Friday, September 25, 2009

My Running Goals

Happy Friday!  So I'm listening to Sondre Lerche (I saw him/met him last night, woohoo!!!) and I realized that when I first started blogging, I never did delve into my goals.

I started my blog a little while ago, and although it was on my mind constantly and I've told my family, I never did write my goals for running.  I'm here to correct that right now!

So in my first blog I talked about why I wanted to start running...that I wanted to get back into it but more seriously that I ever did before.  Before I started this blog, I told my parents my top goals in my running endeavor.  Here they are:

1.  Train to run 30+ minutes constantly--build my foundation
2.  Train for and race in a 5K
3.  Train for and race in a 10K
4.  Train for and race in a 1/2 marathon.

A fifth and later goal is to eventually run a marathon.  I realize this might take a while, but I believe I can accomplish this goal before I am 30.  Right now I'm 23 years old.  If I work/train hard and accomplish my four goals listed above, I know I will be able to achieve this fifth goal.

I have almost accomplished goal 1.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I have decided to go back in my training schedule because I had such a bad week with training.  If I don't hit anymore obstacles, I will reach my goal by Halloween!  As for my goal number two, I have signed up for the San Diego Mud Run, and the LB Turkey Trot.  The SD Mud Run is less of a race and more of a mud obstacle course (obvi), so I do not count that as my first 5K.  My first 5K will take place ON Turkey Day of this year, and I can't wait!!!  I've signed up and there is no turning back!  It will be here before I know it, and so I have to follow through with all my training (including the getting used to running in the pitch black mornings!)  But it's sooooo worth it.

So I just wanted to clarify my top goals in my running adventures.  I can't wait to accomplish them ALL!!!

Have a fabulous weekend and if anyone is racing, good luck and run happy!

xoxo

Thursday, September 24, 2009

This Morning's Adventure

This week has not been one of my best. I don’t know what it is, but the past two days I have had the hardest time waking up in the morning. Maybe it’s because it’s pitch black at 5:00am, or maybe my body was just telling me I need more sleep.


Yesterday I didn’t even hear my alarm and I don’t remember turning it off, but I know I set it. I always set my alarm for the same time every morning—5:00am. It must have been my body catching up on some much needed rest for the many 5:00am wake-up calls I’ve had recently.

I did wake up this morning, but it was a cross-training day so I walked (fast-paced!) for 40 minutes around my neighborhood. An interesting thing happened…towards the end of my walk (mind you it’s 5:15am, pitch black, and silent) this morning, all of a sudden a fire truck with lights flashing comes racing down towards me. I hope on the sidewalk and watch it pass me, but it’s heading in the direction of my house so I watch it closely to see which street it turns on. It turned on MY street!!! When I left my house everything was fine…what could have happened? I live in a cul-de-sac-like street so once you turn there are only a small handful of houses to go to. I race back to my street to find it parked in front of my house! Ok seriously, what the heck. The lights in the house were off, so that was reassuring, and then I thought about my neighbor. She is an elderly woman with Alzheimer’s and I began to think what could have happened to poor Mrs. Baker (this is not her real name) and my mind jumped to the worst possible scenario. The firemen and paramedics (they just arrived) seemed calm so I asked them what happened. They were soooo NOT friendly! I got a rude “Who are you and what are you doing here?” response, to which I returned a polite and worried “She’s my neighbor. Is she ok? What happened?” The not-so-friendly man in uniform abruptly replied that she was fine and that she hit her leg, then he stormed off. Jeez! Luckily she was ok though, my gosh!

Anyways, this week really put a dent in my training, so I have decided to go back and repeat last weeks schedule which is:

Mon: Run 6 min Walk 1 min (repeat 4 times) Run 2 min
Tues: Cross train
Wed: Run 6 min Walk 1 min (repeat 4 times) Run 2 min
Thurs: Cross train
Fri: Run 8 min Walk 1 min (repeat 3 times) Run 3 min
Sat: Run 8 min Walk 1 min (repeat 3 times) Run 3 min

I probably could continue with next weeks schedule, but after struggling to get my butt out of bed the past few days I think I need to repeat and make sure I’m absolutely comfortable with this. I know it’ll be worth it. And I have two 5Ks in November to look forward to and keep me motivated! Wahoo!!!
Have a happy Thursday! I’m going to see Sondre Lerche tonight…so excited!!! (He sang the “Dan in Real Life” soundtrack and has some awesome albums, just FYI.)

xoxo

Monday, September 14, 2009

Running in the Dark

Now that summer is over, it's pitch black outside when I wake up at 5:00am.  I don't think I'm alone when I say that running in the dark can be scary.  One never knows what creepers might be lurking, or if drivers can see you in the dark.  So one must be very alert when running while it's still dark outside.

