Three Things Thursday, July 4, 2013

1.  As you probably noticed on the header and website address, I purchased my own domain.  It is easier to remember and identifies more with me.  So make sure to save this page as one of your favorites:   It is still a work in progress so if you have comments/suggestions, please let me know.

2. Happy Independence Day!  On this day 35 years ago I came to this country with my mother and siblings.  It was the beginning of a new life and a new home for me.  I am proud to be Mexican but I am also very proud to be an American (I became a U.S. citizen after my 18th birthday).  This country has given me so many opportunities.  My father brought us here to have a better life and indeed we have. Well, it may not be perfect but it is still a good life.

3.  I ran my first non-half marathon race today.  Well, not really since I’ve been running since 2005 but lately running only half marathons so you know what I mean.  I don’t know why I never ran this race but now I will make sure to do this every year.  The race I did today is the Community Bank of Elmhurst 4 on the 4th.  Not only was it a fun race but I also got a PR.  My last one was in November 2008 with a finish time of 44:28.  Today I finished in 41:19 (per my Garmin).  Yay!  Now I am motivated to run a 5K and see how I do.


L.A.T.E. Ride

On Sunday morning I biked 25 miles in the L.A.T.E. Ride.  It was quite an experience.  It was the longest bike ride ever for me.  Or at least that I can remember.  I can finally cross it off this list.  Yay!! We rode mostly on the street (shown on map as straight green line) whereas the last couple of miles were on the bike path along the lakefront (shown as green dots).

Rock 'n' Roll Chicago Half Marathon

I did this ride with my friends, XB and OG.  They picked me up at 11:30 pm and quickly found parking downtown.  We had to pick up our packets which was a long line but luckily it moved fast. However, “the packet” was a bib and a shirt.  I’m used to giving my name to the volunteers and they checking a list to confirm I’m registered.  Nope.  Nobody did that.  Just a shirt and a bib.  Next!

Anyway, we lined up with the others with the same bib color (we were orange).  The first wave went off a little after 1 a.m. and then every 6-8 minutes another wave took off.    I was nervous and scared. I did not want to fall or have any kind of accident.

L.A.T.E. Ride


L.A.T.E. Ride

The first few miles were congested and since we were on the street, we had to follow the rules of the road For the most part the route was fine.  I was a little bit terrified of the hills.  No problem going up but coming down I thought for sure I would fall.  I had to brake a few times to slow down but I did not want to do it too hard or risk the bike making a complete stop and then me falling over the handlebars.There were some streets that were completely closed for car drivers (nice) and others only one way. I felt bad for the drivers because the one way streets were taken over by us so there was no way they could make a left turn into another street.  Also, in some areas it was really dark but at least I could see the bikes because they all had lights but I could not see the pavement. Yikes!  I rode carefully and slowly there. The crowd was friendly.  Some of them were giving us high fives.  I refused to take off one hand from the handlebar.  There were a few times that my nose itched and I had to very quickly scratch my nose.I was happy to get to the rest stop.  I reunited with XB and OG since I “lost” them a few miles back when I stopped at a red light.  The rest stop was AWESOME.  There was a ton of Zico, bananas, and Cliff Bars.  I tried the dark chocolate flavored Zico and was not too impressed with it.  I think I’ll stick with the regular kind.  About 10 minutes later we took off again.The rest of the ride was very smooth.  There were a few cars and red lights on Montrose Avenue. The best part was the lakefront.  By then we were more than halfway done.  I will admit that I was TIRED.  My arms, back, and bottom were hurting.  My bottom hurt the most.  I would ride for a bit then move/adjust my bottom to ease up the pain.  The bike was not properly adjusted for me/my height.  Yep, lesson learned.  But overall it was still a FUN ride.  I had been wanting to do this ride for years and am so glad I finally did it.  Would I do it again?

There is another similar event that takes place Memorial Day weekend.  However, it is during the day and takes place solely on Lake Shore Drive.  The whole drive is closed so no chance of getting hit by a car.

Once we were done, we stayed for a little bit and then went to eat breakfast.  I got home at 6 a.m.  I don’t remember ever coming home at 6 a.m.  Or have it?  If I did I must have blocked it.

L.A.T.E. Ride
L.A.T.E. Ride
Just Keep Running!

Weekly Workouts, June 24-30, 2013 and June in Review

Workouts this week:

Monday – Cardio
Rode my bike along the lakefront.  I forgot my Garmin but I think it was about 9 miles.

Tuesday – 4 x 1200 (2 min RI)
Done.  It was tough and I struggled to get them done.

Wednesday – Cardio
Skipped the bike and instead went for a massage.  My legs were sore.  🙁

Thursday – 2 miles easy, 3 miles @ short tempo, 1 mile easy
It was rough but I only did 2.41 miles.  I was very tired.  I did not want to get up in the morning and told myself that I would feel better once I started running.  Nope, did not happen.

Saturday – 8 miles at HMP, 10 minutes walking
I ran with my college friend, PA, who is running the Chicago Marathon in October.  I have not seen him since last year in October.  We had a great time!  For the most part I was able to keep up with him but struggled towards the end.  With a half mile to go, I told me to “go” and he did.  That was OK with me because I did not want to hold him back and I told him that various times.  He was cool with staying with me for most of the run.

I cannot believe that we’re already halfway through the year.  This month I ran 80.43 miles compared to 73.89 last month.  This year I’ve ran 467.83 miles and I’m a bit behind if I want to meet my goal of running 1,000 miles this year.

