May 14, 2013

Marathon Progress

Okay Everybody,

Today was a special run. I had a feeling it would be. I can't really put my finger on why is was more special than any other run, but something about today had my legs begging for the pavement. I decided to go sans music today so that I could concentrate on my footwork and steady my breathing. My foot strikes were much louder than I estimate they should be. So I played a little game to keep myself occupied, I ran as quietly as I could. As quiet as a mouse! Hearing my labored breathing was intriguing too. By listening to my breath I was able to determine a steady pace without glancing at my watch a single time. I passed a walker around .75 and was completely taken back by how clear, smooth, and labor free my greeting was. You would think I was sitting on the couch! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, God has a great sense of humor. At mile 1.25 I ran into another runner and her pace was almost identical to mine. And since my little game began to bore me we were able to start a conversation. NOT TAKING MUSIC ON TODAY'S RUN IS ONE OF THE SMARTEST THINGS I MAY HAVE EVER DONE. The runner's name was (and I'm sure still is) Michelle and she gave me great advice in terms of hitting the inevitable wall, eating a salty snack, having a running parter help out, and timing adequately. Michelle mentioned that she was turning 47 this weekend and I told her she was hot! And she was! I wouldn't have guessed her to be older than 30. She's run 6 marathons and qualified for Boston 4 times. She also informed me that after her first marathon she ended up getting depressed (something I've never heard of); she says that your mind and body crave the run after such a long distance. Michelle and I split after 1.5 steady miles.

The marathon is 32 days away. Holy cow. My legs are tired. But that's not what worries me. What worries me is the mental aspect of the sport. Even during today's 7.5 miles I've had to push through the temptation to stop. Doubt seeps in with such ease that I find myself discourage that my mind isn't stronger. You'd think that after all this mileage I'd feel more prepared and confident. And I do feel confident, I'm going to make this happen. The marathon is most definitely run with the mind more than the body. My legs are achy and I can't seem to refresh them fully. But that's alright, they'll rest after the big day. Pain is uncomfortable, I don't think people "get used" to it; but we most definitely become more tolerant. When I stop dealing with pain I better start worrying because if pain doesn't occupy my mind, then surely excuses will. And we all know that excuses and results seldom entertain each other.

I can't wait for this marathon. It's personal. I'm begging to know: what am I running for? Or from?

Sorry for the long post, and even longer hiatus.
Have a good day everyone!

February 23, 2013

This Week's Recap

You know how sometimes you hear a song and it hits the spot? It catches you a little off guard and you find yourself mesmerized all the more. I heard a song today and I loved it instantly. I watched the music video as soon as I got the chance, and I loved it all the more. It's titled Man on Fire by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros.
"Come dance with me over heartache and rage."

First and foremost, my legs feel like jello. I ran 10 miles in 1:28 on Tuesday. The run itself wasn't too bad at all. I enjoyed it. I think God has a great sense of humor though because I was trying really hard to keep a slow 9:30 minute pace but lo' and behold! I turned a corner and found myself behind a couple going an 8:30 pace. My stride naturally followed their lead. So I ran the first 4 miles at about an 8:30 pace. At mile 8 my legs got their revenge. They felt like lead! My saving grace was allowing myself to run through the mud 2 times. That's always my favorite part. Well, as I was saying, the 10-miler wasn't so bad at all; but the 3-miler two days after was sheer *bleep. I don't know if it was because my legs were burnt out or if it was the 3 slices of pizza and ice cream the night before. We'll never know. Actually, I already know. I just don't want to give up my pizza. I'm also on day 2 of my no meat challenge. I'm trying to be meat free for one week to see if it has any significance on my running. 

