Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Long Beach Turkey Trot recap!

I hope everyone had a terrific Thanksgiving holiday!
My family <3 (minus a couple who couldn't be there)
Every year, my family and I run the local Turkey Trot the morning of THanksgiving before indulging in our delicious Thanksgiving dinner.  Here is my post from last year.  It's a great run because it's along the beach path and it's very flat.  The only downside is that it does bottleneck and get crowded in the beginning.  But it's still beautiful and always fun!

Originally, my November goal #3 was to PR in the Turkey Trot and beat my previous best of 33:32.  Over the last couple weeks I have been increasing my mileage and going to the gym to strength train, but as the fun run came closer, that's what I realized it was going to be - a FUN RUN.  I didn't think I'd PR, and honestly, I didn't care.  I shifted my focus to fun instead of time.  After all, I was there to have a great time with my family, and see my two nephews run, and be pushed in a stroller, their first 5K.

It took me by surprise when I hit the "stop" button on my Garmin crossing the finish line and saw 30:04.  30:04?!  I actually PR'd?  And by THREE MINUTES?  Holy moly!  I was am still pumped!  There definitely is something to be said for going into a race with the mentality to just have fun.

To put it in perspective, my 2009 Turkey Trot time was 34:18.  I shaved 4 minutes and 14 seconds off my time over the last year.  For me, that's a great measure of progress and growth :)

Here are some pictures from the run:
Me, my brother, my nephew (his 1st 5K!, my cousin, and my cousin (1621's mom)
Me with my two brothers, my sister-in-law, and their sons (my nephews)
My big bro and his son, who "cruised" his first 5K
Me and my baby bro
Our Turkey-Trotting family <3

Did you guys run a turkey trot?  How'd it go?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Awesome 8-miler + Family Festivities!

This past weekend was quite an eventful one! I woke up Saturday morning at 6:30am to meet up with Sole Runners after a fabulous Friday night dinner in Laguna Beach with a girl friend of mine. It was pouring Saturday morning, but made for a cool and adventurous run. I met up with my group around 7:20am and after doing our body looseners (warm ups) we took off, already drenched from the rain! I had a 1 hour 40 min run on my LA Marathon training plan, and it was the best run I think I’ve ever had! I ended up running 8 miles, and usually on longer runs like that I will take a walk break to drink water or eat my Sharkies. But this time, I never stopped! I felt like the energizer bunny and it was incredible! I kept a really easy pace (12-13min/miles) and I think the cool weather helped mask any fatigue I may have had.

After such an incredible run, my day only got better! My big brother, sister-in-law, and two nephews arrived for the holidays. I picked them up at LAX and first things first – we stopped at In-N-Out! That night we had a birthday party for my big brother at the house, and when the family gets together (there were 25 of us, some cousins couldn’t make it otherwise it would have been more) we are loud, crazy, and totally fun! I think we were up until 2am talking, laughing, and listening to the Beatles!

Then Sunday I was busy with homework and working on a paper before going to school to meet my study group. Luckily it was a rest day on the training schedule because my hamstrings were really tight and sore. But on the downside, I didn’t hit my 20 mile mark for the week. I was shy by just 2 miles coming in at 18 for the week. It was a busy weekend, and I have always said I need to be flexible with training. But I fully intend on making up those 2 miles this week and hitting at least 24.

One of my runs this week will be the local Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving morning. I’m running it with my family (14 of us are doing it). I know I had said my goal was to PR, but I think it’s going to be more of a “fun run” where we all cruise together as opposed to racing it. And I am A-OK with that. I just want to have fun with the fam this Thursday! It’s also going to be my nephews’ first run (the older is running it and the baby will be pushed by mommy in his stroller), and my little 17 month old cousin’s first run too (he will also be pushed by mommy in his stroller). I can always sign up for another 5K soon and focus on PR-ing then :)

It was an exciting and super fun weekend, and I’m looking forward to more family gatherings and festivities this week!


Friday, November 19, 2010

Let The Thanksgiving Fun Begin!!

