Return of my running legs

I finally feel like I have my running legs back. They’ve been missing since mid September. They showed up for about half of the Long Beach Marathon before cramping up. I gave them a break of a few weeks afterward. That break probably helped me return to normal, even if when I got back to running I felt out of shape.

Last week has been different. I’m on a new training plan for the Holiday Half Marathon in 5 weeks and the Carlsbad Half Marathon in 11 weeks. I’d like to be in PR shape for Carlsbad.

To do that, I’ve hired an online running coach (Marc Pelerin). In the past, I’ve used generic plans from ActiveTrainer for the LA Marathon and for the Pasadena half marathon. For my first half marathon (Long Beach), I used a generic training plan made by a friend. I think I did okay, but felt really discouraged after Long Beach. Whatever I did on my own did not work. I’m not sure I’ll sign up for a spring marathon just yet. I’d like to do LA again, but I wonder what’s going to happen given that Frank McCourt, soon-to-be former owner of the Dodgers, is entertaining offers from buyers. The LA Marathon isn’t perfect, but I loved the Stadium to the Sea course. At least McCourt didn’t mess up everything.

I stuck to the training plan Marc sent me and did a little bit of strength training today and Tuesday. I ran 25.3 miles. I feel good, but know adjusting to the end of daylight saving time and fertilizer season in my neighborhood will be a minor challenge.

Seriously, fertilizer season in fall and early winter sucks. I can try to make myself get up in the morning to run, but the smell will still be there. At least I don’t have to deal with the cold.


Also, congrats to those who ran the NYC Marathon including Gene of PostBourgie infamy Kai/Idiot Runner, Charlotte, Theodora, and Scott who finished in 2:46:07. Wow. He’s crazy fast and he has fun out there.

Meb Keflezighi, '09 NYC Marathon winner and a Bruin!

Oh, as for the elites UCLA alumnus Meb Keflezighi ran a 2:09:13 PR despite having to stop and vomit. Talk about overcoming obstacles.

On days like today, I miss being in a bicoastal relationship and the monthly trips to NY. Cheering in Harlem last year was so much fun, even if my fingers got numb and I nearly lost my voice.


November goals and October check-in

Lori won a turkey for placing first in her age division

Health & fitness
1. Stick to my marathon training plan
2. Run the Turkey Trot 10K and set a PR – Last year my sister won a turkey for placing first in her age group. I placed 2nd in my group. It was a tiny race thanks to the rain.
3. Strength training twice a week
4. Run home from work once a week
5. Go back to Weight Watchers for a meeting
6. Focus on eating more fruits and vegetables (5 a day)

1. Get save-the-date and invite ideas to our graphic designers
2. Decide a concept/location for our engagement photo shoot in December
3. Figure out estimates for 2 more big items on our budget

The Blog
1. Do something for the 11/7

I don’t have anything big for work this month. My goals for my own education remain the same.


Health & fitness
1. Run a personal best at the Long Beach Marathon – Nope. I added 30 minutes on to my LA Marathon time.
2. Begin half marathon training – Check. I took two weeks off after LB, but got back in to it at the end of the month.
3. Start strength training – Nope.
4. Eat out less – So-so. The weeks in LA might have been okay, but the NY trip probably messed me up.

Pumpkin bread

5. Try more new recipes – Check. I made a delicious pumpkin bread I found on Jamelle’s blog. This is the first time I’ve tried baking some kind of bread. My mom and sister, the actual bakers in the family, approved. I

That dissertation thing
… Let’s not talk about this.

Job1 & Job2
1. Write my section of the report for one of our external funders – check
2. Finish the qualitative institutional reports – check
3. Start remembering the names of the new students – needs improvement

1. Update our budget, make a plan to save enough and pay any outstanding deposits – Check, if you extend the deadline to November 2nd. The only thing we got done in October was the last item.
2. Schedule our engagement shoot with Michael, our photographer – same as #1
3. Ask our bridesmaids and groomsmen to be part of our wedding party – check! (except for one, that’s Sean’s job)
4. Ask X to be my maid of honor – Check. I asked Lori, my sister, to by maid of honor. She said yes, but she seems a little nervous about the responsibilities.
5. Meet Sean’s extended family at our informal Long Island engagement party – Xheck, the party was fun. I could use some more rum punch.
6. Work with our graphic designers on our save-the-dates and invites – Still need to do. At least we have a timeline to work with.

The blog
1. Post two DIY costumes per week – Half check. I posted 7 costumes, but some were re-done. I do give myself some credit for putting up some new costumes like La Dama and the Mexican Calendar Girl.

1. Get my Halloween costume together – Check. This was easier after I switched plans and all I had to do was get yellow shorts and make my antennae.

The Overkill Jar

2. Make an overkill jar for all the words and phrases Sean and I say way too much – Check. The money will go to the wedding fund.


Playing catch up

I got Mayweather-ed

How neat is this picture? That’s my brother Adrian attempting to make me the Victor Ortiz to his Floyd Mayweather.

Iowa City?

I wanted another chance to wear my costume and celebrate Halloween. After work on Monday, I went for a short run and wore an orange tutu. I ran down whatever street in my neighborhood that seemed to have the most trick-or-treaters or nicely decorated homes. My favorite Halloween display featured a scary yard transformed filled with GOP presidential candidates in Emerald City, well Iowa City. All the candidates’ faces were taped over scarecrows and the door had a sign urging kids to knock for handouts.

Michele Bachman's tea party

They even had a cute tea party set-up. I didn’t get any trick-or-treaters at my apartment, but did see lots of kids out in the neighborhood and many homeowners decorated their homes or played Halloween music.

Spirited Away

Later, Sean and I had tacos and drove over to West Hollywood. I wanted a chance to wear my costume again and also wanted to finally check out the Halloween madness in West Hollywood. It’s so close and I’ve never gone because the crowds and parking hassle intimidate me. Now that I’ve checked it out, it’s out of my system. It’s just way too crowded. I’m fine with large crowds at concerts or marches. At least in marches the crowd is moving in one direction and I always feel like I have an out. There were several moments on Santa Monica Boulevard where I felt trapped and could barely move. I’m fine with just checking out photos on the LA blogs. As for parking, that was easy only because we were willing to park in Beverly Hills and walks the rest of the way (about a mile). We stuck around for an hour before going home and watching Monday night TV.

The Two  Fridas / Las Dos Fridas

The Two Fridas

At least I did see some impressive costumes. The best was the two women doing a tableau of The Two Fridas. They got all the details down in their costumes. I can’t imagine they did much walking. I’ve seen plenty of Frida Kahlo costumes, but never seen anyone go through such effort to really bring one of her self portraits to life.

La Virgen de Guadalupe

I also liked the woman dressed up as La Virgen de Guadalupe.

As for Día de los Muertos, I skipped out on those events and honored my loved ones who have passed with a simple prayer. That feels more meaningful to me than dressing up, painting my face and buying lots of sugar-skull printed stuff at one of the many festivals in LA.