Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Treadmill: to have or not to have

Last week I did all my runs on this
The treadmill.  
A whole week on the machine.  Just the thought of it made me crazy.
I find it harder to run on a treadmill than to run outside.  The main reason is that it is hard mentally to stay on it for more than 5-6 miles.  I try to look at people and ignore the screen but it does not always work. 

How do you fight boredom on the treadmill?
Last week, I would touch the speed button every 0.25 miles, going up until I reached my goal of 180 steps per min.   Also took the mandatory walking break every mile and increased the incline for that..not for running because PT said to stay on flat as much as possible.
I am convinced that if I had a treadmill at home I could stay on it longer than I do at the gym and I would love it more.  At my gym we have TVs but no sound.  Here at home I could watch this guy becoming the greatest Olympian of all times while I run. (Here's to hoping the media will NOW leave him ALONE!..Enough already..Today he won a silver medal and one headline I read said "Phelps looses gold" WHAT??

If I had a treadmill at home I could also watch these folks over and over again. THEY give a good show!

I have a gym membership and I pay every month to use their treadmills and I am ashamed to say not much of anything else.  I am thinking I would be better off with one of those at home...only problem is where to put it.  I would use it, I know I would.  When it is too hot I have to run on the machine and also when the Santa Ana winds come to disturb the peace in California I run inside. 

Do you have a treadmill?
Where do you keep it?  In the house? Garage? On the roof?
What brand do you have and do you like it?
Oldrids & Downtown sell Horizon treadmills you can find them here.

Tomorrow I am going to the taping of the new Ricki Lake Show!  Will let you know how it was. 

Today I got a referral from my Dr to go see the PT.  I had to go in to see her, waited over an hour, was with her less than 3 minutes total. Ridiculous.  Anyway, I went over the PT clinic right after and I have an appointment Thursday morning.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

City if Cypress 10K race recap

City of Cypress 10k was yesterday.  This was second year running this one.  I really like it for the most part.  It is well organized.  The volunteers are the nicest...every single one of them.  The residents offer support, there is a house on the course where they set a mister for the runners.  They did it last year also.  That is pretty awesome!  On the second lap I stopped to thank them.  With all the craziness that is going on in the world these days it is pretty great to be reminded that kindness is still going strong.

The only thing I don't like about that race is that it is a double loop.  It is a small complain really.  The course is flat.  The race is not  big...yet.  Start was at 7:30...sun was shining since 6 am.

So I was at a race but I did not race.  I ran with a bunch of runners.  I knew I would not do well as far as time goes but even if I knew it, I did not like it.  It was a good lesson of humility.  Running a race still injured and still very much in the recovery phase of the process comes with limitations. 

I had ran 6 miles only once since my last race.  That was June 2nd.  I felt it.   I did loose some fitness over the summer even if I have kept running.  I ran less and I ran slower all June and July.

Her coming on mile 3: see I was not THE slowest!!! ha ha!

The kids were holding signs for me, so sweet!

I had 2 goals,  well 3 if we count finishing as one!!
I wanted to focus on shorter steps and less heel striking and I did that so I am happy.
I wanted to run the second 5k faster than the first one and that was a huge FAIL.
I ran positive splits from 1 to 6 miles.  Boooooo to moi.

Here at the finish: on the left no heel...on the right....yeah well you can see ...

Today I went for another 6 miles.
That was a bad idea.
Back to back 6 milers...I am not there yet and I am paying for it as I type this.
My groin is not good.  I am an idiot.  Too much too soon.
I need to find a local PT.
I looked up my insurance and they cover some of it so that is a good news.  I found 2 places that look OK for sports injuries.  The only problem is that to use my insurance, I need a referral from my Dr.  This makes me mad.  If I had HMO I would understand but I have PPO!  I will pay the copay to go see my Dr just to get a paper to go see the PT.   My Dr will be of no help, I will just waste $20 and my time.  Stupid system to make Doctors profit even more from us.  I will do it because I need some help and I want to make sure I don't have an hernia.....anyone had that?  and I want to be better for Hood to Coast!

