May 31, 2012

Am I Back?

May was a pretty decent month full of mostly solid runs. I have to work a lot harder for my runs but the effort is there. I ran 92 miles in May, the most I have ran this whole year. In May I ran a half marathon and a 10K.  Neither one of my races were PR's but then again I was just focusing on being able to finish and running without pain. Coming back from an injury is a scary thing. The thought of re-injuring yourself lingers in the back of your mind and every little ache and pain worries you. I am trying very hard to get rid of this mindset while still remaining cautious but I can't lie, it's been very difficult. 

The more that I think about it, I cannot consider myself "BACK" until I do something that impresses myself! Yes, I am incredibly hard on myself! When you know what you have accomplished in the past, you tend to hold yourself to those levels and anything else is just not worth talking about. I know that every race cannot be a PR and up until now I have not attempted to push myself or strive for anything great. I don't want to be disappointed with myself more than I already have been for the last few months. Things have really changed for me. My body is not familiar with the weekly mileage that I used to put in.  I can no longer run 13 miles on any given day without feeling tired or sore. I get tired way faster than I did in my better days. My endurance is simply not what it used to be! Sometimes I get so frustrated with myself that I have considered giving up on running but my love for running won't let me. I guess recovery takes time and even though I am thankful as ever to be running again, I still need to be patient with my body and take my time building myself back up to where I want to be.
My next race is not until September and I am not sure what I will shoot for but I am going to start pushing myself a little harder so that I have a goal to work towards. I have a training schedule that I have been working on since this injury first happened and I think it's almost time to bust it out and get busy!!  I can't wait for the day when I can confidently come back here to tell all of you that "I AM BACK!"

Three Things Thursday

1. I have been wanting to make one of these ever since Danica over at shared it on her blog.  I thought it was the cutest/sentimental idea ever!  My husband is super creative and crafty so I actually let him help me out (with 99% of it.) All you need is some maps, a frame, embroidery thread and a needle. He is going to make one for our bedroom and I am giving this one to a co-worker who has an anniversary coming up on July 3rd.
The map with the heart indicates the place that the couple met, the rings indicate where they got married and the house indicates where they live. My husband threw in a little twist on the rings and made one of them a diamond ring. I hope she loves it!

2. Did you notice that I changed my blog header? I was tired of looking at that same picture even though it has a special meaning (my first marathon and current PR.) I also wanted to put some pictures of my family up since I talk about them just as much as I do running.  I am not the most talented person in the world on the computer so I did my best with the tools that I had available to me. What do you think?

3. In other news, my One Year Blogiversary is coming up on June 9th and I am planning on hosting my very first giveaway!  I am not quite sure what I am going to offer but I am thinking of sharing some of my favorite/must have running items with you! Any other ideas?

May 29, 2012

My Memorial Weekend Recap

I made my usual weekly call to me Dad on Thursday to see how he has been doing.  Of course it is always hard to figure out how he is doing because he never complains about anything and acts like going through chemo is really no big deal.  Whatever Dad! My dad is always working on some new project around his house. His newest project is building a storage shed. I think it is his way of making sure that he stays active and proving to himself that he can still do things he used to do. He refuses to let cancer win this battle and I can't tell you how much I will always admire him for that! During our phone call, he mentioned that his company was hosting a family picnic and that he wanted us to go. He is on the employee committee and helps plan all of the events so I guess he wanted to attend in spite of having gone fishing the entire day. The picnic started at 5:00pm on Sunday and I never pass up an opportunity to see him because in my back of my mind I always wonder how much longer he will be here with me. It was good quality time and my son had a great time. He won the sack race and received a $10 Cold Stone Ice Cream gift card.
On Monday I ran a 10K and saw this interesting masked man!  It was warm out there...can you tell by my red face? After the race I went home, cooked and then spent time with my family.  My grandparents came over and so did my mom. We feasted on carne asada, ribs, corn on the cob, baked beans, and pasta salad!
Today was an added vacation day because I knew that I would need some time to recover from the weekend.  I went to the gym since I hate to pass up an opportunity to workout especially when I have a day off and have the time.  I also missed an opportunity to meet this sweet lady who happened to be at the gym at the same time as I was.  We somehow passed right by each other and neither one of us actually realized who the other was.
Weekly Recap
As far as last weeks running, I didn't have a great week in terms of miles. I only ran 16.65 miles but I am determined to do much better this week!  I am already ahead of the game since I have been off for the last two days and took advantage of both of them.
It's back to work for me tomorrow.  It's going to be tough going back to work after having five days off!  Have a great week!! 

