Sep 29, 2013

Weekly Update (9/23/13 to 9/29/13) and it's That Time Again!

In two weeks I will be running Marathon #4! The doubts are starting to settle in but I keep telling myself that I have no big plans for this race so just RELAX! My legs have been feeling pretty good lately even after my long runs which include lots of miles at Marathon Goal Pace. It is now Taper Time, which means I need to slow things down and start focusing on this marathon. 


Tuesday7.52 Miles on the treadmill @7:58 pace. I have really been trying to get a good tempo run in on Tuesdays since it gets me motivated for the rest of the week. It has been helping my confidence level a whole lot!

Wednesday: REST DAY

Thursday 9.34 Miles@10:02 pace. I ran with my other half and this was his long run for the week. We ran hills in the wind with a light drizzle and it was a great run! I am kind of enjoying these mid-distance runs at an easy pace. It feels good to go for an easy paced run every once in a while. Later on in the evening, I also went on a 4 mile walk with my friend just to talk. She is doing much better but still has a long road ahead of her.

Friday: REST DAY

Saturday:  REST DAY-We spent the day at the LA County Fair and we had a great time eating and eating and eating!

Sunday: 18.11 Miles @8:28 pace. This was a tough run for me and I was pretty burned out for the remainder of the day. My son had a tray of goodies waiting for me when I got home. I am not sure what the  "STOP DUI CHECKPOINT" sign is all about but he has been on "sign making" kick lately and is always waiting for me to get back with something interesting. I love to drink chocolate milk after a good run and it tasted especially good after this run! I would love to see it and the Finish Line of some of my races.

Total Miles: 35 Miles 

I am thinking about wrapping things up next week with a 10-13 mile long run and then keeping my runs easy until race day. Taper time is the hardest part for me because I feel like I need to be doing more. We will see how it goes!

What is your favorite post run drink?

Sep 23, 2013

I Have a Confession....

Yes, I gave in and bought it. I am not sure how soon it will be before I receive it but I am pretty excited! I love new running toys!

Sep 22, 2013

Weekly Update (9/16/13 to 9/22/13) and 1001 Miles!

I am excited to share that this week marks 1001 miles for 2013! My goal for 2013 is to run 1200 miles and if things continue to go as planned, I think it is going to happen! 
Since I made the decision to run the Long Beach Marathon, I am trying to figure out how to prepare for it. I have about 3 weeks left and I haven't ran 20 miles since August 9th. I don't think I am going to be able to fit a 20 miler in so I will do what I can. I am thinking that I will shoot for an 18 miler next week and then I will have to start tapering. I just love tapering...said no one ever! The weather has been cooling down this week and I hope it continues as we approach October. I need perfect good marathon weather!

My cross-training plans have kind of fallen apart. I have been visiting my friend who lost her husband and I have been getting home pretty late. I pretty much have time to take a shower and go to bed on the nights that I visit her. I am hoping to get back to it really soon. The weather has been way cooler this week and I hope it continues to cool down as we approach October. I need perfect good marathon weather!

Monday: Unplanned REST DAY. I went to visit my friend and she wanted to talk so I got home really late and skipped my cross training. No Bueno!

Tuesday: 7.48 Miles on the treadmill @8:01 pace. My first mile was a warm up at 8:43 pace and the remaining 6.48 miles averaged at 7:55.

Wednesday: 2.22 Easy Miles with the family @9:44 pace.

REST DAY-Spent the evening with my friend again.....
Friday: 8 Miles@9:39 pace. I ran with my other half and this was a record distance for him. The weather was perfect and the sun never came out while we were running!

Saturday: REST DAY

Sunday: 15.5 Miles @ 8:20 pace. The first 3 miles were tough. My legs felt heavy and tired but I finally got into it at Mile 4 and my pace was pretty good for the remainder of my run!

Total Miles: 33.21
How was your long run this weekend?

Sep 19, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. Just looking at this forecast is getting me all excited about running this weekend. I can't remember the last time I ran in 50 degree temps! My other half and I will be running 8 miles together on Friday which will his longest distance to date. I am pretty excited for him even though he doesn't talk to me at all when we run!
2. I have my annual performance review at work today! I always get nervous about it but knowing that I have been working hard and staying on top of all my projects make me feel a bit more confident.
3. I think I am in love! I just love the new Garmin 620 and think that it might be something that I will have to squeeze into my "fun money" budget! It has so many great features like recovery time and race predictor which can predict your finish time for a given distance.  I really like that it has a color display too!
Today is also my Friday! I got paid and I don't have to work tomorrow! Have a great weekend!

