Tuesday, December 18, 2012

10 Delicious Things I Ate in 2012

It's that time of year again. Year in review...list compiling...whatever it is called, I have some to share. This year, I'd like to start off with my favorite one...the food! For the past couple of years, I've compiled a list of all the delicious things eaten during the year.

I normally start the list in January and add to it every time I eat something that makes my heart skip a beat. There have been years when I've had to cut from the list because there were just too many contenders. While other years, I've had to dig through my photo gallery to remind my taste buds.

Anyhow, here is 2012's list! Food is very simple in concept but when it is crafted by a talented chef it becomes a complex masterpiece. I've selected the below items based on either one or a combination of: flavor, freshness, balance, composition, uniqueness and a couple of the items were selected if only because someone took a very simple dish and made it above and beyond.

Mangia bene!

1) Spaghetti Scoglio at Olio E Limone Ristorante (Santa Barbara, CA)

2) Farmers Salad w/ Grilled Shrimps at Cucina Enoteca (Irvine, CA)

3) Koi Ramen at Kohyu (Costa Mesa, CA)

4) The Shrimp and Scallops Mesquite Grilled Salad at the Original Fish Company (Cypress, CA)

5) Chirashi at Toshi Sushi (Little Tokyo, Downtown LA)

6) Chocolate Cake/Cupcake at French's Cupcake Bakery (Costa Mesa, CA)

7) Buffalo Sloppy Joe's at Beachwood BBQ (Long Beach, CA)

8) Brunch at Tap's Fishhouse (Brea, CA)

9) Paella at Catal Restaurant (Downtown Disney, Anaheim CA) - it's hard to find paella here in the OC, so this ended up on my list if only because it's been a really long time since I've had it.

10) Cupcakes from My Delight Cupcakery (in particular the Dulce de Leche!) (Ontario, CA and via their cupcake truck)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The 12K Run

Date: December 12, 2012
Location: Irvine, CA
Time: 12:12.12pm
Finish: 1:00:38 (7.5 miles)

Friend Darren, in the middle with the yellow shirt, friend Rich and I went on a 12K (~7.5 miles) lunch run today at exactly 12:12.12pm. My matching yellow hat to his yellow shirt was purely coincidental but it looks like we planned it for this event...haha. Friend Rich probably thought that we were so weird. This was an unofficial "race" of sorts masterminded by Darren. He had ran a race on 10/10/10 (Chicago Marathon) and one on 11/11/11 so he felt the need to run a race on 12/12/12 to continue the streak. Unfortunately, today is a Wednesday and there were no races close by...so he unofficially created one.

It felt like a race because we waited around at the starting area until exactly 12:12.12pm before we synchronized our watches and took off running. It started out as a "fun" run but half way into it I wanted to see if I could finish it under an hour but that small incline at the end slowed me down quite a bit and I ended up stopping the clock at .38 seconds over the hour.

And that is how you celebrate a once in a lifetime calendar occurrence! :0) Happy 12/12/12/! I hope you all got a chance to do something special to mark the occasion.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back On Track

Sooner or later I knew that I had to go back to track after my 'craptacular' performance at CIM. I originally planned to go back in January but because I'm so good at following plans I went back today. Not entirely out of my own will. I ran into Darren yesterday at the gym and he normally does track on Tuesday so I decided to tag along with him and some other coworkers. I am so suggestible.

I'm the worst...apparently the last time I was at track was back in August. I've been feeling awful lately so I'm not even sure how I was able to run one of my fastest mile repeats. It's probably some freak accident that will probably never happen again.

In other news, the holidays are here! This is why I've been feeling so awful. I'm just not a fan of this time of year.

The treats have been good...really really good...just not for my waistline.

I've unofficially started cleaning up my plate prior to January 1.  Not really because I wanted to but more because I was starting to feel like an overgrown slug. So here's to getting a head start!

