Jan 31, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1.It's Girl Scout Cookie season and everyone at work is selling these addictive things! They are everywhere and I have been snacking on one, or maybe even two, every time I spot them. I think I have bought from three different people and boy am I in trouble now! My favorites are the Thin Mints and the Lemonades.
2. My daughter's Pomeranian, Cinderella, turned four last week and we had a birthday party for her. The puppies tried the doggy cake for the first time and boy were they excited! I know I am overboard when it comes to my pets but I love them like they are my kids.
3. Lately Buster and I have been loving McDonald's coffee. It is much cheaper than Starbucks and it's not bad for a buck. I also love their Oatmeal cookies but those are a whole different story.  I had to stop buying them because I was getting out of control.
Have you caught the Girl Scout Cookie bug yet?

What are the things that you are loving lately?

Jan 30, 2013

Picking Up the Pieces and Losing $25,000

This is kind of way off topic from running but I am going to share it anyway. 

It has been almost two months since my grandpa passed away and it still hasn't really hit me. I am not in denial but I feel like I haven't really had a lot of time to really process it. I never realized how many things have to be done when a person dies. The last seven weeks of my life have been consumed with helping my grandma get her life back in order. I have been busy getting her Social Security benefits in order, removing him from bank accounts, and all of that good stuff. We have been running across so many things that she was looking for and some things that she did not know she had. I think the most shocking thing that we found was a $25,000.00 check dated back to 2006 that they never cashed. It turns out that the company that issued the check has since gone out of business and filed bankruptcy in 2009! I am still trying to figure out if there is any way for her to claim this money. I think I was more upset about it than she was because she could really use the money right now. My grandpa handled all of the finances and I am not sure how he passed this one up.
Even though all of his funeral arrangements were made in advance, we still spend lots of time signing paperwork and planning the arrangements. My grandma is 85 years old and this was just way too overwhelming for her so I kind of took the lead and just made sure she was on board with everything. Yesterday was kind of bittersweet because the proof for my grandparents memorial marker was emailed to me. Just seeing my grandpa's name on it just made me sad all over again. It was even worse to see my grandma's name on it with the date of her death left open. I don't even want to think of the day that the date is added.
I know that something good always come out of something negative and the death of my grandpa has brought my grandma and I even closer. She is now able to do things that she was not able to do in the past because she was always home taking care of grandpa. She was a very loyal wife and I will always respect her for that. We have spent time at the movies, we go out to dinner, and sometimes I just visit her and we sit on the couch together and just laugh about old times or just talk about life in general. She tells me the craziest things sometimes!

Her favorite thing to do now that my grandpa is gone is spend money at the grocery store. My grandpa used to limit her on what she could buy because she always had to have three of everything. I think she has ten of everything now. She loves to cook but I told her that she has to learn how to cook for just herself and not an army.

Any ideas on how my Grandma might be able to recover the $25,000?
I think it is a done deal but I am still hopeful for her.

Jan 28, 2013

A Less Than Exciting Week and It's Race Week Again!

It's been a week since I last blogged! I guess that can be explained by my less than stellar week which included the following not so exciting events.

1) I had to report to Jury Duty but I was not selected to sit on a jury. I was relieved to say the least.

2) I  attended a funeral for a family member. My step-father's sister passed away and it was a very emotional funeral to say the least.

3) I cut my long run short. It rained for most of the weekend so I thought I would attempt 10 miles on the treadmill. FAIL! My run was horrible from the start and I felt like I was dying at a 9:30 pace. I then proceeded to torture myself by running a 7:30 mile to end the run. I felt better in the end but only ran 6.5 miles because 10 miles on the mill was just not happening! Anything past 8 miles is hard for me unless my treadmill buddy runs with me to talk and pass the time.

I have another half marathon on Super Bowl Sunday. It will be my second half marathon of the year. The race starts at 7:45 am and since I wussed out and transferred to the half marathon, my bib number is assigned to the very last wave with the 3:00+ group. Is it wrong for me to sneak into a wave that starts according to my half marathon pace? I have been told that the course has no shade and even though the weather is cool it is pretty sunny. The marathon starts at 6:30 am which is a much better but that is what I get for not running the marathon, right? On a positive note, I am pretty excited about running my first race in the Beach Cities Challenge series and the surf board medal is pretty cute too! I have no goals for this race. I have been pretty bad about setting goals lately. I just want to run pressure free. This year I really want to focus on improving my marathon time and that is kind of where my mind is at. 
I am hoping that this week is better than last week and that the weather is decent on Sunday. The forecast is predicting a high of 66 and a low of 54. I will take it.

Anybody else racing this weekend? 

Any big plans for Super Bowl Sunday?
I am not a big football fan but I will be watching it with my Grandma. She loves football! I do love the commercials though.

Are you focusing on a particular distance this year?
My mind is focused on the marathon but I haven't registered for one yet.