This morning I woke up at 5:00am to do 3 miles of intervals.  Well, it was still dark, and I had a scary encounter.  I was rounding a corner at mile 1 just as a pick up truck was turning in my direction.  As I turned onto the street where he was coming from, he turned on to the street where I was running, then all of a sudden he stopped!  I looked over my shoulder to see this truck idling in the middle of the road.  Then all of a sudden, his reverse lights came on!  I picked up my pace a bit while looking over my shoulder, and all I could think was "It's 5am!  Who is going to be up at this time if I go banging on someone's door?!"  So I keep running forward, and the truck starts to reverse back onto the street where he came from, the street that I am running on!  Crap!  Then all of a sudden as I'm getting worked up, the truck turns the opposite direction.  Phew!  I guess he just made a wrong turn originally, but seriously, when it's dark outside and you see that, the imagination just starts to go wild!

I finished my reming two miles with relief, and watched the moon fade into the light as the sun rose.  It was a quick but successful workout.

Oh!  So I signed up for the 2010 Avon Walk for Breast Cancer!  This will be my second time doing it (I did it in 2008) and I couldn't be more excited!  Please support me in any way you can and help me fight breast cancer.  Here is the link to my Avon page:


http://tinyurl.com/p8ye6y


xoxo

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I WALK BECAUSE I CAN'T WALK AWAY

One year ago today I participated in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in Long Beach.  Over two days, we walked 40 miles: 26.2 on day 1, and 13.1 on day two.  I really wanted to do it for my Grammie who is a two-time survivor of breast cancer.  She is my hero, and my namesake (Margaret), and so I walked for her and so many others who have been affected by the terrible disease...I walked because so many people can't for many reasons....I walk because I can't walk away.

So in March of 2008 I signed up and began to ask for donations and started my training.  By June, I had already beat my goal of $2,000 two times over, reaching almost $4,000 for my cause!  I was blown away.

I walked with my good friend Amanda and we had the best time training for the big two days.  Here is a pic of me and Amanda a the opening ceremony:
Check out our awesome hot pink visors with our names puffy painted on them!  We wanted something fun, girly, and memorable...and they sure were memorable.  We had strangers cheering for us the whole two days who remembered us because of these hats (I still have mine and love it):

September came around, and it was the most incredible, inspiring, and humbling two days of my life.  I was surrounded by women of all shapes and sizes, colors and ages, and men too!, walking together for one common goal-to fight breast cancer.  (Here is a pic of the beginning of the walk):

Some of these women had breast cancer and survived, others sadly had lost loved ones and walked for them.  I remember there was a dad with his two little girls who had to have been 8 and 10 years old who wore shirts "My wife/mom is fighting cancer and I walk for her!"  It was so moving.  At one point the mom/wife was at a cheering station and she was so proud of her hubby and little girls.  There was another woman Amanda and I talked to on the second day who wore pink furry wings on her back.  The wings were lined with probably 50+ names of people SHE KNEW who had survived cancer, who were fighting it, or who had sadly lost their lives to it.  That was powerful.

At the end of Day 1, mile 26.2, we made it to the Wellness Village.  We were number 314 and 315 out of thousands, which surprised me because we were cruisin.  Of course it wasn't a race at all, but when they called it out I thought, "oh ok cool!"  So we made it to the wellness village in one piece, kind of:

I say kind of because at the end of the two days, I had lost 4 toenails and had a gnarly blister on one foot.  One of the medics who saw the blister said it was the mother of all blisters she had ever seen.  I was pretty proud, hahaha!

So Day 2 rolled around and we were a little more sluggish, but we still pumped it!  Singing and "dancing" as we walked, cheering with the honking cars driving past us.  We were headed back to the beginning point, the Queen Mary, and once we saw the beach we said "Ok, almost there!"  Well, that almost there was still another 8 miles long!
We enjoyed those last 8 tiring miles.  We kept meeting amazing people along the way to chat with.  We finally made it to the finish line where we were greeted by our families.  It was an indescribable feeling to finish...relief mixed with excitement mixed with fatigue and happiness.  We did it!  The whole experience was worth every toenail lost and every second of pain I felt.  It was worth it a thousand fold over for fighting breast cancer.  I plan on doing the walk in 2010 (making it an every two year thing), and I welcome the pain because the best feelings in the world that you feel during this weekend overpowers it all.

xoxo

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Craft Review

Sunday, September 6, 2009

On Friday, my family and I went to Craft in LA.  We got picked up around 6ish, and while we cruised up we enjoyed a beautiful bottle of Sauvignon Blanc.  Here is my little brother, my dad, my mom, and me:


We shockingly hit zero traffic on the way up (very strange for LA!).  We arrived at the contemporary American restaurant and I immediately fell in love with the crisp modern decor:


We started off with cocktails made table side (Dirty Martinis and Manhattans) while the waitress came over the explain the family style dining.  Dad and I ordered oysters and champagne, and after eating three each, we decided to order another round!  So we each had three more.  For dinner, we all ordered and entree and a side that was brought and served in the center of our table to share.  We ordered copper river salmon (only available three weeks out of the year, and believe me, it is the most savory salmon there is), braised short ribs (tender and to die for), flat iron steak (couldn't have been more perfectly seasoned and cooked), and an organic farm chicken (incredible).  For our sides we enjoyed whipped potatoes, sweet corn, asparagus, and assorted mushrooms, all of which were fresh and little explosions of flavor with every bite.