I was very sad to read the news about Paula Radcliffe (and MAYBE..Desiree Davila) pulling out of the marathon in London.  This sucks big time.  For Paula it is "the end of the dream" she said...heartbreaking after 4 Olympics...I cannot imagine the disappointment.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mezamashii Project and a new addiction

Oh Happy Day!
This arrived in the mail:

Mizuno Wave Rider 15

They are so pretty!  I tried them just for a couple of miles so too soon to have an opinion but I can say those are much better for me than the Nirvana 8 were.  This is a good fit for me.  Now I just need to know if they will be good for me and how they compare to my Ghost 4.

This week I did all my runs at the gym.  This is not ideal but better than no run.  Yesterday I did not have a pain free run, it was 4 miles and even though I was able to keep a decent pace I did have some pain in the end.  Today I did just 3 miles. I did not want to rest today because tomorrow is rest day since I have a 10k race on Saturday.  I ran 1 mile-walk 2 min cycles.  It went OK.

I am a little nervous about my race but I am putting zero pressure on myself.  All I want to do is keep the shorter steps the whole race and have negative splits for the two 5Ks.  The start is at 7:30 am so I am hoping it won't be too hot...!

Now confession time
I have a new addiction.
If you guess it first, you get an extra entree for my next giveaway.

It is not an expensive addiction.
It is not something I eat or drink.
It is keeping up way too late.
It is preventing me from reading books.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Shoes: Brooks Ghost 4

First I want to thank you for the encouraging comments on my last post.  I appreciate the support.  This is my very first time dealing with an injury.  I know it could be much much worst.  In my bad luck I am lucky it is not something that prevents me to run.
Today one comment made me stop and think and it will stay with me

"--focus on what you can do and not what you can't. You'll get there!" 

I am guilty of not doing that all the time.  Who is the very wise person I have to thank for this reminder?

Well it is Miss Zippy!  Thank you Amanda.

This week I have to do all my runs inside because the boys are doing swimming lessons and are not going to camp.  Yesterday, I decided to start strenght training and my goal is to keep doing it and not skip it anymore.  I don't like strenght training but I know it is important.  I will also follow my PT's advice and add some bike at least once a week.   Today I ran 5 miles.

I ran in my new Brooks Ghost 4.
I really like them.
I have 3 pairs of shoes in rotation now.
All Brooks: Ravenna 2, Ravenna 3 and Ghost 4.

The Ravennas are "control" shoes and the Ghost 4 is neutral.

I am loving the feeling of the Brooks Ghost 4.  They are light and have more cushion than all the other shoes I have used so far.  This is new for me.  Gives a feeling of lightness!  I like feeling a bit of spring at the midsole. 

I have had no plantar fasciitis problem with those shoes and no shin splints either.   The toe box feels more roomy than on my Ravennas and I do like that since I tend to get blisters on the top of my longer toes.   The are closer to the Ravenna 2 I think..the heel is almost the same height..both lower than the Ravenna 3.  I have high arch and the support on the ghost 4 is good for me, my foot is not sliding to the side. 

So these are a keeper.  It will be interesting to compare them to the Mizuno Wave Rider 15, another neutral shoe.

I am planning on wearing my Ghost 4 for my 10k this weekend.
Brooks already have the Ghost 5 out and they look very different than the 4.  I never quite understand why the shoe makers always feel the need to change shoes that are selling good and getting great reviews.  Why can't  they just change the colors?  The 2 Ravennas I have are very different and the Ravenna 2 was a great shoe (Got RW award like Ghost 4) and they decided to change too many things on it I think.  It is frustrating because we spend time and $ looking for THE one shoe that is great for us...and when we do they go and change it and not always for a better version.  The good news right now is that the Ghost 4 are on sale because the 5 are in the stores.

I got mine for $59.99 at 6 pm.com they are also available here at Nothern Runner.com


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Making Progress and Lululemon gifts for moi

6 miles today.
25 miles this week.

