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.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


  • I miss Tracker and my Run for Life teammies!!!!

  • I miss being able to run long like I used to. I feel like I'm back to square one!!!

  • WTH happened to some of the blogs? Since I've been back from vacation, you need special access to read them. :(

  • It's getting too cold out! I hate the cold!

  • I so unmotivated at work!

  • I need to catch up on housework!

  • I need to remember to pay my bills before the end of the month!

  • I need to put up my Christmas decorations!
  • I need to update my workout log on the sidebar!

  • I'm getting fat!

On a positive note, here's another picture of my cute niece at 2 weeks old. It's kind of blurry, but she's just too adorable in this picture! :)

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Turkey Day 5K

Ran a Turkey Day 5K this morning - I've always wanted to run a 5K on Thanksgiving Day.

The race started at around 10 am which was perfect since it's early enough in the morning without it being too early (does that make sense? LOL). Weather was PERFECTION!!!! The race was around this river near my parents house and it was just beautiful!

My time was slllooooowwww though. First off, I set out to do this race just as a fun run and was just going to run this race easy so not too aggravate the knee and IT band. Once I was off, I was actually running at a fairly decent pace while still feeling relaxed. For the first 2 miles, I thought I was actually going to finish at a decent time! However, the side stitch that I started feeling around the first mile just wouldn't go away and was too hard to ignore by mile 3. So I walked some. Finished in 30:58 (3.13 miles) according to Garmin.

Oh well!!! Still happy overall since the knee and IT band held up throughout the race. The outside of my knee started feeling stiff later in the day, but I just massaged around it and it eventually loosened up. Of course, I must have massaged it too hard coz I now have this big ugly bruise around the area.

Thank God I did this race since I ended up having 2 Thanksgiving meals! First, we had lunch at my brother's house. With a 2-weeks old baby and all, they really couldn't go anywhere yet. Then for dinner, went to another friend's house for another big meal. I feel like a stuffed bird!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Me and my niece...

Isn't she adorable?

She's only a little bit over a week and still sleeping a lot. She is a really calm baby though. I can't wait when she grows up and I can take her shopping! LOL.

I'm still working on my vacation pictures. We took A LOT! Between my camera, my mom's, and my dad's there's just so much to sort through! So please be patient! I will post them, I promise!

Yesterday as I was driving home from my parents house, I passed by Philadelphia and saw the runners running along the Schuykill River for the Philadelphia Half/Full Marathon...that one that I'm missing. :( I felt a tinge of sadness for only a moment, but it wasn't so bad. For the most part, I am at peace with the fact that I made the right decision. I did honk at them twice as a show of support. :)

The good news is that I was able to run PAIN FREE last night for a grand whopping distance of 3.5 miles! Whoot whoot!!! I probably could have gone longer, but decided to play it conservatively for now. The Turkey Day 5K that I am hoping to run on Thursday sure is looking good! And OMG! I am actually contemplating a 10K next weekend! We shall see how the knee holds up. I WILL GET THROUGH THIS INJURY!!!!

Leslie - Don't worry, I will keep doing something. I've enjoyed wearing size 0/2 for over 2 years now I'm not about to backslide. Thanks for the reminder though. :)

Thank you again everyone! Have a great Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

My first DNS

Looks like I'm not going to do this weekend's Philadelphia Half Marathon. Goodbye $96 reg. fee! My ITBS is still acting up in a big way. I could still run, but really slow and it hurts like a mo fo beotch after a couple miles!

My PT said that I could still do the half if I do one of the following:
  • Run really easy so it doesn't aggravate my IT band.
  • Run until it starts to hurt then walk the rest of the way.
  • Walk the entire thing

Walking doesn't bother my IT band at all, but the idea of walking a huge portion of the 13.1 miles course is just tortuous to my mind. Physically I KNOW I can do it. But why?

