Friday, January 04, 2008

My current obsession

LV Monogram Speedy 30!

You'll be mine, my preeecioussss....hehehe...

I've developed a handbag fetish all of a sudden. Who knew I could be this girly-girly?

But I love this bag! It's big enough to be practical and it's a very classic style. Check out Audrey Hepburn herself with this bag.

Friday, December 21, 2007

My new addiction

It's so awesome having one place to manage all your race results. Plus it's got so many cool features: add friends, pics, race reviews, performance analysis, etc. It automatically finds your races. If it doesn't, just send them a quick request as long as you know the link to the race results (I wasn't able to add my very first race though because the website was taken down). And BEST OF ALL, it's so fun seeing who your "rivals" are. ;)

My running is finally going somewhere. Wednesday I ran 3.25 miles, then yesterday I ran 4 miles. After yesterday's run, I was like "That's it?". LOL. I think my cardio is still up there, it's just the knee/IT band that was preventing me from doing more. I told my PT last night about my recent runs when he asked how I was doing. He was like "GOOD, and we're keeping it at that distance for now, RIIIGHT?" LOL. He did give me the okay to do 5Ks and 10Ks for now, then SLOWLY ramp up to higher mileage. I love my PT! He showed me some new exercises last night that I can do with bands since that's all I'm going to have when I go to my parents for the holidays.

And I'm getting back to the swing of things with fitness again. I'm back to feeling skinny again! Woohoo!!! It's amazing what just several days of consistency can do. (And also the end of TOM ;))

Another good news, today is my last day at work for the remainder of the year! Actually, I'm supposed to work one more day since I'm out of vacation days for the year, but I got the go ahead to just work from home.

As far as the holidays are concerned, I still have my mom and my dad to buy presents for. I chickened out and didn't go to the mall last weekend. But I will tomorrow! I did go to Kohl's and got some stuff.

This weekend, I'm planning to do some cookie baking. And I'll try not to eat too much, LOL. My mom has also been bugging me about helping her make some lasagna for our Christmas day get-together with some people. WTF! LASAGNA?!?! My mom is an awesome cook when it comes to Filipino food, but when it comes to simple stuff like lasagna or baking, she's completely hopeless.

That's it for now! Later y'all!

Friday, December 14, 2007

That's it for the year!

Races that is...

I'm not going to do the 5K this weekend. We're slated for a major snow storm starting Saturday night and since this race is by my parents house, it's just not feasible for me to drive there, do the race, then hurry back to so I can run errands before the storm. Besides, I'm not exactly 100% injury free so I could probably use the down time. I'm taking it easy running-wise for the rest of the year then ramp up again around January.

Reflecting back this year, I'm proud of what I accomplished! 12 races total! 8 5Ks, 1 10-mile, 1 5-mile, and 2 half marathons! Not too shabby, considering I only did 2 total the previous year!

Clearly I'm still a work in progress. So here are my running goals for 2008:
  • Get a handle on my injuries. How to do that is still up in the air. I'm thinking of hiring a running coach just to get my gait analyzed and get advice on how to improve my posture/form.
  • Race more. I slacked off on a couple of races due to extremes in weather. I need to learn to run outside no matter what the weather is.
  • And in order for me to race the weekends, I need to find time to do some long runs on the weekdays.
  • Improve my 5K time. Based on my half marathon times, I know I'm capable of being faster.
  • Do a 10K race. Believe it or not, of all the races that I did I'm missing on that distance.
  • Incorporate hill works and speed works to my training.
I decided on my next half marathon....Lehigh Valley Half Marathon in April! I LOVE HILLS!!! I LOVE HILLS!!!! I'm trying to make myself love hills, LOL. My 2 previous half marathons were pancake flat so I'm terrified of this race!

I also plan to do the same half marathons I did this year (hopefully, that will include Philadelphia this time around), and I plan to sign up for Disney half in Florida for Jan. 2009.

As for a full marathon, well right now I have no desire to do it. I don't think I'll even have the time to train for one since I'm working full time, I have a house to take care of, and I have one more class to finally finish my certification in Regulatory Affairs. I'm not completely disregarding that option though. If I do decide to do one this year, it's definitely NOT going to be Philadelphia. It has gotten bad reviews from runners I know who have run it. The half marathon is apparently not too bad, but the the full is another story. So if I do a full marathon this year, it might be Baltimore in Oct. Or if I can pull it off, Memphis in Dec. I just have a soft spot for St. Jude's Children's Hospital, which is the sponsor of this race. Ultimately, I want to do a full marathon before I'm 40 (maybe 35 ;-)). Okay, maybe one or 2 full marathons before that age, coz for some reason I'm seeing NYC as one of them.

So tomorrow, I'm going to try to get to the mall early and get all my shopping done. I still have to buy presents for my Dad (easy since all he wants is a Best Buy gift card), my SIL (she's my polyanna but all she wants is a Kohl's gift card), and my Mom (toughy since she's picky). Then I have to get food shopping done, bake more cookies for Thursday's Christmas potluck at work (I'm making SunnyD's super easy butter cookie recipe =)), and finally cook some good BFL-friendly meals for next week. I admit, I'm slacking off. And most of all, I need to get some cleaning done around my house - it's starting to look like a pig sty!

