Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Race week

It's race week!

I am headed to beautiful Huntington Beach for the Surf City Half Marathon this weekend.
That race is always on Super Bowl Day.
How nice for my husband...right?  I told him he could skip the race and just stay home but he is a great guy and he is coming.  He will head to his buddy's house when we get back for the big game...me I think I will skip the party like last year..and take a nap! :)  I could not care less about that game anyway.... I love most sport...Football: I don't get.  At all.

Super Bowl weekend is also my son's (Jonathan) birthday.  He was born on Groundhog Day.  He will be 7 years old on Saturday. I cannot believe it. 

So....I will be a tiny bit busy this weekend.
Saturday morning I will be going to the Expo alone to pick up my race packet and take a quick tour of the Expo.. will stop at the NUUN boot for sure to see Kim!
Then I need to come back home for the birthday party.  We are taking 9 1st grader mini golfing!  One of the courses is a "glow in the dark indoor course"!  Should be fun.  Then back home to hopefully REST before the race.

I ran Surf City last year and I was not happy with how I did.  I remember I came home and signed up the RnR Pasadena Half Marathon that was 2 weeks later because I needed to "erase" this race out of my head!   I am doing both races again this year and hopefully Surf City will have a better ending this time!

Last week I was not feeling the greatest.  I have had sinus problems for weeks now because of allergies.  Really bad congestion.  It makes me feel unbalanced at times and it is very annoying.  I never know if it is just that or if I am getting sick.  Sunday I decided to do just 8 miles for my long run.  I did not want to get sicker.  This means I am not as prepared as I would like to be for this race and I am putting my focus on Pasadena for a decent time.

I am now obsessing over NOT getting sick.  Every other Facebook status reads like this these days "One kid down with the FLU"  "The FLU has infested our house"  "The FLU this, the FLU that"... I am dead afraid of getting it.  I am a real pain in the butt with my kids about washing their hands..I mean I have to refrain from going to school to make sure they do it before eating their lunches...I am not kidding.  I am taking double doses of VIT C and I bought some AIRBORNE that I am drinking religiously twice per day.  Now if only I could get some decent sleep.... for me..not an easy task.

Surf City will be race 2 out of the 3 towards my second beach cities challenge.  I will complete it in May at the OC Half Marathon and get another huge medal!

I am looking for new tunes for my playlist..tell me your favorite one these days...not a fan of hip hop...I know I know I am old....

Are you racing on Super Bowl day?
Are you having a party? Going to one?

Do you play Words with Friends?
It is my new addiction.....I like it but it also makes me furious.
It accepts words that do not exist!  I have a friend who keeps beating me...no I mean destroying me with fake words....
Yesterday I found out that there are apps for cheating at that game!  WTH?
If you have good apps for word games let me know !

Friday, January 25, 2013

4 miles that ended up 6 miles and 16 that is now 4

Yesterday we had that thing California people are afraid of...you know RAIN.
If we get light rain I still run outside but when it pours..I head for the gym and the machine.
I had decided to do 4 miles.  Got on the treadmil and shortly after I had started SURPRISE! Sandy showed up!  My lucky day!  I ended up doing 6 miles because we talked and it made this run so much easier!

I think I am getting sick and it sucks...one week away from Surf City...sore throat, mild coughing...chills...I am taking a lot of vit C and I hope to kill this asap.
I am concerned about my long run this weekend.... I don't want to skip it but I also don't want to get really sick.... decision decision...I guess I will evaluate each morning...maybe rest an extra day tomorrow and hope for the best on Sunday...

Yesterday I got really bad news from home.
My dear uncle Ray passed away.
He was my mom's younger brother; #14.  My mom is #15. OUT OF 16 KIDS.

Sunday I got a call from home and my mom told me he was admitted to the hospital and not well.  They did not know what was wrong.  Tuesday the diagnosis came back: Pancreatic Cancer.  The Doctor said it was bad and that he only had a month or two.  Last night my phone beeped because of a Facebook notification.  One of my cousin had posted this: "RIP Uncle Raymond"....What? I called home right away. 
He is gone.  Already.  So fast. 
This monster got the best of him 2 days after he found out what he was facing. Cancer sucks.
He was a great man.  Always happy, living the life.  He made the trip to California to be at my wedding.  I always thought he was so cool.  I am sad that he is gone and that I will not get to see him again.  My heart is broken for my mom.  They were 16.  Now only 4 sisters are left.  I have a hard time to come to grip with this.   My childhood is full of memories from this huge family and now so many are gone and it makes me very sad.  During times like this I feel so far away from home, it is for sure the hardest part of not living in Canada for me.

