Aug 30, 2011


If the weather is anything like it was this Sunday, I am in big trouble for my half marathon this coming Sunday! I do not do well at anything in the heat and there's just no way around it!  This is what predicting for this coming Sunday:

I have seen so many posts lately about Hurricane Irene and how it is affecting the lives of so many people.  I feel for everyone who has been affected by it and wish them well.  I was hesitant to even post my complaints about the weather that we have been having in California but I needed to vent because my running is greatly affected by the extreme heat so please hear me out!  Can you believe that it was 74 degrees at 6:00am?? Having said that, you can just imagine how my long run went on Sunday! This is coming from a girl who is used to and prefers to run in 50-60 degree weather in order to function!

When I set out at 6:00am, the sun was not beaming down on me just yet so it wasn't that bad at first. I think things were pretty tolerable the first four miles and then it started to get ugly by the mile for the remaining 10 miles. I mapped my run out so that I passed the same spot three times so that I did not have to drop water at multiple locations.  I drank all of the water that I dropped and barely made it home before I died of dehydration. There were multiple instances during my Sunday run that I honestly thought that I wasn't going to make it. I have never been so happy to see sprinklers in all of my life.  I normally hate getting my shoes wet but on this particular Sunday I didn't care what got wet! By the time I was done, it was 84 degrees and I was beat!

After my very heated run, I went to Huntington Beach with my family and just took it easy.  We had a good time and this seems to be one of our new hang out spots.  It's an inexpensive way to spend time together and keep the kids entertained for hours. HB is also a cool place to run since it is usually 10-15 degrees cooler with a nice ocean breeze.

My husband and I.
My brother in law, me, my husband and my sister.
My son decided to get a beach workout in while we were there!
We tried to keep it somewhat healthy...
I am hoping for better days in September after all of the events that consumed me in August. Friday after work I picked up Baby's ashes and his cute little paw print. It kind of brought the hurt back all over again but I guess it is part of the healing process.  We all miss Baby so much but are at peace knowing that he is no longer suffering.  Dad is gaining his strength back slowly but surely and will be starting his chemotherapy again in September.  I am hoping the best for him because he sure is a fighter.  He inspires me and his will to live reminds me to be thankful for the small things in life on a daily basis. Grandpa also had surgery yesterday and is doing quite well. I just need all of my loved ones to get better so that I can stop being a worry wart and focus on my marathon that is just 39 days away!

My Baby's ashes and his cute little paw print.
It looks like the month of August is going to be a good month as far as miles.  Last month I banked 112 miles and I think I might exceed that by just a pinch this month.  I have also been thinking about buying a bike.  I think it might be fun to add cycling to my cross training but man are those road bikes pricey! I think I need a raise before I can invest in one of those bad boys!

Any suggestions on what type of bike I should buy?  What type/brand of bike do you ride and what would you recommend?

Aug 23, 2011

Emotional Roller Coaster Weekend

This weekend was an emotional roller coaster to say the very least!  My best canine friend died on Friday and then we had a surprise 60th birthday party for my Dad, who is battling cancer, on Saturday.  My Dad has been in the hospital for the past two weeks and had surgery to have his gallbladder removed.  He lost a lot of weight and has not been feeling that great.  It is really hard to hide anything from my Dad but we truly surprised him this time!

Me and my Dad!
I have never seen my Dad cry in all of my life and this surprise party actually brought him to tears!  It was really hard to see my Dad cry because he always told us as kids not to cry.  My Dad grew up in a Japanese family that went through a lot of hardship but he never saw either one of his parents cry so he grew up with a very tough heart. Don't get me wrong, my Dad is a great person and he would not strike you as an heartless person but he is just never been one to wear his heart on his sleeve.  I watched both of my grandparents die (his parents) and he never cried at their funerals or during their last moments of life. He even cried when I told him that my dog has passed away. Although it was hard to see my Dad in such an emotional state, it was kind of nice to see the sensitive side of him that I have never seen before.

My Dad and Step mom
It was a small party with mostly family but he had a great time and he really enjoyed himself.  He didn't even seem to mind it when his sister in law put cake all over his face! She really got him good!