Jan 21, 2013

A Birthday Celebration and a Busy Weekend

My one and only son turned 11 years old on Friday. He didn't want to go to school on his birthday and strongly believes that all students should be allowed to take a day off of school on their birthday. 
We did not grant his wish but made it a little better for him by offering to send donuts to school to celebrate his birthday. He was pretty excited about that and took the bait!
We took him out to dinner for his birthday to eat one of his favorite foods, BBQ. It is one of my favorites too so I had no objections! His sister brought him a mini cake from Cold Stone that we all helped him eat. We were stuffed and the food was so good!
He was also happy about the presents that he scored. He really wanted a new Rip Stik and was really excited about getting it! His birthday is so close to Christmas that he did not really as for much which is good for me :)
Aside from the birthday celebration, it was a really busy weekend which did not include much running (3.25 very slow miles to be exact.) I tried out my new Garmin for the first time and spent most of the run playing around it which resulted in a slow run. I will get back on track this week with my running.
Saturday included a visit to my Grandpas' grave site. It was the first time we went to visit him since he past away. My grandma still needed some time so we waited until she was ready. We took some chairs and sat out by his grave site and it was an absolutely beautiful day for it. After visiting Grandpa we took Grandma to the movies to see Zero Dark Thirty. It was a good movie and Grandma really liked it too. The movie was two and a half hours long and I actually stayed awake the entire time which is a sign that the movie is good.

Sunday was a lazy day. I cleaned house, did laundry and took care of some other things that I have been putting off around the house (like putting all of the Christmas decorations back in the storage closet.) My other half made dinner which included carne asada and rice. It was pretty good.

I am back to work today but do have a short week. I am scheduled to report to Jury Duty on Thursday and then I am off on Friday. I hope they do not select me to be on a jury since I have not heard anything exciting about it. I do not get Martin Luther King Jr. Day as a holiday which is tough when everyone else in the house got to sleep in this morning. The positive side of not getting today off is that traffic was super light this morning. I will take that any day!

Have you seen any good movies lately? 
I am not much of a movie person but Grandma has not been to the movies in quite a few years so we took her to keep her mind busy and spend some time with her.
Have you ever been selected to serve on a jury?
Was it interesting, boring, or better than going to work?
I have never been selected in my life and hope it stays that way. I don't want other people's future in my hands. 

Jan 17, 2013

The New Love of My Life and Wussing Out

Isn't she pretty? I love her! I finally gave in and bought it. The words "Special Edition" forced me into buying it. My 305 has been acting up lately so it gave me a good excuse to buy this new 610. I played around with it a little bit last night and I am looking forward to taking her on a test run this weekend. I think I might even give her a name but I haven't thought of one yet.
Moving on to things that are not so exciting...I decided that I am going to run the Surf City Half Marathon and not the full. I know..I am a wuss! After carefully weighing out my options, I decided that I did not feel 100% confident with the training I have put in. I don't want to mess around the marathon anymore if I am not ready to get out there and take care of business. The next time I attempt a marathon, I am going to be ready to take it on. I am still on track for earning my Beach Cities Challenge medal and I will definitely be running this race for my Dad. I have not set a goal yet but I know that this race will be different because I will running it with my heart.

Do you have a name for your Garmin? If you do, tell me what it is!

Anyone else running Surf City with me?

Jan 14, 2013

1/13/13: Allstate 13.1 Los Angeles

Half Marathon #8 and my first race of 2013 is done! I have to admit that this is my favorite distance! With the possibility of me running the Surf City Marathon in three weeks, I wanted to use this half as a training run. I am still undecided if I will run the half or the full marathon but regardless of the distance, I will still be running it for my Dad. I am scared to death about the full marathon! It has been a while and I want to be 100% both mentally and physically before I take on Marathon#3!
It was absolutely freezing cold out there! My feet were frozen and I could not feel my toes for the first three miles! Supposedly it was 41 degrees but I swear it was more like 20 below zero! I have never worn running tights during a half marathon but I did this time. I also ran with a long sleeved shirt and a light jacket. It took me a couple of miles to get warmed up before I even took my jacket off. 

This course was flat for the most part and nothing beats running near the ocean in California. The recommended parking lot was located really close to the start and was about a three minute walk to the starting area. It was $10.00 to park but it was close and convenient so I didn't mind paying. There were also plenty of bathrooms in the parking lot and near the Start. There were also lots of homeless people on the Boardwalk where the race starts and they were yelling out some pretty nasty words to the runners that start with the letter "F".

There were a few things that I didn't really like about the course. I think the part that I disliked the most was running on the bike path but only because it was full of sand. All of the runners dodging the sand and I hate the feeling of sand in my shoes. There was a couple of small hills once you left the bike path and that was a little tough for me to get through having been on a flat bike path for quite a while. This is just a "Sandy" thing and some of you may not care but I get really anxious on courses where you have to pass runners who are already headed to the finish. It just makes me anxious because I want to be them! Caroline also warned me about a really bad smell around Miles 7-9 and she was right. It seemed to be coming from the bathrooms but I am not quite sure what it was but it was bad! I was holding my breath!