Wishing you all a great weekend.

Here's a couple pictures of my mom and my uncle Ray.
One from my wedding 12 yrs ago and the other when they were just little kids with not a care in the world...she was 3 and he was 4. 

RIP my dear uncle Ray,  we will miss you and your smiling face.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Long Run downer, interview and Disney

How's is that for a strange title....

So my last long run was pretty crappy.
I left too late and it was very hot.
I was not feeling the "pep in my step"...the miles were not passing by quickly..you know what I mean I am sure.
I changed my route a little and before I left and informed my husband of the changes and he told me that someone was raped near the new added section to my route.....It happened on a path I was not planning on taking but still...made me a little nervous.  I decided to go ahead and stay only in areas where there's a lot of houses.
I finished my run and I felt like I had not accomplished much..pace was not good and I was happy this was not Surf City day....

So what do you think...better to put the miles and get the run done even if it is crappy or is it a waste of time?

Disney....The Mouse is greedy... and messing up my fall schedule.
I wanted to run the Disneyland Half Marathon again and skip Long Beach this year. 
But 175 dollars for a Half Marathon is just too much.  Even if it is Disneyland.  Even if the medal is nice.  It really actually is $190 if you count the parking they make you pay.
So no Disney race for me.  I am looking for a new race to try in the fall. 

My husband started his new job Monday.  I am happy to have our "normal" back. 
No more interviews for him...now it is my turn!
Yep..I have a job interview tomorrow!
It is at our school district and it is for the very prestigious (!) position of proctor.
It is a very small job, just a few hours a day.  I figured it is a start and it would get me in the door..and maybe lead to something more interesting later on.
I am meeting with 6 vice-principals tomorrow morning..I am told the interview is long.  I will be given a set of 15 questions and I will have to go through them.  There will be no "discussion"..just me talking pretty much.   I hope my accent will not be a problem... :)
It would be nice to have a little job and still be able to do everything that is needed for my kids.  We will see how that goes!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Me + Brooks Ghost 5 = Love at first mile

First let me say thank you for all the birthday wishes and the kind comments regarding my husband's new job.  It was nice to share good news for a change!
When reading the comments I realized that I forgot to mention that we will NOT have to move.  While I was not 100% opposed to moving (depending on the location) I do prefer staying in our house and having the kids stay at their school.  We are lucky that they go to a really great public school.  So staying put in the over...hmm I mean SoCal.
We had a great few days of cold sunny weather and now we have warm (mid 70s) and windy days.  That means my sinus go to war.  My head is about to explode.  It sucks to have the constant pressure in the head....

To celebrate Bill getting a job and now being able to enjoy him being home for a few more days before he starts  ...we went to the movies this week.  DURING THE DAY.  Without having to pay a babysitter... That is so rare.  We went to see ARGO.  I LOVED it.  Go see it if you can.  I am so happy that Ben Affleck is getting some awards for this film and I don't get why he was left out for the big one... Anyway...go see ARGO, this story is unbelievable.  (Also shows how nice us Canadians are :)).  I rarely say this but it was worth every 600 pennies I paid.

On on to my new love:


The Brooks Ghost 5

I got them with a gift card I recently won.  I have been running in the Ghost 4s for a while now and I love them.  When I heard that the 5s were coming out in the stores I got a little worried.  I was hoping that Brooks did not change the shoes too much.  I found a couple of pairs Ghost 4 on clearance (less than $50!) and was going to wait to get the 5s when I had used all the 4s I have left.  I changed my plan after reading a post from Raina on the Ghost 5 I decided to use my gift card on a pair of those. 

They arrived Monday!  Look how "pretty" they are!  They come in blue and purple as well.  I could not resist trying them on for a run on Tuesday morning.  Usually I go for 3 or 4 miles when trying new shoes but this time I went for 6.  The weather was perfect..crisp and sunny and I felt pretty good so I kept going.

