Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My MBA program begins + back in the running saddle!

Last night I had my first class of my MBA program at Chapman University.  Well, first class of the semester.  Last Saturday I had a 1-unit class on Competitive Advantage.  But last night was the official kick off to my MBA program, and it began last night with Accounting!  It was so much fun!  I'm sure not many people think accounting is "fun," but I was a Finance and Econ double major in undergrad, so numbers are kind of my thing...I love finance, and accounting is the language of finance and business for that matter.

So we stared with a guessing game of poker chips (betting real $) that my Prof so eloquently related to accounting...things like prices are determined by perceived odds and risk aversion, information is valuable but only if it can be used to guide decisions, and asymmetric information and conflicting incentives reduce value (otherwise known as agency costs).

Now I won't sit here and bore you with an accounting lesson.  I will however tell you this:  I LOVE GRAD SCHOOL!!!  Given my limited experience in the program thus far, it is significantly different than undergrad in my opinion for several reasons.  Here are my key takeaways thus far and why I love it!

1.  I love to learn.  Yep.  I love to learn.  And grad school is 100% catered to my career, which is a career in business.  So I know I will absolutely love what will expand my knowledge to help me advance in my career.

2.  The Profs treat you like a peer, not like they're "babysitting" you.  In undergrad, there was a lot more hand-holding and more hounding the students.  In grad school, the Profs treat you like an adult, because, well, we ARE adults.  We are all working adults who have chosen to pursue a higher degree to better ourselves in our career path.  If we miss a class due to a business trip or a personal thing, they understand...life happens.  The Profs know that and respect that, and thus treat you more like an equal while teaching.

3.  The Profs @ Chapman WANT you to succeed.  It's apparent in only having 3 Profs thus far (my Sat class was broken into two sections with 2 Profs since it was a 9 hour day), that they really are there to teach the material.  And they teach it not through lectures, but through real case studies, and even media like TV (Daily Show with John Stewart on newspapers going out of business and the Godfather when Don Corleone is approached by the Turk to get into the drug business, or expand his market, and why he declined).  They don't sit and lecture, instead they present us engaging material that we all analyze and discuss.  Pretty cool.

4.  My fellow students rock!  I've met some pretty cool people who I will be spending the next two years of my life with (my program is two years, year round).  They're smart, ambitious, and we each have different skill sets which will benefit us all when we begin our study groups.  Yes, we already formed our study group-there are 6 of us and we picked our day of the week and times to meet, with locations to be determined...we like the idea given to us by a soon-to-be grad of meeting at various happy hours!  Great idea!

5.  It's FUN!  I have wanted to get my Masters in Business since I was 7 years old.  Did I know what that meant then?  No way.  But my parents had theirs and I wanted it.  Plus I was always keen on math, and as I got older the facets of the business world riveted me.  Career path:  FOUND.  And here I am, pursuing my career, while beginning the road to earn my Masters in Business :)  And I am having a blast!!!!

News flash on the running front:  I am officially back in the running saddle!

On my way home from work I stopped at the bay to get my run in.  I took the last two weeks off due to my foot injury, and had been training for the Long Beach 1/2 marathon primarily on the bike.  But this week I decided to get back into my training plan week 4, which means I got to run 3 miles today!  I was so ready for it!  I planned on stopping half way to do some core work and pushups.  I ended up doing the following after running the first 1.5 miles:
4 sets of 25 sit-ups
3 sets of 25 bicycle crunches
3 sets of supermans* held for 15 seconds
3 sets of 15 pushups
Then I ran the 1.5 miles back along the marina and felt an extra bounce in my step!  I wasn't wearing my Garmin but I think I was running about a 10:30min/mile pace.  It was a great workout and I'm very happy :)

*For anyone who doesn't know what a superman is, here is a picture:

And I just want to give a shout out to someone who is always there for me cheering me on at races, encouraging me to do my best, nursing me back to health when I'm injured (his massages rock!), and for supporting me through everything, including my decision to go back to school.  Sean O., I love you so much and you are the absolute best boyfriend in the world.  I love you :-D


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Songs for Sunday

I realized I've never done a music post, with the exception of my very first blog post.  So here are some songs I'm listening to now.  They have awesome beats, and are fun to run to or just listen to while driving with the windows down :)  Enjoy!