Last week on Twitter a discussion was started by Krissy, Heather and Becka on costume ideas for the 2013 Tinkerbell Half. I'm unfortunately not even signed up for that race so I wasn't sure how I even got into the conversation. I guess I'm just nosy. Maybe it was because I heard the word 'costume' because you know that's my bag baby. Anyhow, I think they are going to dress up as varies characters from the Sugar Rush gang. I must have been on crack because I volunteered to dress up as Adorabeezle and I'm not even registered for the race. I haven't seen Wreck-It Ralph yet but I think Adorabeezle is...well for lack of a better word...adorable! I can probably throw this costume together pretty quickly...now all I need is a bib. :0)

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

It's Your Birthday!

Today is Sister S's birthday!!!

We celebrated her birthday a couple of weekends ago because I was in Sacramento running the California International Marathon this past weekend when we would've celebrated her birthday.

Happy Birthday Little Sis! (the clapping one below is not my little sis, she just came for the cake!)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Running in the rain recently (CIM) reminded me to put up this post that has been sitting in my queue for quite a while now.

If you were at CIM this past weekend, I'm sure you probably had the same worries as me about your electronics getting wet during the race. I for one feared for the life of my Garmin. It's still working luckily but who knows for how long. I know many of you probably carried your cameras and phones in plastic bags. I opted to leave my phone back at my hotel room. The one item aside from my Garmin that I did bring with me to the starting line and was not worried about whatsoever was my iPod shuffle that I had ordered from Waterfi. Waterfi is a company that sells waterproof iPod shuffles, nanos and headphones. Plus if you already own these devices and want to waterproof them, Waterfi can do that as well.

I've gone through so many shuffles/iPod in the past couple of years that I should change my job title to 'Professional iPod Killer'. It's not my fault really...I mean it is but for the most part I blame my sweat. Apple's iPod devices are really sensitive to moisture of any kind and I basically use these devices primarily when I am working out. Don't most of us? I mean that's what they're made for, right? That's the reason why they are small, lightweight and has a clip on them, isn't it? Apparently moisture damage isn't covered by Apple's warranty on these devices. I've gone through about 5 shuffles/nanos in the past 2 years.

A while back I was ranting to a running friend of mine about this very issue and he told me to go and check out Waterfi. So I did just that. At first, I was a little surprise by the price for a shuffle or nano on Waterfi's site because it was higher than what I could get at the Apple store/website. What you have to remember is that the devices found on Waterfi's site have all been waterproof...as in you can wear it to swim in a pool.

Let me just tell you that getting a waterproof device was one of the best decisions I've ever made. You know why? Well, I don't need to tell you how suck-y it is to have your device stop working at mile 17 of a marathon or just not turn on at all at the starting line and be without any tunes for a long run. I was also sick of ranting like a crazy person to all my friends all the time about how my devices would only last a couple of months before they would start acting up...or worse...me getting really upset in an Apple store at some poor tech who tells me that my device once again has moisture damage and he/she has to work within warranty policies. All this madness was reason enough to justify spending a little bit more for something that would last longer because quite frankly I don't plan to stop sweating anytime soon.

So if any of what I've said rings true to you then head on over to Waterfi to check out all the products they offer. They even gave me a discount code to pass on to you to save 5% at checkout: Madison22.

***I purchased this product with my own money and was not paid to say any of these things. I'm just a regular person/runner who is sharing my thoughts on a product that I was hesitant to try at first but am glad that I did.

Monday, December 3, 2012

2012 California International Marathon - Race Recap

Date: December 2, 2012
Location: Folsom to Sacramento, CA
Start: 7:00am
Finish: 04:18:28
Elevation: woohoo!

Oh CIM, where do I start? CIM was/is my 20th marathon and I had wanted to run a good/strong race if only because it was a milestone race for me. I started out the training cycle strong but lagged during the second half due to other things going on in my life. At the end of the day, I'm proud that I made it through the storm (literally). Many times during the race, I wanted so badly to just quit and be out of that rain and perhaps at any other race I might have but I was not about to DNF on my 20th marathon milestone. I have no regrets because every time I go up against something that pushes me to my limit I grow stronger mentally. That is one of the reasons I love running...well I don't love it right about now but overall I do. 