Anybody joining the Runner's World Summer Running Streak? I would love to do it but sometimes things get hectic with my busy schedule and I don't want to feel bad for breaking the streak!

May 28, 2012

Run for the Red 10K: 5/28/12

This was my second stab at a 10K.  I have been horrible about setting goals lately and I didn't have any going into this 10K.  It seems like recently my overall goal has simply been to get out there and have a decent run! The weather was warm and I don't think that I have ever entered a race that starts at 9:15am.  It was 67 degrees at the start but the sun was beaming and I was already sweating before it even started.
The course was not bad at all and for the most part it was shaded but I am a big baby when it comes to running in temperatures above 60 degrees.  Those who ran the 10K basically ran the 5K course twice.  The biggest problem was that there was only one water stop on the 5K course at mile 1.6 or so and that was it!! I carried my own water but 90% of the runners did not and I felt really bad for them because they were thirsty!!
It was a very small race, with only 119 people running the 10K so that was just what I needed to give me that confidence boost that I have been needing! I love small races, especially when there are only 4 women in my age group!  That gave me a 25% chance of placing in my age group and I placed first! My official time was 51:52 (8:21 PACE).  It was not a PR for me but I felt like it was a decent time for me coming off of an injury and it gives me something to work toward. 
After the race, I iced my leg and headed home to BBQ for Memorial Day with my family! I guess I should have hung around for my first place AG medal but perhaps they will mail it.

May 24, 2012

Three Things Thursday

Happy Thursday to everyone!  Just wanted to share a few random things with you today...

1. I saw this story in the local newspaper, The Orange County Register, and thought that this was such a unique and original way to propose.  Many people spotted them and thought it was some type of photo shoot for a magazine but it was the real deal.
2. I was organizing my closet last weekend and realized that I have more running clothes than work clothes! I even had to move some of my clothes over to the closet in the guest bedroom so I guess it's time to stop shopping!
3. I got brave and registered for a 10K.  I have never ran this race before and decided that I will give it a try.  It's just want I need right's small, local and only $30.00. 
It's going to be a five day weekend for me!  I am looking to getting caught up on my sleep!  It has been a stressful week!   
What are your plans for the Memorial Day Weekend? I don't really have any plans other than the 10K. We are kind of stuck at home for a while until Sugar has her pups!

May 21, 2012

Needing a Confidence Boost and a Weekly Recap

As much as I would love to sign up for a marathon right now, just I can't.  I honestly don't think I am ready and until I feel more comfortable with my running abilities I will just stick to what I have been doing.  But wait, I am not completely against signing up for a race.  I am considering signing up for a 10K or maybe even a 5K. What I really need right now is a little "confidence boost" so I am considering a couple of local races.  I guess what I am in search of is a small race where I have a chance of placing in my age group. I like the small races that have same day bib pick up and are close to home! I am search of one or two right now so we will see if I can work up the courage to register for one.
Weekly Recap
My runs were a little bit better this week than last week. I only ran 6 miles last week due to sore calves and this week I was able to squeeze in 19.5 miles. It's not where I want to be in terms of pace and mileage but I am trying to take it slow for the next few weeks and hopefully I can get more serious with my running in June. Training is difficult during the summer months because of the California heat but it's the only way to prepare for winter races. We are already experiencing temperatures in the 90's so I am a little worried about how hot our summer will actually be.
Monday: REST

Tuesday: Ran 5 Miles on the Treadmill. It was way too hot to run outside by the time I got home from work.

