop 5k (more on that later) and just barely made it to the Expo by 3pm. It was crisp and sunny down in the Bay Area but as soon as we crossed the the Sacramento city line, it was all gloomy and foggy. The weather forecast did call for overcast skies but it felt much more ominous. But then, I was glad. What runner doesn't love cold race weather? The expo was just ok, I still think the Rock n Roll Marathon series have the best race expos! But the best part of the day was that I got to meet Leslie, KK and Stacey.

Leslie & me

Leslie, KK & me

Stacey & me
I was excited to meet Leslie because she's my pseudo blog mom. She always dispenses great advice and watches out for me. How awesome is that? And she's so beautiful in person! Even Duane commented on how pretty she was. KK was just as lovely and it's so nice to finally put a face to a name! Oh and Stacey, she is a hoot. Full of life, energy and great sense of humor. Tina, please have your phone handy next time! ;-)

Oh and I didn't realize I signed up for the long-sleeve tech t-shirt but I was sure happy I got one. I was worried that medium wouldn't fit but good thing those shirts ran big.

We later met our running group at Lucca for our big pasta dinner and had a great time. There were 8 full marathon runners (including me) and one relay team. Half of us PR'd and the other half BQ'd during the race!

After a delicious parpadelle pasta dinner and decadent chocolate cake dessert, I got back to the hotel and set out my outfit and gear. 2 bottles of water/Gatorade combo, 4 packs of Gu and some mini energy bars for well... energy, of course. I don't like regular Gatorade so I usually dilute about half with water. I also decided to go with Gu instead of the Luna Moons. I need to preserve every iota of energy, which also includes chewing! I watched a little bit of CSI Miami and then promptly passed out at 10:30pm.

Sunday morning, I woke up with trepidation and excitement. It was still overcast which was a great sign. I looked out our hotel window and saw dozens of school buses ready to transport the runners to the starting line. It felt like the entire city center was jammed with runners in line for the buses and the buses themselves! I was lucky that Duane was driving me to the starting line. The strategy was for Duane to drop me off at the starting line and he was going to meet me every 5 miles or so to cheer for me and to do some gear swapping, if needed. I got the starting line and saw the swarm of runners near the starting line and I got excited. Really really excited. There's nothing like 5000+ runners huddling about getting ready for a run in the cold and darkness! If i remember correctly, the temperature Sunday morning was 37 degrees. Brrrr! I did my usual Porta-Potty thing and felt READY. I don't think I ever felt that ready for a race! (Seriously, thank goodness for training plans!)

5 min before the start! Decided to run with my long sleeve tech shirt last minute...
And then the gun went off! And it was downhill. I told myself to start slooooow and not fall into the downhill start trap thing. The first mile came really fast! I heard a guy by the mile 1 marker yell out the pace time and I was a bit thrown off. I have never run a race where someone tell you your pace at the mile marker and the time, too. I think I clocked in at a 10:00 min pace at mile 1. The first 5 miles were a blur, really. All I remember thinking was, this isn't too bad! I first saw Duane around mile 5, i think. I remember handing him my gloves because my fingers were getting sweaty. Which I regretted the entire race! It was really cold. It was also around then that I saw Tara and Maritza! Ok, more like Tara saw me and screamed my name! It felt SO great to see them cheer for me and gave me a boost of confidence and energy. I felt like I wasn't doing it alone. My friends were there. And I saw them a few more times on the course, which was a total treat! *sniff* Ok, I'm getting teary eyed again!

Ugh, this is my fat photo...
Between mile 6 and 18 were uneventful... They were marked by rolling hills (more than I thought) and my beautiful husband who popped up faithfully at mile 9, 14, 17 and 21, I think? Thank goodness he did undergrad at Sac State. He says he knows Sacramento like the back of his hand! I really did love the crowd support. For a small race, the cheering squads were frequent and ardent. It was great. Early on with my slow start, I was skeptical about a sub 4 finish. But as more miles were behind me and more consistent my pace was very consistent, I knew I was going to be close. I was consistently hitting 9:00 min pace! After the half way point, I decided to kick up the notch a little bit and I think i was running about 8:50 pace. I was even thinking I might even finish sub 3:50!