My PT did say that the most ideal solution for me is to rest or ease up on the running for a while, until the IT band heals. So that's what I'm going to do...a couple of 5Ks before the year ends, LOL. Am I stubborn or what! ;)

And I don't want to hear this whole BS about DFL>DNF>DNS!!! It is tougher for me to stay behind and not do the race. And in this case, I KNOW I am making the right decision. Besides, I am only 32 yrs old - plenty of races yet in my future as long as I stay relatively injury-free (Please God!).

The good news is that I am back from my vacation! And what an awesome vacation it was! Pictures to follow, once I get done sorting through the hundreds we took.

And THE BEST news of all...I'm a new aunt!!! My beautiful niece was born last Friday, an hour before we landed in Philadelphia! What a nice welcome home present!

So you see, it's still ALL GOOD! :)

Monday, October 22, 2007

It's finally here!

I'm leaving on vacation! I'll be back in Nov.!

My half marathon in Nov. is looking highly doubtful? Remember my pain at 12 miles of my half marathon last weekend? Well, it's still haunting me. I have an honest to goodness pain-in-the-ASS ITBS. Like, not just soreness of the knees. Like painful enough to stop you on your tracks...and I don't use the word "pain" very lightly.

I was able to shuffle along last Thursday with 4.6 miles. For Saturday's long run, I made it to 5ish miles before I got the pain. I don't know how many times I had to stop and stretched it out. Around 5ish to 6ish I would run a little then walk, then repeat. By 6ish I couldn't run a step and had to walk the remaining ~2.5 miles home. It was the longest walk of my life! Luckily, it didn't hurt at all when I walk.

I'm really bummed. But, I'll keep my hopes open. I'll take it easy, stretch, do a bunch of leg exercises, etc. Last week, my regular physiotherapist was on vacation so I couldn't even get advice.

For now I'll focus on enjoying my vacation. :)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

AC 1/2 Marathon Race Report

I know y'all been waiting for this!

Anyways, yes I just ran my second half marathon in Atlantic City today. I'm going to apologize right off the bat, since I know this is going to be novel-length.

I decided to do this race as a training run. I'm going on a long vacation starting next week, so running opportunities may be limited. I wanted to get a 13.1 quality miles before I leave since I'm planning on running the Philadelphia Half Marathon a week after I come back in November.

I had a lot of doubts coming into this race. First of all, I had a hard time finding my motivation after PDR a month ago. For the past couple of weeks, I only managed 2 10-milers as my longest runs. Then Friday morning, I woke up feeling crappy, like I was coming down with something. I hoped that it was only due to the change of the weather, but I didn't take any chances and loaded up on Airborne. LOL.

I felt better today, thankfully. It was still dark when we drove 45 minutes to Atlantic City. I think I got a good 10 minutes nap in the car. We got there an hour and a half before the start of the race. No lines at all when I picked up my race packet, shirt, & chip.

Nothing much happening after that as we waited for the start. I hung out inside the Showboat Casino, stretched, people watched, munched on jelly beans, etc. Even got in 2 bathroom breaks. I headed out about 15 minutes before the start. The weather at that time was sunny and cool. I was actually shivering at the start line.

The course started out on the Boardwalk, which was really flat. The view of the ocean was beautiful! The first half of the race felt like I was facing headwind, which felt really great since I was already getting hot around the first mile.

Around mile 4, we veered right onto a bridge and into the roads. I took my first gel at around mile 5, then continued running until we hit mile 6.5 and headed back. I was counting on the tailwind after the halfway point since we were heading back the same way. But nothing! I was getting really hot at this point. When we ran back to the boardwalk, the sun was shining directly at shade whatsoever! After a while I wanted any kind of wind just to cool me off!

At around mile 8, I started running behind this woman. I would run right behind her then she would speed up. We did this for some time. Then she would break up in song, like really loud! And even flail her arm around! I don't even know if she's part of the race because when I got next to her, she didn't have a bib #. I'm guessing she's local and just went out for a nice run on the boardwalk.