Also, this week I donated again. This is my 14th donation. I love the people at the blood bank. 100% of the time it's geezers. I've never (never, ever, ever) seen a teenager or someone my age there. But I don't mind. The geezers have the greatest stories, especially the war vets. And they love to talk, specifically offer advice. My personal favorite is the ladies who give me dating advice and what to expect from good boys. I'm set for a platelet donation on March 6th. I haven't done platelets before but I'm excited for it because it's more helpful than a whole blood donation and I could donate more frequently. The only downside is that I'll be spending a minimum of 2 hours there. I'll bring a book. They have a plaque at SW Blood Bank for people who donate a lot of times; some of those donors have donated 250 times! What a riot! For whole blood donations you can only donate 6 times a year and for platelets you can donate 24 times annually. Maybe I'll get a place on the plaque one of these days. You never know. 

Lastly, I worked 48 hours this week. Can someone say shopping? I can't. I got a $150 parking citation. 

And this is off topic but I can't shake it. I want to visit Crater Lake desperately. I want to take a road trip down to Crater Lake, the Redwood Forest, Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, and the Grand Canyon. Now all I need is a Prius!

Have a good rest of your weekend. 

February 19, 2013

Marathon Training Progress

Hey everyone,

The plan is to register for the Vancouver Marathon on Friday (3 days from now). I'm on the 4th week of Hal Higdon's Novice 1 training program, I gave myself 3 extra weeks in case of an injury or if I get sick. I just have to say- love running all the more since starting the training. My favorite runs are the LSDs. However, I find that I need to slow myself down in order to reap the benefits of the long distance. I feel like I'm not running adequately knowing that I have so much fuel in the tank. The point of the long distances is to build endurance, to prep your legs for the amount of time needed to run 26 miles. But my legs want to speed off from the start, causing awful soreness in the days to come. I plan on really taking in slow for today's 10 miler, without feeling guilty!

It's such a busy day today. I work from 9:15-1:15 and from 3:15-8:30. I have a two hour gap for the ten miler. The quote "someone who is busier than you is running right now," comes to mind. Excuses are for those who need them. I'm leaving pity at the door.

P.S. I bought a week's worth of fruits and veggies. I'm going to start shopping for produce on a weekly basis in order to make sure I'm consuming seasonal fruit. 

Have a good one everybody!
Hopefully you guys are working towards your goals too.

November 26, 2012

Hey Everyone

I ran out of picture space already. It's supposed to last 3 years! I'm going to see what route I want to take. I'll keep you posted!

Have a great day!

November 19, 2012

Sympathy and Complaints

I've been told once, by a close friend, that I'm not sympathetic. Sympathy is acknowledging a person's emotional hardship and providing comfort and assurance. It's a little similar to empathy in which a person is able to relate to another person due to a previous experience, or simply because they're capable of putting themselves in the other person's shoes.

Here's where I stand- I think the statement that I lack sympathy holds absolutely no ground and here's why. I am genuinely sympathetic and I care for people immensely. I do what I can to be helpful, useful, and worthwhile. But, with that said, I can completely understand how I would come off as being unsympathetic. For starters, I refuse to participate in most people's personal pity parties, You can't afford the new iPhone and your life is so hard because your old iPhone's camera has less megapixels? Get over yourself. Your life isn't that hard at all. It infuriates me when people complain about miniscule matters that, even they themselves, forget about two weeks later. So many of the things we deem important simply aren't. Complaints about material things irritate me the most. I refuse to participate and associate with people like that, so in essence I could see how that makes me come off as cold.

Now, tell me of your real hardships and that's a whole new story. If someone calls me uncaring, I couldn't care less. Because I know where I stand, and I know what I do to back myself up. But if someone calls me uncaring, while they themselves sit around doing nothing but complain about the current state of things without taking action- I'm going to call them out. Do something about it.

And also, this is off topic, but don't complain about the president if you didn't participate in the election. Heck, don't complain at all. If you don't like something- change it. The time will pass whether or not you're doing something. Set standards for yourself and live up to them. Expect the detours though. Nothing goes as planned. When the detours come (and they will), act accordingly. Don't complain, act.

Do yourself a favor, when you feel like being sorry for yourself or complaining - read Night by Elie Wiesel; then try complaining about your difficulties, I dare you.

And that's that. Thanks for letting me vent it out.