Sep 16, 2013

An Update on Roxy

If  you missed the sad news about my dog Roxy, you can read about it here. Thank you to everyone for your nice comments and offer of prayers for me and Roxy. I took Roxy to see an oncologist on Friday to get a better idea of what was going on with her and to find out what my options were as far as treatment.

I feel really bad about the whole situation since I was listening to my primary vet and testing for other conditions that were all skin allergy related. I guess cancer is tricky like that and sometimes presents itself as an allergy related problem. I feel like I wasted a lot of precious time and thousands of dollars trying special diets and other tests related to allergies. Live and learn. Now I know better. If the problem does not clear up in a short period of time, head to a specialist. The dermatologist that diagnosed Roxy was very knowledgeable and had a pretty good idea of what was going on. She wasn't cheap but I felt like she was worth every penny that I spent because she gave me what I wanted, a diagnosis. It wasn't what I was hoping to hear but I am glad that I now know what is wrong with Roxy.
So on to the appointment with the oncologist. We took Roxy not really knowing what to expect but we knew it was not going to be cheap. The oncologist had already spoken to the dermatologist about the results of Roxy's biopsy and he really spent some time to talk to us about his recommendations and the treatment available to Roxy. I really like him and he was very thorough. He was knowledgeable and I felt like he honestly cared and wasn't just about the money.

The oncologist recommended that we do a complete blood panel to make sure that Roxy would be able to go through the treatment and that there were no other issues going on. Her blood work came back with no major issues so we decided to go with a less aggressive treatment. The aggressive treatment was just too expensive ($6,330) and I just could not justify spending that kind of money since there is no cure. We are hopeful that Roxy will go into remission and even if that happens she may only be in remission for 3-6 months before the cancer returns.

Roxy will be going through a 15-week course of oral chemo which is in the form of a pill. Every three weeks she will go to the oncologist, they will draw her blood and if everything looks good she will be given another dose. The treatment is still incredibly expensive ($410 per treatment) and if the 5 treatments do not put Roxy in remission then we will stop and give her the best quality of life for as long as it is humane to keep her with us on this earth. 

Roxy handled the first round of treatment pretty well. She did not have any major side effects such as vomiting, diarrhea or nausea. We are giving her anti-nausea just in case and I have medication on hand to deal with all of the other side effects should they ever be a problem. Roxy has a follow-up appointment this Friday which involves more blood work to see how her body is responding to the treatment.

This is a huge sacrifice for us. I just could not live with myself if I didn't try some kind of treatment. I know that there are lots of pet owners out there who cannot afford to or are not willing to do half of what I am willing and able to do for my fur babies so I have nothing to be guilty of should she not make it through the treatment.

In the meantime, I am hopeful yet fully aware of what Roxy is up against. We are spoiling her to death, giving her more love than we already have been for the past 13 years and she is really happy about her new high protein diet of boiled chicken breast. The other dogs are jealous and just don't understand why they can't have it to!

Please keep us in your prayers. Pray for healing and that Roxy's body is receptive to the treatment.

Sep 15, 2013

My Weekly Update 9/9/13-9/15/13 (GETTING BACK ON TRACK!)

My goal this week was to get back on track! So many things have happened in the past week that I felt run down and so unmotivated. I wanted to get out of that mode because it was getting worse by the day. After my Monday run, I felt refreshed and ready to make this week a better week.
Running takes me to another place so I think I just needed to run to think and clear my mind. It was not so much about pace this week, it was just getting out there and that feeling that I get inside when I run. I always feel better after a good run. I am thankful that I have found this outlet to take me away from it all when I need that break.

Monday: 7 Miles on the Treadmill @8:58 pace. I really had to drag myself to the gym. I was feeling bad about having a super low mileage week so I knew that I had to get there and just run. I did not care about the pace. I just needed to run to clear my mind.
TuesdayStrength Training Day

Wednesday: 7.06 Miles on the treadmill @8:29 pace.

Thursday: REST DAY
Friday: 7.55 Miles@9:35 pace. I ran with my other half as he is training for his first half marathon. We dedicated our run to RUN EMZ who set out to run 100 miles in 24 hours to raise money for children in India! The woman is not only an incredible runner but an amazing person with a HUGE HEART!