The verdict: I LOVE these shoes.  They are so comfortable.  They feel and ARE lighter than the Ghost 4s and they feel a bit more bouncy to me and I do like it.  I had no pain and I did not get tired legs.   Recently I started having problems with a painful chalice under the ball of my left foot and some of the shoes I have are making that worst.  With these ones...no problem..did not feel any pain.  The toe box is perfect for me.  I like it roomy and it is.  I am so happy I decided to get those and that they are a good fit for me.  It took trying and buying a few pair of shoes before finding one that works and I am relieved that I will not have to do that all over again.  They are going in my rotation now.  I am not waiting!  I will use them for the longer runs and for the half marathon races.

The Ghost 5 are available at Millet Sports.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Citrus Heritage 10K Race Recap

First race of 2013!
I started this year with a 10K.

First time I was running this race and I loved it.

It was cold.  Actually for California I can say it was freezing: 28 F !!!  I am not complaining...I would take 28 over 80+ ANY day.

I changed outfits 3 times..before leaving the house.  I knew I had to dress warmer than usual...but I also did not want to get too warm....I am not used to these colder temperatures but I could easily get used to it!

This was a small race..less than 200 runners in the 10K (they also had a 5K).  It is organized by a local running club.

The location was beautiful.  The course goes through orange groves.

This was before the start. 


At first I was wearing a warmer hat and I decided to change at the last minute and I am glad I did.    My toes and fingers were petty cold before the race.  At mile 3 I wished I had gone with just one layer (short sleeve top).  I thought about taking the pink one off and tossing it to Bill but I was not very smart and I put my bib on the pink top instead of the blue one.  I did not want to stop and take the bib off so I just forgot about that plan.

Everything was great at that race.  Easy free parking and check in and everyone was so nice.  We got a long sleeves tech shirt and a nice medal plus the race had time chip and the cost was $30!   Also a plus...REAL Bathrooms!!!!!!

The course was beautiful going up and down citrus groves.  I had no race plan really.  I know very smart of me.  I did not expect hills and surprise...they came to the party.  First one came pretty soon and I was not prepared for it and I felt the burning in my legs...

I felt pretty good during this race.  I thought I was doing better than I was and every time I looked at my Garmin I was disappointed to see that in reality I was doing just OK

This is about half way on the course where my supporting crew was.  Look how pretty it is!


The groin was OK. Stomach....hmmm all good until the last 1/2 mile....I almost puked right in front of my kids....had to take a couple of WALKING steps right there...I remember yelling at Bill "Don't take pictures of this!!!!!!!!!".  As I passed by him I heard him say "You are doing great, I know you are hurting"  Enough motivation to give me a push to run strong to the finish.

Getting to the finish...my paparazzi kids were snapping pictures with their leap pads!


I did OK..no PR but 5th in my AG (small race remember).

2013 01 12_0534-1_edited-1

 I highly recommend this race if you are a local reader..(hmmm Sandy for you).  Next year they are planning on adding a half marathon!  I will run this one every year from now on.

After the race I even had a FREE massage before we headed back home. 

The next day my legs were hurting...and so I did only 4 miles.  I am a little worried about my mileage leading up to Surf City.  It is not where it should be.  I have decided that RnR Pasadena is going to be my "goal" race.  It is just 2 weeks after Surf City.

I have decided to register for the Fontana half marathon.  $40 for a half marathon is hard to resist.  For a minute I considered doing RnR San Diego instead (same weekend as Fontana).  RnR SD is $110 and it also requires a hotel stay so I went with the cheaper and closer race.  It is the race where I got injured last year so I will need to be prepared for the downhill.

I want to thank everyone who commented on the last post.  You are all so so nice!
Thank you!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Getting out of the dark tunnel and the best birthday present

Today is my birthday.
I am now 44.
I am OK with that.  I can say with 100% honesty and ZERO BS crap that I feel better at 44 than I did in all my thirties.
Thank you running.

Today is a good day but not because it is my birthday. 
It has actually been a good week.

If you are a regular reader or one of my dear blogger friend...you know the last few months have been difficult for me.

I am beyond happy that the day I can write this post is here.
My husband got a job offer Monday and he accepted it.
Best Birthday present.
I am relieved and happy and grateful.

I want to thank all of you who left comments of support here.
I shared this part of my life because I wanted to be open and also because I knew it would affect my running in some way.  I think I was also reaching out for moral support and many of you gave me just that and I am grateful to you all.  Some of you even went out of their ways to send me private emails of encouragements and advices.  THANK YOU.

Thank you for your kindness and support, it means a lot to me.

Please check the previous post if you have not already.  I had a guest writer on the very important topic of how to prevent injuries.

