Sep 30, 2011

CHECK OUT the Aspaeris review and GIVEAWAY!!

Don't miss out on another great giveaway from The Athletarian.  Check out these great compression shorts which can be yours if you just do a few simple things!!!

Sep 29, 2011

Beating the BQ!

I guess it is kind of obvious by the title of my blog that my ultimate goal is to qualify for the Boston Marathon and actually get accepted to run it.  I was looking at an article on which announced the 2012 Boston Marathon Qualifier Acceptances.  I was interested in the stats and the qualified times that were accepted for 2012 and here's what I found:

After reading this, it really woke me up and made me realize that a BQ is simply not good enough!  I need to exceed the qualifying time in my age group in order to even be considered!  Only those who had a qualifying performance of one minute and 14 seconds or better in their age group made the cut! WOW! I guess there are lots of disappointed people who did not get accepted this time around.

What did I get out of reading this article? Well, I now know that I have lots of work hardcore training to do and must rethink my whole plan on how to get to Boston in my lifetime! The BAA has raised the bar on the qualifying times for 2013 by five minutes which is going to make it tougher than ever. I guess the only positive  on my side is that I am kind of on the older side so I get a little more time than most of you!!

I know that many of us have our eyes set on Boston for 2013 or sometime in the near future. So tell me...

1. What is your plan for getting your BQ or should I say beating your qualifying time?

2. What do you think is a safe time cushion needed to get accepted to run the much coveted Boston Marathon?

3.  If you have already ran the Boston Marathon, how close was your actual BQ time to the actual qualifying time required in your age group?

Go Sports Running Skirt Review and Giveaway!

Looking to try out a new running skirt or add one to your collection? If you do, then check out and this great Go Sports Wear giveaway from My Dirt Road Anthem! She did a great modeling shoot for us too! Good Luck!

Sep 26, 2011

Keeping My Fingers Crossed!

I always look forward to the time when I can start tapering down on my mileage!  I can breathe a sigh of relief and reflect on all my hard work that I have been putting in for the last few months.  I was feeling pretty crappy and burned out last week and I had to get myself back in gear and finish up the last few weeks of my training.  I have one more ten mile run to complete this Sunday and then it's time to slow things way down.

I did make it to the gym last Friday after work, as I said I would, and knocked out 7 miles on the treadmill.  I had to try something different to deal with my hateful feelings towards the treadmill and decided to alternate my miles between marathon and half marathon pace. The time seemed to go by much faster so I think I found a new way to tolerate the days when I have to run on the dreadmill! Maybe if I had a "New Best Friend" like Gourmet Runner, I might fall in love again! 

I also ran a half marathon around the neighborhood on Sunday morning.  I planned on doing 13 miles but just had to get that extra .10 miles in for some odd reason. The weather was perfect, 60 degrees, and there was a light mist during my entire run. My average pace was 8:44 and I was happy with that.  It was really refreshing and I can only hope that the weather will be this nice in two weeks when I run the Long Beach Marathon.  I am keeping my fingers crossed!

Sep 23, 2011


This is the sign that has been hanging in my house and in my office for the last week!  I am not sure what has gotten into me but I have completely lost my motivation!  I have the Long Beach Marathon coming up in two weeks and I should been preparing myself both mentally and physically.  What have I been doing instead?   Eating cupcakes as often as my local cupcakery puts out the special flavors and resting!  I have only logged 4 miles this week and need to get with it!

As I am reading through all of the blogs that I follow, I noticed that everyone is getting through their long runs with flying colors and getting really excited about PR's and I am just barely getting by over here! I need to change this mentality quick and make the best of the last two weeks that I have until my marathon.  

The weather has been really hot this week (95-100 degrees) so I have been using that as an excuse to put my runs off.  Today I will make that trip to the gym and knock out an hours worth on the dreadmill!  I would much rather enjoy the fresh air and the scenery but sometimes you just can't have your cake and eat it too!

Everyone is doing such a great job with training and good luck to all of you in your upcoming races!

Sep 21, 2011

Great Deals and 22 Miles!