I was doing really well until mile 12. That's when my right knee started getting sore. I decided to walk for a bit, then a woman tapped me in the back and said "Come on, let's go!" I thanked her and took off.

Around mile 12.5, I got a really sharp pain on the side of right knee, in which case I definitely had to walk. People started passing me, but I didn't care since it was hurting pretty bad. I made the Trump Taj Mahal overpass as my marker to start running, which I did even though my knee was protesting. I kept telling myself "Just get it done!". I saw the finish line ahead and it felt so far away! Saw my mom cheering me on as I (sort of) sprinted to the finish.

My clock finish time was 2:11:36(?) - a personal best!!!! I beat my previous half marathon time by 3 minutes!

Throughout the race, I kept looking at my Garmin because it kept telling me I was averaging around ~9 min/mile. I've never done that! It felt like I was running at a relaxed pace. Must be the ocean air.

It also turned out that I set a 10-mile PR as well of ~1:37, which was way better than my ~1:41 from the Broad Street Run.

I'm very happy with my time. But, a part of me is disappointed that I didn't get below 2:10, which was within my grasp if it wasn't for this darn knee!

Speaking of knee, it's really hurts! Not swollen though, thank God! I think it's my IT band since it's on outside of my knee. I'm iceing, taking pain killers, and keeping my fingers crossed. I have PT tomorrow, which will hopefully help.

I hung out a bit to watch the winners from the full marathon cross the finish line. The winner for men crossed at around 2:54. Really fast, but not Kenyan standard. This was a really low key race so no elites.

Overall, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this race! It's very low key compared to the Philly races, but very well organized with tons of course support along the way. It was wierd running through the Boardwalk among the regular people, but I think it's part of the charm of this race. There are also lots of CLEAN bathrooms along the course - just walk into one of the casinos! And based on my time, I think there's a better chance of setting PRs on this race compared to Philly. Plus, you get a free voucher for a buffet meal in the Showboat Casino. Of course, I still won't give up Philly.

That's it! Thanks for reading!

Here are some pics!

Before the race, hanging out inside the Showboat Casino:

Still before the race, but outside the casino:

Trying to sprint to the finish line:

After the race, with my medal. Notice I switched my knee brace. That's because I was in pain!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Guys at the gym

So lately, I've been going to my work gym after work for weight lifting and extra cardio. I run in the mornings.

Unfortunately, there's this group of guys that just stink up a storm in the gym! I mean NASTY SMELL! Like beyond B.O. Not to sound racist or anything, but I'm guessing that these guys are the same nationality since they're always speaking to each other in their native tongue, whatever that is. Judging by the smell, I'm guessing it's not just BO but something they eat that permeates out of their pores when they sweat. Really foul!

One time, I was in the shoulder press machine when one of the guys started using the machine next to mine. Since I was in the middle of my sets, I stuck it out, prayed, and tried to hold my breath as much as possible (very hard to do when you're supposed to be working hard). I finally got done and went to another machine farther from the guy when I felt dizzy and had to hold on to the nearest solid thing next to me. It was that bad!

Another time, I had the misfortune of being on one of the elliptical machine and one of the guys decided to hop on the one next to mine. Ugh!

On the other hand, there's a new guy at the gym. From what I can tell, he doesn't smell. And he HAWWWT!!!! Like GQ-model hot with muscles!!! I first noticed him today but I was so involved with my workout that I just looked at him, took note of his hotness, and continued with my business.

Well, my friend was there too and she also noticed him. Apparently, he's just been going for a couple of days and when he first came the whole female population in the gym that time took notice. As a matter of fact, one of the gym bunnies that work there was all a-giggly.

So on one hand, I have stinky guys. And in the opposite is Mr McHotty eye-candy. Hmmm...

So that's the only interesting thing going on with me.