November 14, 2012

Family Dinner November 14th

The girls and I decided to make a little family dinner tonight. Our parents are out of town and we figured it'd be fun to see what we're capable of making on our own. We decided on simple mashed potatoes, steamed asparagus, cornbread, parisian salad, and kettle corn. We realized that we've run out of eggs so Yana and I headed over to Fred Meyer to pick some up. We made the mistake of going through the chocolate aisle, (I'll let the picture below speak for itself...). Speaking of eggs! Here's a little Trivia I learned yesterday- the 100+ pleats on a chef's hat represent the different ways he/she knows to prepare an egg.

November 13, 2012

Photoshoot at Laurelhurst Park

There is nothing like the fall. Absolutely nothing compares to the vibrant hue of the leaves, the bitterness of the cold, the indulgence of a hot pumpkin spice latte, and the comfort of a warm scarf.

This year I made sure to snap some pictures of my sisters amongst the motley leaves at Laurelhurst Park before they bid us adieu. I chose Laurelhurst because I recall it from our childhood; I vividly remember taking fall pictures when I was 8 or 9 years old. I originally planned to go on Thursday but the threat of rain pushed us back a day to Wednesday. We couldn't have picked a better day; it was crisp, the sky was clear, and our boots were dry the whole time. My sisters were so easy to take pictures of. They were goofing around the entire time so I had plenty of genuine smiles to choose from. These are going to make great memories later on.

I think what amazed me most during this little photoshoot was seeing just how much Yana and Lora have grown and how much they've matured physically. They're almost grown adults. It was surreal getting to see that while taking these photos.

P.S. I'd like to know which ones you guys like best (and why!). Leave me a comment and let me know!


November 6, 2012

Scott Jurek

Just a picture of my fake husband, nothing out of the usual.

I'm in love, capital L-O-V-E with Scott Jurek, or as I like to call him- Scotty (cause we're on a personal basis). Is the love mutual? Probably not. Okay, he doesn't even know who I am. But heck, this just sounds like a typical high school relationship where the girl is googly-eyed over the boy and the boy accidenly calls her "Stacey" one too many times. "My name has always been Jen," she'll reply and the relationship will end. Two weeks later the pattern will repeat itself. Has this happened to me personally as well? I won't say.

Anyways, back to Scott, er... Scotty. Jurek is an ultramarathoner and seven time winner of the Western States 100. He ran 164 miles within a 24 hour period. This guy is a machine. He's absolutely wild and vegan. I admire him immensely. I mean look at those curly locks! The best part about Jurek is that he flat out lagged in high school. We're talking about getting first place for finishing in last place consistently. I know what you're thinking: at least he was consistent. I'm thinking the same thing. But get this, out of nowhere he just ups and wins a race. And he gets consistent at that too. Jurek's the very essence of never giving up. He always came to practice, being last didn't keep him off the field. Perhaps my favorite thing about him is that he's humble. He doesn't brag and he doesn't sell out. He pops up out of nowhere, blazes his competitors, and simply goes back home. No one knows where, when, or even if he'll show up. No one tops Scott Jurek. He's a class all his own. Definitely inspirational.

P.S. His book Eat and Run came out last month.

November 2, 2012

Kell's Irish Pub

It's good to have friends of different nationalities, if for nothing but the food alone. I went out with one of my co-workers named Chase. Chase is Irish and so he did me the honors of introducing me to Kell's Irish Pub in downtown. I don't like alcohol all that much (I'm still getting accustomed to wine), and now I know that I certainly don't like beer! It tastes like punishment.

With that out of the way, I'm very pleased to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my experience at Kell's. This place has a definite charm about it. It's cozy and welcoming and it hosts live musicians 7 days a week. I loved the musician, the music is somber but it makes sense because you're at a bar. You're probably in the dog house anyways. The food is also good. Chase ordered the Shepard's pie and I got the wings. There's great places for wings in our corky city, this bar houses good wings but I prefer Fire on the Mountain's Lime Cilantro to these.   Kell's is a such a guy's place. It's perfect for a cold beer and hot food. I recommend it.

Cost: I paid around $18 for wings, one beer, and dessert.