Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Obsession tag and a question for you

A hodgepodge of updates for today... first, I did get in a quick run over the weekend - nothing too exciting:

Avg pace: 10:29min/mi
Avg hr: 169bpm

I've also seen a fun tag floating around and I wanted to play along. Here are my five latest obsessions / addictions:

1. Lint shaver
This came in real handy yesterday for a particularly fuzzy coat of mine - what a great invention!

2. MAC Viva Glam V lipstick
I've almost finished the entire tube - that never happens!

3. Anti-glare screen for my iPhone
Now you don't see my messy fingerprints anymore!

4. Rimshot & Crickets iPhone application
This thing continues to crack me up to the point of tears! It's a free app that gives you a big red button for four different sound effects - a rimshot (to punctuate the end of a joke), crickets (if someone is telling a really long and boring story), trombone (waa-waa-waaaaaaaa sound ideal for pity parties), and golf claps. I've used it during a staff meeting (only once!) and a dinner party and it is hysterical!

5. Rock Band drums
Because I rock.


Do any of your non-running/blogging (also known as non-virtual, haha) friends read your blog? Most of my friends know I have blogs, but hardly any of them read them unless I specifically email them a link for a particularly interesting post, like a marathon race report or something. Not all of them run so I can understand that but they don't even read my pop culture one, either. But then again, most of my friends aren't really "blog readers"... they don't even know what Google Reader is. For example, I know one of my good friends thought I literally visited over a hundred different websites a day. Please!

I do have two good "non-virtual" friends that faithfully read both of my blogs. These very dear friends of mine both recently had their first babies this week - welcome baby Alex and Sahana to the world!!!


On a final note, I am thinking about using one of those online logs to track my runs and bike rides. I have most of the data in my Garmin but it might be cool to have a tracker on my blog as well. Do any of you have any recommendations? I looked at a couple... I am wondering if there was one that also allowed you to enter shoe data so that you could monitor how many miles you had on a specific pair. Let me know if you have any scoop!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Dazed and confused at the gym

With my nice "kick start" from last week, I feel like I'm slowly getting back into a routine. Here's a recap of this week's workouts so far :


On Tuesday night, I headed to the gym. I was going to take one of those "Body Conditioning" classes but didn't get out of work in time so I decided to do my own thing instead. Now I don't know enough about strength training or basic anatomy in general to come up with own routine so I usually do one of the two workout routines that were "prescribed" to me during those free sessions you get when you first sign up at the gym.

I decided to do the newer one which I got last summer when I first started training for my half marathons. Luckily, I was able to find my workout card (you know - the one that has a big grid where they list out the routine step by step with the number of reps / amount of weight, etc) in the massive file cabinet. I'm one of those nerds that takes my card with me to the floor because I have a horrible memory. I think I'm pretty good with documenting all my workouts on the card as well. Last recorded workout was on September 4th. Oops. But I guess that makes sense because that's right about when all the races started to kick in and I didn't have time for such nonsense like having a well-balanced and strong body.

Anyway, with the four months that had gone by, I realized I could no longer decipher my trainer's codes for the different exercises and for the ones I could understand - I couldn't remember the proper form. Double oops. Luckily my trainer was there that night, who promptly greeted me with a "Where have you been???" Busted! Anyway, he was nice enough to give me a quick refresher. But after all that, I still ended up doing one of the exercises wrong which I didn't figure out until I got home that night. (I was supposed to do an upright row using one of those pulley things, but I had the pulley at the top instead of the bottom so I ended up doing something like a lateral pull instead which was ridiculously effortless given the amount of weight I had on it.)

The whole thing was pretty uneventful. I mean, I got a good workout in and was sore the next day but it's not like I left the gym on an endorphin high or anything. If nothing else, it helped to ease my guilt for neglecting my gym all this time.


I had plans with my friends Wednesday evening so I actually got up early and got a quick run in before work that day. That's right, morning exercise!!!