On Saturday I found some amazing deals at the REI Used Gear Sale.  My husband was hoping to score a great deal on a used road bike but you have to camp out for a great deal like that and I wasn't about to do that!  There was tons of people at the sale by the time we arrived and we saw lots of good things in other people's hands like Garmin GPS watches, road bikes, bike racks and running strollers.  REI has a great return policy for their members who pay their lifetime $20.00 membership fee. Due to this great return policy, their customers return everything and anything they can and then REI has this great sale every three months or so for the rest of us. I think I even saw a pack of toilet paper at the sale! Really, no joke but I guess it is safe to assume that it wasn't used!  I was able to grab a few things at some great prices that are gently used.  I am not usually into buying used items but I couldn't pass these items up.  Here is what I scored:

1) A pair of Pearl Izumi All-Road Bike Shoes for my spinning classes that I can never seem to make it to. These retail for $85.00 and I haven't bought a pair because I wasn't ready to pay that much for them especially when I have a hard time getting to the classes due to time conflicts.  The tag says that they were only worn twice and returned because they were too tight in the toe area. I paid $20.00 for these! They don't look worn at all to me so I was excited when I saw these laying on the ground all by their lonesome! I now have a good reason to start going to spin class again and sticking to it! Hopefully I don't get athlete's foot from my new but used shoes!

2. I also picked up these Amphipod Running Belts for $9.00 and $12.00.  They don't include the water bottles but I don't think I would want to drink out of used water bottles anyway. Now I have three running belts and they are all different so depending on what I want to carry with me on any given day, I now have a variety to choose from! I paid $40.00 for the one that I already own so this was a excellent deal!

3. This item was not part of the used gear sale but my son has been bugging me to buy this for him because he gets tired standing out on the course waiting for me to finish my races! He tells me that I take too long. I guess that is his way of telling me that I am too slow!

My son and my niece Kia'a trying out the new chair
On Sunday morning I ran 22 miles which is my last super long run before the Long Beach Marathon on October 9th. I didn't do as well as I thought I should have so I am hoping for the best! I was hoping to get it done much faster but I didn't and I have no excuses. I am hoping that the adrenaline and excitement that I usually feel on race day will carry me to the finish line!

Sep 15, 2011

Am I Going Insane or What?

I'm in a weird state where I feel great and empowered about running and then I can't get my brain to stop spinning and I feel stressed about running period! I keep having paranoid thoughts that maybe I won't do so well in the Long Beach Marathon or be unable to finish it!  What in the world is going on with me?? This race is 23 days away and I need to pull it together!!  Whenever I feel this way I start signing up for more races or looking for new ways to improve my skills and confidence.  These feelings started with my 20 mile run last Sunday.  I felt that I should have done way better than I did and I really got discouraged.  I had no reason not to do well on my 20 miler because the weather was perfect and the sun never came out during the whole run.  On the bright side, I will be tackling 22 miles this Sunday, the weather will be great and I need to redeem myself or else this is going to be ugly.
The last time that I had these weird feelings I signed up for four half marathons. I played it safe and signed up for half marathons...not full marathons.  Chicken!  Well this time I came up with two really crazy thoughts.  My first crazy thought....Why not tackle the Beach Cities Challenge?  This consists of completing this series of marathons:

1) Long Beach International City Bank Marathon on October 9, 2011, which I am already registered for and will be tackling in just a few weeks!
2) Surf City Marathon on February 5, 2012

3) The OC Marathon on May 6, 2012.

So what do you get for doing all of these marathons?  You get this lovely medal:

The Queen Mary signifies the Long Beach Marathon, the Surf Board represents the Surf City Marathon and the Wave is for the OC Marathon.  Kinda cute huh?

I got this neat medal hanger for my birthday from my husband and it's looking pretty empty these days.  I only have three medals to date and he must be giving me a big hint because this sucker is huge and can probably hold 50 plus medals.  I guess I better sign up for some more races so I am not feeling embarrassed of how empty it looks.
My medal hanger currently has three medals :(
My second crazy idea is to become a Marathon Maniac!  In order to achieve Bronze Level status, I would have to complete one of the two options below.  I think I would prefer to complete "3 Marathons within a 90 day time frame." 

The three marathons that would qualify me for Marathon Maniac status include the following:

1) Surf City Marathon on February 5, 2012

2) Los Angeles Marathon on March 18, 2012

3) OC Marathon on May 6, 2012

Since I am already running the Surf City and the OC Marathon for the Beach Cities Challenge, why not add one more marathon and kill two birds with one stone?? What do you think?  Would you take on both of these challenges?

Sep 12, 2011

I May Be Old but I Can Still Run a Marathon!

I can't believe I am 40!  It was the big 4-0 for me on September 7th and even though I wasn't really looking forward to it, I made the best of it!  I started the Labor Day Weekend off by PR'ing in the Disneyland Half Marathon.  

