Sunday, March 30, 2014

Shiny Happy People

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Yesterday at 8am, we joined in with some shiny happy runners for the Tutus Rock Beach Run at Torrey Pines State Beach. The event was organized by Girls On The Run San Diego in support of my friend Monika and tutu-loving runners everywhere. 

So where does one get tutus last minute?  We were lucky that we have connections!  Our friend Cat is owner of Lucki Lime and she makes and sells tutus and tutu kits!  Luckily she had some made and brought them with her for our meetup.  

Before starting our run, we did some group stretching.  That’s Cat & Mick up there in the front, ha!

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Photo courtesy of NBC San Diego.

Lots of runners came out for the tutus rock fun run!


The start of our beach run, up the hill to Del Mar.  Totally gorgeous day.

Photo courtesy of Jodi Keeler Fivecoate.

Close up of Steve, Cat, and Mick!

Photo courtesy of Jodi Keeler Fivecoate.

So many people running with such joy.  It was such a delight.

Photo courtesy of Girls On The Run San Diego Facebook Page.


Photo courtesy of Girls On The Run San Diego Facebook Page.

Tara’s husband Ben and Monika’s husband David.

Photo courtesy of Girls On The Run San Diego Facebook Page.

Mick & Steve

Photo courtesy of Girls On The Run San Diego Facebook Page.


Photo courtesy of Girls On The Run San Diego Facebook Page.

And even us.  Powered by tutus!

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Photo courtesy of Girls On The Run San Diego Facebook Page.

At times the view on the run was unbelievably beautiful. So lucky.

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One of my favorite views in all of San Diego is when you drive down the PCH (Pacific Coast Highway) from Del Mar towards Torrey Pines and you suddenly come upon the ocean. Running it is even better!





Last night it was fun to see the news coverage and catching ourselves in the background footage!

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Read coverage of the event from NBC 7, 10 News, and CBS 8.

After the event, we went to Badass Coffee and I got me some 100% Kona coffee!

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In the afternoon, I headed over to Sally’s house for her twins’ 2nd birthday party. Our high school friend Stacy was there too, helping Sally with the party.  I hadn’t seen Stacy in a few months! It was fun to chat and catch up.  I can’t believe the twins are TWO already!


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So last Sunday after running the Hot Chocolate 15K, I feel asleep on the couch. Guess who squeezed in next to my head?


Fun photo of Todd & Noodle on the couch last week.

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Snoozing away on his perch.

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Noodle finding sunshine when I looked from upstairs into our workout room below.

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Last Tuesday (3/25) we had the pleasure of attending the Taste of Terroirs at Mille Fleurs.  This month it was five wines from Argentina paired with a 3-course Argentinian dinner.


We sat with a couple, John and Angela, and also Mike and Jeff.  It was fun to chat with them and find out their stories.


Dinner started with the Incan Quinoa de Cuyo.  It was a salad of crab meat, trout, salmon, spinach, olives, and quinoa.  Super-yummy!


Wine pairings.


Main course.  Matambre con Chimichurri Salsa. 


For dessert, dulce con leche gelato.


The entire experience was fantastic.  We hope to go back next month for the Italy tasting.

On Friday (3/28), I went out to dinner with some friends from work at Avant at the Rancho Bernardo Inn.  A bunch of us have birthdays in March, so it is our annual tradition to do a Girls Night Out in March to celebrate together.  Two years ago we went to a Sur La Table Tapas Party

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The atmosphere was beautiful!

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My La Paloma drink.

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My scallop dinner.

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We couldn’t fit dessert into our very full tummies, so we shared one.

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I had a lot of fun at the Girls Night Out!  This week has been quite exhausting, lol.

Today I spent hours going through all my March photos, processing, tagging, captioning, and picking them out for Project Life.  Finally got them all printed out.  Three 8.5x11 sheets + 14 4x6 sheets printed out!

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I’ve got them in pockets now and excited to work on them over the next couple of days! 

Hope everyone has a great start of the week!  My past week was very full.  Sorry about this post being so long and photo-heavy!  Life is good!

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Monika Rocks. SELF Magazine Sucks.

