Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Catching Up

I'm so behind on blogging that I don't know where to start. So here is a general blanket recap of last week and what I have been doing this week. I was under the weather last week so I didn't run much during the early part of the week.

I did eat a lot of frozen yogurt. Some on my own and some were eaten at a blogger meetup with Sarah, Heather, Julie, Margot and Monica. The Yogurtland where we had the meetup had the not-yet-released Twin Stars spoon that is not scheduled to be released until August 7. I asked the guy at the counter why they had them and it was because they were shipped the wrong box. Instead of Tuxedo Sam, they got the Twin Stars spoons. I know, my life is so exciting. I'm going to slow my roll now.

After some consideration, I decided that I am going to stop playing tennis. It seemed like a good idea for a while until I almost pulled a hamstring one day playing doubles. Tennis is not really good cross-training for running and now that I have started training for my fall races, I don't want to end up doing something stupid that will put me on the sidelines.

So last Wednesday I went to track to do mile repeats again and yes this was the day after coming out of being under the weather. I should have skipped it but the new me who is trying to stick to a schedule won in the end. I did 3 sets with a 5-minute rest in between. As you will notice, I was still somewhat consistent despite being a couple of seconds slower. I'm suppose to go out there again tomorrow but I'm going to skip it this week because I have a mild calf strain.

Yesterday was the first day of CIM training. To be honest, I haven't made up my mind on which plan to follow so I am pretty much going to mesh a couple of them together. They are all pretty much very similar with some minor differences here and there. For the most part, I am just going to listen to my body like I always have and do what feels best for me. I think this is the reason why I have never really followed any formal plans. I mean my body can only handle so much and I am not willing to compromise my health for a PR. I'm going to keep track of what I do and if it works well, I will use it for future training.

So I had 5 miles on the schedule yesterday but I ended up running 6 at pace. I have this game that I made up a couple of weeks ago called the Treadmill Death Race and I've been trying to sucker convince my running friends to do it with me. [*Okay, so I don't know if that is an original idea or if someone else had already came up with that name or the premise of this exercise and if so any similarity is purely coincidental]. You can do it solo but it is more fun with at least another person. What you do is do some stretching and then hop on the treadmill and start running. The warm-up is included in your final time and the first person to reach 6 miles wins. Or you can set up a time perimeter (as in 6 miles in under 50 mins) which was what I did yesterday because I was running it alone. Obviously, this is much easier outside or on a track but I've been running inside a lot recently because of the heat and treadmill running is just sucky and boring sometimes. So this helps a bit. On top of regular training, I also have 2 half marathons thrown in the mix for some long run pace training. I've discovered that for me, racing a half is just as effective as doing a long run. I mean I still plan to do a couple of 20s but racing a half is just so much more fun. I want to keep this training cycle as fun as possible.

Finally, this week I'm doing a vegetarian challenge with my spin class. We did salad week two weeks ago and last week we did seven servings of fruits/veggies. They are doing this for points and I had 17 participants the first week and 7 the second week. I'm curious to see how many people are taking part this week. I won't know until Friday but they have all been doing an amazing job. I have a ton of restaurant reviews to come with lots of food photos. I will get to that eventually.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jinya Ramen Bar - Costa Mesa, CA (closed)

One evening last week I was in the mood for ramen. I think it was that one day that sprinkled a little bit here in the OC. I know, right? If I lived in Seattle, I would probably live in a bowl of ramen soup every day.

Jinya is located in the Costa Mesa Square shopping center...where the Super Target is.

When we walked in during dinner time last week, it was still pretty empty inside. I'm always a little bit concerned when I walk into a restaurant during peak meal hours and it is not full of people eating. I hate waiting for a table but sometimes not waiting could be equally bad.

M ordered the 10-piece Karaage Chicken. There was a 5-piece option but I guess his eyes were bigger than his stomach because he had to take half of this home. This came with a yummy soy sauce based dipping sauce that I forgot to take a photo of. Personally I found this dish to be too salty. I only managed to eat one piece and had to down an entire glass of water afterwards.