My step mom had the priest from her friend's church come to the party to pray for my Dad and to bless him. My Dad is a believer but has never been one to go to church so this was really good for him. He told me that the priest did not try to mislead him to think that he would get better but just reassured him that if he didn't that everything was going to be fine. I think he found some comfort in hearing those words.

So Sunday rolled around and I had a 14 mile run on the agenda.  After enduring all of these emotionally draining events, I was in no mood to all! I woke up at 5:45am on Sunday, put my running clothes on and then thought of my dog and decided not to do it!  My daughter sent me a text a few minutes later and said, "Let's go the beach today."  I wasn't in much of the mood to go to the beach but I figured it wouldn't be a bad idea to get out of the house.  I really needed to get my mind off of my dog and my Dad so we got our beach stuff together and headed to Huntington Beach.  I wore my running clothes to the beach and hoped that by the time I got there I would be motivated to do some running. The weather was great and there is a really nice bike trail at Huntington which runners also utilize.  I had never ran on or near the beach before so it was a nice change for me. 

They decided to take it easy and do this, while I ran. They were pretty slow because they could not keep up with me (not that I am fast or anything) for nothing! 

Needless to say, I did not run 14 miles as planned! I called it quits at 6.55 miles and decided to spend some quality time with the family and try to recover from the overwhelming chain of events that had occurred in the previous days. I laid on the sand for the remainder of the day, took it easy and did some people watching.  These two got the "Most Interesting" award of the day!  Yes, that is a male and my nine year old son was sure to point out "the man in the bikini" to all of us!
The man in the bikini!
My mileage for the week sucked to say the least!  I was supposed to put 29 miles in and only managed to bank 22! I am in a very unmotivated state of mind this week and need to pull myself out of this!  The Disneyland Half Marathon is less than two weeks away and I need to get with it if I plan to PR!  No excuses this week, I promise! 

Please tell me what you do when you start to feel unmotivated!! I need some motivation here!!

Aug 22, 2011

Goodnight my "Baby"

Roxy and Baby: June 2010
For those of you who know me very well, you know that my dogs mean the world to me and I would spend my last penny to save their lives if I could.  I love my two Pomeranians, Baby and Roxy, to death but I think that Baby is my favorite because it's mutual...I am his favorite too!

Baby playing at the park in healthier times.
I found Baby running in the streets near my house on January 1, 2007.  He was clean, sweet as ever, and I just could not figure out why somebody would lose track of such a cute dog.  I put up signs from one end of the county to the other and nobody claimed him.  I decided to keep him in spite of the mixed feelings of the other people in my home and I am glad that I made that decision because he is the most loyal friend that I will ever have. I never knew how old Baby was or when his birthday was so I always celebrated his birthday on January 1, since that was the day that he came into my life.

Sleepy Baby is his bed, which he loved!
It wasn't long before I figured out why nobody ever claimed Baby.  Baby coughed a lot and when I took him to the vet to find out why we discovered that Baby had a heart murmur which shortly turned into Congestive Heart Failure.  The vet put him on some heart medications and he seemed to do just fine for a couple of years.  Baby loved to eat and be with me, so when he failed to do one or the other, I knew that something was wrong with him.  In February of 2010, Baby got really sick and the vets could not figure out what was wrong with him. They knew it was something serious by his blood panel and he needed to be hospitalized.  He wouldn't eat and when he did, he would throw up.  After several tests and many ultrasounds, I found out that Baby's gallbladder was full of bile and was not emptying itself as it normally should. I was referred to a specialist and they put Baby on some medication that shortly brought him back to his normal self.  His blood tests also revealed that his kidney values were extremely elevated and that he was in the early stages of kidney failure. Baby was then started on subcutaneous fluid therapy.

The vet taught us how to give Baby the fluid therapy at home and we faithfully gave him his fluids daily.  The needle was just huge to me and Baby never cried or even flinched. I always wondered how Baby tolerated that kind of pain. He even learned that when his fluid treatment was done that he would get a special treat so eventually he became excited about it.  On top of the fluid therapy, Baby took five different types of medication and he didn't seem to mind it and never gave us a hard time to take his medication.