Avg pace: 10:14min/mi
Avr hr: 174bpm


Even though I stayed up way too late Thursday night watching all sorts of TV (Ugly Betty, Grey's Anatomy, The Office, 30 Rock, bits and pieces of America's Best Dance Crew) - I still managed to make it to the gym Friday morning. I did weights again (part of my plan to do strength training at least 2x/week) with a quick run on the treadmill for a warm up.

Avg pace: 9:55min/mi

I'm happy to report that I did all exercises correctly this time. And does anyone else get the shakes when they do the plank?

It is such a nice feeling to have your workout out of the way first thing in the morning! We'll see if I can keep it up next week. Hopefully, I can squeeze in some running and biking over the weekend.

Happy Friday!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mission Success!

We've had some really beautiful weather over here in northern Cali so I had to take advantage of it. (I'm so sorry for those of you in the freezing cold temperatures - I've been there!)

I went for a short run on Saturday morning. I planned to do 3 miles but ended up sticking it out for just a little bit longer. My pace is still kind of slow but I didn't take any walk breaks so yay for that.

Avg pace: 10:31min/mi
Avg hr: 173bpm

On Sunday, I decided to go for a real bike ride. Normally, I just do 12-13 miles on my local trail since it's so close to my home but there's so much traffic on that trail, it's hard to just get "in the zone". I decided to take my bike out on the Coyote Creek trail which is similar to the one I normally use but with a lot less people. There were some other bikers and a few runners, but for the most part, it was nice and open. It was really pretty out there today! The course is pretty flat for the most part so it wasn't all that challenging or exciting, but it was nice to get some solid miles in. I definitely want to continue to explore new routes for my bike rides.

Avg pace: 14.9mph
Avg hr: 149bpm

(By the way, I'm not really sure what the O and N stand for in those notes above. I'm just copying the other bloggers - heehee. I think it stands for Obligatory and Note, but I'm not really sure. If you know, fill me in!)

Anyway, my little game worked! I did my four workouts for the week, so now I get my reward :) Off to the MAC store for my goodies:

I got a couple of eye shadows, a lipstick, and a paint pot for a smokey eye/nude lip look. As I soon as I got home, I had to try it out (even though I was going to be parked on my couch for the rest of the day, haha.) I still need to play with them a little more, but here's a before/after peek at my first try of the "look":

I made another fun new purchase while at the mall - new running shoes! I've been wearing Nike Vomero's for the last couple of years so I decided to get a new pair but this time in orange:

I looked online and they were $125. I had just received one of those Nike coupons for 25% off any purchase of $125 or more so I thought, perfect! I headed to my local Nike store where I was thrilled to discover that the orange Vomero's were actually on sale at the store for $74.99!!! SWEET! But alas, they were sold out in my size. No worries - they went ahead and ordered me a pair from online but at the store's sale price - yay! Also, I assumed that I would just pick them up from the store when they arrived but no, they had them shipped to my home instead. I was a happy camper for sure.

With my four day streak, I think I'm going to take Monday off as a rest day. But I also plan to review all the class schedules at my gym network to pick out some classes for the rest of the week :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

My sore booty and other random tidbits

Random tidbit #1: My triumphant return to the gym in the pursuit of new MAC goodies

Thursday night I went to my gym for the first time in I don't know how long (probably a few months). The problem is that I've been out of a routine for so long that it's hard to get back into one. I think about going to the gym and even pack my bag at times, but it's just so easy for me to come up with a million and one reasons to skip it. And so I do. (I *wish* I could be a 5AM gym girl like these gals!)

So this week I'm trying something new. And by posting it on my blog, I'm hoping I will be more faithful to it. I'm trying a rewards thing. See, I love to shop - all in the name of helping the economy, of course. (Not having kids or a mortgage help enable this bad habit of mine as well.) And there's some new make-up that I want to try out. Normally, I would just go straight to the mall and buy it but on Thursday I decided that I would only buy the three things I want if I work out 4 times this week. Note my exercise week runs from Monday to Sunday so basically that meant I would have to do something every day until Sunday to earn my award.

