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!