Like a G6 by Far East Movement

Club Can't Handle Me by Flo Rida ft. David Guetta

Power by Kanye West

All I Do Is Win by DJ Khaled ft. Ludacris, Rick Ross, & Snoop

Hot Tottie by Usher ft. Jay-Z

Little Lion Man by Mumford and Sons

Teenage Dream by Katy Perry (it's starting to get over played, but I still love it)

Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars

In For the Kill by La Roux (Skream remix)

Over by Drake

Not Giving Up On Love by Armin Van Buuren ft. Sohpie Ellis Baxter

Help I'm Alive by Metric

Crystalised by The XX (saw them at Coachella back in April and they were awesome!)

Erase Me by Kid Cudi ft. Kanye

And I'm still in love with Eminem's newest CD Recovery.  I can't get enough of every song on the album (although Love the Way You Lie is kind of getting over played on the radio :-P)


Friday, August 27, 2010

Foto Friday - Shoes!

This is a picture I took using the self-timer on my new Nikon D3000 that I got back in June for my birthday.  I wanted to photoshop it using cool effects, but I am not familiar with that program...I just bought it and I'm practicing.  So I asked my incredibly talented cousin who edits movies in Hollywood if he could do some basic funky effects, and I am SO happy with the results:
Tomorrow I have my first MBA class...it's a 1 unit all day class on competitive advantage and strategic planning.  Kind of an intro before my Finance/Accounting Analysis and Econ Analysis classes start next week!!!

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday to my Blog!

Today my blog turns one!  I can’t believe it was one year ago that I decided I was going to become “a runner” and that I decided to document and share my journey through this little blog.  My very first post is here.

As I sit here and try to write this Happy Birthday Blog, I can’t help but think about the progress I have made in my running life.  Just a year ago, I was only running/walking on the treadmill and the elliptical to stay healthy and fit.  I couldn’t run 3 miles (hell maybe it was even 2!) at a steady pace without feeling exhausted.  And now I’ve completed (5) 5Ks, (2) 10Ks, and 2 half marathons!

San Diego Mud Run (5K) - Nov 22, 2009
2.  Long Beach Turkey Trot (5K) - Thanksgiving 2009
3.  Make Room for Santa (5K) - December 13, 2009
4.  San Diego Resolution Run (10K) - January 10, 2010
5.  Surf City Half Marathon - February 7, 2010
6.  Seal Beach 10K - April 10, 2010
7.  Del Mar Aflac Iron Girl (5K) - May 9, 2010
8.  MLB All-Star Charity Run @ Angel Stadium (5K) - July 11, 2010
9.  San Francisco Half Marathon - July 25, 2010

Looking back at the races I've completed, I realize I have accomplished my original goals that I posted a year ago!!!

And I already have a few more races coming up, including the Long Beach half marathon on October 17 where I will also be completing the CA Dreaming Series, and the Walt Disney World half marathon on January 8, 2011!  I’m really looking forward to these two because LB is my hometown, and I am a HUGE Disney fan…also, my boyfriend is running it too, and it will be his first half marathon!  I’m so excited for him and as cheesy as it might sound, I can’t wait to cross the finish line hand in hand :)

I love running!  There’s no better way to say it than that.  I love the feeling I get while I’m running, like there’s nothing I can’t do.  Of course there are days where I don’t want to go for that long run in 80+ degrees, but no matter how painful it is to start, it’s always worth it at the end of a completed run.  Running is a great outlet for me.  My job can be very stressful at times, and running in either the morning or after a hard day at the office relieves my tension and alleviates stress.  It’s also a time for me to reflect – reflect on my goals, reflect on my accomplishments, reflect on the challenges that lie ahead of me and visual how to overcome them.  Plus, you can enjoy beautiful scenery.  And I must admit, I love getting cute new running clothes!

