Thursday, April 29, 2010


Yes, I am about to write a post on coconuts. I know some people do not like coconuts and I am not really sure why they would feel this way. Coconut to me is like coffee to some people. Yeah I can live without it but why would I?

Don't know if I have mentioned on this blog before or not, but I am lactose intolerant. It sucks nuts! I mostly cannot eat anything with dairy in it and can I just tell you how many products have dairy in it. Just about everything that tastes good and that I want to eat. Yes, it sucks! I haven't always been lactose intolerant. There was one point in my life when I drank milk with every single meal. This all stopped at around the age of 25 when I discovered that I will forever be plagued by this inability to digest lactose. At first, I didn't care, I continued to eat dairy and put up with the discomfort, but over time, it just got worse and worse and before I knew it, every time I ate something even made with dairy, I would keel over in pain. Terrible stuff, I will spare you the details.

Anyways, can I say how thrilled I am that there are now so many different subs for dairy. There is almond, soy, hemp and now coconut. I mean, I already loved coconut before because I am from S.E. Asia and lived on an island at some point in my life. My parents cook with coconut and I was surround by the stuff as a kid but did not appreciated it as much as I do now. Now...well now I am obsessed because for the first time since I was 25, I can eat what taste just like ice cream again and have cereal. Yeah, the little things in life make me so happy.

For the most part, I am writing this post because coconut water is the world's most amazing replenishment drink out on the race course. I use it exclusively now instead of sport drinks. In fact, I took a bunch of Zico and O.N.E Coconut water with on to the 2010 Ragnar Los Angeles. I also brought along some fabulous Larabar in Coconut Cream, of course. I also packed some unsalted pretzels filled with PB from Trader Joe's, and Rainforest crisps in Cranberry/Hazelnut (I will review later). I didn't snack as much as I had thought I would while running the Ragnar. For the most part, I was just tired and wanted to lie down.

So I dedicate this post to all things coconut. I have not met a coconut product I did not like.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ragnar Relay - SoCal 2010 - An Epic Adventure - Part 1!

***I started this post on Sunday and decided to finish it today which is why some text may be dated.

I am back from the Ragnar...and after a long hot shower, a hot meal, 13 continuous hours of glorious sleep, I am finally starting to feel back to normal again.

What an amazing experience it was to run from Ventura to Dana Point with 11 people who are now my friends.

We shared something special...and by special I am talking about lack of sleep, clean restrooms, regular meals, and hot showers. But I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. That is saying alot coming from a girl like me who is not use to "roughin' it". As I mentioned before, I've never been camping nor have I ever missed a night of sleep...EVER! So you can take my word when I say that if I can do this, anyone can! And should...because it is the most fun you will ever have running that much and being in a van full of stinky people. It's not all that bad when everyone smells the same...hahaha.

Our team was called Foxes United (FU - for short)..hahaha, I did not come up with that name...just sayin'!

The team was made up of my co-workers and their friends. So I already knew some people and met some new friends. I was in Van 2 so we didn't start our day until around noon when we all packed up the van from Irvine and headed to the first major exchange point at Moorpark. Van 1 had to be in Ventura by 11am for our team's official start time so they had a much earlier start to their day than we we lov'em that much more. ;)

The starting line!

So beautiful!

As soon as we got to Moorpark, we realized how green we in Ragnar Rookies! Our van was naked, no decor, no van paint, we did not have matching shirts or costumes or even sweatbands. Yeah, we are such noobs! First time for everything. What we didn't have in the way of costumes we made up for with our lightning speed. Hahaha...that was what we were telling ourselves!


This here is Moorpark, our first van hand-off at a parking lot of a community center. 

This was an exchange point somewhere in Thousand Oaks. 

By the time it came around for my first leg, it was already starting to get dark. Probably around dusk. I can't remember where we were exactly but I was the first runner to have to don reflective gear. Oh joy!

This is another exchange point in Laguna Beach. Sorry I don't have more exchange point photos. I was not sleeping on the job, just caught up with all the excitement. It was literally nonstop! 

This photo was taken by me very close to the finish line. 

Party on the beach y'all! 

The finish line at Dana Point!

The results came out today and Team FU did well for our first Ragnar. We finished 12th of 131 teams in our division and 33rd place overall out of 281 total teams. We as a team averaged about 8:30 min/miles for 200 miles!!

Most memorable moment for me (and there were many) was my 3rd and last leg of 8.8 miles along the Laguna Canyon 133 highway. Running against cars going 60+ miles/hr, seperated only by a a line of orange cones with headwind galore and some hills for good measure, in the midday 80 degree sun. Yeah, good times! I past about 10 people on that highway because I was the little engine that could. Rather I was the tortoise that just kept chugging along slow and steady. Yep, it was amazing to say the least.