M also ordered the Spicy Miso ramen which had a really nice flavorful broth with just a little spicy kick.

I ordered the Tonkotsu Black mainly because I think this place is known for this bowl of ramen. The broth was very thick and it was a little bit too salty for me but it was still pretty tasty. Especially that runny egg. This was overall a good bowl of ramen that could be made better by being a little bit less salty and oily.

The noodles were of the thin variety and I like my noodles thicker but I'm not going to dock points for that since it went well with the other items in the bowl. Overall, I think I need to go back and at least give this place another try.

Jinya Ramen Bar
1450 Baker St, Ste C
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
(714) 424-0377

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WTW: The Mile Repeats

Seems like forever since I did my last track workout but it was only 3 weeks ago. I took a week off earlier in the month and then last week...well I just overslept. I really need to be more discipline. I keep getting the feeling like I am running out of time to train for CIM which is still many months away. I actually don't officially start training until the end of this month.

So today I was back at it! I decided to do 3 sets of 1600s with a 5-minute rest in between. I warmed up and cooled down for 1 mile each. I've never done mile repeats before. Not on purpose anyways. I wasn't sure how I would feel compared to doing 800s. When I looked at my times afterwards I was surprised to find how consistently I ran them since all 3 sets felt different. For example, I felt like I was running the last set super slow as compared to the other 2 sets but it turned out to be my fastest mile. I'm going to repeat this workout for the next two track sessions to get some consistent data to play around with. Seeing these times is encouraging as it shows that I am on track with my goals for the Long Beach Half as well as CIM, well according to the McMillan chart anyways.

Speaking of training for CIM, I recently reconnected with one of my running buddies (Darren) who now blogs over at Buddha Belly Runner. We had trained together for his first marathon (the OC Marathon back in 2009). He and his current running buddy are also signed up to run CIM and they will be training together using the infamous Hanson Brooks Plan where you basically train at lower mileages with higher effort. He will be documenting his experience using this plan to break 4-hours at CIM. If you have ever been curious about this plan, go and follow along as Darren goes from average runner to Hanson Plan graduate.

I'm playing around with the idea of following the HB plan as well but the training schedule is completely different than my current workout/life schedule so I will need to change up a lot of things to make this plan work for me and frankly I am scared to death to go into a race with my longest run peaking at 16 miles (per the HB Plan). I might do a variation of the HB plan with some 20s thrown in for good measure. I have another week to think about it and think about it I will.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Everything But...

My blogging has been pretty sporadic lately but that has always been normal behavior for me especially during the summer when it is just so beautiful outside that the last thing I want to be doing is sitting inside blogging.

I had meant to start off my weekend with a long run but since I had ran pretty hard on Friday, I was still a little bit sore on Saturday morning so I decided to hit up the farmers market instead. Everything is currently available and plentiful. Lots of beautiful bright colors and I even found some Romenesco which aren't always available. I didn't pick some up this weekend since my fridge is packed to the gills but next week if they are still there, I am getting some for sure.

So instead of running, I played some tennis this weekend. I picked it up again a couple of weeks ago and am starting to get my groove back.


Speaking of getting my groove back...I've been playing more and more with Dance Central lately. It is definitely getting easier but I think I played with it too much this weekend because I woke up this morning and my glutes were really sore.


Finally, I went online last week looking to buy a new bike jersey and I wanted a Hello Kitty one but I wasn't able to find one. So I decided to design my own over at Eclipse Cycling. You basically get a starting template and you control almost all aspects of the design. When everything is the way you want it, they print it for you. This short sleeve jersey here runs for about $29.99. Pretty neat, right?

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bachi Burger - Las Vegas, NV

While I was out in Vegas this past weekend, I got the chance to eat at a couple of new-to-me restaurants. One of these places was Bachi Burger which was featured on an episode of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. I got that in the correct order, right? I'm always switching those D's around to my liking.