Me on the far left of the photo...
Oh and this is my first marathon in a running skirt and I LOVED it!! I didn't feel tired until about mile 20. But once the wall hit, I was really tired. I remember seeing Duane around mile 21 telling him I was really really tired. And that I had to go to the bathroom! (Actually, I had the urge to go #2 starting around mile 8!) I knew I had to run and not stop. No matter what. i knew I was so close to my goal. I knew I had all the time to rest and relax AFTER the race. Mile 22 to 26 were sheer torture. I think I even slowed down to a 10:30 pace for a mile or two. I don't even know how I got there but finally I was down to the numbered streets. Counting the street numbers from 51st to 8th was again, sheer torture. At each mile marker they shouted out my pace and race time, I knew if i kept up my pace of 9:10 ish, I knew I could finish sub 4. I don't know how I put one foot in front of the other but somehow, I got to the end. I saw Duane about quarter of a mile before the finish and I knew I had the race in the bag. And when I approach the finish line and saw that I was STILL under 4 hours, I was elated. It took every ounce of energy to pick up the little pace I had left in me. I crossed the finish line with so much emotion. I can't even tell you how proud I was of myself. I saw my coach and training group. They were all clapping for me. Wow. So that's what it feels like...

26th Annual California International Marathon Finisher Medal
I still can't believe I ran a sub 4 hour marathon. With a 10 lb weight gain, I still ran 11 minutes faster than the SFM. So I know I can't use my weight as an excuse to run slow anymore. Now, for 2009. I just signed up for the Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon on Feb 1 since the Surf City Marathon is officially sold out. And then, maybe Napa Valley Marathon on March 1st. I'm thinking, if I lose that extra 10 lbs, I can shave off another 9 minutes. *wink*

I have now finished 6 marathons and one under 4 hours.

I know I can do anything I put my mind to. It's official!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

I did it!!! (Drum roll please!! )

California International Marathon is officially over!! And yours truly did not BQ (or BBQ for Mica, hehe) . But that's ok. Because I PR'd by 10 minutes!!! AND, that would make it a sub 4 hour finish! I made my goal:


This is only gun time!!! Chip time not available, yet! I just barely squeaked by! But it's still under 4 hours! I am hoping it is something like 3:58:XX. :-)

I am really tired right now but off to a baby shower... Planning on taking long nap in the car, on our way back down to the Bay Area.

THANK YOU for all your support and encouragement.. I am so happy that I got sub 4 hour finish, finally! Duane was amazing cheering me on every few miles or so handing my my Gu and water. And I LOVED seeing Maritza and Tara on the course, like 3 times! You guys really helped push me to the finish line. You two are the best cheerleaders!! Thank you!

And congrats to Aron who PR'd by 20 minutes and to Leslie to BQ'd!!!! It was also lovely meeting Stacey, KK and Leslie for the first time. Can't wait to read the all the race reports!

I really hope we stop at In-n-Out Burger on our way home!

Oh and a full race report coming soooooon with lots of pictures!!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

TIaRT: The Ultimate Dream... BQ & Boston

Yes, I am going to be THAT predictable. My wildest running wish is to qualify for the Boston Marathon one day. As of next year, my Boston qualifying time will increase by 5 minutes. Which means, I will need to finish a marathon under 3:45! This is a dream that is actually somewhat within my reach. A few months ago, I ran the SFM with my best time of 4:09. That is only 24 minutes away from BQ. Ok, 24 minutes is a distance that is practically equal to what people refer to as "light year" in space for me... But then, it's a WISH, after all. My wish. And I really would to run the CIM under 4 hours this Sunday. I'd be completely and utterly content (and happy) with a 3:59:59 finish time! That just brings me that much closer to BQ! And of course, I want to BQ and actually RUN the Boston Marathon! One day. Seriously... ONE DAY!

Ok, so it might not be very realistic to run a sub 4 hour marathon this Sunday... BUT, I can still hope. And try my best. I can't believe the CIM is this Sunday. Wow. I am so excited and already proud of myself. I know, I haven't even run the race, yet. But, I am really proud of me. Another 26.2 marathon under my belt. I'm getting emotional just thinking about crossing the finish line. AND, there is so much potential this weekend. The course is much easier than the SFM, relatively easier overall! I could potentially PR. Or maybe not, considering I have gained about 8 lbs since the SFM. Damn all that post-wedding pigging out. *sigh*

But, all the training (and the chaffing, blisters and aches/pains) will be worth it when I run that marathon and cross that finish line. Sure, I want to PR and finish sub 4 hours but... I'll be happy with finish the race no matter what. Because, I absolutely love running and running marathons! :-)

You guys are really good for my ego. Thank you for all the wonderful compliments about me and Duane!!

