It has been quite the busy weekend for me. My weekend began on Thursday. Only had to work 2 nights last week. Yes!!! I just have to mention again how I love working 12 hour shifts. They are the best!

Let’s start from the beginning shall we?

Friday I turned a whopping 34. Big Fat F. I can’t believe I’m 34 and inching closer and closer into my late 30’s. Life is moving way too fast for me. My mom was right when I was a young 18 year old. She said, “ Stacy, just you wait. Once you turn 21, it will all go way too fast for you. “ I wanted to grow up so fast so badly. I hate to admit it, but she was so right on the money. Every year seems to go by faster and faster.

I spent the day with my good friend, No Fear. We brunched on some French food and ended it with some good ole’ Mexican Hot Chocolate. I’m so blessed to have No Fear in my life. We spoke for hours about running, work, relationships, our fears, our doubts. It’s so good to have a friend where you can pour out your heart and soul to.

The hubs and I dined at a local restaurant called Boulevard Bistro. It’s located in a part of Sacramento that I would never have thought would hold such a place. No offense, Elk Grove, but when I think of fine dining, it’s really not the first place that comes to mind.

We enjoyed the restaurant very much. It was a good “bang” for your buck. I especially enjoyed the cozy warm feeling of the restaurant. It’s a house that was built in 1908. Inside, it still feels and looks like a regular home; just without all the typical furniture of a home. We sat in front of a huge fireplace that had a gorgeous mantel. Poor hubs was taunted every 20 minutes or so about the gorgeous mantel. I've been wanting a mantel for our fireplace and have been saying to him every single day with our Christmas stockings in hand that, " I wish we had a mantel to hang these!"

At times,  I did forget that I was in the city of Elk Grove, but when I looked out the window and saw the lighted "open" sign across the street, I was taken back to reality. Dam. 

On Saturday, it was my little brother’s college graduation from Sacramento State. He graduated with a BS in Biological Sciences and I’m so happy and proud of him. Attaining a degree is no easy feat. It took him about 6 years, just one year more than me (phew!). But, he did it and I’m an extremely proud big sister! 
His girlfriend and friends made some pretty cool signs and blew up his graduation picture. I thought it was pretty funny and cute at the same time!

On Sunday, we were supposed to attend our annual Christmas gathering with our friends. But, sadly, we couldn’t make it. So bummed about it, but hence there is always next year! I can’t believe that we’ve been keeping up this annual Christmas gathering for quite some time now. I think it’s been over 10 year now and we still manage to gather even with all of life’s changes.

I pretty much spent the day baking all day on Sunday. I don’t think I ever baked this much in my entire life! It was fun though. I made a batch of Mexican Wedding cookies that I’ve been dying to try. I even contemplated making these as our wedding favors. What stopped me is the thought of baking a gazillion of them a week before the wedding. I didn’t want to deal with the stress. I also made Giada’s Florentine Sandwich cookies. Instead of using semi-sweet chocolate, I used Nutella. Can’t go wrong with that right? Finally, I had to make some good old fashioned chocolate chip cookies. They looked pretty basic when paired next to the other two cookies, but I’ve been wanting to make them for some time and drink a heaping glass of cold milk.

I’ll be working the next three nights, but I do get to have Christmas day and the day after off! I can’t believe Christmas is literally just around the corner. I have a few more Christmas gifts to purchase and probably will do that all tomorrow. I’m crazy, I know. But hopefully, it won’t be as crowded. Here’s to wishful thinking! Pray for me, please!

I have a slight contusion on my heart.

I've been on the fence about posting this. Not sure why. Still trying to figure out what I'm afraid of. But, I can't help it. It's what I'm feeling at this moment and have been off and on all week. While, I love my parents to death. They are the best parents anyone can have, or for that matter, any Asian children's dream parents. I say that because, really, they aren't your atypical Asian parents that scoff when you tell them you want to major in Art or Music. They fully understand the American culture as they grew up in the American culture.

But, needless to say, their parents did not and they often at times, display the atypical Asian parents personalities because it's what they know and grew up with.

Here's why. 

In highschool and throughout college, I wasn’t the athletic type of person. I was more of a girl that participated in clubs and sororities. For a few months however, I was on the track and field of my Varsity Highschool Team, but I had no idea what the hell I was doing. All I knew then, was that I enjoyed running. So, it just seemed logical to join the Track Team.