Now I’m not saying that it’s all rainbows and butterflies.  Running definitely can take a toll on the body (ask any runner and they will be able to tell you how many toenails they’ve lost). Unfortunately I had two injuries in the past two months.  First I had IT Band Syndrome that was more painful than I imagined it would be, and now I have a deeply bruised left foot bone and I’m laying low on the running front and biking up a storm to makeup the mileage.  But all the positives totally outweigh any negatives, and it’s totally worth every second.  Now that I CAN run, I can’t imagine not being able to do so and I am so thankful for that.  Through running I have discovered a lot about myself and I hope that my self-discovery through running continues.

I am so thankful for my ability to run, my ability to write about my journey, and of course the support I get from my family and friends (that includes the blogosphere and twitterworld!)

Happy Birthday Blog!!!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brooks Ghost 3 Review

In the beginning of July, I posted my first blog poll asking about readers about what running shoes they run in.  Very shortly after that, I went to the local running store to find myself a new pair of running shoes.  I was wearing the Adidas Supernova Glide 2, which I absolutely loved, but I wanted to try something new.  I told the man that, and he brought out three different shoes for me to test.

I first tested the Asics Cumulus, which I wasn't thrilled about.  I wore a pair of Asics (the GT-2150) at the end of last year and those tore up my feet and I lost several toe nails in them.  No bueno.  The second pair of shoes I tested was the Saucony Hurricane which I did like.  It had a good amount of cushioning and they were very comfortable.  I almost went with them, but then I tried the Brooks Ghost 3 which I really liked.  I took all three for a test run around the block, and the Ghost 3s were by far the most comfortable for me.  They have a ton of cushioning and stability.

Pros-great arch support, light weight, cushions impact, comfortable toe box (no blister problems yet), eco-friendly with the BioMoGo midsole, lightweight, breathable mesh, fun lime green accent color
Cons-supposedly they wear out more quickly than other shoes
Another thing that won me over with the Brooks is that they are the only "green" running shoe company.  In recent years, Brooks has declared its dedication to introducing more eco-friendly design and manufacturing practices as well as more sustainable materials.  In 2008, Brooks launched its proprietary BioMoGo midsole, the world’s first biodegradable running shoe midsole that breaks down 50 times faster than traditional midsoles in an enclosed, active landfill.  That's pretty incredible if you ask me!  That same year, the company debuted a new shoe box, made of fully biodegradable, 100-percent recycled paperboard.

I have been running in them for over two months now and I am very happy with them!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Foto Friday - Runner in the rain

I stumbled across this picture online and was completely amazed by it.  I think it evokes so much emotion.  I just love this photograph.
This photo was taken by Aimee.  I don't know her but she is a brilliant photographer.  If you want to check out her Flickr photosteam click here.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sometimes plans change!...

...All one can do is make the most of it!

With that said, I am adjusting my training plan for the next two weeks. In a nutshell, two weeks ago I bruised my left foot bone pretty badly and after my tempo run last Friday it hurt like hell (to the point where I couldn’t walk because putting pressure on it was crippling). So my Doc was worried it was a stress fracture and ordered an MRI which I had yesterday morning. I got my results today and luckily it’s not a stress fracture! WOOHOO!!

Apparently my bone is pretty badly bruised and I have some serious tendonitis there, which my Doc wants me to go to physical therapy for. PT again?! Wasn’t I just having treatment for my IT Band? Didn’t I JUST get discharged? Ugh! I feel like my body is falling apart, and I haven’t even been pushing myself.

Anyways, I don’t think I am going to do PT again, at least not yet. Instead, I am going to adjust my training plan for the next 2-3 weeks and turn my running miles into cycling miles. Using the 1:3.5 ratio, if I have a 3 mile run on the schedule I will bike 10.5 miles and if I have an 8 mile run I will bike 28 miles (yikes that seems daunting), and so forth. This will give my foot a rest from the pounding and will allow it to heal. Oh, and I’m also going to incorporate swimming to mix it up! Does anyone know a good run to swim ratio either distance or time?

So that’s what’s up. My training plan is changing for the next couple weeks, and I am going to make the most of it by biking and swimming and any other lower-impact activities anyone might suggest :)  Thanks!