Wednesday: REST

Thursday: REST

Friday: Ran 5.25 Miles (The best run I have had in a long time!)

Saturday: Ran 3 Miles (Two Miles with the family and the last one alone.)

Sunday: Ran 6.25 Miles


Hope you had a great weekend.  There seemed to be a lots of races going on this this weekend and the weather seemed to be intolerably warm/hot. I have never been up against the weather on a race day and I'm not really sure what I would do..

What is the warmest/hottest weather you have ever raced in?

May 18, 2012

Fabulous Friday!!

Today turned out to be a great day. It started out with a very decent run this morning. I haven't hit these numbers in a while and I was starting to believe that I never would again.  It just kind of happened today and I am not sure how or why but I hope it continues.
After sweating like crazy after a great run, I just had to give in and treat myself to these mouth watering cupcakes. No, I did not eat all four them! I had lots of help. We usually cut them into fours and samples all of them so it's really like having one full cupcake, right?  It makes me feel better about it if I explain how it just equals one cupcake! 
We finished off the night by having dinner at BJ's. I have been wanting to try their new Thai Chicken Mango Salad and my husband has been wanting to try their new Hawaiian Mahi Mahi.  They were both really yummy!! I would definitely order this salad again and it was pretty filling.
Wishing you all a great weekend.  No big plans for me except maybe another great run on Sunday (fingers crossed!)

May 17, 2012

I'm Going to Be a Grandma!!

I have the best vet in the whole wild world!  She does so much to help animals and does so much work on her own time and dime! She has saved so many animals from being euthanized and does all the vet care at a local no kill animal shelter pro bono. She is an incredible lady and I am so glad that she takes care of my babies too!  I have to pay for her services but it's good to have your pets being cared for by such a wonderful person who is in a career that she truly loves.

We took Sugar in tonight to see if she was pregnant and yes, she is.  Dr. K looked at me and said "You are going to be a Grandma!" 
Sugar was not on her best behavior tonight so she had to wear a muzzle to keep her in check while the technician took her temperature.  She also growled at Dr. K a little but she put Sugar in her place and she knocked it off.  

Dr. K thinks that Sugar will deliver the puppies in a couple of weeks.  She gave her an ultrasound and saw at least two puppies with their little hearts beating.  She promised to find homes for Sugar and her puppies if I agreed to take care of the puppies until they can survive without mama.  Deal!  I have never seen a dog give birth before so this will be a first for me!  I am nervous and anxious all at the same time but I am so glad that I am able to help a stray dog like Sugar.

Three Things Thursday

1. It has been pretty warm here in Southern California this week!  I have been wanting to get a couple of short runs in but in this heat I'll pass.  My runs have been limited to the gym treadmill (not my favorite method) so my motivation level has been kind of on the low end. I have to find my groove and get back into things.
2. My niece will be flying in from South Carolina on June 2nd so I am really excited to see her!  She will be visiting for the entire summer so I am busy planning lots of fun things for us to do. We will definitely be making an appearance at Disneyland, Universal Studios and Raging Waters.
3. Sugar is sill living with us and settling in quite comfortably.  She will be going to the vet tonight because I suspect that she is pregnant.  Her belly had grown quite a bit in the last few weeks!   
I have another three day weekend! Hooray! I am hoping to get a couple of decent runs in this weekend and get myself back on track.

May 14, 2012

So What's Next and a Weekly Recap.....

Today has been a crazy day!  Mondays are always hectic days for me anyway because it is hard to come back after being off for three days. My biggest problem today is that I stayed up way too late watching the two hour season finale of Desperate Housewives. It was my favorite TV show and I am really bummed that it is all over. I wasn't in work mode today even though I had a ton of things to do. I did get all of my work done but my mind appears to be somewhere else these days.  Here is where my mind was really at....

