Late winter in photos

It’s been a while since I’ve been a lazy blogger and done an Instagram photo dump and called it a post.

Taco Tuesday Tricolor

What a surprise. Even though I arranged my taco condiments in Mexican flag colors, the Mexico versus US World Cup qualifying match still ended in a draw. I thought that would do the trick. Nope.

What I saw before going to confession

This rainbow is located on the grounds of the Sony studios across from the church I attend weekly. I’ve never noticed it because I always entered on the east side. I found it fitting that I saw it last Wednesday, a day after I had a tough day and shortly before going to confession.

ZogSports scrimmage

Sean played ZogSports in New York. The league didn’t exist in LA until this season. Here he is explaining the rules to his new teammates.

Had to get a paleta de limón when the paletero passed by

I haven’t had any cravings in the traditional sense, but I do indulge in stuff more often. Normally, I’d let the paletero go by, but this time I had to flag him down for paleta de limón. It was the perfect refresher after a walk in the park.

Diddy Riese

I went on a walk to the farmer’s market and came back with cookies. I think I’m doing it wrong.

Should probably host a game night soon

I need to host a game night.

John Wooden statue outside the renovated Pauley Pavilion

Sometimes during lunch I like leaving campus to take a walk in the adjacent neighborhood. Other times I just go to parts of campus I never visit like “the hill” where the dorms are located. I passed the new-ish John Wooden statue on the way.

Bebe, Familia

Thoughts at 22 weeks

Things I wonder about at 22 weeks:

Why haven’t I felt Baby Meatball yet? Does my extra padding block the feeling of his movement?

If Sean and I choose a name with an uncommon spelling and alternative pronunciation, will Meatball get annoyed that his name is frequently mispronounced and misspelled? At least he can commiserate with his father on the latter.

Do all maternity pants sag? Is that just me?

Speaking of sagging, how do young guys do this? It’s so uncomfortable and inefficient for walking.

Am I super behind on prepping for Baby Meatball’s arrival? Pregnancy forums make me feel that way since all I’ve really done is clean out the room that will become his nursery and secured a secondhand crib that I still need to pick up. Color scheme? Theme? Nope. Far from that.

Will I come back to running from pregnancy as a better, faster, stronger runner?

When will I actually start to look pregnant rather than just looking like I’ve gained weight?

Why did I get rid of most of my pre-weight loss clothes? I could’ve gone through pregnancy without buying much.

Why did I take such a long break from running last summer and early fall?


Spectating at the 2013 Los Angeles Marathon

I’m avoiding stairs today like I ran the Los Angeles Marathon yesterday. All I did were some weighted lunges and squats. Nothing awesome like hitting a 4:09 on my first marathon (go Alexis — she insists it’s her last — and Jorge!) or recording a huge PR (go Claudia!).

Even if I wasn’t running, I had to do my part as a runner. Plus, I live way too close to the course not to go out and cheer.

On Sunday morning, I woke up shortly before 7:30 feeling nervous and excited. I texted Alexis and offered a couple of tips. She seemed nervous but did fine. Mainly, don’t go out too fast and don’t trip over all the throw away sweaters.

I watched a bit of the telecast before making breakfast and heading out to Beverly Hills where Sean met me when I ran LA. It’s close and a good place to spectate since parking is easy.

Posted up at Wilshire & Rodeo (mile 17ish)

A little before 9:30 we got to Wilshire Boulevard and Rodeo Drive (~mile 17), we waited for our runners with signs and cameras. Fifteen minutes before, I’d received a text message with 20K splits for Claudia, Jorge and Alexis. They were all in the 8-8:30 pace range. Claudia was the fastest, so I expected to see her come by first. I didn’t think it would be so tough to spot Claudia and Alexis since there were fewer women runners around. I was wrong.

Claudia's sign

We almost missed Claudia. I called as she passed by and she turned quickly. I’m not sure she recognized us, but she did look great. (She held on to the pace and finished in 3:42, a huge PR!)