I quickly discovered that the Track Team was all about sprinters. I was far from being a sprinter. The only time I think I was ahead of my team was during a practice session around the track . Everybody was doing an easy “jog” around the field while I was treating it as if it was a race.Yeah, don't know what I was thinking.

What I should have done was join the cross country team. Dammit.

I had a few meets and was quite saddened that my parents didn’t really show any support by attending any of my meets or even inquire about my running. It saddened me, but I moved on. 

Well, here I am again. The feelings I’m feeling are all too well known to me. I’m heartbroken. Sad. Deflated. Curious and Intrigued.

Intrigued and Curious because I’m wondering why they don’t even ask how my training is coming along or in fact how my marathon went knowing that I participated in on one just recently.

Deflated because they laugh when I told them that I did two half marathons and wonder why I do such a thing. Their question to me was, “ Why do you do these?”

Sad because I would love their support.

Heartbroken because I wished that they would on their own come to the races that are local and cheer me on.

I realize that I’m not a teenager no longer, but I still long for the support of my family. When I see parents, siblings, in laws, cousins, aunts, uncles come and show their support for their beloved family member with a huge glittery sign and shouting out, “ You Can Do It” with so much enthusiasm it makes me a bit envious that I had the same type of support group as well.

Don't get me wrong. I have a wonderful support of friends that keep me going and ofcourse, all of you guys, too!  Plus, I do have an uncle, who is my mom's brother that runs marathons and he attempted to come out to the race during the Nike Women's in SF since he lives in SF, but we just couldn't get a hold of each other post race. I hate the fact that after post races, the cell phone lines are all tied up that its very difficult to text or call someone.

And my parents thoroughly support me in any way they can, it just can suck when every now and then you aren't really taken seriously when you tell them all about your latest passion in life.

A Gripe and Races for 2010

During the RnR Las Vegas, I used the race belt I purchased at my local Fleet Feet store for the very first time. While, I enjoyed wearing it as it stayed secured around my waist. It didn’t even bounce with a small pouch attached to it holding my iPhone and iPod, too!

But, I do have to gripe about the race bib holders. I purchased the Amphipod Add On Race Number Tags.  Throughout the race, one of the holders kept releasing the bib on one end. It was frustrating and after several attempts of reconnecting it, I said, “ To Hell with It” and just let it go. So, I was pretty much running with my race bib holding onto my belt on one of the race number tag. Thankfully, the other tab secured it well and I never lost my race bib and remained legit throughout the race. Hah!

After running in Las Vegas, I’ve realized that I need to do more local races. While I love travelling, I just don’t love the inconvenience it can place on you. 

Here are my inconveniences:

  • MADDIEWe have to think ahead of where to place our dog Maddie for a few days. I’m starting to run out of favors with the parents, although they never complain about taking care of her, I just feel bad for having to drop her off a lot.   
  • FUNDS. My wallet hates me.   Travelling is quite expensive even if you are travelling by car or by plane. It can add up. Plus, you gotta factor in the hotel costs. Thank goodness for the hubby being somewhat of a high roller as were able to get comp’d for the rooms and only pay $80 for the entire weekend.  But, when we travelled to San Francisco, the hotel costs was about $100/day. A steal of a bargain for San Francisco, but still, it’s $100 less from your bank account. 

  • NOT MY BED. Okay, so this may totally not be an inconvenience to alot of you, but to me, it is. I've been spoiled by the comforts of our Four Seasons Bed. I've never before had a bed that was so comfy, yet alone spent the money on a comfy bed before. So, whenever, I sleep in a friend, relatives, or a hotel's bed, I don't really feel as though I get a good sleep.     

With that said, here are some local races I am anticipating of registering for 2010:

  1. Shamrock Half Marathon on March 14th
  2. Run Rocklin 5K on April 18th
  3. American River Parkway Half Marathon on May 1st
  4. Nike Women's Fitness Festival 5K on June 6th

Rock n' Roll Las Vegas Race Report 2009

Busy week leading up to the RnR Vegas race weekend. I worked three night shifts prior to the weekend and left the following day after my last night shift was done. I was bone tired and hoped that I packed everything. I nearly forgot to pack my running shoes. Can you imagine flying into Vegas and realizing that the ONE thing you actually need are your running shoes? Good Gawd, I certainly cannot. Heck, I don’t even want to fathom the thought of what that nightmare would have been like.

