Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Italian delivery

You guys remember the Italian bet post?

Stefano, the  Italian Black Knight said in a comment on my blog that if I DIDN'T PR at Disneyland, he would send me a T-shirt from Italy!!!!   It turned out to be a mistake of course and he meant to say that if I do PR he would send a shirt.  I told him that this was not necessary and that a post card would make me happy!

So today I got mail...FROM ITALY!

I love getting real mail, cards, letters, post cards.  I keep them all.  I have 2 boxes full of letters, some are over 25 yrs old. 

I received an envelope and inside there were 2 post cards. One card with a picture of Piazza San Pietro; Saint Peter's Square in front of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome and another card with pictures of his  hometown: Civitavecchia!  I also receive a DVD about the Port Authority where Stefano works. 

And a running Italian T-shirt!!!!!!!

Fiumicino Half Marathon! Website here.
Fiumicino is an Italian town in the Province of Rome (and I learned on the DVD that it also has a Port Authority!)

I love the Rabbit and the Turtle cartoon! Let's face it, I am in the turtles team so I like to see one winning!

THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH STEFANO for being so kind and generous!

I have been to Italy before but not in Rome.  I visited Florence, Venice, Pisa, Sienna and Maranello where the Ferrari Museum is and Bolzano where I did some hiking in the Dolomites Mountains.

Isn't it fantastic that thanks the Internet we get to meet interesting people from all over the world and share common interest and passion with our blogs?  I think it is pretty great!

Ancora una volta vi ringrazio molto Stefano!

Monday, September 26, 2011

I CAN be a not so nice Canadian

Less than 2 weeks to go before Long Beach Half Marathon!  Went for 11 miles yesterday and I ended up doing 12.  The weather was PERFECT, no sun, no heat, no wind.  Also I had my running partners with me, good thing because at mile 8 or 9 I checked out a bit and I was headed for the wall but thanks to Rebekah and her dad it did not happen and I finish my LR OK.  The new section on the trail I run on is almost ready and we cheated a little and went by 2 OR 3 signs that may have said "Do not enter".  What?  Someone has to test the bridge and the road.  I consider this my civic duty.  Here's a pic of me and Rebekah's dad on the new bridge

Saturday I went for 3 easy miles, half of it  with my son Will.  He needs to learn to pace himself for his upcoming races.  He did awesome!  He kept asking "When is it time to sprint?!!"

Last week training:
Mon 3 miles
Tue: 4 miles tempo
Wed: 3 miles
Thu: 10x400 speedwork on TM: 5 miles
Fri: rest
Sat: 3 easy miles
Sun: 12 miles
Total: 30 miles
Big huge congrats to ANNE who is a brand new MARATHONER!!!!!!  Race report is up on her blog with great pictures! She looked very stylish and very Canadian in Red and White!  Bravo ma chere Anne!!! Je suis tellement heureuse pour toi!!! Quel accomplissement et quelle victoire !!! Anne la sonne bien ca pas vrai?!!
So now what made me want to be not so nice....We have a kid in Jonathan K class who is a little terror.  I can tell you that of all the classmates and teammates and friends my boys had over the last 4 yrs; he is the worst by a mile or 6.  On the first day of school I could see that he was going to be a handful.  I thought he would be more like a class clown.  No he is more than that.  He likes to push, punch, BITE, scratch, kick and spit on the other kids.  He does not discriminate..boys and girls, it's all good.  I go help the teacher and I can see him in "action".  He also disturbs the class pretty much all day long.  He goes to the "thinking chair" EVERY DAY since DAY 1.  Last week he bit one of Jonathan's friend.  The dad of the kid who got bit was furious of course, and he went to talk to the teacher who kind of dismissed him (I saw it all).  He also tried to talk to the mother of the little terror and she told him "boys will be boys" WHAT??? I would have been mortified and saying "I am sorry" in 12 different languages if Jonathan was the one biting other kids.  That mom is loud and obnoxious since day 1.  She has 5 kids who go to our school.  She is one of those who think their kids are perfect and cannot do no wrong.  For those of you readers who have no kids, let me break it to you right now, those kids do not exist.  So Friday my son came home with a bloody scratch on his FACE.  I asked who did that.  You can guess who.  He scratched Jonathan in the face with his nails.  He was trying to hit and kick Jonathan and 2 other boys and was told to stop by a proctor.  Jonathan walked away and he ran after him and went for his face!  And was he punished for that? or bitting the other kid? or all the other stuff he has done since day 1.  I emailed the teacher Friday and asked if she was aware of this incident and if yes what is she doing about it.  No answer.  I was told this morning "It's being handled"  by the teacher.  I felt she wanted to get rid of me real quick...I did not like that at all.  I said "Well Mrs B. that is just not good enough of an answer for me"  So far the only thing she or they have come up with to deal with all his crap is to make him sit at a table and color during carpet time! He does not care, he sits there all happy to color while the other kids talk about the weather and what day it is!  The dad of the kid who got bit went to see the Principal and was told that they have to "protect" his privacy and cannot tell the parents how they will deal with this child.  She said they would need to document everything and question all the kids!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT???????? THEY ARE 5!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  That is insane.  In my days, if a kid hit, bit, scratched another they would either have detention or be suspended, no need of a federal investigation.  This Political BS is protecting the bullies.  They will never stop this massive problem that is in the schools with this kind of plan.  Someone told me on Facebook..."you don't know this kid's situation at home, blah blah..." I don't.  I know he lives with his parents, in a normal house.  I see him pushing kids in line in the morning and his mom says NOTHING.  Does not matter what situation he is in, that does not make it OK for him to attack his classmates.  It took everything I had to bite my tongue and not give her a peace of my mind this morning but I did it, I did not say one word to her.  FOR NOW. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