My PR was the greatest birthday gift in and of itself!  I received so many Happy Birthday wishes and compliments from co-workers, family and friends which made me feel just a little bit better about the whole "Over the Hill" thing.  My niece and nephew in Florida went way out in these special pictures just for me!

Notice his onesie!
Taite got in on the whole"40" thing too!
So let me tell you all about the special things that everyone did for me to make my 40th a memorable one! September 6th was my son's first day of fourth grade so I started work late so that I could take him on his first day. It's kind of a tradition for me to take him on his first day. I am dreading the day that he no longer wants me around which will probably be really soon.

When I arrived at work I was pleasantly surprised to see the new look of my office! My staff decorated my office for me and even though there was "40" all over it, I loved it!  I thought it was a pretty cool idea even though it kind of rubbed in the whole "40" thing! There was no doubt that everyone in City Hall knew how old I was! They did try to be nice and tell me how I did not look a day over 25. Whatever!

Tease me about my age and I'll beat you with my cane!
My staff/co-workers also took me to lunch twice. We had lunch at BJ's one day and then at Red Robin another!  They also gave me a bunch of neat gifts like flowers, candy, gift cards to Kohl's and Sprinkles and a running jacket for training in the winter.  The jacket was from Shawna which came with the guarantee that her and I will do a marathon together in the future.

On my birthday, more good things came my way. I took three days off of work to take care of family stuff and to celebrate my birthday and try to relax a little. My husband sent me the most beautiful glittery red roses and my son made me the most creative rose out of duct tape. We also went to lunch at one of my favorite Thai Restaurants and I ate my little heart out.  I normally take it easy with the fried food but I really like love the fried won tons and I made it known!  I had the pepper steak with rice and yes, I cleaned my plate!  My husband also bought me some other running related things that I have been wanting but they are on their way so I don't have them to share with you yet.

My son can make pretty much anything out of duct tape!

After lunch, I got a pedicure per Shawna's orders and she also told me that I needed to take a break from running as well.  I obeyed her orders and managed to gain 5 pounds instead! Keep reading to see how I managed to pack the pounds on!

I love Italian food, so the whole gang went to Buca di Beppo for dinner to celebrate my 40th with me.  I love their house salad, mozzarella cheese bread and spaghetti with meat sauce. I cleaned my plate here too!  My daughter brought some of my favorite wine, Moscato.  I am not much of a drinker and rarely ever drink but I did have a small glass of wine.  My son has never seen me drink before so he was really concerned that I was drunk. My daughter also gave me a gift card to a great spa so I will be treating myself to a much needed facial really soon!  There's more.

No celebration would be complete without my favorite dessert, cupcakes!  My daughter also brought me my two favorite cupcakes from our local cupcakery.  The waiter brought them out to me complete with the 4-0 candles and the birthday song.  I was pleasantly surprised and the cupcakes disappeared and went straight to my hips too!

Just Kidding!  This photo was taken strictly for your entertainment.
The day after my birthday we went to see "The Help."  It was a great movie but very sad to see how black women were treated back in those days. I highly recommend that you see this movie! One random thing about movie theater bathrooms. While visiting the ladies room, I was surprised to see the various items that are available for purchase from the "Convenience Center!" I thought this machine was used for those other things that women use?? I guess not because they weren't for sale in this ladies room!

Body Jewels or Lip Gloss anyone?

I ate at another one of my favorite Thai restaurants the day to follow! I love the garlic and pepper pork! Can't you tell? I tried to leave a little something on the plate so I didn't appear to be a pig! I am not sure if I was very convincing! Probably not.

My last food binge that I will admit to is my visit to my favorite taco truck!  This is the one and only "roach coach" that my family and I dare to eat from.  They have the absolute very best tacos in the whole wide world and we make a cross country trip to get these bad boys for only a $1.25! The gas is more expensive than the food!

So how did I deal with all of the guilt of being a fat 40 year old? I went for a nice 20 mile run on Sunday and called it a week! I think I forgot what 20 miles feels like because I felt pretty tired from Mile 15 to the end.  It didn't help that I mapped out the hilliest course ever for a 20 mile run.

I am just 27 days away from running my first marathon as a 40 year old.  I am in a whole different Age Group now! The only problem is that the 40 year old women are pretty darn awesome so now I will never place in my age group until I'm 50 or 60. I guess I now have something to look forward to in my old age!