I am beyond excited for this weekend!!!!  Tomorrow my big brother and his family fly into town for the Thanksgiving holiday!  I can't wait to see them!  It's my brother's birthday on Sunday, so we're celebrating with the whole family Saturday night!!  Two years ago when my bro came out for his birthday and Thanksgiving we threw him a Transformer surprise birthday party and I made him this gem of a cake (yes, from scratch!):
Lots of family and lots of fun!  And I can't wait to see my two favorite nephews :) 
Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays for so many reasons.  We all get together in the morning for the Long Beach Turkey Trot before getting ready for Turkey dinner at my Aunts.
Some of us at the Turkey Trot last year
My Grammie makes her famous (and my favorite) sweet potatoes with pineapple and marshmallows (DELISH!), my mom makes her broccoli and cheese casserole (my other favorite!) and my Aunt takes care of the turkey, mashed potatoes, and stuffing.  And of course there's PUMPKIN PIE!!!!  My favorite pie.  I probably could eat a whole pie to my face, but I won't :)

We're a very close family and we always have the most fun and memorable times together.  I grew up with the family getting together at someone's house every weekend.  Now that I'm older, not much has changed!
The boys in the family and my Aunt being goofy normal
The girls (my Aunt was still trying to squat for the picture)

Family is very important to us, and I am so thankful for my family and that we get choose to see each other so frequently :)

What do you look forward to during the holidays?

Happy Friday!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Nov Goals Update + Napa Run

Week 2 November goals update:

1.  I hit 20 miles for the week again!  I'm so excited, and this week I'm hoping to hit closer to 25.
2.  As for the gym, I met with my trainer last Thursday and he pretty much kicked my @$$!  It was a total body workout and I was so sore Friday!  It was great!  I'm going to hit the gym tomorrow morning before work and do my full body workout routine again.
3.  T-minus 11 days until the Turkey Trot!  My current PR in a 5K is 33:32, I'm shooting for better than that.  Don't know if it'll be 32 minutes or less, but we'll see.
4.  Today I start training for the LA Marathon!  You can find my 18-week plan here.  This morning I kicked it off with an easy 30 minutes of Chi Walking, mainly to practice form.  With this being my first full marathon, I know I need to be dilligent in hitting my workouts.  Sometimes life gets in the way (in my case working late, writing papers for grad school, traveling, etc.) so I know there will be days that I have to be flexible in my plan by maybe switching Monday for Tuesday, but I want to stay as on track as I can with everything else.
5.  My new obsession is KT Tape.  I wore it for the first time during the Chapman 5K in October, and loved it!!!  It totally helps me stabilize my knee preventing any ITBS flare ups.  I usually only wear it on longer runs, but if my knee is sore I'll wear it on a 3 or 4 miler too.  I highly recommend it :)

This past weekend I ran my 6-miler in Napa with my boyfriend.  It was so beautiful up north with the leaves turning colors -- the trees looked like they were made entirely of gold, or they were such a bright red that they appeared to be on fire!  We ran through Napa and talked and admired the beauty of the world.  We forgot we were running a lot of the time!
Here are some pictures I took on my phone:
This picture doesn't do the colors justice
Running through the local park in Napa
6 miles done!
This is actually Sonoma

On another note, check out Rad Runner's amazing giveaway here!  She's giving away beautiful Endure jewelry (retails for $78!).  I saw the Endure girls at the Long Beach Marathon Expo and I was thoroughly impressed with the simplicity and elegance of their pieces.  So check out her giveaway!

Happy Monday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

My Debut on SNL!

Happy Friday!  I am officially on this season of SNL!!!

Okay okay, so I'm not one of the main people, but seriously I will be on every episode this season!  Here's the story...

I was in NYC in September on a business trip, and whenever I travel there for work I extend it a day or two to see my old roommates.  Well we were out at the Standard Hotel one night at the outdoor beer garden-type place (very swanky though) sitting near the ping pong tables chatting away.  We noticed someone with a gorgeous top-of-the-line camera snapping shots of the ping pong tables and thought they were shooting an add or something.

The photographer and the person who turned out to be the director came over to me, Sean and my roomies and asked us if we could stand behind the ping pong tables and "mingle" because guess what...they were about to film the intro for SNL introducing their newest cast member!!  And they wanted us in the scene!!!