Sign for Alexis

We never saw Alexis even after I expected her to pass. I held her sign until I got the 30K split update. I’m still bummed I missed her. She would’ve loved our sign.

Jorge's sign

We missed Jorge as well. And he missed us too even though he looked for us. The corner where we were at had a good number of spectators, so we might have just blended in.

Last, I would have missed Marlene, as I turned to get more, but she spotted Sean. She also went on to earn a 12 minute PR. Go Marlene!

After I knew our friends had passed by, I got out the oranges and pretzels we’d packed. The oranges went by really fast, but the huge bag of pretzels lasted longer. We stayed until about 11:45. I think most of the runners at the point were well in to the 5+ hour range.

The runners were awesome and graciously thanked us for the snacks and loved Sean’s Nelson Muntz sign*. One woman told me, “You don’t know what this means.” Oh, I do. I love oranges during marathons and knew with warmer temperatures predicted folks would need the sodium from pretzels.

Congrats to the all the finishers! Can’t wait to join in on the fun again.


With Adrian and Alexis

Alexis, if you ever want to do it again, I have a sign ready.

*I had sign envy. Sean got a lot of smiles, “ha ha’s!” and even a few runners stopping for pictures. One guy even recognized it from last year’s marathon or 2011. I never knew it was so popular since I haven’t done the cheering thing in a while.

Corriendo, Los Angeles

Los Angeles Marathon tips

Inspired by the LA marathon

Early last fall, I harbored hopes of running the Los Angeles Marathon. I knew I’d have to do a lot of work to rebuild my endurance, but it was still on my mind especially as my family mourned tío Johnny’s passing in early November.

Modeling our medals and race blankets at Shoreline Village

I never talked about it with Lori, but I thought it might be nice for Team Mosqueda to run LA in remembrance of our uncle. As kids, we were both awed each time he completed another LA marathon. The memory of tío Johnny running definitely inspired us through our training/races many years later. His triumphant finish line photo was even displayed in his casket during the wake.

A few weeks after tío Johnny passed away, I found out we were expecting and all hopes of long distance running went out the window. Honestly, I was a little bummed but mainly relieved. The thought of getting back in to marathon running shape was making my head and legs hurt.

The only runner that matters to me

At least I have wonderful memories of the LA Marathon. It’s been good to me even if the weather hasn’t cooperated in the past. Part of the reason I went for (and met!) the sub-4 reach goal last year was because I knew that with the wedding and plans to start a family soon after, LA ’12 could be my last marathon training cycle for a year or two.

While, I won’t be running from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica this Sunday, I’ll still be out on the course. I’ll be cheering somewhere in Beverly Hills, Century City or Westwood (where the course comes closest to my home). I have some friends and family running the marathon and want to be out there to cheer for them as well as thousands of other runners. I love making race signs and have already thought up a couple motivating signs for Alexis (brother’s girlfriend), Jorge, Claudia, Marlene and her Students Run LA cohorts from the high school nearby.

I do have some tips from my limited experience on the course. (Past recaps: 2011: Rain!; 2012: the perfect race day; 2012 post-script)

Starting line!

1. Start slow! I know this isn’t easy due to excitement, adrenaline and the downhill start. However, try to reign it in. Remember that this is the easy part. Avoid stressing out and weaving too much around slower runners. Don’t worry, you’ll pass them up at the hills on First Street up to Disney Hall and out of Downtown LA in to Echo Park.


2. Develop a smart pacing strategy. Don’t try to run all the miles at/near the same pace. Instead, plan to run the first 10K at slower than goal pace and speed every 5-6 miles or so until you get to the end. This is a great course to negative split given than the last 4 miles are downhill. I used My Marathon Pace bands which allow you to personalize a plan for the current LA Marathon course. In making my plan, I set it for a slower start, negative split and slower effort on hills. With all this said, be flexible. Bad race days happen, unfortunately.

Chomps... they have electrolytes!

3. Stick to your fueling strategy and get water at all the aid stations. They’ll be crowded on a warm and sunny day so pass up the first few tables and grab water at the end. Don’t forget your sunblock!