Side note: Please check out The Runners Lounge and their weekly Take It and Run Thursday community blog posts. They are SO fun. :-)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

SV Turkey Trot 10k Report

So Duane and I drove down to my parent's house in San Jose Wednesday night so that we could take full advantage of the Silicon Vally Turkey Trot 10k, which was just 15 minutes away in Downtown SJ. We got up early Thursday morning and after Duane put the turkey in the BBQ (see post below for the Thanksgiving feast recap) we got dressed for the race.

Here's our race bibs and d-tags!
Egads, I am so not cute without make up! Now you see who I need my full-on mask?
The race was really fun! I heard about 8000 people came out for the turkey trot! Holy cow. And it showed, it was crowded! (I thought this was supposed to be a local race with a small turn out?? I was soooo wrong!) And there were so many categories of races ranging from the Family Fun Run 5k/10k to the CEO Races to Elite 5k. This was our first 10k and was excited to be part of the race. Duane and I did not want to get out of bed but I kept reminding myself of the all the extra servings of food I was going to consume that day. That made it a whole lot easier to get up and go.

Thank goodness it was only a 10k! It was definitely easier than 26.2 miles. :-) We did have a few mishaps, like someone kicking my Nike+ Sensor off my shoes (less than a quarter mile after the start), which is secured by a bozzee. I had to run back a few yards to retrieve it and re-secure it between my laces. Funny enough, Duane also lost his Nike+ Sensor which he keeps in his shoe/key pouch (on top of his shoe)! He lost his once we both started sprinting toward the finish line. It's happened once before where the Velcro strap gets loose! Even with these minor mishaps, we were able to finish in good time! The race was relatively flat with a few rolling hills and a few places where the road narrowed so much it didn't accommodate the large number of racers very well. The 5k and the 10k intertwined a few times and every time the two races intersected again it became a zoo. Especially with all the strollers and walkers. There was a few times where I thought I needed to adjust my pace to slow down but maintained a good pace for most of the race. I finished feeling I could have run it a bit harder!

Which also means I could have run it faster but still happy with the chip time. Duane and I were shooting for sub 1 hour finish and we were well within our goal! Now if I can only keep this pace up during the marathon on Sunday...

Chip Time: 54:26
Pace: 8:46/M

Chip Time: 54:42
Pace: 8:49/M
(He was a little bit behind me when we crossed because he went to retrieve his pouch!)

Woohooo for our 10k PR! Well, it's our first 10k so it's definitely a PR for us. :-)

The best race shirt ever! Super soft organic cotton! My favorite race cotten t-shirt so far.
Duane and me modeling our shirts. Which we ended up sporting the whole day. My family totally made fun of us! (Not that I cared!)
Wish I had race photos to share with you but I didn't bring my camera with me to the Turkey Trot! :-(

Oh and *gulp*! Less than 5 days to go until the CIM! I have quite a few things going on this week. I'm in Portland for a few days for work and get back Thursday night, my baby sister and her fiance comes in for the weekend from Riverside on Friday for a visit, Saturday is the Lollipop Fun Run 5k (for Girls on the Run) in San Francisco and Sunday is the CIM!! Then, I have to rush down to the Bay Area again for Duane's cousin's baby shower. *deep breath* I'm doing my final taper runs on the treadmill at the hotel, too. Ugh. Anyway, more thoughts on the race to come...

Ps. I'm really behind on catching up on my blog reading... I have a PMP Exam next Friday and have been busy studying. (And very likely to be even more missing in action next week!) That's Project Management Professional Certification Exam, not the PIMP Exam. ;-)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Recap!

Hope all of you had a great Thanksgiving with your loved ones and ate a belly full of good food. I sure did. Our family gathering was smaller than usual but still carried on our usual family traditions. Eat Thanksgiving lunch like you've been starving and then graze through the rest of the day. Repeat at dinner. :-)

One notable part in the evening was during the blessing of the food. An uncle who speaks passable English with a thick Korean accent was chosen to say the prayer and here's a snipet (which I remember quite clearly): ". . . Thank you for the family that gathered here today and for those that prepared the food, please give them big breasts . . ."