Monday, August 16, 2010

LB Training Week 1

Last week I began training for the Long Beach half marathon on October 17.  All and all it was a great first week!

Monday was a rest/cross train day, so I did my 6 hip extension exercises that my physical therapist gave me to stretch out my IT band and strengthen my hip adductors.

Tuesday I stopped at the beach on my way home from work to run my 2 miles @ 13:32 pace.  That was a little bit of a challenge and I struggled with holding back and trying to maintain that pace, but it really helped me get a better feeling for paces.  Every time I looked down at my Garmin, I was between 11:03 and 13:36.  I ended up running about a 12:50 pace.
Wednesday was rest/XT, and I did my 6 hip exercises again.

Thursday I ran 2 miles again at 13:32 pace (this was actually Friday's workout, but I switched days).

Friday, since I took the day off from work, I ran my first tempo run (Thursday's workout).  I ran 5 miles, including a 1 mile warm up and 1 mile cool down.  The 3 miles were to be ran at an 11:53 pace, but I ended up running them between 11:48 and 12:40.
Again, I'm learning to FEEL my pace :)  Unfortunately around the last mile, my foot started aching.  I bruised my the outside of my foot bone two weeks ago before I started training so I took a couple days off to let it heal.  Well, I guess my tempo run aggravated it because I couldn't walk without having an extremely sharp shooting pain for the next 3 hours after my run so I just kicked back and relaxed, which I hadn't done in far too long!  It was nice.

Saturday I rested.

Sunday I had 6 miles on the plate, but my foot was not in running condition yet.  But there was no way I was going to let a day of training go to waste.  So I googled the running to cycling ratio and learned that for every mile you run, it's about the equivalent of biking 3.5 miles (of course there are many factors that go into it such as pace and resistance).  So I headed to the gym and rode 21 miles (6*3.5 = 21) in 1:38.  I've never cycled outside of a spinning class before, so I'm pretty pumped I rode 21 miles!  Whoa!!  I can't imagine cyclists who ride hundreds of miles in one sitting!  That's endurance!

So week one was a success.  I didn't miss a workout, and I feel very good about each one.  9 more weeks to go!

On another note, I start my MBA program @ Chapman in a couple of weeks!  This weekend I got my student ID, parking pass, and my books for the semester!  I blocked out my ID number and personal information, but here's my student ID!!!
I'm so pumped!  I LOVE school and I LOVE learning!  I'm so excited about B-School because it's right up my alley...I was a finance and economics double major, and my first two classes are Accounting&Financial Analysis and Economics Analysis.  I can't wait!

Happy Monday!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8 Pink Goodies + 40 mile breast cancer walk in 1 month!

In one month, my dear friend Amanda and I will be walking the Avon 40 mile breast cancer walk, for the 2nd time :)  We walked in 2008 and it was two of the most incredible days of our lives.  I didn't have my blog then, but last year I wrote a mini recap here.  We decided to walk again this year, and in one month we will begin that two day journey once more.
In honor of our breast cancer walk, I decided to list some fun *PINK* items that I love.  I posted something similar last year that can be found here.  So here goes:

1.  Lolita Pink Ribbon Wine Glass (I have the martini glass and it's adorable!)

2.  Save 2nd Base tee

3.  Kimono Rose Bubble Bath (who can resist a delicious bubble bath?)

4.  Pink Ribbon stainless steel argyle water bottle

5.  Live Love Laugh pink ceramic mug

6.  Link of London Breast Cancer Awareness Friendship Bracelet

7.  Kitchen Aid stand mixer (I love my kitchenaid!)

8.  Eco-friendly Laptop tote

These are some fun items, and I absolutely love that a portion of the proceeds go towards breast cancer.  There are many reasons I am so passionate about fighting this dreadful disease, the most influential one being my Grammie who had breast cancer, fought it, and won.  Unfortunately there are too many women (and men) who are not as fortunate and that breaks my heart.
This year I've pledged to raise $3,000.  I am $875 short of that goal but I know I can reach it with a little help.  Please support me by donating even $5.  Every penny counts.  You can sponsor me here or at the URL:  http://www.avonwalk.org/goto/maggiereep
Thank you so much for your support!!  It means the world to me and many millions of people.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Foto Friday! In honor of Shark Week...