On the one hand, the course would have been a lot of fun had it not been raining but on the other hand after running yesterday's race I don't know if I will ever be back to find out. Here are my thoughts about the race.


1) The expo was conveniently located across the street from the host hotel, the Sheraton Grand.
2) The bus pick-up in front of the host hotel was really convenient.
3) The buses letting us stay on board upon arrival at the start was a lifesaver this year due to the heavy rain and strong winds during the early morning hours.
4) The separate finish chutes for men and women. The women's chute was closer...haha.
5) The volunteers who came out to support us in the heavy rain for many hours are my heroes. 
6) The spectators who came out to cheer for us are also my heroes. 
7) Downtown Sacramento is a really cute little town that I would have loved to have explored more had it not been raining and windy the entire weekend. 


1) I knew this prior to running the course but the course is not downhill. It is more like a roller coaster ride of ups and downs. 
2) Not the race's fault but the rain was really terrible. To run 26.2 miles soaked to the bones was not fun. I think that over the years I've done a pretty good job of conditioning myself to be more mentally tough when it comes to pushing through discomfort and such but I broke down many times yesterday and seriously considered dropping out. The first time being around mile 10. To be fair, I'm a warm weather runner who does not perform well in the cold and apparently extremely bad in the rain. 
3) Running through massive puddles along the course. Obviously, my shoes were soaking wet and became leg weights from mile 1. I think I shuffled along for the second half of the race when my legs became so tired that I could barely lift them up. 
4) The host hotel charges $50 for late check-out (check-out is at noon). Totally worth it to me yesterday since I got really cold walking back to the hotel from the finish line and had to run a boiling water bath and sat it in for an hour.


1) First and foremost...the course water tasted really really strange to me. At some of the aid stations, the water was bitter, while at other stations, the water tasted heavily of chlorine. Every time I stopped to grab water I was dreading if it would be bitter or chlorinated. I was also really worried that I would get sick from the strange tasting water. 
2) Those people who holed themselves in the starting line potta-potties to stay dry while there were lines of people outside in the rain/wind. You suck!
3) The finish line area was crazy, partly due to the rain but it was logistically a nightmare. Everything was really spread out. A little too much. I didn't even get a space blanket because I didn't see them. There were long lines for finish line photos. It took me and many other people probably around 10-15 minutes to find the post race food area. Some of my friends didn't even get any food because they didn't know where it was. The gear check tent was also not easy to find, directional signs were very unclear and there was no one stationed anywhere to point people in the right direction. That area was a nightmare for me. I just wanted to get a bagel and my bag and leave. 
4) The gear check left something to be desired. By the time I got to the gear check tent to get my dry clothes to change into, my bag was all muddy and everything inside was soaking wet. I don't know why they just didn't leave everything in the truck that was used to transport the bags to the finish line. It was just a muddy mess inside that tent. 


Aside from the rain, I had a really fun weekend in Sacramento! 

Well, except that I missed my outbound flight because I had changed the departure to an earlier flight a couple of months ago but had forgotten. I didn't realize this until I was boarding the plane and the attendant noticed the earlier time on the boarding pass. Luckily, the flight that we thought we were flying on was only half full, so they just reissued our tickets. Phew!

I probably should have looked over my paperwork instead of leisurely sucking down my Starbucks.

This giant red bunny hanging from the ceiling greeted us when we arrived at the Sacramento Airport. It seemed like a good omen because bunnies are fast! 

The host hotel, The Sheraton Grand.

We headed over to the expo shortly after checking in to the hotel. It was a medium-size expo with the usual vendors. I stopped by the NUUN stall to taste some of the flavors that I've been curious about but turns out that Lemon Tea and Kona Cola are still the best tasting to me. I'm not sure what happened but I didn't get some of the 30th anniversary swag items that was promised. For one, I remember that a pair of gloves was advertised as a swag item. Oh well. 