Um, yeah, you can imagine the stifled giggles and squeaks that escaped out of my young cousin's lips. Especially the uncle's daughter who is in her mid 30s! What he MEANT to say was "blessings" but maybe in his nervousness it came out as "bresses" which REALLY did sound like "breasts"!! (My uncle is not a pervert! At least, not that one...) At the "kids" table, we all had a good laugh. I really hope God hears my uncles prayers and grants them to me!!

Which is quite a good transition because I actually prepared 2 dishes! The Low-Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake and Sugar-Free Cranberry Chutney did turn out really well! For those of you looking for the recipes, here you go!

Low-Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipe
Sugar-Free Cranberry Chutney Recipe

And also, photos to show you what the final product looked like!

This looks like it came out of a food magazine, doesn't it? ;-)
Camera setting not so good on this one...
I wasn't able to find any whole frozen or canned cranberries so I used a whole cranberry sauce that comes in a can. I didn't realize that the sauce has sugar already! Good thing I decided to use very little sugar substitute, instead of what the recipe recommended. So, as you can imagine, the chutney turned out a bit too sweet but still good! The cheesecake was really really good! And considering half of the adults in my family are diabetic, the cheesecake turned out to be a great alternative to regular pumpkin pie!

On a side note, this whole cooking thing is a big deal for me. I mean, I don't cook. God bless (or breast) my husband who does most of the cooking!!

Me and my proud Cranberry Chutney!

Oh and the smoked turkey also turned out wonderful!! Here's Duane prepping the turkey and wrapping it in foil for the BBQ...
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Duane buttering up the turkey midway through... (Then he covered it with the lid.)
All done and yummified!

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I had no idea you needed to cook the turkey all wrapped up in foil and via indirect heat. While we were gone during our Turkey Trot, my dad to had to check in on it every 45 min to an hour to make sure the coals were ok and still hot. Apparently, you have to add some to make sure they were going strong. That turkey must have been on the BBQ for good 7 hours! The smoked turkey was one of the best I've ever had. Super juicy and tasty! Thank goodness Duane likes to cook because he also contributed the stuffing and the ham.

My mom make her famous Crispy Chicken, Korean BBQ and Japchae, along with the usual Korean side dishes. Yeah, we get the best of both worlds! My mom thinks I got helluva husband. ;-)

Oh and the SV Turkey Trot 10k run recap will be in my next post...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Insert Witty Post Title Here

So here's what happened yesterday and today:

Monday: Elliptical for 20 min & Spinning for 50 min
Tuesday: Lunch time 7 miler @ 9:28 min pace

I haven't gone spinning in a really long time and I forgot what tough workout it can be. I sweat so much when I go spinning, too. Last night was no exception! I got to the gym a little early so I also hit the elliptical machine for a little bit. As for today, it felt so good to run at lunch time. It's a pain to change, shower and get ready AGAIN but it was totally worth it. (I'm not the au-naturale kinda gal. I'm all about full-on make up and hair kinda chick so anytime I get sweaty is a huge issue.) Good thing it's a slow week at work!

Here's what's up for the rest of the week.

Wednesday: Track Workout!
Thursday: Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10k
Friday: Rest & Recover!!
Saturday: 8 Miler... somewhere
Sunday: 6 Miler or Cross Train?

I am totally looking forward to the smoked turkey that Duane is planning on making!! I am also contributing to the Thanksgiving faire by making Sugar Free Cranberry Chutney and Low-Carb Pumpkin Cheesecake! Part of my low-carb endeavor to shed unwanted pounds. I'll report back on the food later. Especially since I don't cook very much it will be interesting to see how these turn out! We're doing Thanksgiving Potluck at my parent's house in San Jose this year and I can't wait to show off my "new" cooking skills.

Also, if any of you are planning to send out photo holiday cards this year, I have a Friends and Family coupon code for Tiny Prints for 20% off! Type in "FAM121" without the quotes when you check out. Seriously, they have the cutest cards! I just ordered ours today... Here's our holiday card preview. Too bad we did not have any good running photos together!
The message says: We went "green on our honeymoon and
planted a tree in Costa Rica! (Duane did all the work! Phew!)