18 months

I have been doing this running thing for 18 months now.  To me it seems longer than that. I had to count to be sure. Yep just 18 months.  I looked back on all my races last night.  The pictures, the times.  I see a lot of differences.

Pictures from my first 2 races

First one Susan G Komen 5K: I look like I am about to die.  My time was 35:02.  I was wearing pants that kept falling and a long sleeve shirt.  I walked during the race.

Second one: Carlsbad 5K one month later: YES those are BASKETBALL shorts. I walked during that one also.  Time: 33:58.

 Pictures from my recent races

The numbers
24 Races: 3 Half Marathons, 6 10k, 14 5k and one 8k with Dean K.
  • 1st 5K: 35:02.  BEST 5K: 29:29
  • 1st 10K (Nov 2010): 1:12:04 BEST 10K: 59:38
  • 1st 1/2 Marathon (Jan 2011): 2:42:00 BEST HM: 2:26:38

I am not on my way to Boston or the Olympics but there's progress. Somewhere along the way, I learned a lot of stuff about running, most of it from you and your blogs and the gals at Run Like A Mother so thank you.
Today I had speedwork on the plan.  I had not done intervals since my last Half Marathon and so I was a bit worried and looking for any excuse NOT to do my 10x400s.
It went from Oh it is cool outside, I should really just go for a 5 miles run and take advantage of the cool temps (by cool I mean not 90, as I type this it is 102. In September.) to I should try to go see the Dr and have her take a look at my leg with the nasty varicose vein that has been hurting me, if the Dr can see me, I must go and skip my workout.  Then I realized I was acting like a 12 yrs old and after I dropped the kids at school I went to the gym and I did my 10x400.  I started by telling myself, ok do 8 and that will be good enough.  It was not easy.  I could tell it had been a while since I did any of those.  The first reps were not the greatest; 2:15 and 2:14 with 1:30 rest in between.  Then it got better; 2:12, 2:10, 2:11, 2:09, 2:10, 2:10, 2:11, 2:09.  I am happy I did all 10 but I did feel like crap after....dry heaves at the gym...not very lady like.

I did make a Dr appt for my leg just to make sure everything is OK.  We'll see what she says Tuesday and I will get the results of all the blood tests I had done on Monday.  

Yesterday I got a massage.  I have never done that before except at 2 races where they offered freemassages after the race.  At the Disney half, the massage therapist said I should consider getting massages at least once a month..he said I had lots of knots on my back and neck and that it would help to get massages.  I decided to give it a try.   A friend recommended a place not too far and with good prices.  I checked them online and all the reviews were good.  The massage therapist was great and he said that I had lots of knots and asked if I was stressed!!  I told him about my running and he did stretching for my legs and also massage.  I did feel pretty good afterwards, I do think it takes more than just one massage to feel a difference.  Do you get massages? Do you like them?