Still planning to run the half marathon this weekend. Since my last half marathon, my long runs have been a 6-miler and two 10-milers. I'm in so much trouble!

Monday, October 01, 2007

I can't win!

Hi loyal readers! Sorry I've been MIA from this blog and from commenting on your blogs. I've been sooooo busy lately! Still running and working out. Also, work has been keeping me busy, especially with my upcoming long vacation.

Anyways, I'm still planning on running the Atlantic City Half Marathon. Hopefully, the weather's nice. The website is really lacking so I have no idea what to expect with this race. They have a map of the course but it only shows water stations on the first half of the course!?! Looks like I'll be carrying my fuel belt during this race, which is going to be a pain in the A$$. Not to mention that gave it poor reviews. I'm just going to have to wing it.

I am having a hard time getting motivated again after my last half marathon. I was able to get 10 miles LSD run on the treadmill last night, so with another long run next weekend, I hope I'll be ready for the AC half in 2 weeks.

I'm still going to PT. ITBS seems to be gone (keeping my fingers crossed), so I'm only dealing with chondromalacia patella. My left knee has improved greatly. Unfortunately, my right knee has caught up. LOL. So now, I'll be wearing matching knee braces. So onwards with more leg strengthening exercises!

Monday, September 17, 2007

My very first half marathon...

Thank you guys for checking in and for all your support. Above all, thank you for believing in me! I am done with my first half marathon and I am happy with it. Here's a detailed report (apologies in advance for the length). I'll highlight my finish time if you want to skip to it. ;)

I crashed at around 9:30 the night before. But I woke up at around midnight with a sore knee. I think I turned in my sleep and must have turned the wrong way on my right knee and it cramped up. Luckily, it got better once I started moving around. I was too tired to do anything so I proped a pillow under my knee and tried to get back to sleep. I was so nervous that I think I woke up at least 5 times before the alarm went off.

I had my stuff ready the night before so all I had to do in the morning was change and eat my breakfast. I was a big ball of nerves though so all I was able to eat was a slice of WW toast with PB and a cup of tea with honey. I was so nervous I was almost sick to my stomach.

I got to the race area in good time. My dad dropped me off near the Art Museum while he and my mom went to find parking. I met with some friends then headed to the nearest port-a-potties. The line went on forever! One of my friend was kind enough to save my spot while I ran to get my bag checked in.

It was a really close call. We were in line for so long that we were still there when the race started. Luckily, we got done quickly enough that most of the people were still walking towards the starting line. I just kept walking through the crowd until I saw most people around me had "13" in their bibs, which indicate our corral #.

I passed by starting line and everything was just a blur from then on. I remember looking up at the starting line and seeing Philly's Mayor Street standing on a platform, cheering the runners on (can't miss the hair, ya know. ;)). I heard my mom calling me so I waved at her.

We weaved through the streets of Philadelphia. The sun was in my eyes the whole time so I cannot even tell you where we were because I was looking on the ground the whole time. My dad later asked me if we passed by City Hall and I couldn't even tell him!

I had my first drink of water at around mile 3. I usually don't need it until mile 5, but I decided to play it conservatively since this is my first half marathon. At around mile 4, I remember seeing a runner with a shirt that says that he beat open heart surgery. I thought that was really inspirational.

At around mile 4.5, I saw my parents and slowed down a bit so my dad can take a picture of me running.

Shortly after that was a water stop. The next water stop was supposed to be a little bit after mile 5, but I figured it must have been off a bit so I decided to go ahead and take my first gel then. Thankfully, it was the right decision because the next water stop was a couple of miles later.

We ended up around Kelly Drive, with the Schuykill River on the right hand side. At around mile 6, I remember looking across the river and seeing all the fast runners already making their way back to the Art Museum.

The entire course was fairly flat, until around mile 8.6 where we go a little bit uphill to a bridge to get across the river. Normally, this wouldn't even be considered a hill but at that mile, I definitely felt it in my glutes. Luckily, it didn't last long and it was all downhill once we crossed the bridge.