I also need to get my mind focused again on working out and healthy eating. I've been slacking off on my meals and working out. I need to get on that mind set and lifestyle again.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis

I ran another 5K yesterday, this time the local Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. It was held at the same park as my last race on Thanksgiving Day.

The weather report was predicting rain and in the 30's that morning. Luckily, the rain stopped just before the race but it was still a little bit chilly.

I got there with plenty of time to spare. The registration was inside this boathouse which was nice and warm. I think they had the best giveaway bag of all the races I've been to - Advil, lip balm, a whole bag of cough drops, Centrum multi-vitamins, etc. They call it the "Beat the Cold Goody Bag". I also got a pair of bells to tie to my shoes. The pre-race spread was pretty impressive too - tons of Dunkin Donuts and coffee! Of course, I wasn't about to partake just minutes before the race.

There were a bunch of teams running as well. The best was this group of runners and walkers with line green t-shirts. The front says "Yule Poke Your Eye Out" and the back has "Fra-Gee-Lee....Must be Italian" with a picture of the leg lamp shade. Clearly an homage to "A Christmas Story".

I had plenty of time to go to go back to my car to put my bag, warm up, drink some water, people watch, etc. When it was time for the race to start, they escorted us to the front of the building where the starting line was. And finally we were off.

The course was obviously very familiar to me. The only differences between my last race and this race were the start and finish lines - the whole entire path around that part of the river is 3.65 miles, of which we only ran 3.1 miles (5K).

I took off at a comfortable pace. I just wanted to test my legs at short distance races and then work my way up again to running longer races. There was a lady there with bright fuschia top that was way ahead of me in the beginning of the race. As the race progressed I slowly inched my way towards her, finally passing her at the half way mark.

Then, the young girl. Clearly she was using me as a gauge because she would walk a lot , then sprint off when I got close to her. She would actually look at me then take off. This happened a number of times, until finally she must have ran out of steam because I passed her and never saw her again.

Finally, the finish line was within my sight and I increased my speed. Unfortunately, this long legged woman in silver tights blazed passed me. Good for her, but wait till I get over this injury ;).

I crossed the finish line in around 29 something - about 9-ish min/mile ave. pace (official results still not out). I actually hit 3.1 miles way before the finish line. I think this course was a little bit over again (just like the 5K for Arthritis that I ran this summer). I don't think this course was officially certified. Plus, I forgot to stop my Garmin...AGAIN! It read 30:04 for 3.17 miles, but I didn't stop it until a little bit after my bib ticket was torn off. I backtracked using Sportstrack and apparently I hit 3.1 miles in 29:14 (9:26/mile ave. pace)! I'll take anything at this point!

I'm so pround that I stayed strong this whole entire race. There were times when I wanted to walk. Clearly, I still had a lot of energy but 5K's always play with my head. And I did not get side stitches this time, nor did my IT band act up. Even afterwards, my IT band was mostly fine. A little bit of soreness but not the cramping I used to get. Hopefully, this is a sign of better things to come.

After I crossed the finish line, I had another half a mile to walk back to the boathouse and where I parked my car. I remember them talking about having a buffet lunch across the street. Unfortunately, by the time I got to the boathouse the volunteers have all departed and the registration room was empty. WTF! All the runners that were there just headed straight to their cars. I don't know if they just headed straight home or went to where the buffet was supposed to be. Now, I may be slow but I can't be the very last one! Besides, there were walkers that started behind me! And what about the fuschia shirt lady and the little girl? Or the old guy I passed and the guy in sweats? I would have been happy with just donuts and coffee! Or even water!!!!!!

So finally I just gave up and hopped on my car and headed home. Luckily, I brought water and extra Sports Beans with me, which helped tide me over until I reached my parents house (not too far thankfully!).

I got home and got bored so I had my Dad take a couple of pictures of me hamming it up in the neighborhood. :)

Next week, I have another 5K race in the next town over from this race. I love having tons of choices for races - by my parents in NJ and by me in PA. And I'm not too far from DE or MD either for big races there. Now, if only my relatives in CA would be willing to put up with me for a couple of days ;)..... Anyways, next weekend's race will be my 13th (and my last one) for the year.


The race official results just came out. I came in at 30:09!!! WTF! I KNOW that is not right. I had already crossed the finish line, walked a little to go to this guy to get my bib ticket ripped off, walked a little more then remembered to stop my Garmin which read 30:04. I remember the timer still in the 29 minutes range when I crossed the finish line. Also, it says the girl who finished before me did it in 29:45. There is NO WAY that girl was more than 15 seconds ahead of me! She didn't pass me until we were a couple of feet from the finish line!!!! Grrr!!! Anyways, I'm going with my Garmin data and that's the end of it.

The good news is I came in 41st out out of 155. Gotta love those walkers! ;)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Finally! Some Trip Pictures!