We arrived into Vegas around 8pm Friday night. As we exited the airport and entered the long line for the cab rides, you immediately felt the brisk cold of the night. It pretty much gave me a preview of what I had in store come Sunday morning. Big F.

I went to bed right away as I was still recovering from my night shift schedule. It usually takes me about 2 days to recover. Saturday, woke up bright and early so that we could head over to the Mandalay Convention Center right when they opened to pick up my race packet and bib. I knew it was going to be a mad house there later in the day and wanted to get a head start.

The crowds were already piling up, but it wasn’t as bad. I was able to get my race packet, bib, and tech shirt right away within a span of 20 minutes or so from entering the door. Sweet! Gave me more time to check out my first race expo. I really don’t count Nike Women’s as a real expo as everything there was pure Nike. So, I was pretty stoked to see all the race gear out there.

Spied a Spibelt and thought about investing in one. But, since I already had a race belt with a pouch attached to it, I opted to not buy it Boo because I thought it was pretty cool that the sales guy managed to fit a whole can of Coke in the belt.

After perusing the expo and grabbing all the freebies I could muster to get my grubby hands on, we took off and headed on our merry way to enjoy the rest of the day.

We had a pasta dinner at Maggiano’s with some friends that live in the Vegas area. It was so good to see all of them especially since we haven’t seen them in a long time. I totally carb overloaded at the Maggiano’s and managed to eat a delicious crepe post dinner at the Paris Hotel where we were staying at. I got the D'anjou. It consisted of pears, caramel sauce, crème, toasted walnuts and a fatty ole dollop of whipped cream on the side. Yuuuuuummy!!!

Once I was done with my dessert, I bid my friends an adieu and headed up to my room for some much needed sleep. Got to sleep around 9:30pm/10:00pm and set my alarm for a 4 am wake up call.

On Sunday, I was able to wake up once my alarm went off. No snooze for me! Got up and got ready. My stomach wasn’t really feeling it though which made me a wee bit nervous of how I will be at the race. Unfortunately, being that I had a semi yucky stomach, I only had a bite of my muffin. I know, I know. Bad Stacy for not eating at all and racing on an empty stomach. Believe me, I kept thinking to myself that I pretty much f’d up with that.

My friend, No Fear, and I were in the same corral which was #25. There was a total of 29 corrals. We didn’t get to start until an hour later because of it. Oh wells. Once we hit the start line, I hit my start on my Garmin and we were off. No Fear and I decided to take it easy for the first mile and then start our run after it. The first mile went by fast as it was a big fatty U-turn with a band right at the U-turn playing. I was pretty stoked that when we made that U-turn that a mile had already passed.

I couldn’t believe, however, that moments after the start line, people were already lining up for the porta potties though. Interesting, right?

It was a pretty cool thing to be running along the strip. We were passing each hotel one by one and I ain’t gonna lie. When I saw my hotel, Paris, I thought for a split second to just go back inside and head into my warm cozy bed. Just for a split second though. Really.

Passing the Paris hotel, meant that we were at mile 3.5 where we hear the group wedding ceremony take place that warranted many cheers from us running and passing the event. Only in Vegas will you see that, right?

Saw many Elvis’ in all sorts of costumes. We saw a pack of Elvis’ that had these inflatable Elvis hair do’s on top of them that I thought was pretty cool. I tried so hard to take a picture of them. But running kinda got in the way. I didn’t want to be too obvious too!

A couple of shirt quotes that had me cracking up was " Please God, let there be someone behind me" and

" I'm running for Holly's Ass". The event was for Crohn's and Colitis disease. In case you are wondering, Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease and Colitis is the swelling of the large intestine.

No Fear was a great partner to run with. This was my first race to be able to run with someone side by side. No Fear is just too sweet as she kept saying that she loves running with me and that I’m way better than an IPod. Awwww, she’s too kind. Really, better than an IPod?

We kept plugging along and the miles kept going away. I knew that once we hit the Stratosphere we were near the turnaround, but man, once I saw the Stratosphere, I felt as though I kept running and the Stratosphere kept going away from me farther and farther. Ugh. It didn’t’ help either that you see people returning to the finish line on the other end of the strip. Such a tease it was. Kinda made me a bit frustrated to just want to finish already, yanno?

So, finally, finally, we get to do our turnaround at or about mile 7.5-8 mile. Was so happy to return back on the strip once again and this time heading towards the finish line. Woo to the hoo!!!