Sep 6, 2011

Hey, It's Free!!

The one thing I love about my birthday is all of the free offers that I receive from all of the restaurants and shops that I frequent.  This year I collected a ton of freebies and I am pretty excited about it! Here is what I collected this year:

1) Free Scoop of Ice Cream from Baskin-Robbins

2) Free Dinner from Soup Plantation

3) Free $30.00 Dinner from Benihana (This is one of the best offers!)

4) Free Birthday Burger from Red Robin

5) $10.00 Gift Card from Macy's

6) $10.00 Gift Card from Kohl's

7) Free Birthday Brownie from Buca di Beppo

8) Free Birthday Dessert from TGI Fridays

9) Free Drink from Starbucks

10) Free Meal from El Torito

11) Free Meal from Hooter's

12) $10.00 Free Game Play at Dave and Busters

13) Free Meal from Mimi's Cafe

14) Free Medium Tots or drink from Sonic

15) Free Movie Rental from Redbox

I'm sure you know that most restaurants will give you a free dessert if you dine with them on your birthday.  One of the best desserts ever is the pizookie from BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse.  A chocolate chunk pizookie (pizza cookie) with vanilla bean ice cream is my all time favorite and my greatest weakness!

I will be busy the next couple of weeks redeeming all of my free offers, meals and desserts and gaining lots of weight! Am I missing out on any good offers?  Let me know if I am.

Disneyland Half Marathon: 9/4/11

Weather Report: 62 degrees!  Amen!!

This is going to be a long one with lots of pictures and you will soon found out why. If you just want the details, scroll to the bottom of the page!

I was so excited when I picked up my race bib because they placed me in Corral A!  Corral placement is based on your official time in another timed event so I used last year's time from the Disneyland Half Marathon and this is where it got it me!
After the Expo, we walked around Disneyland for a little while since we are annual pass holders. My son loves the monorail so we rode it into the park and we even got to sit in the very front! After leaving Disneyland, we headed over to Red Robin to have lunch.  My lunch was probably not a very appropriate one but I love the protein burger at Red Robin and I skipped the fries for broccoli. I even ate a couple of onion rings.  They are the absolute best I have ever had! Oh, and I also had a freckled lemonade too.  Gotta have my's non-alcoholic don't worry!

Course Map: The course is pretty flat for the most part and has lots of entertainment for runners to enjoy. I am too focused on time and never seem to enjoy what this race has to offer.  There are characters throughout the first 4 miles of the course within the theme parks but just a handful of people stop to take pictures. I really want to run this race for fun in the future so I can take full advantage of it!
I was really worried about the weather and had been monitoring it for the last week or so.  I hate the heat and never train in it for any reason so I will never be prepared for it.  The hotel we stayed in was about .65 miles from the start so we decided that we would leave the car at the hotel and make life easy on ourselves.  Last year we stayed at a local hotel that was about 1.5 miles away and then drove to the race in the morning and boy was that a mistake.  This year it worked out much better.  We took a walk to the Start the night before to see how long it would take us and how long of a walk it was.  We ended up walking and grabbing a sandwich from Subway for dinner while we were out since the hotel parking lot was completely full!  If we would have driven I not sure that we would have had a place to park because everyone seemed to be walking instead of driving. I did more walking than I wanted to and started to wonder if it was going to work against me on race day...

