Sunday, February 26, 2012

Life Goes On

Yesterday due to my current foot injury I did not go on my Saturday long run. It always feels weird when I don't go on my long run on Saturdays. Lately, I've had lots of extra free time on my hands since I haven't been using it to run. I can't say that I've been using that time wisely. I can say that I've been devoting more time to spinning, rowing and doing some cross-fit workouts. I am going to take another couple of days off from running and then reassess my foot situation at that time. Eee gads!

I spent yesterday running errands. This was lunch.

I went to check out a cross-fit gym with M. It was hardcore in there. It was refreshing to see so many strong girls in there doing pull-ups and lifting heavy weights. Not sure if it is my thing but who knows.

I got my brows threaded. This place at the Irvine Spectrum was pretty good. 

Today I drove up to Santa Barbara on business. It's was a beautiful day! Can't tell you how much I wanted to go running. So bad!

I went to Olio E Limone for dinner. I had wanted to eat here the last time I was in town for the Santa Barbara Marathon but they were booked up so we ended up eating next door at their sister restaurant, a pizzera.

Even before I arrived into town, I knew I wanted to eat at Olio E Limone. Once I was seated at the restaurant, I knew what I wanted to eat. Spaghetti Allo Scoglio, it is a spaghetti dish with Dungeness crab meat in a spicy tomato sauce and topped with a giant prawn. It was perfect!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Down and Out

I haven't been running very much this week. Reason being, I injured my right foot this week during a routine run. I probably strained something around the peroneal region of my foot. It hurts when I put weight on it. This sucks! I know it has only been a few days but I cannot tell you how much I already miss running. Maybe this is a sign from the running gods that I should hang up my sneakers. For now I am taking it nice and easy and RICE-ing the area.

Monday, February 20, 2012

My Favorite Lululemon Piece

I think by now everyone that knows me knows how much I love Lululemon workout wear. I've been working out for quite a few years now and have amassed quite a collect of workout clothes. I have so much workout clothes that I could probably work out for the rest of my life without ever buying another piece of workout wear. Heaven forbid! Except for maybe shoes. I get that there are way less expensive options out there when it comes to something you wear to sweat in. I do, because I probably own at least one piece of workout wear from every single workout apparel company out there. I seriously own more workout clothes than regular clothes. Sometimes I wear my workout clothes as regular clothes. My family always gives me a hard time when I wear workout clothes as regular clothes. They call me a bum.

Now that I'm finish telling you about what a large collection of workout clothes I have, I want to talk about my most favorite piece. Yes, out of everything I own to workout in, the Run: Swiftly Tech Long Sleeve is by far my most favorite Lululemon piece. I didn't even have to think very hard to pick this as my favorite. I know they make some really cute skirts, tops and bras and what have you but this here is...well I've yet to find it's equal. It is form fitting but in all the right places just like everything else they make. The thing that makes this item stand out over everything else for me is the way it feels against my skin. It feels like a second skin. I get cold easily. I know some people can dress in a t-shirt and tempo shorts in 40 degree weather and go for a run in the morning but that is just not me. It takes me many miles to get my body warmed up. This top makes it very comfortable for me to go running during chilly mornings. And unlike a lot of other long sleeve tops that I own, this one breathes (cause it like a second skin) so that once I do warm up, I don't feel suffocated in it or get too warm. And yes, I also wear this as part of my regular wardrobe and sometimes even to sleep! ;) It does it all!

I was not paid or compensated for this post in any way. Every once in a while, I like to sing the praises of stuff I like. I'm not one to be caught up in labels or hype. I do look for items that are well made, can take a lot of wear and tear and will last me a long time.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

2012 Inaugural Rock n Roll Pasadena Half Marathon - Race Recap

Date: February 19, 2012
Location: Pasadena, CA
Start: 7:30am (corral 2)
Finish: 1:51:49

I woke up super early this morning all on my own. I was nervous and could not sleep. I got to the Rose Bowl area around 6am. There was a long slow moving line of cars into the parking lot. It took 30 minutes to get from the off ramp to a parking space. That's just terrible. Since I got there so early, I had a lot of time on my hands. So I used that time to walk around and warm up.

There were A LOT of porta potties here! Me likey!