At mile 9, 10, 11, I started to get tired. It was a mental game with me. I kept telling myself that I really wanted to break my gawd awful time I made at the Nike Women’s ½. That kept me going but I started to gain another mental game in mile 12. Mile 12 for goodness sake!!! You would think that once I see mile 12, that I would be zooming with adrenaline. Nope. Slowed down quite a bit. But I managed to pick up the pace at 12.5 mile. I knew I was close as I got constant reminders from the crowds on the side. I kept chugging, and chugging and yay, I see the inflatable finish line sign. The crowds are louder as ever and finally, I see the end and bam I’m finished with a PR for myself. Shaved off about 20 minutes from my original half marathon time and am mighty dandy proud of myself!!!!

Garmin Time: 2:55

Official Race Result: 2:56

I'm Back!

I'm alive and well after a great race in Vegas. Made a new PR. But, I'll have to post a race recap this weekend as I have tons of errands to do before working the next two nights. Cheers!

Post Thanksgiving, and Race Bets

Thanksgiving came and went for me this year. It was such a blur as I worked the three nights prior to the day of , spent it with my family all day and night and then headed off to LA the very next day to spend time with the in laws.

Experienced my very first holiday traffic returning home that I am just spent. So glad that I had a day to recover from all the Thanksgiving madness. Sad that I didn't get to take home any leftovers or eat any leftovers and make me a turkey/cranberry sandwich in a roll. It's usually a tradition for me the very next morning.

But, as usual, had a great time spending time with the family by eating, playing board games, drinking a few beers, and perusing the newspapers for the next day's shopping adventure that unfortunately, I didn't partake in.

Las Vegas Rock n' Roll Marathon is this weekend. To be honest, I'm actually dreading this marathon. I'm hoping to come out of this little funk of mine's by trying to read all of your running blogs and gain some inspiration and motivation, but it's hard at times especially since I work night shift and have been working alot of them lately leading up to the race that it's just draining my energy. I really need to re-assess my schedule and plan out my runs more efficiently.

Speaking of work, one of our Pulmonary Rehabilitation peeps is participating in the Las Vegas RnR, too! There's a big round of {money} bets going within our department as to when he's going to quit the race. Why? Well, he's not a runner and hasn't even ran a few steps since signing up for the race.

One of the reasons why he signed up was because his son in law and daughter runs marathons and I guess him and his wife were consumed with "awesomeness" while watching them compete in the RnR San Diego that they signed up for the Vegas one.

A board was made that represents the Las Vegas strip and pictures of his head are along the strip. People making the bets just bet which mile he's going to croak, err, I mean stop. I think our bosslady has him quitting at the start line. Poor guy. If I had this board made up for me at the office, I think I'd feel a tremendous amount of pressure just to prove all them fools wrong. Wouldn't you?

Anyhow, Pulmonary Rehab coworker was so nice enough to give me and my other coworker VIP passes into the event. His son in law works for the company that is putting on the marathon. Right on PR coworker!

10 Days

10 days remaining until it's time to attempt another half marathon. Going to participate in the Rock n' Roll Las Vegas. Kinda excited about this one as it's a " Rock n' Roll" event. Keep hearing good things about this marathon.

Excited to see:

* The Running Elvis'es . My friend suggested that we get Elvis costumes and run the event. But, I wasn't really keen to this idea. I think I would get way too hot in that bell bottom jumpsuit coupled with that big black wig I would have to wear. What a hot mess these guys look like, huh?

* 85 couples getting married at mile 3.5 of the course in front of the Eifell Tower of the Paris Hotel. There will be a special corral for the lively couples, their bridal party, an running Elvis and a running Reverend.

Most of all I'm excited to be running on the Las Vegas Strip sober and with water in my hand.

New Shoes, New Clothes, and Warm Ears

The very next day after the race, I headed to Fleet Feet to return the clickity clunk shoes, aka New Balance 1011's. Tried on a few other pairs and came out with the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 10. Sounds like a cool car, huh? Went with these as they felt much lighter to run in and still had the arch support that my Flinstone feet needed. Thanks Dad for blessing me with these lovely feet.

I also headed to the Nike outlet because I've realized that I was in super dire need of some outdoor winter running clothes. My stars were aligned because when we arrived to the Nike outlet, they were having a pretty good sale. Additional 30% off all the clearance items and other items around the store which so happen to be items that I was looking at. Score!