Our Signs For Cindy

4. Draw energy from the spectators and check out their signs. The good/funny ones distract from any pain or even boredom on the course. If you elected to have your name printed on your bib, thank those who are cheering for you. Hopefully there’s a great turnout for spectators this year since it’ll be warm and sunny rather than cold and rainy.

Our Signs For Cindy

5. If you’ll have friends cheering for you on the course, think about having them at a place where you know you might struggle. Sean, my sister and parents cheered for me in Beverly Hills around mile 16/17. Seeing them always gave me a boost when I needed it mentally. Also, make sure they know what you’re wearing so they can spot you easier. Avoid wearing the official race shirt because you’ll look like every 10th runner. Last, a bonus of coming up with a detailed pacing plan is that you can give your friends/family pretty accurate times for when you’ll be at a certain point — that is, if you stick to the plan. (ETA: Have your relatives sign up for race day tracking. You can sign up for it yourself and have your splits posted to Twitter or Facebook. Last year it was every 10K and includes an expected finish time based on your pace to that point. It feels kinda awesome to see your friends cheering you on from afar.)

Cindy's Dad Starts Handing Out Coconut Water

6. Thank the volunteers. They’re awesome. Enough said.

Long run collage

7. Enjoy the course and the LA landmarks as you zoom by. It’s rare that you get to stroll down Hollywood Blvd or the Sunset Strip without any cars.

My new favorite t-shirt

8. Load up some LA-centric songs on your iPod. I know it’s cheesy, but Randy Newman’s “I Love LA” is fitting when you’re kicking ass through LA streets. Save your phone battery for when you finish and need to meet up with friends and family in Santa Monica. It’ll be hectic.


9. Come up with a mantra that you know will help get you through the tough miles. I like “Sí se puede.”

I hope so!

10. Let the adrenaline take over and give it all you have left on San Vicente in the last 4 miles.



Fried catfish: On identity theft

Yesterday afternoon I got a message on Flickr from a user I didn’t know. He alerted me that someone on Facebook was using my photos and also harassing him and his family.

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

I didn’t know if it was real or not but it couldn’t hurt to search Facebook.

I searched and found some weird stuff.

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

Um. What?! I don’t have anything against the employees of Walmart, but I’ve never worked there or any other retail position. Also, I’ve never heard of the name “Consuela,” but I do know a couple of Consuelos.

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

I checked out the photos and “Consuela” had been using my personal and family photos for almost a year.

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

Hey, look, my sidebar photo. Also, that wasn’t a nice summer day in Pueblo, Colorado. It was hot summer day in East LA.

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

I guess we have something in common. I really like this photo too and have used it since ’08 as a profile or avatar photo.

Someone used my photos for a fake profile

This one really bugged me. That’s my family! Using my photos is one thing. That’s creepy, weird and just plain wrong, but using photos of my family is on another level. I’ve seen enough episodes of Catfish to know that this kind of thing happens, but never wanted to search for my own photos on Google Images. Where would I even start? I have thousands of photos online. By the way, I searched the stolen photos later. None showed up on the Facebook profile probably due to privacy setting. My photos did show up where they’re supposed to: my blog, Flickr account, friends’ blogs, and blogs where I occasionally comment thanks to Gravatar. I believe “Consuela” downloaded the photos from my blog based on the photo sizes and the fact that all my photos are friends only on Facebook. My download settings on Flickr are limited too.

After going through the photos, I sent a couple of messages asking “Consuela” to remove the photos. I also looked up how to report an impostor account and submitted my complaint. I posted about it on Twitter and Facebook. Several friends reported the fake account as well by saying the user was pretending to be someone they knew. Each time they submitted a complaint, I’d get a message:

Hey Cindy, it looks like this person is pretending to be you. You should report them for impersonation if you think they are.
Report “Consuela” for impersonation

I haven’t received anything from Facebook, but later in the evening I noticed my photos were gone. A friend told me a few moments later that there were new photos up on the profile. I’m assuming “Consuela” stole those too.