Saturday: REST DAY

Sunday: 10.5 Miles @ 8:12 pace. I ran the first five miles easy and then ran the last 5 miles hard (8:03, 7:46, 7:38, 7:21 and 7:08.) As I was turning the corner to head home, my son was waiting in the front yard holding a sign that said "Stop." He made me smile.
TOTAL MILES: 32.43 Miles  I actually ran 4 times this week which is almost unheard of. I usually run three times a week since that is pretty much all that I have time for. I woke up early on Sunday and decided that I might as well go for a run. It should have been a cross training day but oh well!
In other news, I have been seriously considering running the Long Beach Marathon on October 13th.  I ran this marathon back in 2011 and it was not the greatest race. I said I would be back for redemption so I am going to give it another shot. I will attempt to beat my 2011 time of 4:05:35. My training has not been aimed at any particular marathon pace, in fact my pace has been a lot slower since I have been helping my other half train for his half marathon. I am not sure if I will have it in me but I am going to try to get out there and run it anyway.

The marathon starts at 6:00 am this year which will be a big plus for me. It normally starts at 7:00 am and ends up being pretty warm at the finish. I love early starts so that I can beat the heat and be done for the day. Long Beach is my last race in the Beach Cities Challenge series so I am pretty excited! Remember this monstrous medal that I have been wanting for the past few years? I think it will be fun to end the series with a bang by running the full marathon since I opted to run the half marathons for the first two races in the series.
What fall race do you have on your race calendar? 

Anybody else running Long Beach with me?

Sep 11, 2013

9/1/13: The Disneyland Half Marathon

The Disneyland Half Marathon is one of my favorite races that I look forward to every year! The race started at 5:30 am which meant a 4:00 am wake up time. I get up at this time to go to work so it did not bother me at all. I actually like the fact that the race starts super early because the weather is much better at 5:30 am than it is at 7:30 am! We left the hotel at 4:40 am and started our walk to the corrals. The situation was much like I am used to seeing it and the runners were able to head straight to their corrals since there were no other events before the half marathon. I can usually get pretty close to the front of the corral but I was not able to and ended up somewhere in the middle. I think that all of the Dumbo Double Dare participants headed over to the corrals much earlier after seeing the crowds at the 10K the previous day. 

I regretted not getting closer to the front of the corral because I weaved through the crowds for the first five miles. The course was very crowded and I was unable to find a spot to settle into my comfortable pace and I got really frustrated. Runners were bumping into me, running in front of me or just getting too close. I don't mean to sound arrogant but I like my space and I want to be free to move around a little bit. My pace was 9:30 for the first .55 miles and I was only able to squeeze an 8:37 out of the first mile due to the crowds.

Mile 1 :8:37
Mile 2: 8:20
Mile 3: 8:08
Mile 4: 8:17
Mile 5: 8:22 (GU) 

I saw that other runners were jumping up onto the sidewalk to break through the crowds but I didn't need to do that since I was not shooting for a PR. I didn't set a goal for this race but knew I wanted to close it out with a fast finish. I felt like I could run a decent race since I ran my 1oK pretty easy but I pretty much let my body dictate this race. I didn't push myself but just ran by how I felt. My splits were all over the place so I am not sure what that says about how I was feeling.

There was some pretty interesting signage out on the course this year. These were two of my favorites!
I was finally able to get some space from Mile 6 on but by then I was pretty annoyed. I stopped looking at my Garmin and felt like giving up. I had to have a talk with myself and reminded myself that I wasn't attempting to PR the race so it was not that big of a deal. I kept the pace comfortable and never felt fatigued. I walked through some of the water stops and made it a point to stay hydrated. I decided to carry my handheld with me due to the heat and the fact that the water bottles in my hydrating belt end up with warm water when the temps are high. The temperature felt much better than it was the day before but it was still very humid. It was 79 degrees at the Start and the sun did not break through until about Mile 11.5.
Mile 6: 8:03
Mile 7: 8:23
Mile 8: 8:23
Mile 9: 8:02
Mile 10: 8:36 (GU) I need to get better at running and taking GU while running, Can you tell?
I wanted to finish the race strong no matter what. The final miles have always been a struggle for me especially during the marathon so this is one of the areas that I really focused on. I need to able to find my strong in the end of a race since this could make or break a big race. I felt like I did well and was happy with my last 3 miles. No PR for this race but probably one of my strongest finishes on this course. It is pretty amazing how you can finish a race strong when you start conservatively and then save it for the end.
Mile 11: 8:01
Mile 12: 7:48
Mile 13: 7:45
.27 (6:53)

The Dumbo Double Dare was awesome and I glad that I was able to be a part of this inaugural event but I think that I will just go back to running the half marathon next year. I usually PR this course every year and I am looking forward to another Disney PR on the half marathon course next year. Disney races are a lot of fun with tons of course support so if you have never ran a Run Disney event, you have to try at least one and dress up for it. They are pricey but you will definitely enjoy it! 