I picked up two dri fit pants, two dri fit long sleeve tops and one snazzy headband/ear warmer for $2.49!
I've never worn a ear warmer before and I'm not sure how to wear them, so I tried it out in front of my bathroom mirror. I think I need to fiddle with this warmer, yes?

My First 10K

Saturday, I ran my very first 10K with one of my EG running gals, Bern. It was the Davis Turkey Trot and it was freakin' cooooooooooold! Like 37 degree weather cold. I know this is considered warm to most people living in the midwest and east coast, but for us California people, it is freezing!

I watched New Moon near midnight the night before and was on cloud 9 coming home because I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Had butterflies from Robert Pattinson, le sigh. Made me worry that I wouldn't be able to go to sleep right away. But, fortunately, I did and woke up grudgingly around 6:30 am.

Immediately prepared some coffee and a bowl of cereal with organic milk.

Bern came over around 7:30 am so that we could carpool together. She had no one to watch her kids and her husband had to forego participating in the 5K and stayed home with the kids. She was kinda bummed that her family wasn't able to come with her and cheer her on. I was so bummed for her as I know how much it means to have support at a race. Like, I tell my husband all the time, " still waiting for a cool glittery sign." Heh.

We line up near the front of the race. Remembering our last 5K together, I didn't want to be in the very front. Too much drama up there. So, we scoot ourselves just a little bit behind the front and wait for the countdown to begin and the blare of the horn. It finally goes off and we bid each other adieu and best of luck! I wish I could run with Bern, but unfortunately, we aren't each others pace. Hopefully, someday....

I'm running and chanting to myself, " Don't gun it, just stay your pace." At the same time, I'm thinking,"Man these new running shoes feel like cement blocks on my feet." F.

The run takes you through some streets of Davis and then it turns into the back trails behind houses. Miles 2.5 through 5 took place in the back trails and then it went back onto the streets of Davis.

On mile 4, my right shin was hurting and I know it's from my new shoes. I did try breaking them in earlier in the week and I felt the same way in them which was my feet felt heavy and my shins are hating them. I have already decided by the end of mile 4 that I'm returning them to Fleet Feet for another pair.

I got to see my friend, Joy midway through mile 4. Almost didn't recognize her as she was covered up big time. Joy just did the 20 mile run at the Clarksburg Country Run and finished within 4 hours. Yay, Joy!

Once, I saw her, I used her as my pacer. I just stayed right behind her and kept running along. Thanks, Joy! You don't know it, but you helped me.

Finally, I see the finish line around Mile 6 and feel the adrenaline kick in. I hear the crowd and I just want to finish.

Unofficial Time: 1:20. Eh, I was hoping to finish within 1:00 but oh wells.

I think I have a memory of a goldfish--3 seconds.

So, I'm one of those uber Twilight fanatics. I have been patiently waiting for the movie, New Moon, to come out since I bought my ticket via Fandango about a month ago to watch it at midnight tonight! By the way, I'm Team Edward and I'm going to dread this movie because there's a whole lotta' Jacob in this one. Ewwww.

Well, I f'd up. Three weeks ago, I agreed to sign up with my friend to do the Turkey Trot 10K in Davis, CA. Always heard good things about the Turkey Trot in Davis and since I wasn't working, why not? Well, I just realized this week that dam, I'm watching New Moon @ midnight and dam I have a semi-early wake up call for the 10K. Totally forgot that the movie comes out this weekend.

Eh, whatevs. What can you do? I'll just have fun with it tomorrow and not worry about the time. I hear it gets really crowded at the Turkey Trot because it's a very popular family event. Funny thing happened as I was waiting in line to get pick up my packet this afternoon which by the way was across the street from Fleet Feet and outside in the pouring rain. They did provide tents, but it was still wet in there. Anyways, the guy in front of me kept asking people around him, " So, what are you running...the 5K or 10K? Oh yeah, what are you hoping your time to be?" I just kept thinking to myself, " Really, dude?"

New Shoes.

I finally purchased a new pair of running shoes. This time, I walked into the store with a much more educated mind about running and what type of shoes are best for me. Unlike my first experience when I had no clue and trusted all of my knowledge with the running lady at the store. Grrrrr.

I wanted so badly to try on the Brooks Ardrenaline, but they didn't have my size. They didn't have my size in the Asics 2150's, either! She said that Asics may be too narrow for me anyways since I have wide feet. Ugh, really?