With our dinner, we savored a 2004 Chambolle-Musigny, 1er Cru Les Hauts-Doix, Robert Groffier.  What a treat that was!  After our delicious dinner, we enjoyed a cheese plate with two kinds of sheep's milk cheese, two goat's milk cheese, and a bleu cheese, complimented by a roasted fig dessert.  The sweet and salty combo of the cheese and figs was mind blowing.

After about three hours of deliciousness and the best conversation, we hopped back in our limo and ventured home.  A tradition we have in our family is "champagne at midnight".  To keep this tradition going on our night out, we had a bottle of rose champagne for the ride home.  Gotta love it!

I love my family more than anything.  We can be sitting on our patio listening to music and talking all night, or indulging in fine dining and spectacular wines, and it always ends up being one of the most memorable nights.  it doesn't matter where we are or what we're doing, just as long as we're together.  There is nothing like family :)

Speaking of family, here is a pic of me and my brother outside the restaurant as we arrived:


Until next time, have a fun and safe Labor Day weekend!!  I'm now headed up to Palm Desert for my girlfriend's birthday!  Palm Desert, watch out!!!

xoxo





Friday, September 4, 2009

Sunrise Run + Limo + Craft

Friday, September 4, 2009



Yesterday I started out my day with a 5:00am run.  My boyfriend is so amazing that he called me at 5:00am to make sure I was awake.  I was dressed and ready to go.  I can tell summer is over because it is still dark outside when I wake up.  It’s much harder to get out of bed when it’s dark outside. But once my feet hit the pavement and I take a deep breath while hearing nothing but nature sounds around me, it’s completely worth the pain of waking up.


I put on my headphones and began my short 3 mile run.  My girlfriend is a runner/racer, and she recommended an awesome running podcast called PODRUNNER.  Each podcast is about an hour long and it’s upbeat house and techno music at x beats per minute.  The podcast I was listening to is called “Sonorous.”  With 152bmp, it starts off mellow and gradually picks up in tempo pumping the listener up! My workout was fartleks (intervals) and with each running interval, I increased in distance and this podcast was perfect for that.  It really got me going strong.


Icing on the cake:  I saw the most beautiful sunrise!  It took my breath away.



 
On to a new topic…


It’s Labor Day Weekend!  I’m so excited to have a three day weekend!  My family and I are kicking off the weekend with a limo to Tom Colicchio’s restaurant, Craft, in LA.  Tonight my parents, my brother, and I are going to Craft.  The food is reviewed to be outstanding, fresh, perfectly seasoned and cooked.  It’s kind of family-style, so we will be ordering an array of different things to share. Some of the “must-haves” are the assorted mushrooms (YUM!), whipped potatoes, sirloin with marrow, roasted chicken, braised short ribs, and oysters!  My dad and I will be the only ones savoring the oysters though. That just means more for us! And it will be so much fun to take a limo.  That way we don’t have to worry about drinking and driving; we can relax and have a great night!  Craft has a raving wine list which I’m very excited about (oh yea, my family and I are huge foodies and wine lovers), and for the limo dad is making martinis! My brother will probably have his Jack and coke in lieu of martinis though.  I love hanging out with my family.  We are loud and crazy, and we’re so close.  And not only do I mean my parents and brothers, but I mean my WHOLE family—aunts, uncles, cousins, everyone! We are one fun family if I may say so myself.


Anyways, I’ll give my personal review on Craft tomorrow after my morning run. Yes, I am going to attempt a morning run to beat the heat. We’ll see how that goes haha!



Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Just read this in RW online and loved it:
“When you are one of 35,000 participants in a race, do yourself a favor and shout something out on your shirt. Make sure everyone on the sidelines knows why they're cheering. If you're running to make the world a better place, let them know. If you're running to make yourself a better person, let them know. Let's tell the world who we are, what we believe, and why it matters.
If nothing else, I want to encourage everyone who runs a race to put your name boldly on the front of your shirt. Put it there in large letters. You won't remember your number late in the race, but with any luck you'll still be able to remember your name. And when you hear your name, you'll be reminded of why you're there—and why it sounded like a good idea three months earlier
.

--John Bingham, Runner’s World Magazine


Everyone runs for a reason. I think that whatever your reason is, you should be proud of it! I have many reasons that I’m running again, so this is something I will have to think about. Once I get my t-shirt “one-liner” reason figured out, I will most definitely share it!

I’m planning on running tonight, but I think I might have to take this one to the gym. The air quality is so poor outside with the horrible fires, and I live miles and miles away from them! There was an article on CNN this morning that said Texas is experiencing the smoke and haze from the LA area fires, and it’s expected to travel as far as Minnesota! It’s unbelievable. I really hope the weather cools down so the firefighters can contain the fires, and also that we get some rain. The latter is very doubtful, especially this time of year, but there is a hurricane in Cabo San Lucas so maybe we will get some of that rain (minus the winds please…we don’t need to fuel the fires).

I’ll check out the air quality later this evening when it cools, but I might be hitting the treadmill today in lieu of the road. Either way, it will be a great workout!