Did you run the Dumbo Double Dare or any of the Disneyland race this year? Tell me what you thought of the events this year.

Sep 9, 2013

More Bad News....

I feel like my faith is really being put to the test lately. So many things are going on and right when I thought I was ready to get back on track, more bad news has come my way.  

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that my dog Roxy was having some tests done to figure out what was going on with her. On August 19th she had a blood test test done to see if she had Cushing's disease and that came back negative. The doctor also recommended a biopsy of the area of skin on her face that was red and seemed to be getting worse. For the last year, the vet thought she had a food allergy or some type of bacterial infection so we tried different diets and antibiotics. None of those things worked so the last thing to do was the biopsy.

The doctor called me today with the biopsy results and the news was not good. It is devastating to me because I have had this dog for 13 years and she has always been healthy and I take really good care of her. If you know me, you know my love for animals like they are my kids. They are members of my family so my heart was broken into a million pieces when I was told the diagnosis. Roxy has been diagnosed with epitheliotrophic lymphoma. We have an appointment to see an oncologist this Friday to see what options are available to us.

I will do what I can do for her to keep her comfortable until her time comes. I don't want her to suffer in any way and I want to make sure she is happy. She is still eating, she seems happy and is able to get around like she normally does. I wish I knew what she was feeling so that I my decision will be the right one.
I hope that this is the end of the bad news because I think I have enough to deal with right now. My faith is really being put to the test right now!!

Sep 8, 2013

My Weekly Update 9/2/13-9/8/13 (A VERY, VERY TOUGH WEEK!!!)

I had one of the toughest weeks I have had in a long time. Running was not the tough part but the events that conspired that interrupted my life and caused my mind to be in another place made it hard to think about anything else. A running buddy of mine lost her husband on September 5th. He took his own life and gave no real explanation as to why. Witnessing a mother tell her son that his father was gone was the most devastating thing I have ever witnessed in my life. I will never forgot that moment that felt like forever.

I had dinner with the family the night before and he was himself. He was fine. I played UNO with him and his family. He talked about events in the future. I left their house at 8:00 pm. He gave me a hug and that is my last memory of him. I am glad I went to their house and spent that last moment with him. 

He left a lot of people wondering why. He left his wife and child with lots of unanswered questions and a lot of pain. I am lost for words and don't really know how to comfort my friend right now because she is so angry and hurt. She tells me everyday that she hopes that this is nothing but a bad dream. I wish he would have asked for help. I wish he would have shown us a sign. I wish he would have thought of his family and changed his mind. I wish I would have picked up on something when I saw him the night before!

I have known this family about three years and although running brought on our friendship,  I think there was a real reason that I was brought into her life. She is going to need me now since her family is not close by.

So how did my week go....
To put it mildly,my week sucked! I was unmotivated, sad and didn't even do any cross training. It was my birthday and although I tried to be happy it was hard. Another mutual friend of ours got married on my birthday and it made the days before her wedding very hard for her. I finally had to tell her that she needed to step away and focus on her wedding. I could not watch her ruin her special day.


Tuesday: 6.7 Miles on the treadmill @9:06 pace

Wednesday: REST DAY


Friday: 6.14 Miles@8:11

Saturday:  MY BIRTHDAY! Went to a friend's wedding. She looked beautiful!


Total Miles: 12.84 Miles

I need to get back on track this week. I really do but my friend will remain my priority and if I have another low mileage week so be it. My family and my friends come first!

Please pray for this family. They are hurting beyond what you can imagine. An 11-year old boy has been left without a father. My friend has been left without a husband and lots of unanswered questions!