I keep asking myself what's next and to be honest, I am not sure.  The OC Half Marathon was a a great race to get back into things and I was really excited and nervous about it all at the same time. I really need to focus on my running confidence because the whole idea of re-injuring myself is always in the back of my mind. I am really trying to be more positive about running but sometimes the memories of an injury can hold you back.

So what are those thoughts that have been dancing around in my head?

1)   Run CIM in December. I have been eyeing this marathon since the beginning of the year.  I just keep visiting their website hoping that it doesn’t say “SOLD OUT.” I am just not sure if I will be ready to do what I want to go there for…a new PR. 

2)  Run another Half Marathon. I am registered for the Disneyland Half Marathon in September. Again, I would love to PR and break 1:47. Is that possible? I am currently comfortable running a 9:00 pace and need to get closer to an 8:00 pace to accomplish this goal. I was there before so I know that it is achievable but I just need to convince myself that I can do it.

3)   In 2013, run all of the races that I missed while injured in 2012.
a.      Surf City Marathon
b.     Pasadena Half Marathon
c.      Los Angeles Marathon
d.     Hollywood Half Marathon

4)  Run a race in honor of my Dad. My Dad is currently in his third round of chemo and I really want to run a race for him.  I am not sure what the future holds for my Dad and as difficult as a marathon is for me, I am sure that it is nothing compared to the life of a cancer patient. I have been considering the Long Beach Marathon in October since I almost broke four hours last year and swore I would be back to reclaim what was mine.  The only question that lingers in my mind is whether or not I will be ready for it and if my body will be back to normal and be able to handle a marathon.

Weekly Recap

I didn't have the best week since I spent most of my time allowing my body to recover 100% from the half marathon.  My calves were really sore and I didn't want to run again until all of the soreness was gone.  It was a pretty boring week and I am hoping that this week will be much better.

Monday: REST

Tuesday: REST

Wednesday: REST


Friday: Ran one mile on the treadmill and 6.1 miles/55 minutes on the Elliptical

Saturday: REST

Sunday: Ran 5 Miles in the neighborhood  

How was your weekend?  If you are a Mom, how was your Mother's Day?
Are you a fan of Desperate Housewives?

May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all of the great moms out there!
I also want to wish my mom, grandma and sisters a Happy Mother's Day since they are all great moms! We don't always see eye to eye but I  love them all unconditionally!
My son was very excited to present me with this great Mother's Day gift.  He was very proud of the origami butterfly that he made for me and even the gift bag because he bought it with his own money!

May 11, 2012

It's All About Me!!

I work a 9/80 schedule so today was my day off. How did I spend my Friday? 

1. I started my day with a little of this..of course.
2. Really needed to do this...
3. and then I did this...and think I feel asleep in the chair too..

Sometimes you just have to pamper yourself a little bit, right?
Now that I have all of this taken care of, it's time for some family time! Have a great weekend!

May 10, 2012

Three Things Thursday

1. I am not a huge fan of McDonald's but I do like their coffee and I also eat their oatmeal every once in a while. I have tried the Fruit and Maple Oatmeal before and noticed that they are now advertising for the Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal.  I tried it the other morning instead of my usual morning cup of Starbucks and it was actually pretty good. I liked the idea of the fresh blueberries!
2. My baby nephew, who will be  one year old in June, has figured out how to get around just enough to terrorize my sister's 4 pound Yorkie, Jazzy. I thought the laughter on his face was absolutely priceless!
3. Today was supposed to be my last day of physical therapy but it wasn't!! I am pretty much pain free today and I guess if I can run a half marathon and still be standing then I am getting better. I was not released from PT because I mentioned that I still have a tiny bit of soreness in my back of my left thigh/hamstring from my half marathon on Sunday and a bit of soreness in my shin. The pain is a different area of my leg than than it was with the original injury that I was being treated for. The original issue was behind my knee (semimembranosus muscle) and I no longer have pain in that area during or after a run.
I guess they don't want to hear the word "pain" or they keep you! I think these issues are the effects of running a half so I am not too concerned about it since the pain has definitely improved since I started feeling it on Monday. After 15 minutes of the hot pad on my shin, I did a few other exercises and stretches and then I was on my way. I go back to PT in two weeks to make sure that everything is in order and most likely that will be the end of PT.  Yippee!!