It is not great but it is better.

Last time I ran 6 miles or more was June 10.  I remember after that one I knew I was injured for real.  Last week I had over 25 miles was that same week.

I am not back 100% but it is better.  As I type this now, I feel some pain.   It is mild but it is there.  I ran 4 days in a row.  Tomorrow I have to rest or at least not run.

Last night I sat down and make a training plan for Hood to Coast and Long Beach.
I am a little worried for Long Beach.  I hope I will have enough time to be ready.  I do not want a repeat of last year's LB. 

It is frustrating to have to rebuilt the mileage base.  I did not struggle to get 6 miles done but I think I would have had problems with 10 today.

Right now my #1 priority is to continue to get better and be pain free.
As far as training goes my focus is on Hood to Coast.  I know I can cover the distance for my 3 legs, that is OK.  I do want to run well.  I am part of a TEAM and I don't want to disappoint my teammates. 

I feel like this week was a breakthrough week for me.  Taking shorter steps is an adjustment..I am tall and taking long steps feel more natural but I am sticking to shorter steps and I count them and getting closer to 180 means faster pace.  This week all my runs were faster. 

I have a race next weekend.  I am going back to a 10K race I did last year.  I don't feel ready to race 100%.  I wish I was there but not yet.  I have decided to go to the race and do the best I can THAT day.  I am not chasing PRs in the hot summer time and I will try to not beat myself up if I don't do better than last year on the same course.
This will be a good test to see where I am at in preparation for HTC.

I will increase the Long Run by a mile  each week until Long Beach with the exception of HTC weekend.

I have used my new shoes (Brooks Ghost 4) a few times this week and so far so good.  They made it in my rotation!

I also have new socks that I LOVE.
My brother gave me my birthday gift 6 mos AFTER my birthday but it was worth the wait.
He got me these socks and this top from LULLULEMON!
I've never had anything from Lululemon before.

Ultimate padded run socks

I love them!
They are thin where they need to be and padded just enough under the heel and ball of the foot.  Perfection.  I wish I had more of those!  Next Pasadena race I am going to visit the Lululemon store!

I also got this nice top that I have not tried on a run yet because well it is for the winter!

Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve in purple.  Love how it fits and the fabric is really nice.  I was impressed that my brother knew what size to get me (mine is a size 4) .  First time he gets me clothes since I lost 70+ lbs!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Good deals

We had a mini break from the heat...I mean really mini and it is over.  Sadly, the heat is back.  This morning was brutal...98 when I was done with my 4 miler.  I started OK..still focusing on my gait, counting my steps..but at mile 4..the darn heat beat me

I found some good deals online recently.

First this:
Skirt Sports Cover Girl Skirt in small.
Same kind as the one I wrote about here.
So reg price for this: $55
I paid $19.31 including shipping and tx !

I really like those skirts, they are perfect for me.

Also found a good deal on these:
Brooks Ghost 4
Reg Price: $100
I paid $59.99

I wear Ravennas right now but since my PT said I do not overpronate I thought I would try a more "neutral" shoe.  They arrived yesterday.  I took them out today.  Too soon for the Caro verdict but I can say today I liked them.  It will be interesting to compare those to the Mizuno Wave Rider 15 that I am expecting soon.

I don't like shopping but I do like a good deal! :)

My kids are at soccer camp this week.  It is from 9 am to noon and the coaches are all from England.  They are loving it and learning a lot.  This is hard stuff...3 hours of soccer in 90+ degrees heat.  That is followed by swimming lessons for both of them.  Can I tell you that we are having quiet evenings at home? I don't hate that!

and after that...they need to do some of that

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vega Energizing Smoothie Review

Several bloggers have had the chance to review this product already and so far I only read good things about this product.  I was happy when I received an email asking me if I would like to try the Vega Smoothie!

I received one sample of each flavors they have: Tropical Tango, Vanilla Almondilla, Choc-a-lot, Bodacious Berry and unflavored.

