Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Exciting News!!!!

And no, I'm not pregnant. I've told people I have some exciting news to share and most of them asked me if I was pregnant. So, let's just get this out of the way, I'm not pregnant. Ask me again mid next year. Haha. So, my exciting new is that I am the newest runner to join the Hope Runs 777 Challenge!! A few weeks ago, I saw TFH's on Hope Runs 777 Challenge and I was hooked. I had to find out more about this challenge. I mean, it's my RUNNING DREAM to run a marathon in all 7 continents!! Did you read my interview with the Runner's Lounge early in January? I mentioned that it was my *dream*!! I was so excited, I couldn't stop thinking about it all day!!

Just to give you a brief introduction to Hope Runs... here's what I copied from TFH's post. :

What is the Hope Runs 777 Challenge? In 2010, Hope Runs will be leading a Guinness World Record-breaking endeavor to complete 7 marathons on 7 continents in only 7 weeks. With a team of dedicated runners, we are committed to breaking some fantastic Guinness World Records (yes - there are some left to be broken in the area!). We are also proud to be running a green event through carbon-emissions-offset sponsoring.The Hope Runs 777 Challenge will help bring the issues facing the 14.5 million AIDS orphans in Africa alone to the forefront of the world’s consciousness. By pushing ourselves to the limit, our team will raise awareness for the issues facing orphaned and vulnerable children (OVCs) all over the world, mobilizing people everywhere to become more involved. With each member of the team covering his or her own costs and committing to raise thousands more toward the cause, this effort will help to make a lasting impact in places that need it most.

For more details you can click here for where the proceeds to go and all the other exciting stuff!

Of course, later that evening, I consulted my husband about the 777 Challenge becaues I wouldn't want to commit to something THIS HUGE without this support. And as usual, he was very excited and supportive of me! He knew I've been wanting to run 7 marathons in 7 continents and excited that my dreams are that much closer in coming true. Not only that, I'd be able to help orphans with AIDS in Africa. It can't get any better than this!!!

So I immedately wrote to Hope Runs the next day and we've been going back and forth on my fundrasing goals iron out the details It's taken a little over week to finalize everything but I sent in my signed contract/consent form yesterday. And so, it's official. I am running the Hope Runs 777 Challenge!!!

Of course, there is the little itty bit about raising $26,000 dollars for the cause and raising my own travel expenses, which would add up close to $40,000. Daunting, I know. Scary. Petrifying. Holy sh*t. OMG. OMG!!!!

So, basically, I need about 40,000 people to donate a dollar. Or, about 20,000 people donate $2. Or, 8000 people donate $5. I have a few other fundraising ideas but... I need your help. If you're so very inclined to help me with my cause, would you donate a dollar? (Of course, more would be welcome!) Also, the ROHO girls have already offered to help setting up fundraising events with me locally. What would I do without these girls??? Also, do you know anyone who want to sponsor me?? I'm looking for corporate sponsors!

If you'd like to donate, please follow THIS LINK and look for the donate button on the right column. PayPal is the preferred method because you can specify that you're donating to me. I looked into using but they take 7.5% out of each donation so that doesn't do us much good. I need all of it to go to Hope Runs!

Oh, and in case you're curious, here are the 7 marathons!!




January 2010


Miami, Florida USA

February 2010

Beppu-Oita Mainichi Marathon


February 2010

Buller Marathon


February 2010



March 2010

Kilimanjaro Marathon


March 2010

Antarctica Marathon

King George Island ANTARCTICA

March 2010

Maraton Fin del Mundo


Also, if you have any fundraising ideas... please let me know!!! If you'd like to help me raise the money for Hope Runs, that would be awesome, too! Also, please feel free to point people to this post!! I need to drive a lot of traffic to my blog so that people are reading and donating...

Thank you. I feel like such a sales person. But it is for a very worthwhile cause! Did I mention I'm really excited?? :-)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


And my Valentine's Day Giveaway winner is...

from Junk Miles!!

(Randomly generated by!)
Congratulations Sarah! I'll be emailing you your prize tonight! :-)

I was really touched by all your stories and comments. Thank you for participating and I thank you (again) for reading my blog!

So, the last few weeks have been filled with work travel to Portland (every week), planning for my sister's baby shower and running. Lots of running. Yes, 5 more days until Napa Valley Marathon! I'm excited about this race. It's the first time I'm running this race and well, excited about the gourmet soup and wine at the finish line. Of course, so many of my Twitter pals are also running the race, which is really exciting. As well as my ROHO crew is making a special trip just for me to cheer/spectate. I am one lucky chick!