May 8, 2012

I'm in the Newspaper!!

Well kind off...

 I am not the "Tustin woman finds her high at OC Marathon," but I am the blurry figure in the background with the blue tank and shorts about to pass the poor guy on the ground!  I remember passing him and feeling really bad that he was so close to the Finish and had to go down with cramps. I thought this was pretty funny (not the poor guy on the ground) and probably the closest I will ever get to being in the newspaper when it comes to running!!

Have you ever been in the newspaper or kinda/sorta like me?

Another Birthday Celebration and a Weekly Recap!

After my half marathon on Sunday, I rushed home to get some rest because we had a 6:00pm dinner date with my daughter to celebrate her birthday. She loves steak and we headed over to one of her favorite restaurants, North Woods Inn, to have dinner.  The restaurant is really dark inside so it's kind of different to me plus it's also hard to take good pictures of your food for your blog due to poor lighting!
Other than their great steaks, they are known for their great cabbage salad, green salad and cheese bread. I always get suckered into eating all of the salads and bread because not only are they delicious but they are unlimited!! 
The food was delicious and we had a great time. My husband and I split the 16oz rib eye steak and they were nice enough to split everything onto two plates for us for a $6.95 fee.  The steak plate was a little pricey ($32.95) but we don't do it often ...only for her birthday. Most of our favorite restaurants are little hole in wall places that have the best food for great prices. 
 She loved all of her presents and I think she had a pretty fabulous birthday according to Instagram and her Facebook!
 I think her favorite gift was her new Juicy Couture handbag. She was definitely surprised!

Here is a Recap of My Week:
TuesdayRan 8.5 on the Treadmill
Wednesday: REST 
ThursdayRan 10.0 on the Treadmill
SundayOC Half Marathon (13.31 Miles according to my Garmin)
This past week was my highest mileage week of 2012 (so far) and hopefully my monthly mileage will top April which was 74 miles.  I am excited and nervous all at the same time. I am taking it easy for the next few days and Thursday is supposed to be my last day of physical therapy. I am a little sore from my half marathon but it's a good sore.  It's the kind of sore that I am used to after a good run. I think I kind of like this pain! I have missed it!

This weekend is Mother's Day!  What are your plans? I know that I will be spending time with my mom and my grandma but I haven't made any official plans yet!

May 7, 2012

OC Half Marathon (My First Race Back Post Injury): 5/6/12

 This is first race back since my hamstring injury and it felt pretty good to be out there running like I did in the"old days!" My last half marathon was on January 29, 2012 and I have missed running so much. I have sat out four races this year because of my injury and I want to put those depressing days behind me. This race was really different from the others because it was not a race that I planned to PR at nor did I have any goals for this race with the exception of finishing and getting that first medal towards the Beach Cities Challenge.  This mind set was a little different for me this time around but I think the time off from running has given me a new perspective about running and the patience that I needed to execute a safe and smart race.