So, she brings out what they have as far as stability shoes. One was the Brooks Addiction and the other was the New Balance 1150's. The Brooks Addiction felt great, but when compared to the New Balance 1150's, it didn't hold up. I felt more support in the New Balance's, especially in the arches. The only thing I was concerned about with the New Balance 1150's was that they felt a bit heavy. I buy them despite the heaviness and decide to try them out. Love Fleet Feet's policy of being able to return the shoes if you aren't happy with them.

This morning, I try them out. Kinda excited, actually. That was really what got me out the door this am was being able to try them out and the fact that I actually needed to try them out since I'll be using them in the Turkey 10K Trot this Saturday.

I was a all a mess. Decided to bring Maddie with me which I really shouldn't have. I just couldn't find my groove in these shoes especially with Maddie doing zig zag's in front of me and pulling me a bit making me go much much faster than I really wanted to. Ugh. I started to get shin splints and my right arm was getting tired of holding onto the leash with a big ole' counter hold to prevent Maddie from going even faster. So, this AM run was a huge fail. Going to try again on Friday evening. I have to work the next two nights, so hopefully, I can make a run on Friday evening.

Facebook Inspires.

It really does help to have running friends. This past Sunday, I met up with two of my girlfriends for a morning running date in their neighborhood. One of my gf''s, whom I'll call PK2, has been inspired with my running updates I make on Facebook that she decided to give running outdoors a try. So, she messages me on FB and we set a date. I was excited and she was excited! I love gaining more running friends. The more the merrier, right?

Boy, was it a hard running date to make. Since the Pacquiao fight was the night before, I didn't get to sleep until 3:30 in the morning. Ugh. I was so tempted to cancel, but I didn't want to disappoint PK2 since she was excited to run outdoors for the first time. That would have been just too cruel.

With that said, I feel so much accountable to keep up the running especially on days when I'm just not feeling it. A few more of my friends on Facebook have expressed to me that they have been getting motivated to start running because of my updates. Strange, but true. I feel so humbled that my little running updates inspire them.

One of my EG girls came along. Actually, since I wasn't familiar with her neighborhood all too well, she told us where to meet her. Pk2, EG Girl, and moi did a cool 3.6 mile run along the trail. We were able to talk and catch up with each other lives which I enjoyed very much as it made the time go really fast. Unfortunately, every now and then, I kept experiencing aches in my arches. I knew it had to do with my awful shoes.

Pk2 really enjoyed the run. She was surprised that she didn't get tired at all and thought it was a great start for her. Hopefully, I can meet up with her more often.
Took Maddie out for another run this morning. I swear, she is the best motivation to get me out there. Plus, I think she pushes me to continue running at times when I just want to walk.

This time, she was a bit too fast for me. I looked down at one point and saw that we were going about 9:41 pace. Eeeks, Maddie slow down! I know this girl has potential, but I'm holding her back as I can see.... sorry girl. One day, we shall run at that if not a faster pace for you.

Wore my Berkeley shirt today while running as today is the last home game. Go Bears! Passed a fellow runner that yelled out, " Go Bears!" as we ran. That put a smile on my face.

Sadly, me and the husband aren't attending it tonight as we are hosting a Pacquiao fight party at our house. It's pretty much a requirement of every Filipino household to throw a party for the Pacquiao fight. Isn't it?

When we got home, I could see some religious people making their way to our neighbors doorsteps to talk with them. Ugh. Gotta run faster to get in the house, close the blinds, and hope that they didn't see which house we ran inside of. Maddie immedately drank some water and ate up all of her food. Cracked me up that she needed some carbs after running. After that, she passed the heck out.

I think I found a running buddy!

Maddie turned a whopping ONE YEAR old last month and ever since then, I was contemplating of taking her out with me for some runs. I had a hunch that she would be a good running buddy. The long legs, lean body and rambunctious personality. Plus, I tested the waters at times on our walks and would run with her for a few seconds or so and she seemed to like it alot. She was total game.