Regular readers of my blog will probably remember that I have a friend named Monika who runs marathons, is battling brain cancer, and is an all-around amazing and inspirational person.  I am always amazed at how much she fits into her busy life, and how much she gives of herself to others.

Here we were at a birthday party for Monika two years ago.

See the tutu on Domo?  The tutu ignited an internet outrage this week.  Not that particular tutu on Domo.  These, on Monika and Tara.


You see… a while ago, SELF Magazine emailed Monika, asking if they could use her photo above in a “writeup about running in tutus”.  She was excited about it.  She and Tara (also in the photo) are founders of Glam Runner.  They make running tutus, sell them, and donate the proceeds to benefit Girls On The Run San Diego, an organization that empowers young girls to take up running, have self-esteem, and stand up for themselves.  Monika had been a coach for GOTRSD for many years.  Oh and also about the above photo? Monika was dressed up as Wonder Woman while running the LA Marathon, because it was her first marathon after being diagnosed with brain cancer.  And she ran the marathon while GOING THROUGH CHEMO.

So imagine her shock when she saw the issue of SELF Magazine and saw what the photo was used for.  It was in their section called “BS Meter”.

SELF Magazine asked her for permission to use her photo, then proceeded to MOCK her for running in a tutu!  There are so many things wrong with this. 

  1. Asking her for the photo and then using it this way.
  2. Mocking any woman who was running a marathon because of her outfit.
  3. Not bothering to find out why she’s wearing the outfit.
  4. Not knowing she made the tutus herself to sell to benefit Girls On The Run.
  5. Not knowing she was running in the midst of brain cancer treatment.

In the photo, Tara’s race bib clearly says “Die, Tumor, Die!”  I guess SELF was too SELF-absorbed to see it and figure out there’s way more to the story than two women running in tutus.  (Which in and of itself it LAME to make fun of.) 

The internet and media retribution was swift.  They really decided to mock the wrong person.  Last night NBC San Diego ran a story about it and that was the catalyst to national outrage of epic proportions.  SELF magazine made a huge mistake.  They pissed off women, runners, women runners, cancer survivors, and just regular decent human beings who don’t enjoy seeing other humans being bullied and mocked for having fun while doing something they love.  They have since apologized, but to me it was insincere and only happened when they found out she has cancer. Um, mocking ANY woman’s outfit while running is NOT okay!

Ironically, the San Diego Union Tribune just last week posted a very inspirational story about Monika in their ongoing “Courage Through Cancer” series.  You should definitely read it

You can read more about the “tutu-gate” coverage below:

USA Today:  'Self' editor apologizes for mocking cancer survivor

CNN:  Ouch! Mag disses tutu of woman battling cancer

Huffington Post:  Self Magazine Shames Cancer Survivor For Running Marathon In A 'Lame' Tutu

Union Tribune:  SELF Magazine calls cancer patient's running tutu 'lame'

NY Daily News:  Self magazine editor apologizes for making fun of cancer survivor’s tutu 

Examiner:  SELF Magazine bashes geek girls with cancer

Jezebel:  Maybe Don't Mock a Cancer-Fighting Marathoner's Tutu

And even Perez Hilton:  SELF Magazine Makes Fun Of A Marathon Runner With Brain Cancer! Why?? Find Out The UNACCEPTABLE Reason HERE!

The positive about all this?  Women, runners, cancer survivors, and decent human beings everywhere put their foot down.  SELF Magazine had no idea which groups of people they were messing with.  AND, Monika’s company Glam Runner and Girls On The Run have gotten the positive attention they deserve. 

The moral of the story is, SELF magazine should have never asked Monika for permission to use the photo, all the while planning to mock her and the tutus!  How unethical!  And, NEVER mess with empowered women.  SELF magazine should know that, you would think?

If you would like to make something positive out of the negative, you can make a tax-deductible donation to Girls On The Run San Diego, or you can like the Glam Runner Facebook Page and offer words of encouragement.  You can also try ordering a tutu from them, but I have a feeling they may be unable to fulfill all the demand right now!  :)

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hot Chocolate 15K


On Sunday morning Todd and I got up at 5am so that we could drive downtown and run the Hot Chocolate 15K race.  I hate getting up early to run a race.  Almost every single time I’ve run a race, I have contemplated trading a DNS (Did Not Start) for more sleep and not having to get out of bed. That’s how much I hate it. 