I was undecided as to whether or not I was going to run this race.  I wanted to be able to run 10 Miles without any pain and I was able to do that on the treadmill the Thursday before the race. I waited a couple of days to see if I developed any pain, discomfort or anything out of the norm.  I felt great but mentally I was still struggling with the idea. I prepared all of my gear for the race anyway and just waited it out.
 The Expo was at the OC Fair and Event Center, which also happens to be where the race ends. There was lots of parking but you had to pay parking for both the day of the Expo and race day. In spite of being undecided about running the race I went to the Expo since I needed the bib to run the race plus I decided that I would pick up my goodie bag since I paid for the race anyway. The Expo was a pretty decent size and was pretty crowded.  The Bib and Shirt pick up area was organized and moved fairly quickly which is a good thing.  We did a quick walk through the Expo and got suckered to buy a few things. My son loves going to the Expos because he loves to try all of the samples and spin all of the wheels in hopes of winning something.
I had actually signed up for the full marathon a while back knowing that I wanted to pursue the Beach Cities Challenge but after my injury I had to downgrade to the half marathon with hopes of being able to complete half of what I had planned on. It was a heart breaking decision but a very smart one. The decision to run the race was made when this happened on Sunday morning at 4:00am....
The OC Half Marathon was my first point to point race and the whole bus shuttle scenario was kind of stressful to me.  The race started at 6:15am and I was not on a bus heading to the start at 6:15am! I waited 45 minutes to get on a bus so I think it is best to have someone drop you off at the start to avoid having to be shuttled or be there an hour before your scheduled shuttle time. You live and learn, right?
My son really wanted to ride on the bus. Can you tell?
My bus arrived at the start around 6:35am and was one of the last buses to arrive. The start was about a three minute walk from the bus drop off location. I made a final stop at the porta potty and then lined up at the start and was off within a couple of minutes. I spent the first mile weaving in and out of traffic trying to find an open spot to settle into but that didn't really happen.  
Mile 1: 9:09
 I was well behaved and took some breaks, walked when I thought I needed to and based my race on how my body felt and not my pace. All of my training for this half was done on the treadmill so this was my first time stepping off the of mill.  It was a tough run and the treadmill training did me no justice because I have been running on the mill with minimal elevation.
 The course was not a difficult one but it did have a few hilly moments that were a little risky for me at this point. The course starts on a slight climb for the first mile, downhill on Miles 2 and 3 and then it's kind of up and down for the remainder of the course.  I had to slow myself down after the downhill miles.
 Mile 2:8:19
Mile 3: 8:24
Right before Mile 3 the course takes you by the water and it is pretty scenic and the breeze is refreshing. The weather was great as well.  It was 59 degrees at the start and about 63 degrees at the finish with overcast skies and no sun.
There were also a couple of times around Miles 6-8 where the course got really narrow and took the runners on a bike trail. This gets ugly when you have a bunch of people walking and you cannot get through or let alone move.  I don't have a problem with people walking but I guess it was just bad timing with the course becoming so narrow. 
Mile 6: 9:08
Mile 7: 8:53
Mile 8: 9:14

There was an ugly climb right at the end of Mile 1o! It didn't last long but I wasn't ready for it! Mile 10 ended up being my slowest mile,
 Mile 10: 9:22.
Based on these  signs you knew that the climb wasn't going to be fun!
I didn't look at my Garmin much at all which is pretty much unheard of me for me!  The only time I looked is when it beeped to tell me that I had completed another mile.  Based on what I saw, I adjusted my pace to keep myself from going too fast. For the most part, my miles were pretty close to 9:00 and that was comfortable so I tried to maintain that pace. Miles 12-13 were tough and I was getting tired.
Mile 12:8:56
Mile 13: 8:42
I did give myself a slight push the last quarter mile because I wanted to be done!  I was getting tired and I knew that the slower I ran the longer I was going to be out there.
 My official time was 1:57:57.  Nothing impressive for all of you speed demons out there but crossing that finish line was an incredible feeling for me! It was a feeling that I have never felt before! I am so thankful to be running again and even more grateful that I finished the race!

Can you tell that I was pretty tired?  I haven't seen 13.1 miles in a few months so I guess it shows! I wasn't in any pain at all during or after the race but my PT tells me to ice after a run so I was just being a good patient.
I know that I have lots of work to do! My next race, The Disneyland Half Marathon, isn't until September so I have plenty of time to train properly and get myself back into shape. I am also entertaining the idea of running the Long Beach Marathon at the end of this year.  If I am able, I will be running in honor of my Dad who is battling cancer. 
 I think it might be a little too soon to officially say that "I AM BACK" but things seem to be moving in the right direction!