I am always looking for new healthy products that my stomach can handle.  It is not easy for me to find new food items to add to my strict diet.

When I got the samples I knew that the Choc-a-lot would probably not be OK for me so I did not try this one.

Vega is made from all natural, plant-based ingredients.  The Vega smoothie is dairy, gluten and soy free and contains no artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. 

This is the Nutritional info :

I tried the Bodacious Berry  first.  It is very easy to make.  All you have to do is add water or juice, shake and voila!

I decided to go with a little juice and cold water.

The result was more like a beverage than a smoothie to me so I decided to add ice and took the blender out for a spin!

 and I got this:

How was it?
It was good but I think it could be better with fruits added to the mix.

I like that is all natural and that it has 10g of protein and only 90-100 calories.
It is very easy to prepare another plus for people who are on the go all day!

Tropical Mango was my favorite flavor.

Thank you to Christina over at Vega for sending me the samples!

Have you tried Vega yet? What did you think?


I ran two 5 milers over the weekend.  Saturday was very hot and my pace was not great.  Sunday I did the exact same route 3 min and 4 sec faster and with negative splits!  It was cooler and that helped a lot. 

I am focusing on my form trying to reduce eliminate the heel striking.  I am also counting my steps: chasing the magic 180 number.  That was one of the advice I got from my PT in Quebec.  It helps me in taking shorter steps.  It also forces me to speed up.  I am at 178 most of the run.  I do have to pay attention though and I count every mile to see where I am at.  I don't think I could be at 178-180 for a long run at this point because  I could not keep the pace I need to be at for 8 miles and up.   I need to get to a point where that pace is my comfortable pace and I am not there yet but I will keep doing this to get there.

Today I went for a 3 miles run and it was my fastest run in a long time and I had very little pain.  I have a black toe nail and that is causing me more pain than my injury these days :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

And the Winner is.....


"Come on down!  You are...not the next contestant on The Price is Right but the next winner on my blog!"

Please email me your info so I can send you your NUNN bottle and tablets!

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway.  I will have another one before I leave for Hood to Coast so  if you did not win you still have another chance!  If you cannot wait that long to try NUNN, please use the 15% coupon you can find on the right side of this blog!

Today I ran 5 miles.  In the heat again..but I went 2 hours earlier and it was not as bad as it has been this week..but still very warm and at slower pace and without the waking breaks this time.  I had not done 5 miles since my injury got worst a month ago...at mile 4 I felt some pain but nothing sharp.  I am planning another 5 miler tomorrow.

I got new glassses.  First time I change my frame in over 20 years!  I am low maintenance like that...:)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Mezamashii Project part 2

Running this week has been a challenge.
It is so hot here and today on top of the heat we got humidity, something that is rare here in Southern California.

Yesterday, I "braved" mother nature and went running outside.  It was very hot...like over 90 hot before 9 am.  I had a hard time finishing my run.  I think I should have ran inside instead because my run was not good.  I wondered: Is it better to run outside and have a crappy run..with a crappy pace or just head to the gym and run on the treadmill at a decent pace?   I am not pain free yet but I am better, it does not hurt at every steps anymore.  Until it gets 100% pain free I will continue to keep the mileage lower than usual and also not run more than 3-4 days in a row.  This crazy heat is making dealing with dehydration a lot worst of course and as a bonus I get a headache after each run.  So summer you can go, I have had enough of you.
3 more weeks until school starts...but who is counting....

Ok now a  follow up on the Mezamashii Project.

When I got back home from Quebec my new Mizuno shoes were waiting for me.  I picked the Nirvana 8 and I was looking forward to trying them.

I thought they looked great! Love the color!