After the expo, M and I headed to the Pyramid Brewery to meet up with one of M's friend/coworker/teammate (Lee) who is also my coworker since we all work at the same place, who use to be the neighbor of Sarah/Brian (OUAL). I met Kristina for the first time and Margot/A joined a bit later. In conclusion, the beer was good but the pizza was not so much. 

This beautiful cathedral was across from the Pyramid Brewery and there was not one but TWO weddings going on during a rainy day. At one point, rain just dumped down on one of the brides and her groom who had gone down the street to take photos. They were running to try to get back inside and a guy walking by gave his umbrella to them to use to run to get back inside the cathedral but he followed them all the way there to ensure that he got his umbrella back. 

After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to unpack and unwind a bit before dinner. I looked outside and noticed that it was raining. It was the first time it rained since we got there. 

For dinner, we went to Paesanos which was just a short walk from the hotel. Friend and coworker, Darren's cousin who lived in the area suggested the restaurant. The food was pretty good and priced right. 

Speaking of Darren (front, right-hand side of photo), I just wanted to take a moment to mention that he PRed by 13 minutes using the Hanson Brooks Plan. In his quest to find a better plan that did not include those infamous 20-mile training runs (which included those oh so lovely ice baths and possible injuries), amongst nay-sayers and tradition-ist who thought he was nuts to train without ever running more than 16-miles on a long run, he proved that the plan works and I'm confident to say that he would have gotten his sub-4 in better weather conditions. Nice work out there D! Darren's closing statement about the HB plan is that the tough training schedule made him more mentally tough. 

In addition, Amber (blond hair/black sweater) PRed by 9 minutes and Jen (pink headband) BQed training with the same plan. Darren started his blog to document his experience with using the Hanson Brooks Plan but he got busy and left off somewhere along the way but those are some remarkable testimonies to that plan. Also, a shout-out to Antoinette (white sweater) for an outstanding performance. She ran her first marathon in 4-hours and change, not using the HB plan.

I had a hard time falling asleep the night before the race. The hotel pillows were too soft, the rain against the hotel window was too loud, my nerves about running in rain were going nuts and Inception was on TV. 

I finally fell asleep and woke up to this lovely news...100% chance of rain. At dinner the night before we noticed that the percentage for rain was dying down a little bit so we were all a little optimistic. At last, it was meant to be.

I started to get ready and mentally prepare myself. Yes, that IS a shower cap you see in the upper right-hand corner. I was not about to be unprepared for rain. Especially not after having been a part of LA Marathon 2011

When we all stepped out of the hotel to catch the bus, it was windy but not yet raining. We were still a little bit hopeful. Once the bus started making its way to Folsom, we could hear the heavy rain drops hitting the top of the bus. Rain water started to leak into the bus from the overhead emergency hatch. By the time we reached the starting area, it was pouring and the wind was so strong that it rocked the bus back and forth. I somehow lost D and the gang during the potta-potty trip and had to line up at the start on my own. Coincidentally, Sarah/Kristina/Margot were lined up right in front of me and it was nice to see some familiar faces in those awful conditions.

This was the starting line (courtesies of the Sacramento Bee). As you can see, everyone was already wet even before the gun went off. It was like this for the next 3+ hours. Just constant rain coupled with the occasional blast of wind. Yeah that was super fun especially when you were running up. 


I was wearing a large black yard waste garbage bag and a shower cap for the entire race. Sexy, no? I only took it off shortly before crossing the finish line. :) 

I ate a salad after the race. Nothing else sounded good after having eaten countless GUs and strange tasting water all day. 

Oh and here's the kicker...this photo was taken just a couple of hours after the race...nothing but clear blue skies with a couple of fluffy clouds. How's that for a slap in the face from Mother Nature? 

And the rest is history!