Love, Julianne & Duane

Of course, if you're like my super duper crafty friend Heather, you can make your own but I'm not really a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) kind of a gal. Also, if you're looking for an amazing photographer for your special event in IDAHO, you should check out her photography blog!

Happy Turkey Day tomorrow everyone!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Great Running Week!

I was really happy with my running last week. With the belated 20 miles on Tuesday and with my 12 miler yesterday (along with the rest of my midweek runs), I reached 50+ miles this past week! I haven't run 50 miles in one week since July when I was training for the SFM. I ran my last of double digit run before the CIM yesterday morning with my training group and so glad that is over with. I ran my 12.5 miles at 9:44 min pace, finishing at 2 hours. Not the greatest pace but I'm happy with it.

This morning, I met up with Aron around 7:30am to get a good running start to the week... Had planned on an easy 8 miler but ended up (what felt like sprinting) running a tad faster than normal. I was huffing and puffing for the first half of the run. (Also, it was much cooler than I had expected! It must be in the low 50s. Hello, winter is upon Northern California!) That's what I get for trying to keep up with a faster runner. I will consider that my speed work for the week. Honestly, if Aron wasn't waiting to run with me today, I may not have gone running at all! I ran an average of 9:14 min pace for the 8 miles! Phew, no wonder I was so tired after!

I ended last week with 50.25 miles! Woohooo!! It's definitely taper time!!!

Happy Thanksgiving week to all! Duane and I have a Silicon Valley Turkey Trot 10k this Thursday... and then, I'm all over the low-carb Thanksgiving meal that day. We're planning on smoking our whole 20 lb turkey on the BBQ. I'm not quite sure what that entails but I hope to have some pictures of the bird later this week!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

i * h e a r t * r u n n i n g ... r e a l l y !

"The next time someone tells you they ran 100 miles this week, tell them 'so what?' The magic is in the man, not the 100 miles." -Bill Dellinger

Isn't that a great quote? You can replace 100 miles with any number, by the way. ;-)

It's TIaRT time again and the topic is Thank Goodness for Running! What a great topic. Running has brought me so many highs (and lows) in my life but it has brought out that MAGIC within me. I have run further than I ever imagined and found will power that I didn't even know existed! And it's also brought me to this wonderful community that I can't stop gushing about. Ok, I promise not to turn stalkerish! Well, unless you want me to!

I also am so thankful for the opportunity to volunteer and run for great causes. Today, I went to my first Running Buddy volunteer activity with Girls on the Run in the Greater Bay Area region. I got this email not too long ago and I just couldn't say no! I love working with kids and volunteering and to throw running into the mix... omg, it's like my dream job. (But no pay!)

I'd like to share an opportunity with you from Girls on the Run: our upcoming Lollipop Family Fun Run on Saturday, December 6. The race is open to the community, but is a special celebration for the girls in our programs, who will complete their first 5k or 1 mile run. We pair each girl with an adult Running Buddy, who meets her one time at practice (on either November 19 or 20, depending on the school) and then comes out to run with her and encourage her on the day of the race! The cost is $35, which covers the price of registration for you and sponsors your girl buddy. The application can be found at:

Please circulate this opportunity to your contacts - many of our girls are still without a buddy!

The mission of Girls on the Run of the Bay Area is to educate and build confidence in young girls through non-competitive, curriculum-based running programs in San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, San Mateo, and Contra Costa Counties.

I met about a dozen girls on the program for the firs time today and it was great. Most of the girls ran and walked 3 miles and even though it was tough for some of then, they stuck it out. And, they looked like they had so much fun. These 4th and 5th grade girls are precocious, wonderful, tough, innocent and yet, so grown up. They live and go to school in a pretty tough neighborhood in Oakland. An area that I usually avoid! Well, most people do... I am really thankful that I can give back to the community this way. And I am thankful that it involves running!!

And yes, I am signed up for the Lollipop Run on December 6th, which is the day before my California International Marathon! But, good thing my training calls for an easy 3 miler on that Saturday. There should be a Girls on The Run in your 'hood, too, if you're interested in volunteering!

This weekend is the BIG Philly marathon!!! BEST OF LUCK to my dear running buddies Denise, Flyers 26, Marci, Lil Runner ND (who is running for 2)!