And I'm not claiming victory yet or anything but so far it has been working! After work on Thursday, I finally made my way to the gym. I did some easy cardio on the elliptical and then took one of those strength training classes with one of my favorite teachers. Yikes. It's been months since I've done any kind of weights or push ups or abs or any of that stuff. It was definitely rough but it was nice to be in there again.

I was expecting to be really sore the next morning but that wasn't the case. I was kind of disappointed. But as the day went on, the pain slowly creeped up on me. Well, not really pain, that good soreness kind of feeling. Especially in my booty from all those lunges and squats she had us do.

I headed to the gym again on Friday after work - did some cardio while watching The Rachel Maddow show. I will admit that I am not much of a news person (at all) but I've heard a lot of buzz about Maddow so I was excited to finally watch her show. She's pretty entertaining... I may just tune into her show again.

So I'm off to a good start! Hopefully, on Sunday I'll be headed to the mall for my goodies :)

Random tidbit #2: Going Goofy in 2010

When I ran the Disney marathon in 2008, I quickly learned who the real superstars were... the Goofy runners! When I first heard about the challenge - running the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday - I thought it was an absolutely insane idea that only elites would attempt. But then I started talking to some of the Goofy runners that weekend and realized "normal" runners run it, too. The idea slowly became more and more appealing. By the time I left Orlando, I had announced to my family that I would be back in 2010 to take on the Goofy race and a half challenge myself. (I knew I wouldn't be ready to tackle it a year later.) So this week I took the plunge and registered! I'm pretty excited although I know that means I have to be a lot more diligent with my training than I have been in the past.

Random tidbit #3: Race excitement is contagious!

I've really been enjoying all the blog posts from the runners tackling the RnR Arizona marathon and half marathon this weekend. I love race weekends - even when I'm not running. I love the energy of having so many people gathered together in one place who had all spent months and months training for the same big event. I remember getting so excited when I attended the SFM expo last year, even though I was just registering for the 5K! Anyway - to all those running races this weekend (special shout out to Alisa and Eileen) - good luck and remember to have lots of fun! You've done all the training - time to enjoy it!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Bike ride in pictures

I really liked how joyRun posted pics from her runs so I thought I'd take some today during my bike ride this morning.

My go-to route for both running and biking is the Los Gatos Creek trail - it's really pretty and very close to where I live. Today was a gorgeous day (in the 70's!) so I decided to take the bike out (although it requires more preparation, it seems easier to motivate myself to bike vs run - these days at least). It was actually kind of chilly when I first started so it was interesting to see the wide assortment of apparel on the trail. Some runners were bundled up with long sleeves, running tights, gloves, and hats while I also spotted at least two men that were running in just shorts and no shirt!

Anyway, back to the trail... (pics courtesy of my iPhone)

A great view of Vasona Lake - one of the reasons I love living in this area!

This one isn't that interesting, just one of the many annoying mini hills on the trail that are short but inclined enough to get my heart rate up and to test my maneuvering skills as I weave in and out of gates and whatnot.

Hope you all had a good weekend!

Friday, January 9, 2009


Thanks, Aron, for tagging me! (I love being tagged!) And since I've already been procrastinating at work today...

2008: a year in review

4 favorite memories from 2008:
1. Spending lots of time with my nephew and seeing him develop this really funny and playful personality
2. Meeting up with the running bloggers!
3. Hanging with the gals - happy hours, brunches, nights out, etc.
4. Chopping off my hair and loving it (saves me so much time in the morning!)