I ran two half marathons:  Rock ‘n’ Roll San Diego and Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle.  My best time was in San Diego (2:22:06) but then did not so good in Seattle (2:30:39).  Oh well.  I should not be so hard on myself and expect a good race every single time. Actually, it can be a good race if I just change my attitude.  Is it all about the finish time or the experience?  If it’s the former than I’m in trouble because I have many more races this year and I don’t expect a PR at each one.  It can be a fun race if I don’t focus so much on the finish time but instead pay more attention to the course, the volunteers, the runners, and anything else associated with the race.  So my plan for the rest of the year is to enjoy my races.

I’m thinking of doing the 4 on the 4th race on Thursday.  My 4 mile PR is 44:28 from November 2008.  Yes, it’s been that long.  I think it’s time to find out if I can set one this year.

Three Things Thursday, June 27, 2013

1.  I’m thinking of moving my blog over to self-hosting and not use (or  I have an idea for the domain name and am in the process of finding out if the same name is available in Twitter and Instagram.  But now the problem is whether to use WordPress or Blogger for the self-hosted blog.  Any advice?

2.  For my birthday last year I received a Keurig coffee maker machine.  I LOVE it and is the best thing ever. Recently I came across K-Cups to make iced coffee.  It is so good and sweet.  I found out today that Dunkin’ Donuts has something similar.  I will definitely be making a trip there soon.

Three Things Thursday, June 27, 2013

3.  Thanks to Netflix I am finally watching “Grey’s Anatomy”.  I remember some friends of mine were hooked on it but I never bothered watching it.  Also, I watched the first season of “Scandal” in one evening (only 7 episodes) and am hooked.  Unfortunately, season two is not available on Netflix but someone suggested HuluPlus.  I checked and it is only $7.99 per month which is what I pay for Netflix. I might make a switch just to watch “Scandal”.  Are you a fan of any of those shows?

Just Keep Running!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon

Done, state #21.


I took an early flight from Chicago and arrived in Seattle around 10:30am.  There was no hotel shuttle and a cab was too expensive, so I took the light rail. I bought an all day pass for $5.75.  Score!

I booked my hotel, The Roosevelt, through Southwest.  I loved it!  It was a block and a half from the light rail/monorail to get to the expo AND the start line. Plus, it was close to Pike Place Market and many other stores and restaurants and I thought the price was reasonable.

The expo was cool!  I bought watermelon flavored Nuun tablets and three Sparkly Soul headbands. Unfortunately, I lost one (red, blue, white) that I was planning to wear with my new ProCompression socks in a 4th of July race.  I also purchased monorail tickets to the start line (Space Needle) and back to the hotel. I met Mel from Tall Mom on the Run.  She is really nice and we chatted for a little bit.

That evening I had pad thai from Wild Ginger.  I went to bed at 8 pm because my body was still on Central Time plus my alarm was set for 5:25 am.

Race day came and I got ready.  I walked to the monorail to get to the start line.  I had to use the bathroom and found one inside a building.  Then I proceeded to follow the crowd to the start line.  I realized I had to go again to the bathroom and left my corral to use the port-a-potty.  They smelled horrible! But when you have to go, you have to go.  I got in line again and had trouble with my Garmin.  No satellite.  Ugh, I got out and saw Mel again.  I realized afterwards that I did not take one picture with her.

Finally it was time to go.  I encountered my first hill after mile 1.  I thought it was never going to end. Of course there is always a downhill which was nice. I liked the view and felt really good at this time. At mile 6 we ran next to Lake Washington.  It was just beautiful!!  Plus, it felt good to be in the shade. I stopped to admire the view and also to see pictures of soldiers that died during the war. That made me really sad.




At mile 8 there was another uphill and I refused to run.  I was tired.  It was after the mile marker that we ran in a tunnel.  I did not like that AT ALL.  It was hot, dark, loud, and long.  I swear it was about a mile long!  There was a band playing close to the end of the tunnel which made no sense.  I ran as fast as I could because I just wanted to get out of there.  We then ran in the highway/expressway and it was mostly downhill.  We passed Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field.

I always find the last 3.1 miles of a half marathon to be the MOST difficult part of the race.  That is where I struggle the most.  I need to remind myself that it is only a 5K and not difficult at all.  Mile 11 is when the first marathon runner passed me up.  He was fast!  Right before mile 12 we ran in another tunnel.  Not happy about it again.  The last mile was mostly uphill.  Ugh!  Two more marathon runners passed me up.  A little before the finish line a runner had collapsed and that freaked me out.  I had no energy to run/sprint to the finish line.  My legs were not cooperating at all.

Here are my splits:
Miles 1 through 4 – 9:37, 9:45, 11:24, 10:02
Miles 5 through 8 – 10:58, 10:55, 11:43, 11:47
Miles 9 through 12 – 12:37, 11:48, 11:45, 12:44
Mile 13 – 10:32

My finish time is 2:30:39 and according to my Garmin ran 13.42 miles.  Am I happy with it?  No.  I really struggled in this race.  It was HOT and HILLY.

I got three medals at this race!

1) Running Rock ‘n’ Roll Seattle Half Marathon
2) Running both races in Portland and Seattle
3) Running 7 Rock ‘n’ Roll races


After the race I went back to the hotel to shower and change.  Then for lunch I went to Tap House Grill.  The burger and beers (sampler) hit the spot.


Afterwards I walked over to Pike Place Market but was not impressed with it.  I ended up just walking for a little bit before heading back to the hotel.