First race of 2013 coming up tomorrow morning...a 10K to start this new year!

Wishing you all a fantastic weekend.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

GUEST POST: How To Prevent The Most Common Running Injuries

This is the first guest post I host on my blog!

Mathew Kyle from Altra Zero Drop  is my guest today.
Altra Zero Drop is a company run by passionate individuals committed to helping running enthusiasts achieve their dreams through biomechanically proper footwear.

Last year I had my first running injury and I am now very interested in learning about how to prevent having another one so I was very happy that Matthew offered a post on how to prevent running injuries!


How To Prevent The Most Common Running Injuries

Running is a highly popular sport, which provides not only health benefits but great enjoyment too. In fact, runners enjoy the activity so much that they sometimes overdo it, and this is the source of a lot of the problems. Unfortunately injuries caused by running are very common, and most of these are caused either by overuse and overtraining, or by failure to make proper preparations.

Overuse, or overtraining, means exceeding your normal running capacity—that is, you start running further or faster without working up to it properly. The general advice is to avoid increasing your training mileage by more than 10% in a single week. Overtraining also involves failure to allow you sufficient recovery time. This is one of the main causes of the most common running injuries, including Achilles tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Keep your schedule steady, and always take adequate rest.

The other main cause of foot injuries, of course, is failure to wear the correct footwear. The importance of this cannot be over-emphasized. Digging an old pair of shoes out of the closet, or continuing to run in shoes that are obviously worn down, is a seriously false economy. It is essential to choose the correct kind of shoe you require, which will be based on your foot type.

 Foot type refers to the structure of your foot and the degree to which you pronate, that is, how far your foot rolls inwards when it strikes the ground in running. If you under pronate or over pronate, you must have the right kind of shoe or it could result in injury— click here for more information about getting the right running shoes. In addition, it is a very good idea to consult an expert in running biomechanics, who will analyze the way you run, and if there are flaws, such as an awkward stride or foot-strike, will show you how to correct the problem.

 However, your feet are not the only part of you that can get injured in running. Joint, muscle and soft tissue injuries are all too common as well, and these are mainly the result of not working up to your run correctly. Muscle preparation is particularly important. Before and after running, always stretch your muscles thoroughly, particularly the hamstrings, groin, quadriceps and calf muscles. This helps to increase the blood flow to the muscles, making them more flexible and so less likely to suffer injury. However, you must not stretch cold muscles—warm up first for at least five minutes, with a walk or a cycle ride. Do a gentle cool down afterwards, to help get rid of waste products that build up in the muscles. It is also essential to stay hydrated, and if you will be running for more than one hour, drink a sports drink in order to restore the electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, which you lose by sweating.

Regardless of whether you are a novice or a seasoned marathon runner, injuries can happen to anyone. It is a great shame when it happens, as you have to take a break from running, and probably from the rest of your life as well. The good news is that most of these injuries can be avoided with common sense and good preparation.
Thank you Matthew!

Monday, January 7, 2013

2013 GOALS

I don't make new year's resolutions but I do set goals for myself as far as running goes.

This was my list for 2012:
  • I want to figure out a good way to fuel on LR and half marathons. That is not an easy thing to do for me. I have yet to find something that works and prevents me from collapsing at the end of a half marathon.
  • I want to run more than 1228 miles.
  • I want to run a 10k under 1 hour. (my PR is 1 hour flat)
  • I want to run a half marathon under 2:20. (my PR is 2:24:05)
  • I want to stay healthy.
  • I want to do better at Long Beach.
How did I do?

FUEL: Well it is still not perfect.  I now drink a lot of NUUN the day before a race.  During a race I only drink water.  For half marathons I now take a honey waffle stinger that I cut in small pieces and put in a bag in the back pocket of my skirt.  I usually don't eat the whole waffle.  I also take salt tablets every 30-40 minutes on a hot day or every 45-60 min on a cooler day.  I drink a lot of NUUN AFTER the race.   I still get dry heaves, I still puke...I still have weak finishes....I don't know if this will ever get under control.  My stomach sucks.  It causes me many troubles even when I am not running.

MILEAGE: I ended up with 1220 miles for 2012.  8 miles short of the goal but that is OK.  I was injured for the whole summer-fall so I am happy with 1220.

10K: Fail.  :(.  I know why.  I did not put the work to get a 10K PR.  Almost no speedwork so there you go.