Boston Marathon 2013 - Training Log

Week of: 4/15
Monday: Race Day! Boston Marathon!
Tuesday: travel day - active rest
Wednesday: spin
Thursday: --
Friday: 3 miles
Saturday: --
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 29.2

Week of: 4/8
Monday: spin
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: Abs and stretching
Thursday: spin, 4.5 miles
Friday: spin
Saturday: travel day - active rest day
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 10.5

Week of: 4/1
Monday: 8.5 miles, spin
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: static wo/abs/intervals, spin
Thursday: 6 miles
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Race Day! 13.1!
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 32.6

Week of: 3/25
Monday: 4.5 miles
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: Painstorm XXIV (~44:23) - modified
Thursday: --
Friday: spin
Saturday: Race Day! 5K!
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 13.6

Week of: 3/18
Monday: spin
Tuesday: strength training
Wednesday: spin
Thursday: 4.5 miles
Friday: 4.5 miles
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: Race Day! 15K! (DNS)
Needed: --
Total: 9

Week of: 3/11
Monday: 4.5 miles
Tuesday: 4.5 miles
Wednesday: 35 min spin
Thursday: --
Friday: --
Saturday: rest day
Sunday: Race Day! 26.2!
Needed: --
Total: 35.2

Week of: 3/4
Monday: --
Tuesday: --
Wednesday: 6 miles
Thursday: 10 miles
Friday: --
Saturday: 3 miles
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 19

Week of: 2/25 (vacation - 0 miles)
Monday: --
Tuesday: --
Wednesday: --
Thursday: --
Friday: --
Saturday: --
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 0

Week of: 2/18 (wedding week!)
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 5 miles - track
Wednesday: rest
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: --
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 10 miles

Week of: 2/11
Monday: spin
Tuesday: Insanity, 2 miles
Wednesday: 8 miles
Thursday: rest
Friday: 5 miles
Saturday: 11.6 miles
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: 44
Total: 26.6

Week of: 2/4
Monday: Recovery Day!
Tuesday: 4.5 miles
Wednesday: 2 miles
Thursday: Spin
Friday: 17 miles
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 23.5

Week of: 1/28
Monday: spin
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: 4.5 miles
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: Race Day! 13.1!
Needed: --
Total: 28.6

Week of: 1/21
Monday: spin
Tuesday: Insanity (max interval plyo)
Wednesday: 4 miles, spin
Thursday: 8 miles
Friday: spin
Saturday: 13 miles
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: 37
Total: 25

Week of: 1/14
Monday: spin
Tuesday: 5 miles
Wednesday: 5.75 miles
Thursday: Insanity (max interval circuit)
Friday: 6.75 miles
Saturday: Rest Day!
Sunday: Rest Day
Needed: 36
Total: 17.5

Week of: 1/7
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: xfit, spin
Thursday: Spin, Insanity
Friday: xfit, 5.5 miles
Saturday: Spin
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: 29
Total: 11.5

Week of: 12/31
Monday: 10 miles
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: 5 miles
Thursday: spin
Friday: xfit
Saturday: 12 miles
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: 29
Total: 27

Week of: 12/24
Monday: rest day
Tuesday: rest day
Wednesday: rest day
Thursday: spin
Friday: video workout
Saturday: tae bo
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: 29
Total: 0

Week of: 12/17
Monday: Spin
Tuesday: Spin
Wednesday: xfit
Thursday: 5 miles
Friday: Spin
Saturday: 10 miles
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 15

Week of: 12/10
Monday: 5 miles
Tuesday: 3 miles (track) + 2 miles warmup/cooldown
Wednesday: 7.5 miles
Thursday: Insanity
Friday: Rest Day
Saturday: Rest Day
Sunday: 7 miles
Needed: 23
Total: 24.5

Week of: 12/3 (week zero)
Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 2 miles walking
Friday: 4 miles
Saturday: 8 miles
Sunday: Rest Day!
Needed: --
Total: 14