Well, today I decided that this was the day she was going to run. So, on with her harness and her leash. We walked for about 5 minutes to warm up since it was a bit chilly outside and then I asked her, " You Ready Girl," She looked at me with a, " huh?" Then I started to run and she started to run. She did zigzag diagonally every now and then making me a bit annoyed, but once I called out her name, she ran straight once more. Ofcourse, there were the few run in with other dogs which I wasn't so much afraid that she was going to attack them. She's a very sociable dog. I knew that she was going to try and go to them and get them to play. So, we had to stop for a bit whenever we saw the dogs walking. Ugh. Gotta work on that! Other than than, she did awesome! Our pace was between 10:40-11:00 and honestly, it seemed like a measly stroll to her --that punk! LOL

I'm loving that she's going to be a great running buddy. She kept me on pace and I'm just hoping that she'll make me a stronger and faster runner. Yay!!!! Go Maddie!

Backyard is Done!

Our backyard is done. Yaaaaay!!!! So happy to be looking outside to trees and plants, instead of dirt and weeds. The even better part, Maddie can go out and do her biznatch-- privately! For a year, we've been taking her outside to the front lawn and I would get embarrassed when people would walk by and see her do this. It's bad enough that our lawn showed it, too! We would have random yellow patches on the lawn.

The stain lady did a really good job. She's a one woman worker and I can't imagine how she does lots that are way bigger than ours alone. Much kudo's to her! Thank you, stain lady. You rock!

This is a picture that is in front of our door. I caught Maddie doing "sprints" back and forth and through the bark causing some of the bark to get loose onto the cement. Oh yeah, also caught her putting her nose in the bark. Luckily, I caught her in time before she got to the tarp to do some serious damage. So, needless, to say, whenever we catch her on the bark, we tell her to get off. Sorry, girl! It's way too early to be messin' up the backyard.

Now, all we need to get now is some patio furniture. Having to wait on that since patio furniture is pretty expensive. It's like shopping for indoor furniture all over again. If you have some places where you can suggest for some reasonably priced patio furniture, send them my way!

Great Deal!

Love the store, See Jane Run. I think it has to do with more of the name. They have some cute shirts that have statements written on them. Two of my favorites are the,
" I Run for Chocolate," and the other one being, " If you can run a mile, you can run a marathon." So, true, yes?

The " I Run for Chocolate," shirt is on sale for $17.99. Thinking of purchasing it as a Christmas gift for my dear friend, " No Fear." She has a strong weakness for chocolate and she makes no qualms of admitting it a whole lot. So, I think it's perfect for her.

Right now, they are offering a fantastic deal. You can purchase a gift card that is valued at $50 for $25! The deal is going on for 2 days, so make sure that you get on this asap! Click here to be taken to the deal.

I'm planning on using it towards a pair of new running shoes. My friend, who is a physical therapist assessed me as I was complaining about my feet aching badly whenever I go on long runs. I suspected it had to with my shoes coupled with me having flat feet.

My suspicions were correct as he checked out my shoes and bent them in half which told me that I had no support whatsoever! We also headed to a sports store so that he could show me what kinds of shoes I should be purchasing as to not purchasing.

Here's what I learned. For you overpronaters, the key to a good running shoe is looking at the side of the shoe (arch area) There is usually a foam part at that area. What you should do is press down onto that foam. If your fingers can instantly and easily press down on it, then that isn't the shoe for you. However, if the foam doesn't easily press down, then it should provide good support for your feet and not allow you to overpronate. He also added that you can insert food inserts in order to give you additional support.

Three shoes I have in mind. One is the Brooks Addiction 8. It retails for $94.99. If I use the gift card, I would ultimately pay $69!

The other shoe is the Asics 2150.
It retails for $99.99. I would pay $74.

The third one is the Asics Kayano's 15. I keep reading and hearing how wonderful these shoes are, especially for flat feet people such as myself. It retails for $139.99 which would have me paying $114. A sweet, sweet deal for these shoes.

In the Works.

Our postage stamp backyard is slowly coming along. The landscapers started working on it about two weeks ago. Starting with putting in all the drainage. We were and still are a bit worried since our backyard had a bit of a slope. We got mixed reviews from our estimators saying that we should put a small retaining wall because of the slope to no retaining wall is necessary; it's all in the draining placements. Ultimately, we decided to not place a retaining wall and go with placing a proper draining called "decko draining."

The area we are located in is partly known to flood. So far, we haven't experienced any flooding the few times it has rained. Let's hope it stays that way!

Last week, they just slabbed on the salt cod concrete. So far, it looks really good! I can't wait for the acrylic lady to come and stain it with the chocolate brown/light brown colors we chose together. We chose to go with the salt cod concrete because it was more reasonable. What I would give to have either stamped or pavers, but it was just way out of our budget. I guess you can say that the salt cod concrete is a ghetto version of stamped? They place salt all over the concrete for a few days . After a few days, they wash off the salt and BAM, you see all kinds of dibbits in the cement.