Nice running temperatures today. I got into my corral about 15 minutes prior to the start. I spotted Emil in corral 1. He waved hello and shortly after, wave 1 took off. I was standing next to the 1:45 pacer because I always dream big. Unfortunately dreaming and actually doing are too very different things. I saw the very speedy Pam at some point, can't remember what mile that was but she was up there with the other speedy people. Hi Pam! Sorry I could not find you at the start. I also ran into Sister J at around mile 4 or 5. I don't think she saw me. I was waving like a lunatic but got tired so I just continued to run.

It's been many years since I've ran in this area. I think the last time I was here was for the Rose Bowl Half Marathon in 2008. I remember that was a difficult course for me at the time but then again that was when I first started running and every course felt difficult in their own ways. Today's course was fun and challenging and pretty similar to the RnR LA Half except that I didn't do so well today. Nothing was to blame, I just didn't train hard enough. Rock N Roll had advertised that if you beat your RnR LA Half time at the RnR Pasadena Half that they would send you a Brooks hat. No Brooks hat for me today. I battled shin splits the first couple of miles, had some sweet miles in the middle, poor pacing and then crashed and burned.

Mile 1 - 8:11
Mile 2 - 9:42 <-- shin splits and a potty break
Mile 3 - 8:43 <-- shin splits
Mile 4 - 8:17 <-- trying to make up time
Mile 5 - 7:45 <-- I would like to hit this more often. :)
Mile 6 - 7:49
Mile 7 - 8:09
Mile 8 - 8:32 <-- I went out too fast and started to fade.
Mile 9 - 8:57 <-- It's like I totally gave up here.
Mile 10 - 8:08 <-- I must have wanted that hat really badly.
Mile 11 - 8:22 <-- Not badly enough...
Mile 12 - 8:55 <-- Can't.Hang.On.Much.Longer...
Mile 13 - 7:45 <-- Just wanted to finish so that I can stop running.

Of course I have to talk about food even in a running post. When I got home from the race, my mom had breakfast waiting for me. Yes this is breakfast where we come from.

Then half an hour later, she made me lunch! Yes I ate it all! You make my mom happy. ;) Nom nom. I love you mommy!

Up next...LA Marathon!! Woohoo! Let's get it on!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Rockin' and Rollin'

Today I drove up to the beautiful city of Pasadena to pick up my bib for the Rock n Roll Pasadena Half Marathon tomorrow. I make it sound like it was some major haul and it was but my family actually lives not too far from here so I am in this area more often than I am letting on. The expo was held inside the Pasadena Convention Center which was a very nice place for being one of the smaller convention centers I've been in. I parked across the street at the Paseo Shopping Plaza's underground parking which made my quick trip very convenient.

After picking up my bib and shirt, I walked around the expo for a bit and ate a bunch of samples. I love samples! I have commitment issues so sampling is right up my alley. Yeah, Costco is my Disneyland. So the other thing that I was dying to see was the course elevation. I tried to find it when I first signed up for this race but it was not available at the time and even a couple of weeks ago I was not able to find it anywhere online so it was good to finally see it today. Looks hilly but I had expected it to be since I've ran around the Rose Bowl before. Good thing I got some hill training in.

Here's what came in the swag bag. It was pretty pitiful. One GU and that packet of Dole snack. I picked up that coconut water myself at one of the booths. I like the shirt. I'm wearing it tomorrow. It's only February and this is already my fourth race. Luckily, after this one I get a month off from racing to concentrate on my LA Marathon training. I don't know how I am going to be feeling tomorrow as I am still amidst my GI episode but I am ready to run. I am blessed for every day that I am able to go out there and give it my all. Here's to #26!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Year of the Dragon

I've been so busy running races these past few weekends that I nearly forgot to blog about the Lunar New Year that came and went on January 23rd this year. My parents tell me that they use to celebrate the Lunar New Year in a big way when they use to live in Vietnam. The day before the Lunar New Year was a day of  renewal (cleaning the house from top to bottom). This included bathing and grooming as you were not to bathe, groom or clean on New Years Day. The act of washing, cutting/shaving or sweeping symbolized washing, cutting or sweeping their luck for the year out the door. Not how you want to start a new year.

My parents say that it is different here in the states. The Lunar New Year is just like any other day. We don't even get a day off of work. In Asia, almost everyone takes off at least a week to welcome the new year. Now that's what I call a party!  

My parents are amazing cooks! The Lunar New Year feast they prepare each year is always a button buster. It's like Thanksgiving in a way. Wear your comfy pants to the table. Colorful, bold, flavorful dishes each symbolizing health, wealth and prosperity! Some tasty symbols if you ask me.