4 favorite movies watched in 2008:
1. Twilight (you don't want to know how many times I've seen it so far...)
2. Sex and the City
3. High School Musical 3 (It was fun!)
4. The Dark Knight

4 of my favorite foods in 2008:
1. Pizza (any kind!)
2. Grilled cheese
3. Chocolate chip cookies
4. Chocolate Chex cereal with vanilla almond milk

4 places i loved in 2008:
1. SF bay area
2. West suburbs of Cleveland, OH
3. Disney (any of them)
4. Tokyo

4 events i loved in 2008:
1. Weekend in Orlando with my family for the WDW marathon (shared two adjoining rooms with my parents, brother, sister, brother-in-law, and baby nephew - I loved all the quality bonding time with my family!)
2. My friend A's wedding in Austin, TX
3. Go Red for Women weekend in Disney with just me and my sister
4. Nike Women's Half Marathon

4 things i liked in 2008:
1. Facebook
2. iPhone & MacBook Pro - became an Apple freak last year!
3. Garmin (Christmas 2007 present)
4. Make-up

4 things i am looking forward to in 2009:
1. My friend G's bachelorette weekend and wedding
2. Napa to Sonoma half marathon with Team ROHO
3. Holidays - yes, I know we just finished but I always look forward to them
4. Release of Twilight DVD and premiere of New Moon ;)

4 people I tag:
1. Cindy
2. JoyRun
3. Chic Runner
4. Roadbunner

On a side note, I have some 2008 pop culture-related recap posts on my other blog here and here.


A couple of people had posted questions related to my threading comment in my previous post. Yes, it totally works and I love it. I used to always get my brows waxed but I switched to threading a few years ago when I was on Accutane and my skin was too sensitive for waxing. It works great and they totally get all the little hairs. It's pretty quick too and not really painful at all - no more than waxing or tweezing. I guess the way it pulls out the hair compared to tweezing is much more gentle and won't cause the hair to grow back thicker like tweezing would. Also, the nice thing is that you don't look like a mess afterward - other than having to brush away all the little hairs off your face. I personally don't have any redness or irritation like I would with waxing.

Even though my skin isn't as sensitive now, I still have my brows threaded. It's only $8 where I go so it's a great deal!

You can see a pic of how they look on my other blog here. This was taken a few days after I got them done. A couple of warnings: 1) The lady that threaded my brows made them uneven which normally never happens and 2) they are filled in with a little bit of eyeshadow to make them look more full but the shape and all that is strictly from the threading.

P.S. Do you like how I keep referencing my other blog? I just don't have much readership over there so I'm trying to throw some readers over :)

Good luck to all the Disney runners this weekend! I'll be thinking of all of you. I most likely will be back at Disney for the 2010 Goofy Challenge (yikes!).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Biking on Canada Road...

I went biking with a buddy of mine on Sunday. It looks like I hadn't taken Gigi for a ride since before Thanksgiving so it was nice to get out there again. And I always feel just a little bit more hardcore when I put on my bike shoes, gloves, sunglasses, and helmet - heehee.

Neither of us had biked in awhile so we did a relatively easy but pretty route on Canada Road up north of where I live.

It was my first time there and I really enjoyed it. It's got great scenery as you bike along the Crystal Springs Reservoir and there are some nice houses further along on the route. Even better, it's about a seven mile stretch before you even hit a stop sign! This route is perfect for scaredy-cat bikers like me. The shoulders are really wide and there are hardly any cars on this road. (They actually close the road down to cars on Sundays but not during the "winter". ) There are lots of rolling hills to make it a challenging ride but not too bad as I never had to shift into total granny gear mode. There are even dirt paths along the road for runners, too.

When you do hit the stop sign, there's a little market nearby that's perfect for refueling and stuff. (Not that we needed it for biking 7 miles.)

Anyway, it was a great day out, although maybe a little bit chilly (which I know I should shut up about as it was nothing compared to the 1 degree weather I had in Cleveland while I was home for the holidays), and we had a perfect 15 mile bike ride.