I have been thinking about a plan for the Long Beach Half.  I plugged my recent numbers in the McMillan running calculator.  I entered my best times for 1 mile, 5k and 10k.  I get different results for each.  I think what I get based on my best mile (in a race not 1 mile alone so 7:58)  is not realistic for me at this point, not even close: 2:07:34.  If I enter my 5K PR I get 2:16:17 and with my 10K I get 2:13:08.  So clearly I take the info from the 1 mile out of the plan.  Makes no sense to use the time from the shortest distance anyway.  I don't know what to make of these numbers.  This is far from my best Half Marathon.  What does that mean....I am not consistent? I don't push enough?  I have a bad race plan for the HM? I start too fast and cannot keep the pace I should be able to keep? Not yet able to finish strong? ALL OF THESE probably.   Of course there are other, fuel-hydration, stomach...other pain.  I think about this way too much now, I can only imagine how it will be during taper week....2 more Long Runs and 16 days to go until Half Marathon #4.  This will also be race #25 for me.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Gadget

18 days before Long is coming so fast. 
This is what I did last week

Mon: 7 forgettable was hot, I felt like I was 200 lbs..moving on.
Tue: 3 miles
Wed: 3 miles
Thu: 5 miles tempo
Fri: rest
Sat: 3 miles
Sun: 10 good of the day not so good.
total: 31 miles

My long run went pretty well but I had stomach problems for the rest of the day.  I was not able to eat much even though I was sucked. I was a little worried because the next day I had to go in for blood test and I needed to stop eating at 9 pm and that I would not eat breakfast until around 10 am. I envy all of you who can eat whatever you want after long runs or races!

So you know those SWAGGLE deals?  Well a couple weeks ago they had one for TANITA scales and I bought one.  I got this one:

It is the  BC-548 Ironman Body Composition Monitor.  We did not have any scale in our house and this was 50% off. It will tell you a lot of information about your body. 
  • Weight

  • Body Fat %

  • Body Water %

  • Muscle Mass

  • Physique Rating

  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR)

  • We can enter profiles for 4 persons in it and it will keep the datas in memory.  This is pretty cool tool.  I like it, Bill not so much because that thing tells the UGLY TRUTH.
    Me: underfat, Him: Overfat (oopsy).  He needs to exercise.  He has lost some weight so that is good.  The Physique rating is a number between 1 and 9, 1 being Hidden obese (High body fat and low muscle mass) and 9 is Very Muscular (Athlete).  I am an 8.  That is Thin and muscular;  lower then normal % of fat and while having adequate muscle mass.  I'll take that but I dont see the muscles!  Pretty cool gadget, it is interesting to see how the numbers change from morning to bedtime.  When people come over I invite them to use it to see their numbers and most of them said "NO THANKS" so far even if I say I will leave the room and give them some privacy.  The ones who stepped on it knew or thought their numbers would be pretty good! 
    Saturday was opening season for soccer! Now both my boys are playing and that makes for busy Saturday mornings! Jonathan's game started before Will's ended and was at a different location.  I had snack duty for both. I felt like I was in a race!  They both won their first games!  Now they are asking to "train" for their upcoming 1 mile races.  Saturday we will start and see if they can run a mile.  I am not sure Jonathan can, he does not know how to run slow.  We will see how it goes!

    Friday, September 16, 2011


    Yesterday I had planned on doing 400s at the gym (on the treadmill Jim..not on a track).  I did not have time to go to the gym so I decided to do 5 miles tempo instead.  This was my best run since the Disney Half.  I felt like I was back to normal, body feeling less tired.  I hope my 10 miler will go just as well this weekend.  I only have 3 long runs before my next half and I want them to go well!  This week I am solo for the LR :(   I was thinking about Long Beach HM yesterday and what plan to have for that race.  I will be tired.  The day before the race will be hectic.  Kids race, Expo and a concert because that is what runners do before a half marathon: they go to a concert and stand on their feet for a couple hours and go to bed late.  I got the instructions for my meet and greet with that guy and get another picture like this.(well kind will only be me and Jonathan (younger one) and other winners possibly.) I have to be in LA at 6 pm.  That will make for a long evening at Staples Center!  But he is worth it!

    So my plan is to wear compression socks at the concert and running shoes (not my racing ones of course) and rest the week leading up to that weekend.  On race day my plan is to do my best.  I got a PR at Disneyland..of course it'd be great to beat that time.  I know I can.  Who knows maybe seeing Keith will bring me good luck and I will still have the beat of Days go By in my head!!!

    Yesterday I went to that:
    It was not my first time going, I think I have been 8 times now.  It is fairly easy for local people to get tickets early in the season.  The taping is like a party! So fun! She is the best! Super nice  and hilarious. The guests were Kathy Bates (Oscar winner- movie Misery), Christina Applegate and Demi LevatoWe got a $150 Shell gift card.  It airs Tuesday.  I would say look for me but it is hard to find people in the crowd.  I was next to a bald guy and if you watch the show I was where her mom usually sits; on the left of the TV screen. 