Here's a freeze frame of the SNL opening credits:
I tried to point all of us out, but but one of my roomies is behind me and another is behind the new cast member, Taran Killam, who we ended up chatting with for a little while.  He was very humbled to be on SNL and obviously funny!

And here is the video link - Don't blink! (Season 36, episode 1):

Happy Friday!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

LA Marathon Training Plan

As many of you know, I recently joined the running group, Sole Runners.  One of the races the Sole Runners are running towards is the LA Marathon, which I have decided to run as my first full!  Without further adieu, here is my Sole Runners training plan for the LA Marathon (only 18 weeks away!!!!!)

Note:  I'm very curious and excited because the plan is based on times, not mileage.  I think this will be beneficial for me in the sense that it's a little less daunting to go out and run for 2 hours as opposed to going out and running 10 miles without knowing how long it will take me (how will my legs feel? what's my mood? am i tired? etc.)
Training begins next week!!!!  Let's do this!

On another note, check out Early Morning Run's awesome giveaway today!  She has a Lululemon bag filled with tons of running goodies!


Monday, November 8, 2010

November Goals Update + NYC Marathon

Happy Monday!

Week 1 update based on my November goals:
1.  20 miles for the week!  Wahoo!!!
2.  Hit the gym hard twice last week for full body workout
3.  Increasing my mileage should build a stronger foundation, ultimately allowing me to run 3 miles faster
4.  Jay (@Tri2Thrive) is also running the LA Marathon as his first full so we’re going to keep each other motivated
5.  I had my first Chi Running lesson with my new running group, Soul Runners.  It’s a challenge for me, changing my form, but I definitely feel a significant difference in my running efficiency.  With practice, I believe chi running will help me become a better runner and less-prone to injury.

On another note, I woke up to watch the ING NYC Marathon Sunday morning (hooray for east coast channels)!  I was cheering for Shalane Flanagan, and even though she didn’t come in 1st, it was her first full marathon and she ROCKED it, coming in 2nd place at 2:28:40.  She kept perfect form throughout the entire race.  And a big congrats to the first place male and female finishers, Gebre Gebremariam (2:08:14) and Edna Kiplagat (2:28:20)!  I was in complete awe of both the elite men and women.  They ran 4-6 minute miles the ENTIRE TWENTY-SIX POINT TWO MILES!  To be able to keep that pace for that long is incredible, godly even.  And they made it seem so effortless – steady breathing, long comfortable strides, a perfect cadence.

It truly was amazing to watch.  And I might add inspiring too!  Today the lottery for the 2011 ING NYC Marathon opened at 9am PST, and guess who applied?  Yep!  Yours truly.  We’ll see if I’m accepted in March/April.  I’m pretty pumped.  I lived in NYC for four years, and it’s been a dream of mine to run the NYC marathon.  Since I’m planning on running LA for my first full next March, I thought, why not apply for NY too!  If I’m accepted, I will be honored and thrilled.  If not, there’s always 2012 and beyond!

How was your weekend?  Which races did you run?  Did you watch the NYC Marathon?


Friday, November 5, 2010

LA Marathon ’11 + Good luck to NYC Marathoners!

"It is difficult to train for a marathon; but it is even more difficult to not be able to train for a marathon." -Aaron Douglas Trimble

I’m going to do it!  I am going to train and run the LA Marathon in March next year as my first full marathon!  Thank you to everyone for your encouragement and support!  I’ll need it all the way to the finish line :)

And good luck to all the NY Marathoners this weekend!!


Monday, November 1, 2010

November Goals

Happy November!!
In the past I've set yearly goals, such as my goals for 2010.  As great as it is to have those longer-term goals, I want to start thinking about my short-term goals.  Here are my goals for the month of November:

1.  Run 20-25 miles per week
2.  Lose 5 pounds and tone up (especially my arms)
3.  Run a 5K in 32 minutes or less (my current PR is 33:32)
4.  Mentally prepare myself to begin training in December for my 1st full marathon -- the LA Marathon!
5.  Run smart, stay healthy and injury free

And of course, HAVE FUN!

What are your goals?  Short-term?  Long-term?