I was a little worried about the heel though because it is pretty high.  It is a stability shoe and after seeing the PT, I was told that I do NOT overpronate like I thought I did. 
I wanted to love these shoes.
They are very light and at first I thought they were comfortable, the forefoot feels really good.  I went running 4 times with them both outside and on the treadmill.  After the first run I thought these were OK and that I would rotate them with my Ravenna 3.  Unfortunately after the 2nd run I started having plantar fasciitis again.  Also I noticed that my left foot was sliding towards the outside of the shoe even when I was just standing.  After the 4th run I came to the conclusion that the Nirvana 8 are not for me. 

I called Mizuno to see what I could do and I talked to Matt who was so nice and very helpful.  He asked me some questions and I told him I have a high arch and he did say that this was the reason why my foot was sliding to the outside of the shoe.   So he recommended that I returned the Nirvana 8 in exchange for the Wave Rider 15.  I am so happy that they are letting me exchange my shoes and I am looking forward to getting the Wave Rider 15.  This is fantastic customer service, I do feel terrible that I made the wrong choice and grateful they are letting me do the exchange.  Thank you Mizuno!

Les Mizunos Nirvana 8 sont disponibles chez Activinstinc ici.  Nirvana 8 are sold on Activinstinc website here.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Is it hot enough where you are?
Here we are in a permanent oven state.  I hate it.  I cannot wait for summer to be OVER.
I had to go to the gym this morning and it is a real shame because the boys are at VBS every morning this week.

So time for a NUUN Giveaway!
If you come and visit here often you know I will run Hood to Coast relay in August with the NUNN team.  You also know that I have many GI issues.  I have them all the time not just while running. 

The list of things I cannot eat or drink is endless.  It makes finding fuel for long runs very hard.  I wrote several posts in the past about my quest to finding fuel for my LR and my half marathons.  I have tried many products and most of them have not worked for me.

NUUN is one that does work.  It works before and after runs not always during though but I take what I can get.  I drink NUUN every day these days.  I get dehydrated VERY easily and I have a hard time dealing with this during my races.  If you read my race reports you know I am not kidding..I mean look...

I know, very lady like right?
Why does NUUN work for me? 
I think a lot has to do with the taste...it is very light and also NUUN has no sugar, no high-fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors or colors.
My stomach can handle that.  It cannot handle anything like Gatorade.
Each tube of NUNN has 12 tablets.
Each tablet makes 16 oz. of NUNN, and contains 360 mg Sodium, 100 mg Potassium, 25 mg Magnesium and13 mg Calcium.

They offer several flavors you can see them all here.  Unfortunately, I cannot drink all of them.  Some don't work and cause me to get acid reflux but I can drink the fruit punch and orange flavors.  Fruit punch is the one that has never caused any problem so I always have that flavor in the pantry!

Want to try some NUUN?
This is what you can win

How to win:
You must:

1. Be a follower of this blog and leave a comment.

Bonus leave a comment for each

2. Tell me what is your favorite Olympic event to watch
3. Tell me what novel you are reading this summer....that is NOT 50 shades of a color

Open to all my followers does not matter where you are from!
Will announce a winner this weekend

***sorry about all the white highlights...I don't know how to remove it...I tried and it does not work**

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Hood to Coast

The day I left for Quebec I received an email from the good folks over at NUUN.  In it was the information I had been waiting for: what runner position I would be and also who would be on my team!

We were asked to select our 3 top choices of running position back in April.  I got my first choice: Runner #1.  I wanted to be in van 1 and experience the race from start to finish.
Runner 1 is the "easiest" position according to the ranking of the race website.  Total mileage is 13.6 miles.

I will run leg 1, 13 and 25.

LEG 1 is one of 5 VERY HARD legs in the race. 
It is 5.64 miles of very severe downhill ( from 6000 to 4000 ft). 

I know I will be in pain after this one and I need to make sure I do everything to prepare for this.  I am doing the exercices my PT gave me for my groin.  I am already doing a lot better.  Today I went for 4 miles.  It was the first time in a while that I ran 3 days in a row and I am planning on going tomorrow as well.  I am keeping the mileage low and I keep doing the 1 min walking breaks at each mile.

LEG 13 is 4.21 miles and LEG 25 is 3.75 miles.