I know, triple D got me again. I can be so suggestible, except this time, I was not the one that fell for it. Obviously, because this post is all about burgers. It has M written all over it. I like burgers enough, I just never crave for them. Can't relate? That's okay, let's move on.

There were a couple of things that really bothered me about this place that I want to just get off my chest before I start talking about the food. Our party of four arrived at the restaurant around 2pm on a Saturday afternoon. So it was already past normal lunch hours. We opened the door only to find that the front of the restaurant was full of people waiting for a table. We ended up waiting for 30-40 minutes before we were finally seated. The restaurant isn't huge but it isn't small either but the food is made to order and that takes time. A lot of time apparently. Once we were seated, the servers were so busy that it took another 10-15 minutes before anyone came by to take our order. Once our order was in, it took another 20-30 minutes before the food arrived. So from the moment we got there, it would be about 1.5 hours or so before we were actually eating. I don't know who's fault this is really. There were many comments on Yelp about the bad/slow service here but upon closer inspection, all the wait staff were really busy attending to the customers. It wasn't like they were standing around with nothing to do. I think this place just needs more cooks or wait staff. They have a second location near by to alleviate the amount of people wanting to eat here but we picked the wrong location that afternoon or maybe it is equally busy.

Aside from all that though, the burgers were pretty amazing! The patty was juicy and cooked perfectly, while the bun was fresh and nicely toasted. This isn't my burger but I had a bite and it was heavenly. Made me almost wish that I had ordered one myself. Next time.

These pork belly in steamed buns were equally delicious! There were even slices of boiled egg in there. It didn't really need it but it also didn't take away from it's deliciousness.

Okay, so you want to know what I ended up ordering? Before you shoot me, let me explain. I ended up ordering a salad. But it was not just any old salad. It was the Bachi Chicken Caesar Salad and it held it's own at this burger joint. What? I'm a disgrace to the foodie community? Hardly! This was the best Caesar salad I've ever had. I was really surprise to find that the chicken was boiled but it was really moist and the chicken flavor really stood out. My mom prepares a boiled chicken dish at home but I rarely eat boiled chicken when I am dining out. It was a pleasant surprise. Reminded me of my mom. There were also two anchovy filet that topped the salad and they were not from a can. The wait was terribly long but somehow after eating this salad I almost didn't mind.

Another note-worthy thing at Bachi's is their drinks. Sister K ordered this strawberry jasmine ice tea that was made with strawberry puree. It was unique and tasty. Not your average strawberry ice tea for sure.

Bachi Burger
9410 W Sahara Ave, Ste 150
Las VegasNV 89117
(702) 255-3055

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Leaving Las Vegas

I took a little trip to Vegas this past weekend. And as to be expected, it was hot as Hades! Topping out at 109 degrees during some parts of the day. I wouldn't say that I would want to live there or anything but I am always cold so I don't exactly hate the dry heat. 

I didn't win big. I did find these very large playing cards and poker chips. I can't remember if I was tipsy in this photo or not but I'm going to venture and say yes!

There was a lot of damage done on the eating front. This is just part of it. 

We stayed at the MGM Grand Hotel and they had a pretty nice pool area complete with a lazy river. I was too cheap to pay to use the gym and it was too hot to run outside obviously so I jogged around the lazy river. That was my workout that day.

This was my jogging fuel so it was probably all a wash.

I got back in town late last night. I went for a run this morning to undo some of the caloric damages that was incurred in Vegas. I probably didn't run enough. A billion more miles sounds about right. After my run, we all headed to Huntington Beach to cruise around on the bike path. 

There was some sort of Fourth of July festive near the pier so we stopped to get some lunch.

We concluded this gluttonous weekend by having dinner at the Kickin' Crab in Santa Ana where we demolished a huge bag of garlic-y seafood. Yeah, I guess I will be extra good next week with my workouts and diet. I mean I pretty much have to now. There is going to be one last feast tomorrow at my parents' to celebrate the Fourth. I should have signed up for a race tomorrow to offset all the eating I'll be doing but I'm just not prepared to "race" anything tomorrow except to the dinner table. Haha. I'm such a pig.