I leave you with the most sweet medal ever! It's also a bottle opener. What?!? Oh yes it is.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

About to Embark on the Ragnar Express!

So in 2 days I will be taking part in the running of the Ragnar (Ventura to Dana Point) Race. I've been shopping like crazy this past week and think that I finally have everything that I will need. I mean, really, I even have a foldable pillow. I will make sure to snap a quick photo of everything that I picked up for this race tonight when I finally pack everything up. Yes, I still have not packed! :s I will also do a recap of all the things that were useful to me or not or should have brought along after the race. Frankly, I am just going to bring everything that I think I might need. I am even bringing a sleeping mat to go under the sleeping bag. Yeah who knew! Not this "never-camped-before-girl". I am really excited though, this is going to be such an adventure! I am going to use this opportunity to start taking photos again. I use to take photos of everything and lately..nothing!

Per the suggestion of Sister J (Sister J.'s birthday was this week - Happy Birthday!), I even found waterless shampoo and some hair freshening spray. I will review those products too after the race. I will have lots of materials to post about which is great because I've been pretty dry on the topic front.

Also, today is Admin Day and yes I do celebrate this day because I am someone's assistant. I think it is so nice they came up with this day. Most of the time, I am just happy that I have a job to go to everyday but to have people 'thank you' for doing your job is just icing on the cake. Thank you for the sweet email Sister K! She always remembers and sends me a nice note even though I am not her Admin...hahaha.

In regards to running, I went out for a run yesterday and did 6 miles in 49 mins. I was pretty tired afterwards as I had also done an interval training workout prior to going out for the run. I will talk more about the interval training I've been doing lately instead of running in another post perhaps. I really love it. It is a great fat burning workout and I see some amazing results from it.

Finally, I will try to post more often. I've been doing lots of stuff. I've just not been very good about posting. I might even do a quasi restaurant review. So many promises! ;)

I will be back on Monday with photos and stories! I hope! Have a good one!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Hills and the countdown to Ragnar LA

This morning, I finally got outside to run. It was long, it was hilly and at some point I wasn't sure if I was going to make it back to the starting point. I ran the Lower Back Bay, up San Joaquin (throwup hill) and then ascended the Jamboree hill. I ran 7.7 miles in 64 mins. It was humbling. Not that I thought I was such a good runner before but having ran on the treadmill for many many days now, I had not expect it to have been as hard as it was. Maybe the LA Marathon would have been that much easier had I ran this route a couple of times prior to the race.

Next Friday is the Ragnar, and
to be honest, I have not packed. I am going to be doing some shopping this weekend to get all the stuff that I think I will need. I think I might start the packing this weekend so that I don't forget anything. I am still having concerns about the sleeping arrangements, so I am hoping that I will be so tired that I will just knock out at some point before my final leg. It will be an interesting post when I return.

To end on a sweet note, look what Larabar came out with! I am a big ol' Larabar fan. It is my dessert of choice. I cannot wait to try this.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Ragnar Relay - Los Angeles - 200 miles of running madness!

Not sure if I have mentioned about this event in any previous blog entries but consider this my official announcement that I am knees deep involved in this event.

Not really sure what I was thinking when I agreed to do this with 11 coworkers a couple of months ago but I figured if nothing else, I would get to know them better...the good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, I will get to know their post workout stink and what they will be like with little to no sleep for 2 days. Yeah, it's going to be fun times. :s Yes, we signed up as a coed team so you can bet there will be lots of post workout funk. Yes folks, the distance doesn't phaze me, neither does the no sleeping part...but the stink, I don't know if I will be able to cope with that. Maybe I will get lucky and get a stuffy nose those two days. Yep, I can only hope.

Ok, well now that I've laid all my fears out for the world to read, I can get to the important stuff, which is what I will do to prepare for this event. So this event is exactly 3 weeks from tomorrow. It will start on Friday in Ventura and end on Saturday in Dana Point. I have already started on a packing list. Let me tell you it is extensive. Not sure how I am going to fit all that stuff in the van. I hope everyone else packs light.

Finally, next week, we are planning to go into full-on Ragnar training, which is basically back-to-back training runs. First run will be in the morning, second run will be after work and third run will be the next morning. It would probably be more true to life if we only get 3-4 hours of sleep between the evening and next morning run...I'm just sayin'. I am having lots of anxiety about running in the dark in the middle of the night. I am afraid of the dark!

So, that's it. I will probably be talking more about the prep in the coming days/weeks or you may never hear about this again.

In other news, I am thinking about running the Seal Beach 10K next weekend. It's been forever and a half since I've ran a 10K. My only concern is that I've only ran once since the LA Marathon. Once. We shall see!