Here, we plan on putting lawn. All for Maddie. Parents kept insisting that we get the fake grass. The one that looks and feels like grass. It doesn't look like the Brady Bunch backyard grass or the mini golf turf anymore.

But, I just kept thinking about when she poos and how gross it will be to wash that stuff off. Like, what if it still smells and such? Eww. Plus, since we weren't asking for alot of grass, alot of landscapers won't give you the fake grass or recommend against it because it cost more. So, that basically solved our dilemma.

I can't wait for it all to be finished. I'm hoping that once its all finished, we can throw a little bbq to celebrate and break it in.

The hubs has been doing quite the research on gas grills. Fortunately, we have a gas hookup for a grill, so we don't have to deal with propane stuff.

We found out that all Webers hardly ever go on sale. They are like Apple Mac's. The closest to a good deal we found on Webers was no tax, free delivery and no additional fee to put it together at California Backyards. That's how they compete with the other competitors who sell Webers. It's a good deal and we nearly got one there. So glad that we found out this information as we would have been going through all these stores comparing prices of Webers. As much as we would love to splurge on a Weber, I think we are going to go with Weber's other brand called, Ducane. Its made by Weber and has all the Weber like qualities, has great reviews, but not the price.

And So My Hill Training Begins....

Running the half marathon at the Nike Women's in SF definitely got me wanting to do hill training. Those hills at the marathon were killers for me!

So, I took the opportunity and decided to drive 30 minutes away from my house and join my friends, No Fear and FitChick for some good old fashioned hill training in their neck of the woods. The place was Rocklin, CA (home to where the San Francisco 49er's used to train back in the day, for all you football fans).

There's a neighborhood in this city that's called, Whitney Oaks, that has a whole bunch of hills. One specifically called, " Big Mama." My friends talk about this hill quite often and mention time and time again that she is one big hill and can eat you alive if you let her. Ugh, really?

We meet at 0600 where it's still fairly dark at this time. The weather was awesome by the way. Not even cold. Kinda humid. Felt like a summer night. Perfect for doing hill training. The last thing I needed was it to be windy.

We start to jog up the hill, which by the way, wasn't Big Mama. Ugh, how are we going to have a hill before Big Mama? So mean!!!

Then, after jogging up the little hill, there she was! I didn't get any pictures because I think I was just overwhelmed by the first hill. So, up we go. Tiny little steps is what, No Fear said. Breathe. Tiny little steps.
Breathe. I don't think I was breathing enough as I started to get a little headache. Getting a little hypoxemia? haha, maybe. I probably am exaggerating though.

I had to walk/jog but more walking up this hill. Beyonce couldn't help me up the hill as I had her tune, Single Ladies playing. No Fear said I should have had Britney instead. The incline was so steep. I knew it was steep because when I finally reached the top, the view of up top was gorgeous.

I can't wait to give Big Mama another shot. I look forward to her beating me up again.

Post Race Thoughts.

Since, I've been pretty much elevating my feet and poppin' Ibuprofens left and right, I've been thinking these past few days about the good and bad of my first half marathon.

Frankly, I regret not training hard enough for this marathon. I was not motivated enough to be more disciplined in my running and not to mention eating. I ain't gonna lie, I was eating as if I had a free pass to eat whatever I wanted. I wasn't even putting in the miles necessary to have a great marathon.

After looking at my time for the 5K and my half marthon I am pissed. Post race photo's is another topic to be covered, but I ain't going to go there now. It's funny. After finishing up the last of my boards, I was just complaining of how bored I was with life. I'd come home, make dinner, watch tv, etc. I didn't have a goal to achieve. But, now! Oooooh, but now, I do!!! Yes!!! Does this mean the beginning of becoming obsessed with marathons?

I've already started eating a whole lot better. I vowed to not drink any diet soda's, just water. No more fried foods. Maybe I can sneak in a few fries here and there....hehe, hey I'm a girl! I can't help it. But, really, no more fried foods. Just straight fiber, whole wheat, fruit, and oh yeah NO SUGAR!!!!! Ugh. With this new inspiration, I went ahead and got me a new look. I got bangs!!! I feel super Asian! Like, REALLY SUPER ASIAN with this new look.