Since Baby had congestive heart failure he coughed on a regular basis.  About a month ago, I noticed that Baby was coughing more than usual.  It was keeping him and I up at night and I knew that he was not resting like he normally did.  It was time to visit the vet to check if his condition was worsening or if he was having some other kind of problem.  The vet took x-rays and found that Baby's trachea had collapsed which made breathing very difficult for him.  This problem is common in small dogs so there is nothing that actually causes it to happen.  There is medication that helps to open the airway but it causes the heart to speed up and since Baby had heart trouble he couldn't take the medication. The vet gave him a different type of medication but it really affected his appetite and his personality.  He needed to take this medicine to survive so that was just one more pill for him to take.
Baby refused to let his Mommy leave without him!
Baby loved super balls!!
Enjoying a Doggy Donut!
I enjoyed whatever time I had left with Baby and spoiled him rotten with all of the things he loved!! So what did Baby love....super balls, empty toilet paper rolls, Roxy's pink monkey toy, Greenies, table food of any kind, car rides, his bed and most of all me ...his Mommy!  

Both of my babies love to go for car rides!

 Baby and his/Roxy's Pink Monkey
I dreaded the day that I would have to send this "Baby" of mine to doggy heaven because he had become such an everyday part of my life.  That day finally came on Friday, August 18, 2011 at 5:40pm. I knew that he was not feeling well because his appetite was poor, his energy level was way down and he just didn't seem like himself.  I knew that his quality of life was not what it should be so I took him to the vet to see what was going on. His blood tests revealed that he was in the advanced stages of renal failure and there was not much more the vet could do for him.  Fluid therapy was an option but with his heart problems the vet felt that this would have caused him further complications.  

This is the very last picture that I took of Baby at the vet.
The vet looked at me and told me that he was very sick and that it was time for me to let go. I held him in my arms, kissed him and told him how much I loved him in the final minutes of his life.  This is one of the most difficult and heart breaking decisions that I have ever had to make in my whole life.  Baby was like a child to me and I love him to pieces and I always will.  I hope he understands my decision and knows how much I love him and that I did my best to give him a happy life for the short time that we were friends.
Another super ball....
Although this is a very tough time for me, I keep reassuring myself that I did the right thing, the humane thing, and that I did everything that I could do to keep Baby alive for the last couple of years. I have lots of guilt over my decision at times but I have found amazing peace knowing that he is no longer suffering. I could no longer keep him here for me. I loved him too much to be so selfish.

Christmas Day 2010

Rest in Peace my Baby.  I will always love you and I will never ever forget you and the happiness that you brought to my life for the short time that we shared together.  I hope you are having fun in Doggy Heaven :) 

I will miss coming home to this!

RIP Baby: August 19, 2011

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Aug 15, 2011

Run 18 Miles, Walk 1.75 Miles and eat a Hot Banana!

Weather Report: Overcast and 61 degrees

My alarm clock was set for 5:00am and the plan was to be at Bonelli Park by 6:00am.  I had to drag myself out of bed because I was feeling really lazy!  I finally got up, got dressed and headed out the door.  My husband went along with me and rode his bike to keep me company.  This was his first time riding in Bonelli Park so he went picture crazy like I did my first time. I took advantage of him being there and made him take pictures of me too!

I had to drop water at a couple of locations before I got started so I ended up starting my run around 6:15am.  The goal for my run was to maintain marathon pace (9:00-9:05) and not burn myself out before I hit mile 18!  I tried to get my pace up to around 9:00 and not stay too focused on my Garmin unless I really felt like I was slowing down.

Mile 1: 8:55
Mile 2: 8:59
Mile 3: 8:57
Mile 4: 8:59
Mile 5: 8:46
Mile 6: 8:38

The sun made it's way out by mile six but the temperature was still tolerable. I changed my route around a little bit and boy was that a mistake.  There was some type of car show going on and there was lots of traffic, police and blocked crosswalks to say the least!  I had to pick up my pace to get the heck out there!

Mile 7: 8:59
Mile 8: 8:55
Mile 9: 8:55
Mile 10: 9:01

Mile 11: 8:53
Mile 12: 8:49
Mile 13: 8:52
Mile 14: 8:44
Mile 15: 8:38
Mile 16: 8:50
Mile 16...I felt this one!

Mile 17 and counting...