I woke up at 4:00am and got dressed.  I am pretty anal about laying out all of my stuff the night before because I would kill myself if I happened to forget something important. I could hear all of the other runners leaving their hotel rooms and heading down to breakfast.  We left the room at 4:30am and headed over to Disneyland. It was still dark and there were runners on every corner of the intersection.  I wasn't nearly as nervous as I was last year when I ran this same race. I was pretty nervous last year because it was the first race I had ever entered a race and I had no idea what to expect. I made a quick stop to the port a potty and then headed to the corrals.  Corral A does have it perks and I was loving it!  You can see Mickey and Minnie, the officials only let those whose bib identifies them as belonging in Corral A through, you get to take off first and avoid weaving around those who are slower than you, all of the special guests and famous people who are running the race are placed in Corral A and you just feel important being there. I am not used to this like many of you speed demons might be so I was pretty excited!! 
The singing of the National Anthem with fireworks!
I was pretty close to the Start!
My goal pace was 8:18 in hopes of finishing in 1:49.  Last year I completed this same race in 1:50:58 and one of my Running Goals is to complete a half marathon in under 1:50.  I was able to make it way to front of my corral and started within 5 seconds of the official start.  I took off faster than I wanted to because all of the fast people are in Corral A and you have no choice but to move it or possibly get trampled!  I was laughing to myself because I was now the runner that everyone was passing!  I think I was the slowest runner in Corral A! I still loved being in Corral A because everyone was so spread out and there was lots of space around me.  I ran a 7:58 for Mile 2 and I usually kill myself to pull off a lap like this in the very end of my training runs.  My husband and my son were waiting for me right around Mile 4 which is where you actually exit the theme park and hit the streets of Anaheim.  They made me a great sign this year so that I couldn't miss them. Please notice that my son also has on his "Run Mommy Run" t-shirt.
They got so many compliments on their sign!
My son and his sign for Mom!
Mile 4 was exciting because I saw my two biggest fans.  They were able to take some great pictures because not a lot of fans were waiting at at this location. They actually had to sneak into this area because once the race started they closed this area and this is where I was looking forward to seeing them.
High Fiving my Son!
Immediately after I seeing my husband and son, came the overpass on Ball Road which is probably the worst part of the whole course.  It's really not that bad and I was definitely distracted by the beautiful sunrise. I actually stopped to take a picture of the sunrise and I didn't want to stop unless I really needed to, but I couldn't pass this one up. Mile 5 was my only lap that was under 8:18. It was actually 8:23 due to the Kodak moment. 
Another exciting part of my run was around Mile 5.5 when I noticed that the man in the yellow shirt that had been beside me for quite some time was Drew Carey.  He was very friendly and has actually lost 80 pounds since he started running. I really wanted to take a picture of him but didn't want to piss him off so I decided to secretly take a picture of him and hope he didn't notice and go off on me. By the way, I am faster than Drew Carey! I also GU'd at Mile 5.5 because I needed it!
That's Drew Carey.  He PR'd by 7 minutes so good thing I didn't try to stop him for a picture!
Drew Carey got really excited for Mariachi but I don't think that had a clue who he was!
I knew that I was ahead of schedule around the halfway point and I was very tempted to stop and take a break but I wanted this one so I pushed myself to keep going. By Mile 7, the sun had made it's way out but the temperature was still pretty cool.  The part of the course that all of the runners really look forward to, running through Angel's Stadium, was really close and I needed that boost of excitement to keep me going.  The volunteers handed out GU right around Mile 9 and I was Gu'ing through Angel's Stadium for some odd reason?? No, I am not a big Angel's fan and I hope I wasn't on the jumbo tron Gu'ing! I didn't even want to look.

I was getting tired by Mile 10 and my legs were feeling it but I was determined to get my PR so I pushed hard.  I also noticed that my Garmin and the Mile Markers were off by about .12-.16 miles so I knew that I had to pick up the pace a bit to make up for the "added mileage."

By Mile 11, I was pretty beat!  I could feel my pace slowing down but I fought it and pushed hard!  I was so happy to see Mile 12 and I gave it all that I had left, which wasn't much.  I could feel the burn in the legs and I knew I was going to be sore the next day...and I am! I took one last look at my Garmin and I knew that I was going to come in around 1:48 and I was elated! Official Time 1:47:43! This was much more than I had hoped for!  Moments like this really make you feel good about all of the hours of training that you have put in and all of the sacrifices that you have made to stick to your training plan.
Can you tell that I was beat??
Disneyland was definitely the "Happiest Place on Earth" on this particular day.  So how did I celebrate?  I had a good breakfast which included pancakes....
There is an egg white omelet with spinach under all that cheese and tomatoes!
and then I went to Disneyland and had a double scoop of ice cream in a waffle cup! My birthday is right around the corner and my new PR was the perfect birthday present!
Chocolate Chip and Mint Chocolate Chip are my two favorites!
Here are my splits and my official results if you care to take a look. According to Run Less Run Faster, a BQ of 3:45 is realistic if you can run a half-marathon in 1:47:25. Kind of makes me wonder if I hadn't stopped to take the pictures of the sunrise and Drew Carey, then maybe I  could have finished 18 seconds faster!  I guess it's time to step it up and keep pushing for Boston just a little bit harder! I have the Long Beach Marathon coming up in about a month and this Sunday I will attempt a 20 Miler!! That's going to be a tough one!! I was looking forward to tackling 20 miles with Shawna, my running buddy, but she is officially out of the race due to an injury!  Bummer!!