    I have not bragged about my kids in a while...right? Well anyway here comes the bragging section of the week.

    See this book from our school's library?

    Let's open it

    TADAM!  (AR = Accelerated Reading).  That will always stay in the book.  Pretty cool that they do this for the kids!  Will was very impressed.   I am very proud of him.

    All right I gotta go pack snacks for 2 soccer teams...opening season tomorrow and I am team mom for both teams and that gives me double snack duty on the first day for 2 games that are at the same time but not at the same fun fun. 
    I need a CLONE, do they have that at COSTCO EMZ?

    Wednesday, September 14, 2011

    Between 2 half marathons

    I am between 2 half marathons.  I did the Disneyland HM 10 days ago and I have Long Beach in 22 days.  Last week I went easy.

    Mon: REST that was the day after the race.
    Tue: 3 miles
    Wed: 3 miles
    Thu: 4 miles
    Fri: rest
    Sat: 5 miles
    Sun: 9-11 5K race.  Post on that one here.
    total: 18 miles

    So far this week I did this
    Mon: 7 miles
    Tue: 3 miles
    Wed: 3 miles
    Tomorrow planning to do 10x400 at the gym.  After that I am going to Burbank to dance and "have a little fun today!!!" with a funny blond lady...can you guess who? 

    Monday I got a couple emails from a couple friends saying that they saw me in a picture that was in the local newspaper.  I subscribe to the LA Times so I did not have it.  I went to get the paper and they had an article about the 9-11 race I did on Sunday with a picture.  Now you have to know it is me and that I was there to recognize me but it was enough to impress the kids!! 

    White cap 4th from the left:

    This is the link to the article
    From the ashes, America showed its courage, strength
    Bill said "I made it" in the USA now!! ha ha!

    I signed up for this

    April 7th, 2012.  Starts and ends at Universal Studios, ends on a red carpet and the course goes down the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  Should be fun!
    Soccer season has started and yesterday at practice I heard to most horrible sound..A Mom screaming as she watched her little girl get hit by a car. It was terrible. Luckily the kid is OK. It was pure panic at the soccer field. People need to slow down in school zone!!!!  It was horrible to hear that mother scream..I will never forget her. The driver was an older man; he felt really bad. The kid ran away from her parents...and crossed..he never saw her.  VERY SCARY. 

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 9-11 5K run in Los Angeles

    Today I ran the Los Angeles Stephen SillerTunnel to Towers 9-11 5K run.

    This is a race that is done all over the US.  Tunnel to Towers honors the courage and dedication of 9/11 first responders, our military men and women and their families.
    On September 11th, firefighter Stephen Siller had just gotten off the late shift at Squad 1, Park Slope, Brooklyn.  He was on his way to play golf with his brothers on that bright clear day when his scanner told of the first plane hitting the Twin Towers.  When he heard the news, he called his wife Sally to tell her he would be late because he had to help those in need.  He returned to Squad 1 to get his gear, then took his final heroic steps to the World Trade Center.  When Stephen drove his truck  to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, it was already closed to traffic .  With sixty pounds of gear strapped to his back, he ran through the Tunnel, hoping  to meet up with his own company, Squad 1.  He never came home.

    This run was not about time and PR.  It was about remembering and honoring the ones who paid the ultimate price that day.   I would have not missed it for anything. 

    On September 11, 2001, I was home alone and still asleep when the phone rang.  It was Bill telling me to turn on the TV.  I did and I saw Matt Lauer and what I thought was a snow storm.  I said "Wow they are having a snow storm in September!"  Bill said "This is not snow Caro, it is ashes"  I remember that day I stayed in front of the TV all day.  And I cried.  Bill came home around 6 pm and I had not moved, if I did I don't remember doing it.  I still cry every time I see pictures or video of that horrible day.  I struggle with explaining this to my young kids.  At their age they don't understand.  They know something bad happened.  They know people died.  They know lots of people were brave that day.  They know they live in a great country.  For now that is plenty.

    Here are some pictures of the Los Angeles 9-11 Run.


    WINNER, Running for Marine Corps

    They came in right before me, they were singing the whole time!

    That is Will holding the flag

    I was the only one who ran with a flag.  I got a lot of cheers for it!

    They had the nicest bib!

    That is my time 29:55

    9-11 Memorial

    Picture I found on  Facebook page of the Race when we got home.