And to Blyfinn and Coffee Betsy who are doing the Living History Farm Race, Holly who is doing an early Turkey Trot this weekend and to X-Country2 who is running her first marathon!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Drive By Blogging

It's been a crazy week at work. Back to back meetings, conference calls and lots of year-end project management stuff. And on top of that, I've been bogged down with a cold since Saturday. I've been away from my running blog way too long! I miss those slow days where I could sneak off to my own little blogging world! I'm hoping to catch up on all the blog reading this weekend. I have seriously missed all of your updates on your lives. Just to give you a brief update, D and I did go down to Orange County this weekend and had a great time. We didn't end up going to Disneyland because the fires in the area! We got to the Disneyland parking lot (withour pre-purchased tix) and saw ash and soot falling on our car. It was bad. I fell asleep in the car on the way there so I didn't even notice how bad the air was in the distance! I think there were at least 3 major fires down in SoCal this weekend. Yikes.

Woke up Saturday morning with a bad sore throat and it just got worse from there. I tried to go for a short run Saturday morning but it was tough. Not only was I under the weather but it was like 90 degrees the entire weekend. I think it was already in the mid 70s at 8am when I set out for the 6 mile run. Let's just say I walked a lot during this "run"! I give mad props to those of you in the Southern California who train in this weather all year round!

I had already decided on Friday that I was going to run Monday so I didn't worry about the long run over the weekend. We got back home on Sunday night after the weekend of birthday celebrations and I tried to prep myself for the 20 miler on Monday morning but just wasn't feeling it. I still was suffering from the cold on Monday morning so I decided to take the day off from running again.

BUT I FINALLY WENT ON MY 20 miler on Tuesday morning!! Even though, I still wasn't feeling 100%. But it felt good to be out there. The temperature hovered around high 60s during most of my early morning run and only stopped a few times to fuel up and fill up my water bottle at couple of water fountains. Total running time 3 hours and 29 min. It was about 10:30 min pace. Not the fastest but happy that it didn't hurt too badly. At least I have that under my belt.

I felt ok all day yesterday but woke up feeling like crap again this morning. I went into work but left early feeling sick. Took a long nap and now feeling a bit more alive again. (Which means I didn't go to my Wednesday track workouts! But my legs needed another day off.)

Shoot, really meant this to be a short post (hence the post title) but I guess I'm more long-winded than I'd like to believe!

Leaving you now with a photo of me and the nephews and niece down in Rancho Santa Margarita. (Nolin, Rily and Analisa are actually Duane's nephews and niece but we've really bonded!!) We watched Kung Fu Panda like 3 times on their laptop this weekend!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

TIaRT: The "Green" Runner in Me

This is a topic that is near and dear to my heart. I try to recycle as much as possible, eat locally grown/sustainable/organic stuff, and conserve energy when I can. Duane and I even went to two hotels in Costa Rica that practice "responsible tourism" in areas that are "carbon off-setting". (Both which I highly recommend!!) I do have to admit that I'm not doing anything ground breaking. I'm still trying to figure out how to leave a neutral carbon footprint. And for the most part, I feel like I'm not doing a very good job. Especially when I run. I do few things that I know are "green":

- I always run with my own water bottle during a race. Not only do I not want to create extra trash by using the disposable cups but I like the comfort of knowing I have water at anytime.
- I reuse my bottles! Until they look like they've been kicked around by a soccer team.
- Whenever I fuel up, I make sure I put the empty Gu packet (or whatever empty package) in my pocket if I don't see a trash bin right away. (That's true for both races and during training runs.) I just have to remember to throw them out before I do the laundry!!
- I try to run near where I live as much as possible. I do hate those days when I have to drive 15+ miles to do a long run. :-(

They may not make a huge difference but I feel good knowing that I am doing *something*. I will also make a commitment to recycle my shoes and buy items that use more recycled parts. Even running shoes and clothes. Both Running Times and Runners World had issues dedicated to green running and they have lots of great ideas. I even flipped through them again last night to get some inspiration for this post. What I did find was that they use a lot of chemicals and other things that are bad for the environment manufacturing tech-shirts. Which is bad news!! What would I do without fast-drying or moisture wicking shirts? :-(

I'm also excited that this is a topic that I suggested to Tom and Amy at the Runner's Lounge. They sure do making blogging easy on Thursdays!