At around mile 9, I remember being passed by a girl who I was running on her toes! I swear her heels didn't even touch the ground. And she was obviously a serious overpronator. But whatever she was doing, it must be working for her because, like I said, she passed me.

I took my 2nd gel at around mile 10 and kept telling myself "only 5K more!". Some girl passed me with some serious B.O., and for the first time I was happy for someone (her in particular) to pass me. If I had some energy in me, I would have yelled at yer to "Run like the wind!". With my luck, I would have gotten her backdraft. LOL.

I really started hurting at around mile 12. It was bad enough that I had to walk a couple of times to ease off some cramping in my legs. At this time, I knew I was well under my goal time so I decided to take it easy until the very end.

I picked up my pace at around mile 13. However, everybody had the same idea because it felt like a big wave of people passed me. However, I was determined to get a good finishing picture for once! My last one at the Broad Street Run was horrible! I was blocked by a big guy on all the shots. So this time, I made sure nobody was around me, even though I was still running in the low 9 min/mile pace. I made sure I was smack dab in the middle of the finish line banner with my hands held high! Now, if I don't get a good picture from that, then I'm definitely cursed!

My finishing time? I signed up for this race after the Broad Street Run with a goal finishing time of 2:20. I was in a post-race euphoria then and injury-free. Since then, I have suffered from chondromalacia patella and ITBS and my training has had its good days and bad days. So I revised my goal to just finish in under 2:30. I finished in 2:25 on my last 13.1 training run, so I know sub 2:30 was doable. But I'm happy to say that I smashed my goal and finished in an official chip time of 2:14:46!!!

I got my chip cut off and quickly got my medal. Luckily, my parents were able to find me among the crowd of people. I quickly got my bags in truck #10, which was lucky indeed since truck #9 had a line to Timbuktu! I was cramping up and needed banana pronto! So I'm sorry to say but I cut the long line to the food and snuck some goodies in between people.

We got some pictures taken around the Art Museum. I even got a picture taken with Rocky. Rocky was very in demand so I had to fight my way amongst runners and tourists to get the picture taken. I also got my free Spenco sandals after that, which was way too big for my 5 1/2 feet!

Walking back to the car was slow. But I wasn't the only one suffering. We were joking about needing some cortisone shots because our legs were sore.

My overall impression of the PDR is positive. I'll definitely do it again! Fast & flat course, great weather, what else could you ask for? The only thing is I wish they had more entertainment along the course. There were miles around Kelly Drive where it was dead silence except for the pounding of the feet and conversations from fellow runners. Luckily, I had my iPod. And just for the record, I had people almost bumping into me, and ALL of them did not have earphones. So it's not the iPod people!

Oh yeah, and running skirts rock!!!

Day After
OMG! I'm in pain! My legs are so sore! The good news is that it's sore enough that it's making the knee issue secondary. ;) I'm also experiencing some pain on the outside arch of my right leg. I think it's from the horrible cambered roads along the course. I used to do the AIDS Walk along the same path years ago and experienced the same kind of pain. I'm going to ice and massage which will hopefully help.

I have a massage scheduled after work, which I am looking forward too. I also bought The Stick at the expo so I've been using that continuously.


The elites (Kenyans) lining up at the start of the race:

And the elites are off! See me running with them? Didn't think so. ;)
Still smiling at mile 4.5. :)

Can you see me? I'm the little lilac dot in the distance. This was taken towards the end of the race and I was hurting! I don't know what I'm doing here. Either I'm looking at my Garmin and hoping for the end, or looking at the ground and praying for it to swallow me. LOL
Posing in front of the Art Museum, proudly displaying my finisher's medal! Don't you just love my knee brace!
Gotta have a picture with Rocky! I had to fight my way through other runners and tourists to get this taken. ;)
Trying to get a formal picture done. Don't know what that idiot next to me was doing.