I am on team Team Night: AfterNuun Delight

Van 1
Caroline – Canadian Runner in Exile: Legs 1, 13, 25
Lauren – Health on the Run: Legs 2, 14, 26
Vanessa – Gourmet Runner: Legs 3, 15, 27
Shanna – Smack! Media, Nuun Partner: Legs 4, 16, 28
Susan – Nurse on the Run: Legs 5, 17, 29
Robyn - run pretty run fast: Legs 6, 18, 30

Van 2
Emily – Sweat Once a Day: Legs 7, 19, 31
Katie – Katie RUNS This: Legs 8, 20, 32
Sarah – Running Starfish: Legs 9, 21, 33
Harmony – Keep on Keeping On: Legs 10, 22, 34
Megan – Nuun Employee: Legs 11, 23, 35
Kelsey – The Go Girl Blog: Legs 12, 24, 36

I will have a Giveaway on the next post so please make sure to comeback!

I leave you with more pics from Quebec
Me and my nieces, Eve 14 and Maude 11 trying our best Top Model pose!!

And those 2...make me smile
These were taken on different days in different homes...and the kids did not see the pics.  This is my brother's youngest daughter and my youngest son and they are so much alike !

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Quebec city post 7 / Welcome home!

I am back in California.
We had a really long day yesterday.  Got up at 4 am Eastern time, took two flights, second one was delayed 30 min, had to wait 30 min for the shuttle to get to our car, drove home.  It was 3:30 pm Pacific time when we got home.  By 8 pm I was ready for bed.

We had a great time in Quebec.  It is always hard to leave the people and the town but I am happy to be back in my things and my bed.  This time in Quebec I got to see 2 of my dear friends from University that I had not seen since my wedding.  We used to always be together during our years in College, I even lived with one of them after we graduated and then we all moved, one to the Turks and Caicos Islands, one to Paris and me to California.  We had not been together in over 11 years.   On July 1st we met with our spouses for a breakfast that lasted 5 hours!  It was my favorite day of our visit.  We had the best times.  Here's some pictures of that day.  Me with my 2 hilarious friends Martin and Antoine:

On the right with Antoine who was my roommate.

With our spouses!

 We went to a fabulous restaurant called "Le Graffiti" and this is what I had for breakfast:

Went to the gym for 4 miles today and when I got home this was waiting for me on the porch:

Thank you Mizuno for my brand new Nirvana 8!
I am taking them for a run tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Quebec City post #6

Today is our last day in Quebec.  The vacations are almost over.  I am sad to leave but at the same time I am ready to be back in my home and get back to a routine for the kids.  They are showing signs of being a bit tired and same for me.  We had a great time here. I saw my family and my friends and being in this town is wonderful.  I really love my hometown.

I went for a great 4 miles run yesterday.  It was not pain free but it was better.  It was on the most perfect running path by the St-Laurent river.  Just Beautiful.  Runners here are so lucky to get to run there all summer long.  In the winter it is not doable though.

These were given by the USA  in honor of Quebec's 400th anniversary that was in 2008.

I went to see the PT this morning.  He put me on the treadmill to evaluate my gait.
He filmed me while I was running.  With my shoes and also barefoot.
He filmed my feet and also my hips (lifting my shirt to see better...using the waist band of my shorts as reference.)

He said that I am a "good" runner.  Posture good, no over pronation and I thought I did do that.
But there is a huge but.
I heel strike big time.  EVEN BAREFOOT.   I saw it, it is pretty bad.
He said that most "heel striker" will naturally correct that while running barefoot but I don't.
He told me to run with shorter steps.
He said to do jump rope exercises  before my runs at fast pace to prep for the run.
He said to do core work.
AND to get minimalist shoes........YIKES.
I am not sold  on that one.  I told him about my Pure Flow experience and how bad it went.
He said first to work on all the things he suggested and then see about getting other shoes.
So I got some work to do!

More pictures:

Jonathan lost 3 teeth while we were here!