Our family traditionally go out to have dim sum on New Years Day and it was no exception this year. I love me some dim sum.

A lot of red! The color of good luck as it is rumored to frighten away evil spirits. I took these photos at the Lunar New Year Festival in Monterey Park (CA) on January 21.

Lots of street food vendors were there. I wonder what he is cooking up?

Yum! Grilled seafood on a stick. Too bad I had just eaten prior to coming to this festival, else I would've been all over those squid tentacles on a stick.

A calligrapher writing up some spring couplets to be hung outside one's home for good fortune. Yeah I'll take a hundred of those, please! Need all the fortune I can get. Happy year of the Dragon!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012


Today's post is brought to you by the number 11...AH AH AH AH AH!

I was tagged by Krissy over at Shiwase Life for this 11 question thing. I was number 10 on her list of 10 people so I beat out some lucky sucker...just kidding Krissy. Thanks for thinking of me. No one has ever tagged me before because 1) I have no friends and 2) It's hard lame to play tag by oneself. This thing looks long and tedious but since this is my first tag and Krissy seems like such a sweet person on Twitter, I will play along.

Here is how it works:
1. Post these rules.
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself.
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post.
4. Create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.
5. Go to their blog and tell them you’ve tagged them.
6. No stuff in the tagging section like “you are tagged if you are reading this”. You (the blogger) legitimately have to tag 11 (or so) people.

11 Random Things About Me
1. I have memories from when I was only 6 months old. My mom has confirmed that these memories are accurate.
2. I've been on a boat invaded by real life pirates in the South Pacific.
3. Malaria almost took my life when I was a toddler.
4. I lived on a small island in Indonesia for 6 months.
5. I've passed out once from over exertion at a track meet.
6. My second sister and I share the exact same middle name.
7. I have a fear of heights.
8. My given Asian name means Jade in English.
9. I spoke only Vietnamese from the age of 4-8.
10. I fear going to the dentist more than the average person.
11. I'm attracted to the color purple.

Krissy's Questions
  1. What is your favorite Amusement/Theme Park? Universal Studios
  2. Would you rather visit the Ocean or the Mountains? Ocean
  3. If you could visit any destination in the world, where would it be? Italy
  4. What is the one food or drink you could NEVER EVER give up? Water
  5. If there was a movie released about your life, who would play you? Michelle Yeoh, just because there aren't really that many Asian actress that are well known in the US.
  6. What is your favorite quote or song lyric? Any and all quotes from the Princess Bride movie.
  7. Do you have a crazy, far-fetched bucket list item in your life?  (I am sure you do!) What is it? I actually don't have a list. I know, so boring.
  8. Where’s the best place to get breakfast/brunch where you live?  What do you order? I love the French Toast at Side Street Cafe (Newport Beach, CA).
  9. If you could compete in any Olympic Sport, what would it be? Track and Field
  10. Who is your favorite news anchor? Don't have one.
  11. If you could have a $5K shopping spree at any store, which would you choose? Target
So the buck ends here since as I mentioned above, I have no friends. Plus I think everyone that I know online has already filled out one of these things. 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

2012 Surf City Half Marathon - Race Recap

Date: February 5, 2012
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Start: 7:45am (wave start)
Finish: 1:52:34

Another race morning and another 5am wake up call. Third weekend in a row that I am up before the chickens. But look at the beautiful sunrise at the beach!

I love this race if only because of actual bathrooms and toilets that can be flushed and not porta potties.

I started in a later corral so that I could run with my friend D who was planning to pace a friend. I wasn't very confident about what my calves would be doing today. I spent all of yesterday icing, compressing and rolling out my calves but I was not in the clear of a DNF. I just wanted to finish so that I could get my medal.

I took this photo just minutes prior to the gun going off. The corrals were very casual this year but everything was fine. There was no jam leaving the start line.