Miles 10-13.1 were pretty flat but running against the wind was cold and slowed me down a bit. I did notice a decrease in my pace the last few miles and I was really glad to be done because I was still cold after running 13 miles! I also had the chance to meet Monica who blogs over at Run Eat Repeat. I spotted her on the course zooming past me the last mile. I had to say hello to Monica at the finish line and force her to take a picture with me that she was nice enough to post on her blog.
My friend Maura also ran the half and her husband was waiting at the Finish with this masterpiece that he made for us.
The race was well organized and the volunteers were very enthusiastic. I brought my own water but it was provided on the course about every two miles. I didn't notice any gels out on the course so I am glad that I brought my own. I GU'd at miles 5 and 10 and that kept me going. This race was not a PR but it was decent run for my training. I kept the pace comfortable and felt pretty good the entire time. My results are as follows:
Here are my splits according to my trusty old Garmin 305 which is soon to be replaced with something much prettier!
The medal is pretty nice and the little logo in the middle spins around and around!
After the race, we headed home and I gave into All You Can Eat Pancakes from IHOP! 
 I think I earned it!

Jan 10, 2013

Three Things Thursday

It has been a while since I have done a "Three Things Thursday" post so this will be my first one for 2013.

1) After my big win in Las Vegas we gave into the Mouse and decided to upgrade our Disneyland hopper tickets to annual passes. It was a difference of $54.00 per person so we decided to go for it. We absolutely love Cars Land and our favorite ride is the Radiator Springs Racers. It is so much fun! I also plan to get some use out of this pass the weekend of the Disneyland Half Marathon!
2)  I love this Year End Report that DailyMile sends out but it is kind of confusing if you are tracking how many miles you run in a year. This Year End Report includes all miles from cycling, elliptical etc. I think I only ran 883 mile and the rest was elliptical, walking and other activities. In any case, I am going to attempt 1200 miles this year and need to figure out a way to log my other activities so I can use DailyMile just for running miles only.
 3) I am determined to get my Beach Cities Challenge medal this year! I am signed up for two of the three races that are needed to complete the series. I am holding off on signing up for Long Beach in October since I am not sure if I want to run the half or the full. After the super hot summer we had in 2012, I am tempted to go for the half since training in the summer heat was brutal!

Jan 6, 2013

Four Weeks and Counting!

I can't believe that my third marathon is just four weeks away. I am so nervous yet excited! It has been over a year since I ran my last marathon so it's like I am running my first one all over again. I think I have forgotten what it feels like which is why I am nervous. I really want to run a sub-four marathon but at this point I am not so sure that I have put in the training to make it a reality. I am running this marathon in honor of my Dad who is still battling cancer so I guess it doesn't really matter what time I finish. I just need to finish and get through those last 6.2 miles where I always seem to throw my race away!
I have only ran one 20 miler and I would like to run at least one more before the big day. As I have said before, I am not in love with the marathon but I so badly want to qualify for Boston. If it wasn't for Boston, I think I would stick to half marathons. 

I also have a half marathon coming up next Sunday which will be my first race of 2013. It is a flat and fast course and in spite of this good news I don't have any goal for this race except maybe a sub-two finish. As a matter of fact, I think I am going to play it safe and use it as part of my marathon training to get an idea of where my endurance is at.
Anybody else running these sames races? When is or was your first race of 2013?

Jan 2, 2013

Feeling a Little Lucky!

So we decided to take an overnight road trip to Sin City with my nieces and nephews. They are staying until the end of the week but since I am returning to work tomorrow we decided to stay for just a day. I wish we could have stayed longer because it was a lot of fun. We ate, laughed and then ate some more!
Here are a few pictures to show you how much fun we had!

We took a photo with the HUNGRY Coca Cola bear and my son loved how the bear decided to bite his Dad's head!
My son convinced his Kuya and Ate to take him on The Roller Coaster at New York New York since we were giving him 1000 excuses why we were not going to take him!

I am not much of a gambler but when I do play I take my chances on the slot machines. I love Wheel of Fortune! We did not have much time to gamble so I played for about two minutes and this happened! I won $75.00! I cashed it out and was on my way!
It gets even better! Before we checked out of our room,  I decided that I was going to play $40.00 before we left just for the heck of it. I only play the dollar slots because you win bigger! I spun the reels three times and six dollars became this in about a minutes time...
I didn't win the progressive jackpot but I won $1000.00!

Have you ever been to Las Vegas? Do you like to gamble? 

If yes, what is the most money you have ever won?
I have hit $1000.00 on the Wheel of Fortune once before but it took me a lot more money to get it the first time!

Jan 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year! 
I ended 2012 with my final run of 20.13 miles. It was tough but I did it!
We went out for a family dinner and then spent the remainder of the evening at home. I do not like to be out on the road on New Years Eve and feel much safer at home. The plan was to be awake at the stroke of midnight but I didn't make it past 10:00 p.m. It is a struggle for me every year! I know, I am an old lady!
Did you do anything fun for New Years Eve? Do you watch the Rose Parade on New Years Day?

Best wishes to all of you in 2013!