Last night's track workout was TOUGH. But I felt soooooo good when it was over. I swear, I think I almost hyperventillated at one point. I love pushing myself hard, though. Even if it's hurts so bad. Here's my workout:

2x 400s - Finished right around 1:37 on both times. Almost 5 whole seconds faster than last week!
4x 800s - Omg, I almost died on these. I averaged about 3:45 on most of these. I kept thinking, this speed workout better pay off!
2x 400s - Averaged around 1:50. By then, I was P-O-O-P-E-D!

Today, I decided to do a midweek long run. I have been totally inspired by D10 and Aron who run some crazy mileages during the week. So, I went out and did a 11 miler! I left work early today since I started at 6am! (Why do my East Coast counterparts set up meets at 9am EST??? Half the call was conducted while driving to work, hehe.) I started around 4:30pm but by the time I finished it was SO dark. I really need to go get a vest and/or a headlamp! So, 11 miles done tonight with about 8:51 min/mile pace! It took me all of 1 hr and 39 min. I feel pretty good about this. Maybe those track workouts *are* working!

I am off to Orange Country tomorrow and Disneyland for sure on Saturday with Duane's nephews! Yay!! I also decided not to do my 20 miler on Saturday or Sunday... Just too much to do this weekend. So, I'll do it on Monday morning before work. (Planning on going in late!) I WILL DO IT!!

Oh and on one final note, "Nike announced a voluntary quality return of the Nike+ SportBand following reports of faulty displays. This is not a recall, exactly, but an invitation for all consumers and retailers to return any defective SportBands for a refund or exchange." For more info, click here. It's about damn time!! I have had 3 faulty Nike+ SportBand and really, this is the least they can do.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

My Run with Dean

My run with Dean Karnazes tonight was really awesome! I left work around 4:30pm today because I really wanted to be on time for the 6pm start. Traffic wasn't too bad since it was Veteran's day but it still takes time to trek through the Bay Area around rush hour. Especially trekking 50 something miles! Anyway, I knew I was going to cut it close when I was about half way there... When I finally got to Berkeley, I had 5 minutes to spare. I quickly changed in the car and rushed over the Fleet Feet store on Solano Avenue. I saw couple of dozen people already standing outside. Apparently, Dean was a running a little late, too! He showed up a few minutes after. Dean is a bit shorter than I imagined and looks even thinner in person. I have run in couple of races that he's hosted but I had never actually seen him! Once he arrived, it didn't take us long to set off. Fleet Feet told us we were going to do a 6 miler on the program but we ended up doing only 5. It was an out and back route from the store to the UC Berkeley campus.

Here's our group photo before the run. I had positioned myself right up in the front but some guy showed up last minute and ended up standing right in front me. With his bright reflector vest. Grrrr.
The run was relatively easy even though, I did keep up with him most of the time. Ok, let me rephrase that. He ran slow. Apparently, he just got back from the Sahara Desert on a 150 miler run. More on that later. I did get to admire his muscular calves for most of the run. Man, he has ropes of muscles for legs. I was just amazed at his powerful legs. (And, I usually check out other runner's legs. I have a thing for calves!) We got back and noticed that I was running about 8:20 min mile pace! Ok, so we weren't running so slow after all! (Well, "slow" and "fast" are relative words!!) Once we got back and stretched, Dean got settled in his spot and gave a short talk about his book. He was a great speaker and I really enjoyed his 50 marathons in 50 days synopsis. I cannot wait to read this book.

Here he is talking about his new book...

I had asked him what his latest challenge was and he shared with us that he is running "five of the planet’s most inhospitable places on five different continents, all in one year." He's finished 4 deserts and has one more left: Antartica in 2 weeks!! And, he just finished running 150 mies of the Sahara Desert and just flew home yesterday. You can read more about his Desert Grand Slam here and about the desert race series here.

He is just amazing! After his talk, the book signing began and I made a bee line to the table. Here is Dean signing... (for someone else!)
And finally, here is Dean and me. Omg, I *heart* Dean!!!
I love how we're right in front of the sports bras. Hehe. And he is such a cutie!
Meeting Dean Karnazes was quite an experience today. I am truly inspired and motivated. He said that if his book helps someone reach their dream then and "go far", he's done his job. Or something like that! I was so inspired, I went for another 2 mile run around my neighborhood after the book signing. I was supposed to get 7 miles in today. I didn't want to short change myself!

Dear Julianne,
Keep on smiling. & keep on running! May you go far...