Sep 5, 2013

Three Things Thursday

1. My son's first day of school was Tuesday. Initially he did not want me to drop him off. I mean he is a sixth grader now and is too cool to hang out with me! He told me "no flash photography please" but I managed to convince him to let me take just one picture of him. The rest of pictures I took without his permission.
2. I always know when my birthday is close because I get tons of free offers in my email. I am most excited about the $30.00 free meal at Benihana! My birthday is Saturday and I will be celebrating it by attending a friend's wedding. My family is not too excited about how I chose to celebrate my birthday but I wouldn't miss her wedding for the world. 
 3. There may be a marathon in my near future. I am trying to finalize my plans and I should know more by the weekend! I am excited!!

Sep 4, 2013

8/31: The Inaugural Disneyland 10K

Run Disney events are pretty popular and draw lots of people so I always stay at a hotel even though I am about 45 minutes from the theme parks. We arrived at our hotel on Friday evening which happens to be walking distance to the Start. It is very reasonably priced, has all of the amenities that we need such as breakfast, a refrigerator and microwave and saves you the headache of having to find parking on race day. The Mickey and Friends Parking Structure gets pretty crowded on race day so I find this to be a much better solution to parking. The walk to the start is about 10-15 minutes so I didn't have to wake up at the crack of dawn to get to the race which is always nice.

What I love most about Disney races are the costumes that runners wear. Some of the costumes are so creative and people do some serious planning for their costumes. I saw one lady who was dressed in a full on Dumbo costume from head to toe. I am not sure how she ran in that costume because it was hot out there! I dressed up for the 10K but not so much for the half. 

The Disneyland 10K: This race started at 6:15 am on Saturday morning.The 5K started at 5:30 am so the corrals did not open until 6:00 am. The crowds were pretty large and it was a mad rush to the corrals once they were given the go that the 5K participants had cleared the corrals. 
The race start on time and the pre-race show was pretty entertaining as it usually is. The theme of the 10K was "Wonderland" so the Mad Hatter made an appearance and interacted with the race announcers.
I was able to make it pretty close to the front of the corral. I don't like to do the weave in and out of the crowds thing. 

My goal was to run the 10K at a 8:00-8:15 pace but the weather at the Start was 81 degrees and super humid so I immediately dropped the idea of any goal time and enjoyed the course instead. I also knew that I needed to take the 10K easy so that I would be able to run the half marathon the next day without dying. I rarely if ever, run consecutive days so I was already a little nervous about how my body would handle it. My normal routine is alternating between running and cross-training.
I have never taken the time to enjoy a Disney course so this was the perfect opportunity. I stopped and took so many character photos and had a blast! The course was fun and I really liked that 90% of the course was inside of the theme parks. 
We ran through both California Adventure and Disneyland. The half marathon spends much less time in the theme parks so this run was a lot of fun.

My favorite part of the race is running through Cars Land! I love that place because that is where my favorite ride ever, Radiator Springs Racers is located. Can you tell I that I love Cars Land?

OFFICIAL TIME: 52:33. My splits were all over the place (7:36, 8:04, 8:08, 9:20, 8:20, 8:45, and .33 at 7:05) because I was stopping to take pictures. 

Some characters had longer lines than others so I had to wait at times. This race was not a PR but it was definitely the most fun I have ever had! 

Do you like to run fun races like RunDisney events?

Sep 1, 2013

My Weekly Update 8/26/13-9/1/13 and A Record Month!!

I took it easy for the most part this week since it was race week. Even though I didn't have any big plans I still wanted to save my legs for running 19.3 miles in two days which is something that I never do. Not only did I have a blast at the Dumbo Double Dare but I had a record month. I ran 147 miles in the month of August and I am pretty proud of that.
Monday: 6 Miles with my other half @9:54 pace. It was warm out there at 6:30 am so we kept any easy pace and powered through it. I had the day off so I always try to get a morning run in on my days off since I am not able to do it during the week. By the way, my other half is still doing good with his half marathon training!
Tuesday:Cross Training Day: 45 minutes on the bike trainer. Didn't have my Garmin to track any stats so I have no idea how many miles I rode.

Wednesday: 7.06 Miles on the treadmill @8:29 pace. I started easy and finished with a 7:30 mile.

Thursday: REST DAY


SaturdayDisneyland 10K: (52:33 / 8:18 pace) RECAP IN PROCESS

Sunday: Disneyland Half Marathon: (1:48:43 / 8:11 pace) RECAP IN PROCESS

Total Miles: 32.66

Time to rest up and get ready for another week. Next time is going to be a super easy week for me. I need a little break right about now because it is too darn hot and humid around here!

How was your week?
Did you race this weekend or do you have any races coming up in September?
I have nothing else on the Race Calendar for September but I just might add a race!