Half Marathon: I did get my goal of going under 2:20!

Staying healthy: Well not really...I got injured in June (groin).  Did PT and I am still not 100% back.

Long Beach: I did do better but it was not great.  I was still in pain and there was a lot of walking during that one.

So overall not too bad.  I am most happy with going under 2:20 for the HM.  I PRd in the 5K distance this year and I still suck at the 10K.

Now for 2013:

1. I need to get serious about CORE workout.  For real.  Not just for 2 days every 3 months.  I want to do it minimum 3 days a week.

2. I need to continue my PT exercises.  I have been terrible at this lately and I am paying for it now. 

3. The mileage goal...I now know that this one can be out of my control but I'll say over 1200.

4. Half Marathon: Getting closer to 2:15.

5.  10K: I am still chasing a sub 1 hour race. 

6.  Completing my second Beach Cities challenge.

7. Be better at resting.... (no laughing allowed)

8.  Go back at the top of Mt Hood, face my demons at leg 25.

The Race Schedule

For now I am registered for these races:
  • 01-12-13 Riverside 10k
  • 02-03-13 Surf City Half Marathon
  • 02-17-13 Rock N Roll Pasadena Half Marathon 
  • 03-10-13 San Diego PETCO Half Marathon
  • 05-05-13 OC Half Marathon
  • 10-27-13 RnR Los Angeles
I need to decide what to run in June: Fontana Half again (crazy downhill where I got injured) or RnR San Diego.  They are the same weekend so I need to pick one.

Fontana is much cheaper and closer to home but the course is crazy and can lead to injury.

4th of July and Turkey Trot races will be added to this list same for the Holiday Half Marathon in December.

I would love to do the San Francisco half this summer, but I need to wait for this one and see if it could be doable for my family.

August...well I hope I will get to do HTC again. 

I wanted to do Disneyland this year...but it cost $175!!! So I will pass.  That is just too crazy.

I don't think I had posted this on the blog but I was mentionned in the December issue of Runners World.  It was small but hey...it is there and it is me (@carotabi is me on twitter) !!!



I have a guest post planned for this week.  The guest will be Mathew Kyle from http://www.altrazerodrop.com.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Starting 2013...

Happy New Year to all my followers!
My wish for you all is to be HEALTHY. 
As I get older I value my health so much more.  I used to take it for granted but not anymore.

So the end of 2012...I stayed home and we played games with the kids. 
Our new favorite is SEQUENCE.  It is a great family game, the boys love it. 

For the first day of 2013 we went to a get together with all of Bill's childhood friends.  These guys have been friends since Elementary school and they all still live in the same town.  Lucky bunch.  They are all married with kids now and we usually see some of their parents and in laws at those get together.  It's been 3 years since I lost 70 + lbs and most of the people I know have seen the "new" me now.  (see before and after picture on the right side of the blog if you are a new reader) There were a few people at the party who had not seen me and I wish I had a camera to snap a picture of their faces...it was pretty funny.  One lady did not believe it was me until I started talking and because of my accent she knew it was really me...I shared my story with them and they were all so kind to me.  It is nice to still get positive feedbacks like that once in a while.  Makes me remember how far I have come since I started running.

Yesterday we headed to Pasadena to see the floats from the Rose Bowl Parade.  It is amazing to see these in person.  All the work that goes into making these is impressive.  If you ever have the chance to go see the floats I encourage you to get up early and go at the opening on the 2nd. 

Here are a few pictures of my favorite floats.

This is the whole that had the USA Gymnasts on it.

60th anniversary of Korea War.


Trader Joe's float.  Big huge Espresso machine!

The Dole float: so beautiful..2nd favorite

Did you watch the Parade on TV?

I wanted to talked about running goals...the 2012 ones and the one for this year but I will have that in a separate post..!
We'll see how I did with the 2012....

I ended up my running mileage at 1220 for 2012.....I like numbers...this is pretty cool.
I was at 1217 on the 31st.  This was supposed to be a rest day after 5 days in a row...and that is too many for me already with groin problems but I could not resist....
so I went for 3 slow ones.

I am happy with that number...I had a few months that were not great because of my injury so this is a good number for 2012.

Bill is at a job interview as I type this...the second one for this position..keeping my fingers crossed.....We are OPEN for good news! That would make a pretty fantastic birthday gift for me....(44 candles coming up next week).