I absolutely LOVE Shark Week! I watch it every year! Needless to say that when August rolls around, the Discovery Channel is pretty much constantly on my TV. So in honor of Shark Week, I found this pretty sweet picture of a Whale Shark, or the “Gentle Giant” as they are nicknamed.

Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Long Beach 1/2 Marathon Training Plan

I am a Long Beach native.  I was born and raised in the beautiful beach town, moved to New York (which is now my 2nd home) for four fabulous years during college, and am now back in the LBC.  What can I say, there's no place like home.

Needless to say, I'm incredibly excited to run the Long Beach half marathon on October 17 since it's in my hometown!!  On top of that, I will complete the CA Dreamin' Racing Series too!!  A majority of the 1/2 marathon course is along the beach path which is where I run a lot on my own, so I'm looking forward to experiencing it from a race perspective.

After running the San Francisco 1/2 on July 25, I decided to give myself two weeks before starting my training for Long Beach.  I wanted the first week to rest and make sure my knee is healed and ready to go, and the second week to get back into a routine with some easy runs.  Using SmartCoach on RunnersWorld.com as a base plan, I built a 10-week training plan that I think will push me without killing me.  Basically, I'm running 4 days a week with my long runs on Sunday, which will allow me ample rest and recovery time.  I really wanted the recovery days too because for the first time I'm incorporating tempo runs into my plan!  I never did a tempo run during my training for Surf City or San Francisco, so I'm excited for it.  In a nutshell my weeks will look like:

Mondays - Rest
Tuesdays - Easy run
Wednesdays - Rest of cross train
Thursdays - Tempo run/speedwork
Fridays - Easy run
Saturdays - Rest or cross train
Sundays - Long run

I left myself the option to cross train on rest days if I feel so inclined.  We all have those days where we feel like we need to get out and work out.  So without any further adieu, here is my plan:

Here is the key for some of the abbreviations:

I'm so excited to start training on Monday and I can't wait for October 17!!!


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Hello Tennessee!!!

This past weekend I was in Memphis, Tennessee visiting my big brother and his family, including my newborn baby nephew!!  I'm so excited that I have to share a picture.  Here he is all curled up in his bouncer sleeping like a little angel :)
So anyways, I had never been to Memphis and it was fun, beautiful, and very HOT!  Hot and HUMID!!   By that I mean 97 degrees + humidity = 110 heat index of heavy and wet air.
One morning I woke up early in an attempt to beat the humidity and go for a run.  I left the house around 8:00 am and it was already 84 degrees and humid (but not incredibly humid yet).  I warmed up for about 10 minutes and then took up a slow easy pace and just cruised.  The air was heavy and wet, but I was so enthralled by my surroundings that time just ticked away.  The streets were so peaceful and anyone who was outside stopped what they were doing to say hello; whether it was picking up after their dog, mowing the lawn, or washing their car, they made sure to say hi and wave.
The streets were lined with mailboxes.  I'm not talking about the mail slots built into homes, but the actual stand-alone, on-the-street, mail box.  There wasn't one house without one.  I loved it!
Another thing I noticed was that almost every street ended in "hill."  Ash Hill, Autumn Hill, Summer Hill, Maple hill, etc.
I think I ran for about 40 minutes until I was soaking with sweat.  Hello humidity!  I stopped at the nearby park and did some core work and hip strengthening exercises for my IT band.  One thing that Tennessee has a lot of is bugs.  While I was stretching in the park surrounded by trees, there was a gentle hum all around me.  It sounded like rain or something.  It was the bugs in the trees!  I took a video to capture the sound.  It was cool, but kind of gross (I am not a fan of insects).

It felt great to get out and go for a run, albeit a short one.
Anyways, I had a fabulous weekend with my family!  And on the running front, tomorrow I will post my training plan for the Long Beach 1/2 marathon on Oct 17, which I am super excited about!!