I was not going to run the 15K originally.  Todd was supposed to run the 15K with his sister Amy.  They have a tradition of running races together and making an event out of it.  Last year she came to San Diego and did the Tough Mudder with Todd.  However, after Todd signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15K, Amy couldn’t get the days off work to come run the race with Todd.  So I paid more and upgraded my 5K race to the 15K.  Todd and I had planned to run it together, even though I am slower than him. 

About three weeks ago, the IT band on my right leg started to get very sore after running.  I’ve had problems with my right leg IT band for a few years now.  If I run too much it gets very tight and sore, and then other parts of my right leg starts compensating for it and get sore too, such as my knee, quads, calves, and even my foot.  So I scaled back on my training for this race.  The longest training run I did was six miles about three weeks before the race.  Because of my injury, I was going to be even slower than usual.  So a couple of days before the race, I told Todd that we should just run our races separately and not together.  I didn’t want to hold him back.  To tell the truth, I was afraid that I wouldn’t even be able to finish the race.  15K (9.3 miles) is not a distance that I was confident that I could run with an injured leg.  But I figured that I would take it easy and it would be a huge victory just to finish the race.

The start of the race. Tons of people lined up! Todd had already gone to the first corral at the start line.  The faster people get to be closer to the start line.

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The only thing working in my favor was the perfect running weather. It was overcast and no sun the entire time, with temps in the low 60s. 

Right from the start of the race, it was going uphill.  I get angry when races have a lot of hills, and this entire race was a doozy. I studied the route map the night before and I told Todd, “The first four miles from downtown up to University Avenue in Hillcrest is like, entirely uphill!”  I was pretty much right.  So I struggled.  My pace was much slower due to both my injured leg and the hills. 


See the big hill? This was during the first mile.  Made me angry, ha ha!  The first 5K (3.1 miles) felt like forever.  I was tempted to stop and just walk back. But I struggled on.  I ate a vanilla GU after running for 40 minutes and felt better.  Onwards I went.

After four miles, it was finally downhill for a while back towards Balboa Park. This flat part of Balboa Park was great.

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Even some of the downhill were pretty severe.  This was with a view of the Coronado bridge.

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Non-runners may not know this, but even downhills can be dangerous.  If you go all-out and run fast and over-stride, you could hurt yourself in a bad way.  So a race course full of uphills and downhills just makes for challenging running.  Period.

This steep hill was during the last mile.  Really pissed me off.

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I didn’t even take a photo of the finish line, because I was running fast towards it and just wanted to be done, lol.  Todd had texted me and I knew he was done and waiting for me.  I’m actually really proud that I finished the race without further injuring myself, despite my slower time.  I finished the 15K in 1:51:21.  According to my Garmin I actually ran 9.34 miles.  I’m very happy with the time given it was so hilly.

Here are the details of each mile.  I did not know that I ascended and descended over 2,500 feet during those 9.3 miles until I uploaded my Garmin stats!  Holy moly.  No wonder I was so angry.


Guess how excited I was to get my finisher’s loot of hot chocolate and chocolate fondue?


Pretty darn excited!


Finishing this race was a huge victory for me.  Well, really just getting out of bed and starting the race was a victory already, I suppose.


Here are my current thoughts on running.  I’ve been running since 1997.  I’ve run a full 26.2 mile marathon (2000 Honolulu Marathon).  I’ve run two 13.1 mile half marathons (2009 Seattle RnR, 2010 San Diego RnR).  I’m done with running long-distance races longer than 15Ks (maybe even ones longer than 10K).  Why? I don’t want to spend so much time running and training.  I really don’t enjoy runs that are over an hour. I don’t want to spend so much time running, when I can be doing weights and other workouts besides running.  Every time I’ve trained for a distance race over 10k, I’ve gotten injured.  I’d rather be more varied in my workouts and build up muscles and do strength training.  When I train for long distance races, I tend to neglect weight training and that really bothers my body.  There are only a limited number of hours per day and I just don’t want to spend it running that much!  I have too many other interests to do that.  So no more long-distances races for me.  Yes to being strong, yes to cross-training.  Yes to lifting weights.  No more running for hours at a time.

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