Speaking of ROHOS... we have our first ROHO giveaway!! So go enter please! :-)

Yes, I'm in taper mode and excessively carbo loading.

(And yes, my sister's baby shower turned out beautifully!! I might post about it later this week.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day Giveaway & 100th Post!

Egads. It's been seriously that long since my last post? I have to tell you, it's been really busy for me. I've been traveling for work on a weekly basis and when I haven't had a whole lot of blog writing or reading time. Duane is away on business today, so I have some alone time with my blogs. (Yeah, just when *I* got back, he flew out! Ugh.)

So, my blog friend Stethoscopes and Stilettos had a great Valentines giveaway and well, I decided to have one of my own. Yes, I'm totally copying her idea! Besides, I need to do a little thank you for all my loyal readers. Even when I haven't been so good, myself!

So, here's the deal. Leave a comment here on my blog, and tell me your favorite Valentine's Day memory/moment. Keep it PG-13, ok?? I'll do a random drawing to pick the winner. Simple enough, right?? :-)

Oh and the prize is... $25 movie tix via Fandango Bucks!
(Last day to enter will be Wednesday, February 18th!)

So, I'll start first!

My favorite V-day memory is with my husband, who was my bf at the time. (This is when Duane and I were doing long distance thing. I was in NYC and he was living in the Bay Area.) Two Valentines ago, we decided to meet half way in Chicago. During one of the worst snow storms ever. Flights were getting canceled left and right. If you've ever flown in and out of JFK in the winter, you know how awful their flight schedules are. They are never on time in bad weather. Amazingly, while 90% of flights were getting canceled, mine made it out, only an hour late. D's flight from SFO came in on time, too!! I was so afraid of being late. I knew he had made dinner reservations somewhere... So, we both got into Chicago and checked into our hotel. (Have you been to The James? Awesome hotel!) Then he whisks me off to the surprise restaurant: Charlie Trotters in Chicago!!! Which is one of the most amazing restaurants EVER. It was probably the most expensive meal we ever eaten together, too!! Then, at the end of the meal, he gives me a box of a Cracker Jack box and asks me to open it. I knew, there was something in it. I just didn't know what. I open up my little prize. Which is a little square envelope.. and in it, was a ring! A diamond eternity band. Which was my promise ring. *sigh* I'm getting all teary eyed thinking about it. He had meticulous planted the ring in the prize bag (did I mention it's small and thin?) and put it inside the Cracker Jack box and resealed it. Oh and the best part was the we got a tour of the kitchen after our meal! (Ok, the ring was probably the best part, but still! A private tour at Charlie Trotters' kitchen!)

Btw, I think two years ago, V-day was on a weekday, so we met up only for one night. We both had to go back to work the next day!

Ok, yours don't have to be that long! ;-)

Ps. Yes, I'm still running a lot. I did hit 57 miles last week and this week, I'll be running 50+ miles again!

Pps. Yes, this is my 100th post here! :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Race Schedule Revision 2.0

Now that we're already in February, my race schedule is also looking more "firm"... In December, I was rather ambitious listing quite a bit of races. Since, then, I have had time to rethink my strategy. Mostly due to finances and of course, the physical limitations on my end! Ok, so here's revision 2.0 of my race schedule for 2009:

February 1: Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon - done!
March 1: Napa Valley Marathon - registered!
March 15: Emerald Across the Bay 12 K
April 26 : Big Sur Marathon (This one is still a maybe?)
May 30: Rnr San Diego Marathon - registered babeee!
July 19: Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon - registered
July 26: San Francisco Marathon (5th year in a row!!)
October 11: Chicago Marathon - registered yesterday!
October 18: Nike Women's Marathon (huge maybe)
December 6: California International Marathon

Training for the Napa Valley Marathon is well under way and I can't believe I have less than a month to go now! Starting last week, I've kicked it up a notch! I've started to incorporate one long run midweek and also doing 20 milers on my weekend long runs. This is what my runs have been looking like the past week:

Wednesday: 5 miles tempo @ 8:38 pace
Thursday: 10 miles @ 9:20 pace
Friday: 6 mile hill workout 9:58 pace
Saturday: Rest!
Sunday: KP Half 13.1 miles
Monday: Rest!
Tuesday: 8 miles @ 9:17 pace
Wednesday (today): 10 miles @ 9:32 pace

As for the rest of the week:
Thursday: 6 miles
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 20 miles
Sunday: 7 miles (For the 7 on 7th, we're doing it on Sunday!)