Just a few pictures from my Beijng trip.

Incidentally, I didn't race last weekend due to wintry mix. I'm not too worried about running the race itself, but driving 45 minutes to the race in icy condition is just too much of a risk.

Next weekend though, I'm planning to run the Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 5K. Looks like there's a bunch of these runs going on this weekend.

I'm really disappointed with running right now. I'm not motivated, injury is still a limiting factor, and my mileage totally sucks! My lack of motivation stems from fear of failure. Basically, I'm afraid of starting a run and not knowing when my IT band will cramp up. It varies too. Last Monday, it was at 4 miles. Today, it was at 2.5 miles.

So in order to not dwell on the negative, I decided to switch some focus on my other passion - travelling. :)

Anyways, without further ado, here are a few pix:

Beijing Zoo - w/ Panda

Is that cute or what?

Summer Palace

Gate to the Forbidden City (Tianamnen Square)

Forbidden City

Some odd dishes at the Night Market (wonder if they're BFL-friendly? ;)).

Apparently, they eat these. I'm guessing grilled? They even have silkworm cocoon. I tried looking for their famous scorpions on a stick, but we came too early and not all the stalls were open yet.

Great Wall of China
Temple of Heaven

It was an awesome trip! My overall impression of Beijing is that it's big and new. The buildings are all new and gigantic and the roads are unbelievably wide! The primary mode of transportation there is still the bicycle, but there are also a lot of motorized vehicles. China is clearly in the middle of an economic boom.

Other things we did:

  • We stayed at an awesome 5-star hotel throughout our stay there I can't believe how nice it was considering what we paid for the trip. Truly a bargain!
  • We had a tour guide and a driver all to ourselves! Just for the six 6 of us family and friends! Like I said, a bargain of a trip! This made things easier since especially hardly anybody spoke English! It's going to be interesting when the Olympics come around next year.
  • We caught an Acrobatic Show our first night there.
  • Saw some Olympic venues in passing but they were still under construction.
  • Saw what was supposed to be a Disney amusement park but is now a ghost town. It was abandoned when they decided to build Disney Hong Kong.
  • Went to the Silk Factory where they demonstrated the life cycle of a Silk Worm and how they make their famous quilts (Mom bought a whole bed set - $$$)
  • Went to a Jade Factory in the mountains where they make REAL jade figurines and jewelries. Typically, the ones you see in the markets are not guaranteed 100% jade (just some jade materials injected into glass). Real 100% jade changes color with time - turns much shiner and darker green the older it gets - which makes it a great heirloom piece. It is also also really hard and requires a lot of force to break. I bought a nice jade bangle as my one big souvenir. Set me back a few bucks but so worth it! :)
  • Had a foot massage (apparently a must in Beijing). They tried to sell as herbal medicine by having "doctors" (quacks in my opinion) diagnose your condition through your pulse and tongue. As someone who works for a pharmaceutical company, I didn't feel right purchasing any of their "medicines". ;) One of the ladies in our group bought $300 worth of medicines which she later regretted. I think she got pressured and just couldn't say no!
  • Went to their famous Pearl Market for some serious bargaining. The trick here is to start with a 1/4 (at the most!) of the price they ask for and then eventually you meet in the middle. If you're into fake designer goods, this is the place! I'm not into it though, so I didn't buy any. I did score some good deals on a couple pearl jewelries - those I believe are real. :)
  • Went to a tea house where I had the best tea! They sell the highest quality tea which requires a lot of preparation in my opinion. I asked for tea bags and I think they kind of got offended. ;)

My one disappointment was the food. As a fan of Chinese food (esp. the ones you get at China Town), I had high expectations going in. There were some good dishes, but most of them didn't agree with me. We did have THE BEST Peking (or Beijing) duck for our last meal in Beijing! OMG, I'm still dreaming of that! LOL

My next trip will be Portugal next year. I already put in a deposit! I can't wait!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I don't know half these people!

Stole this from Irene's blog.

I guess there's not much Asian celebrities out there. On the bright side, at least they didn't put Rob Schneider. He is part Filipino after all. ;)

Oooh! Speaking of celebrities! There's a movie being shot in my neighborhood! Okay, it's the next town over but it's close enough. I was at PT today and they were talking about the traffic in the area and how the cops were telling the residents there where not to walk or drive, etc...They were actually talking about it in the local radio stations too. Anyways, the movie being shot is the movie adaptation for The Lovely Bones. It's starring Mark Wahlberg and Susan Sarandon, and directed by Peter Jackson! I'm half tempted to go over there just to get a glimpse of the sexy Marky Mark! Now that guy I wouldn't mind being dubbed Sexiest Man Alive. ;)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Turkey Day 5K Picture

What's this? A post two days in a row?'s a picture of me taken after the Turkey Day 5K. I'm at my brother's front yard. Love the fall colors! The race was about 3 miles away from their house where we had our Thanksgiving get-together.

Dang! Looks like my legs plumped up! LOL. Blame it on injury, lack of running, and vacation.