Mile 17: 8:09
Mile 18: 8:24 (uphill...ouch!)
Mile 18 never looked so good!
This is what I ran..

This is what I walked...

and this is what I felt like after running 18 Miles!
After running 18 miles, I had to walk 1.75 miles back to the car.  When I mapped the run out, Shawna and I were trying to avoid the hills of Bonelli Park that we hit in the very end. I guess I really over estimated that one! I was starving to death by the time I made it back to the car!  My husband had gone ahead of me to get his bike hooked on the bike rack of the car and he mentioned that he had brought a bagel with him.  I thought about that bagel all the way back to the car but when I finally made it back to the car he told me that he ate it and saved me nothing! Zero..nada!! I was a little irritated! The only thing in the car for me to eat was a left over hot banana from the morning, but I was so hungry that I had to eat it!

A hot banana never tasted so good!
I had a great week!  I was able to get 37 miles in and I felt really good about my long run.  This week I will be toning the miles down a bit and recovering! The Disneyland Half Marathon is just 20 days away!  I am excited about it and hoping for a PR!  I need one right about now!!

Running in Ruskin

I said I would dedicate a post to my runs in Ruskin, Florida so here it is. When I think of Florida I think of alligators, armadillos, swamps and Disney World!  In spite of the crazy weather in Ruskin, Florida, I decided to get a couple of runs in while I was visiting my sister. I knew that I would not be able to get my long run of the week done but since my sister and her hubby go to bed later and sleep in I had no excuse to not get my butt out there! I guess I am not used to the humidity in Florida because I was a sweaty, salty mess by mile 2 and that doesn’t usually happen that quickly!

I was a sweaty and salty mess!
I got two runs in while I was in Florida. I did a 6-mile run on Friday and a 5-mile run on Sunday and even though it was very hot and humid I think I kind of enjoyed myself.  I did have to take a few breaks and drink lots of water to survive it though. The change of scenery was nice and I was hoping to experience some interesting things while in Florida but that didn’t really happen or at least it didn’t happen the way that I had hoped it would....

I really wanted to see an armadillo and unfortunately this was how I experienced it :(
I don't think this is a swamp but it was the closest that I got to it!
Scary forest...looks like something you see in a horror movie, huh?
I saw way more cyclists than runners when I was out there. The temperature was between 82-84 degrees on both of my running days, but the humidity is what killed me!   I went for my runs around 7:00am so maybe Floridians get out there before 7:00am. I guess they know better. I ran along the main drag, Highway 301, since I didn’t want to get too adventurous on my runs and end up lost! Highway 301 is a pretty flat road with lot of churches, housing communities and scary looking forests (at least that’s what they look like to me.) One thing that I did notice was that all of the truckers like to honk at the runners.  I am not used to that kind of attention in California. I usually get strange stares when I am waiting at the signals to cross the street. I always wonder what those California people are thinking about me because they just stare at me like I am insane!

Very helpful...

One bike rider..
After completing/surviving these two short runs in Ruskin, I am doubtful that I will ever be able to run the Disney World Marathon.  In my opinion, if you don’t train in the Florida weather it will be hard to hang in the humidity for 26.2 miles.  I must say that I am in love with the medal for the Disney World Half Marathon but $160.00 for a half-marathon is a little pricey for me. I love Disney and all but I am not sure if I want to drop a $160 entry fee plus airfare and all of that good stuff!

Isn't this medal so cute??

Weekly Recap

This is what I was supposed to do:

Monday: Cross Train
Tuesday: 5 Mile Tempo
Wednesday: Cross Train
Thursday: 5 Mile Tempo
Friday: 8 Miles
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 12 Miles 

Here is what I actually did:

Monday: 4.26 Miles @9.09 (It was 90 degrees)
Tuesday: 3.3 Miles @8:45 (It was 88 degrees)
Wednesday: 4.11 Miles @9:17 (Just feeling lazy!)
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 6 Miles @8:36
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: 5 Miles @8:34 

I am determined to stay on track this week.  I just completed my 18-mile training run yesterday.  My goal was to maintain marathon pace for the entire run (9:00-9:05.)  I will have to tell you all about it and whether or not I met my goal.  Happy Monday!