I am excited to hit 50+ miles this week! And, I've been feeling really good out there. I'm not looking to PR at Napa but I'm hoping for a good strong race.

Oh and last month, I ran 145 miles at about 9:30 min avg pace! Woohoooo! I definitely plan to exceed that mileage this month!

Now, leaving you with photos of my run today... Views of San Francisco from the East Bay!

One last note, I'm really behind on blog reading. I haven't forgotten you. I promise!!! (Thank you for coming back to read mine, really. I appreciate it very much.)

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon Race Report

I look back at yesterday's Kaiser Permanente Half Marathon and I get the warm and fuzzies. (No, not the kind you get when you get a charlie horse! The kind you get in your heart. :-) As a team, it was ROHOs' first race together and personally, a very stress-less kind of a race. We talked about the race logistics all week between the 5 of us and it was something we were all looking forward to. We had our team shirts ready, goals in mind and lots of expectations! And I'm happy to report that all of us achieved or exceed our goals for the race!!

Duane and I woke up early to make sure we got to the start to meet the rest of the girls. For the first time ever, we got to the race site early to find good parking, run to the start, use the bathroom *and* still have enough time to take pictures and loiter around before the race. (I hate that sinking feeling when you're in the porta-potties and the start gun goes off! Like it did at the Nike Women's Marathon, yikes!) So here are some of the before photos...

My friend Pam and me, she's training for the Way too Cool 50k
Duane and me, so sexy in front of the porta-potties!
Go Team ROHO! Aron, Tara, Maritza, Kristin and meGo Team ROHO!
I really wasn't that nervous about this race. It was part of my training for the Napa Valley Marathon in 4 weeks and I wasn't looking to PR. Of course, a sub 2 hour finish time would have been nice but I was really looking for consistent pacing and strong finish. The first couple of the miles were easy. As a matter of fact, I think I started out faster than I normally do. Up until mile 4, I was running sub 8:50 pace and felt pretty good. Duane was running with me most of the time and I could tell he was having a lot of fun. Due to the great weather, we didn't freeze our buns off and was able to warm up quickly. The next couple of miles seemed even easier due to a few easy downhills. I think I lost Duane around mile 7 but I knew he was behind me for the most part...

The KP half starts around the De Young Museum in the Golden Gate Park, loops around a few times, spits you out onto the Great Highway (shouldering the Pacific Ocean) and then back to the Golden Gate Park. There is a point around mile 8 or 9 where you go down the Great Highway and turn back the way you came. So you can usually see the runners who turn ahead of you. I got to see Tara and Maritza at some point and it was really great to see them run so strong! A little after I made my turn to head back around mile 9, I saw Duane. He looked like he was struggling. He was probably about a 1 minute behind me. Poor guy, he looked like he could use some encouragement! Duane had a goal of finishing sub 2 hours again. When he ran the RnR San Jose Half, he finish 1:59:XX. Made is just under 2 hours, which he was very proud of. He wanted to do it again at the KP Half. So I stopped and waited for him. I figured, I wasn't going to PR anyway and it's so much more fun to run with him... and I wanted him to do well.

Map of the race route...

When he saw me, he waved me away as if to say, go on! I told him I was going to run with him and finish together. We did that once before, when we finished our first marathon together (The SFM 2007) hand in hand! He struggled again around mile 11 but once he got some Cytomax, he perked up and finished strong the rest of the way. The warm weather and the last mile uphill weren't easy but we both finished strong. Our exact finish time was 2:00:14! It wasn't quite sub 2 hours, but close enough!

Our race stats!






Chip Time












We were SO close to a sub 2 hour finish! But overall, we were both happy to finish strong. I felt like I could go for another several miles! Ok, maybe not several...

Like I said, all the other girls did GREAT. Tara even PR'd by 7 minutes! How fabulous is that???

Here's some of our celebratory photos after the race! Don't we look pretty good for having just run 13.1 miles??
The Shoe Photo
Looking back, I am really glad I stopped and waited for my husband. I could have run on and met him at the end but something really special about crossing the finish line together. And I finally got to see the famous buffaloes in the Golden Gate Park! I've run around the park like dozens of times but for some reason, I never noticed them before!

Duane with the Gold Gate Park buffalo.
So after the race... Tara, Maritza, Duane and I went to one of my favorite hamburger joints in the city called Grubstake and totally chowed down. It was SO good. Totally hit the spot. :-)

And then Duane and I got home and totally passed out. And no, we didn't watch one minute of the Super Bowl!