    Saturday, September 10, 2011

    Je me souviens

    Je me souviens means I remember.  It is the motto of the Province of Quebec where I am from.

    Je me souviens.

    Thursday, September 8, 2011

    Disneyland Half Marathon part 2, the kids race, Drew Carey- Athelte's Plate

    Before I get to the rest of my recap for the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend, I want to mention that I am featured on the Athlete by Athlete's Plate over at Jason's blog Cook Train Eat Race.  If you want to see what I eat every day go check his post!  I eat the same thing every single day.  If you are a long time reader you already know this about me now you get to see it in pictures!  Thank you Jason for featuring me on your great blog!
    Disneyland Kids Race

    This was my boys 2nd year running this race.  This year they changed the location and had the race at Downtown Disney instead of at California Adventure.  Not quite the same for the kids but the one plus was that they crossed the Half Marathon finish line so that made it special for them.  Will was signed up for the 400m dash and Jonathan for the 200m.  I was a little mad because I had emailed Run Disney and asked if it will be possible to pick up the kids bib on race morning, they said no.  Sure enough they had a table for bib pick up at Downtown Disney.  In the final instructions it said to be there no later than 9 am.  Race was at 10 am.  My kids did not even start until almost 11 am! That is a LONG time to wait.  We decided that I would go to the Finish Line to wait for them and take pictures and Bill would line up with them at the start.  We also decided to have them both run the 400m to make things easier on Bill.  I got a good spot right at the Finish Line and I waited and waited and waited...One other lady was there as well.  It was about 9:30 am.  I never thought it would take 90 min before I see my kids!!!  When it got close to the start of the race a bunch of people started to stand in front of all the parents that were waiting for their kids like me.  Brightroom and Run Disney employees.  The parents were not happy.  We had been waiting for a while and now these people were blocking our view!    The photographers ended up sitting so it was OK.  The Run Disney people not so much.  I yelled at them several times "Excuse me, Excuse me!" they would not turn around!  Other parents started to yell at them as well "MOVE!"  They were standing there doing NOTHING! I was furious! Finally one turned and I said "Can you please move or sit so we can see our kids?" She said "We have to make sure they don't run into the photographers!!!!" What? Are you kidding me? from here???! I said "Well we are the parents, we have been waiting, we PAID and we want to see them!"  I had some parents cheering me on it was crazy.  They moved for a little while.  Of course not when MY KIDS wave finally showed up.  I was livid.  This huge Run Disney dude was blocking me right at that moment.   BOO HOOO.  The kids had a good time.  That is what matters the most.  Will came in first this time, he was not going to let his little brother beat him a second time!!!  Then Jonathan and Bill followed.  Jonathan was hilarious, he looked so angry, running with 2 fists and no smile.  The Angry Runner!!!  They got cute medals and they were happy!  Here are some race pictures.  Of course Brightroom is not offering family packages so it would cost a fortune to get pics for that weekend..(theirs and mine).  I do love these so much!!!

    After that we went to the Expo for a little bit.  I wanted to get an official program and just take a look around.  We went by where I met Jeff Galloway on Friday and there we saw Drew Carey and Megan Price.  She is an actress on the sitcom Rules of Engagement.  We love that show.  (If you watch it, my husband is just like "Jeff" in the show...I know...poor me.)  There was a line for people to meet them and take pictures.  It was not long so we decide to get in line.  We waited about 10-15 min only.  When it got to be our turn, we started walking towards their table and then this guy put his arm in front of me to make me stop! He does not say anything like I don't know "Please wait a minute"..No;  arm in front of me, not Bill, ME the girl!!  So I look at him and guess who?  The same Run Disney dude that was blocking me at the kids race!!!!!!! Seriously!  We had to wait because they had a gal with them coming to meet Drew Carey.  She had ran across America so she earned the right to cut in!  I just did not like the way that guy made us wait.  He could have used his know like we teach our toddlers to do?!!! Anyway, after this gal it was our turn, the guy waiting behind us offered to take pics with our camera and asked Bill to take his in exchange.  Drew Carey is so nice and he looks fantastic.  He was injured (separated his clavicle) and he explained all that to Will and he made him touch his bone so he can feel where is was broken. Will asked him how that happened to him and he said he was chasing bad guys like Batman!!! Safe to say Will loves Drew Carey now!!!  Megan Price was also very nice, she asked Jonathan about his race and she said she did it with her daughter and that she is running the Thinkerbelle half marathon in January.  We were lucky to meet them because they were there for just an hour.