It also pretty much marked the end of my nice two week vacation. As I mentioned above, I spent the first week in OH with my family in the midwest to celebrate Christmas. The second week was more of a forced vacation as my company had a mandatory shutdown. I had all these great plans for things I wanted to do last week. Most of it was just wishful thinking but here are the highlights of what I did get done:
  • Went running twice and biking once (still continuing to neglect the gym, though - DOH!)
  • Ventured up to the east bay for a very fun blogger meet up
  • Cleaned out and re-organized my closet - discovered a bunch of clothes that I had forgotten about
  • Got my eyebrows threaded (TMI?)
  • Updated my blogs more regularly than I had in the past
  • Discovered a new love for Rock Band drums
  • Went to the Leonardo exhibit at the Tech Museum
  • Met up with a childhood friend that I hadn't seen since we were kids (reconnected through facebook)
  • Had a test run for a virtual/web conference baby shower we're having next weekend (that's how we do it in silicon valley - haha)
  • Kinda/sorta helped out my friend with her wedding planning
  • Started a special project for another friend that reads this blog so I can't reveal anymore ;)
  • Did not do any work - yippee!!!
And now I'm back at work. It wasn't as painful as I thought but it does suck to have to set the alarm again.

I'm kind of mad at myself because I went to all the trouble to pack my gym bag this morning and then forgot to pack the darn thing in my car! Sure I could go home after work, change, and then head to the gym but who are we kidding? Once I'm home, I don't usually head back out.

Ah well...

Friday, January 2, 2009

2008 Races Recap and NorCal Blogger Run

Happy New Year! Before I officially say good-bye to 2008, here's another look at all the races I ran this year... fifteen in total (that I can remember). I only ran five races in 2007 (well, technically four since Chicago was a DNF) so that was a big change this year.
  1. 1/13/08 Walt Disney World Marathon (5:25:46)
  2. 2/3/08 Kaiser Permanente SF Half Marathon (2:13:36)
  3. 2/18/08 President's Day 5K (28:45)
  4. 3/30/08 Embarcadero 10K (1:03:12)
  5. 5/3/08 Disney's Go Red for Women 5K (0:55:57)
  6. 5/4/08 Disney's Women Run the World 15K (1:34:56)
  7. 5/10/08 Human Race - 10K (1:01:00)
  8. 5/18/08 ING Bay to Breakers 12K (1:22:41)
  9. 7/13/08 Livestrong 5K (28:22)
  10. 8/3/08 SF Marathon 5K (27:41)
  11. 8/31/08 Disneyland Half Marathon (2:17:20)
  12. 9/14/2008 Banco Popular Chicago Half Marathon (2:19:23)
  13. 9/28/08 Mermaid Duathlon (1:23:13)
  14. 10/5/08 San Jose Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon (2:17:08)
  15. 10/19/08 Nike Women's Half Maraton (2:17:03)
Summary: one full marathon, five half marathons, one 15K, one 12K, two 10Ks, four 5Ks, and a duathlon.

Also can't forget Nancy's virtual races:
As I mentioned in my other post, I think my goal for 2009 is to actually run LESS races this year. Maybe actually get a PR this time? (And save some $$$, too - I'm looking at you, Disney!)


The year ended on a high note as I joined a bunch of bloggers for a New Year's Eve afternoon run. Alisa was in town which inspired us to all get together for a blogger meet-up, thoughtfully organized by Aron. It was so fun to spend the afternoon with people that love to run and blog.

Liah, Sandra, Aron, me, Alisa and Julianne
(I honestly don't know why I'm doing the tippy toe thing)

I explained that I was fresh off a two and half month hiatus and the girls were great about it. We had a really nice four mile run on the Iron Horse trail. I hung in there for most of it but had to slow down a bit during the second half - thanks Sandra for sticking back with me! I was pretty amused, my heart rate monitor was blinking for about the entire second half of the run because my heart rate was so high. But I was proud of myself for not stopping to walk because I totally wanted to! :)

And after it was over - WOO! Those endorphins felt great! I forgot that great feeling you have after running. 'Course I was just glad it was over, too, heehee.

That night, I went to a house party and discovered that I *love* playing the drums in Rock Band. I thought I was a guitar girl - but no, the drums are where it's at!
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