Mile 1 - 8:39 <-- The first 2 miles I was trying to keep up with D and A.
Mile 2 - 8:31
Mile 3 - 9:30 <-- My right calf started to bother me and then my shin splints decided to make an appearance. I pulled off to the side to stretch. It was painful. I thought I would have to stop. D went on ahead. Didn't think I would be able to catch up. Took me the next 5-6 miles to finally catch up to him again.
Mile 4 - 8:45 <-- Running through discomfort
Mile 5 - 9:01 <-- Left calf was hurting me so I slowed down and walked a bit to stretch it out.
Mile 6 - 8:45 <-- Running through discomfort
Mile 7 - 8:28 <-- My legs were still not right but they were warmed up now so I started to run faster.
Mile 8 - 8:15 <-- Negative split the second half of the race
Mile 9 - 8:18 <-- Caught up to D at this mile.
Mile 10 - 8:07 <-- Ran into Sister J. She ran with me a bit.
Mile 11 - 8:31 <-- Little incline in this mile
Mile 12 - 8:11
Mile 13 - 8:12 - Happy to be done with #25!

So last night, I had pizza! Let me introduce you to my new carbo loading love...Papa John's cheese-less garden pizza with pineapple and anchovies! Love!

Currently, I am watching the Super Bowl and relaxing! How sweet that Blake Shelton sang America The Beautiful with his wife Miranda Lambert. I am not a sport watching girl so I come for the food and celebrity watching. Maybe. If I don't fall asleep.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Love Surf City

Earlier this afternoon I took a little drive with my friend D over to Huntington Beach to pick up our race packets. We battled some Friday traffic and encountered a jam into the expo parking lot once we got there. Good thing D was driving because people were driving crazy.

It was a beautiful day at the beach today! I took this photo because there were thousands of seagulls sitting on the sand. Thousands!

Once we entered the expo, it was equally crowded inside! Man, this is the reason I hate large races.

We got this nifty tote...

...along with this kinda cute shirt. Looks like a baseball shirt. I do believe this is the cutest Surf City shirt I own now. The unisex/men shirt was more of a teal color with a round neckline. I think I like the color of the men's shirt a little bit better.

So this year I am a fourth year Legacy Club member and picked up this shirt. It is a cotton shirt. I don't wear it for running. I have a couple of these at home and have never wore any of them. Wish they would give out something different each year instead of the same old shirt every year.  

We left there without signing up for any races or buying anything. Don't know if that is a good or bad thing. Anyhow I will be running my 25th half marathon on Super Bowl Sunday. Wish I could say that I am excited about it but I am actually concerned as I believe that I have a calf strain on both legs and I don't know how it happened. I have the worst luck at this race. Here's to making it to the end in one piece!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Ramen Yamadaya - Costa Mesa, CA

Remember that crazy thing I did a month ago? You know, where I vowed not to eat any cupcakes or ramen during the month of January. I still can't remember why I thought that was would be a good idea. All I have to say is thank goodness it was over yesterday. I was starting to get the shakes. Maybe that was just my stomach rumbling. My little experiment proved nothing to me except that it was possible to not eat one of my most favorite meals for a month.

So to celebrate the end of my ramen fast I went to Ramen Yamadaya. Yeah I did a little dance. I even went so far as to make a note of it on my calendar to come straight here on February 1.

Don't know why that Grand Opening sign is still up, they opened shop back in November 2011. I've never been here before and I cannot remember how I found out about this place. No matter because I love trying out new restaurants! Ramen Yamadaya is a chain with locations in Culver City, Westwood, Torrance and now Costa Mesa. You know this place is legitimate when they have a store in Torrance where there are lots of other good ramen restaurants around.

Upon walking into the restaurant, I see this large blackboard with some stuff written on it. It is a blue print to a bowl of Tonkotsu Ramen. ^_^  I need one of these to hang at my place. It's a work of art!

The menu is not large because they only serve Tonkotsu ramen. Twenty-hour Tonkotsu ramen to be exact.  

M ordered the Chashu Ramen with thin noodles. He commented that the bowl came with more chashu than other places. He really likes meat! The portions sizes are pretty good even if you have a hungry man on your hands.

I ordered the 7oz Tsukemen which was plenty of noodles by the way. The waitress made it sound like it was not going to fill me up but it was a lot of noodles. Stick with the 7oz unless you are really hungry.

I love the thick chewy noodles and the flavorful dipping broth. I've only ever had Tsukemen once before but this one blew that other time out of the water. It had the right amount of toppings and the pork was cooked well.

Gyozas - I wasn't planning on ordering this but I always do when I go to a new place just to try it out. These were very tender and fell apart when I bit into them. I love having a couple more ramen choices now and you can bet that I will be back. Oh yes I will.

Ramen Yamadaya
1175 Baker Street
Costa Mesa, CA