Dino Dash XXVII

Well, the kids have another race in the books.  This morning they both ran the Dino Dash 5k with D.  I had the task of holding everyone’s stuff.  🙂

We stopped by the LA Galaxy OC booth and saw some friends from church.  n took a picture with Coach Rocky.

I caught k, D and n crossing the finish line.

Official times:

k–30:06 (18th Division Place out of 129)


n–30:14 (14th Division Place out of 163)

D wanted them to run a little faster, but considering they did practically zero training, I think they did well!

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Pauley Pavilion

D and I have not had “date night” in a while, so when D was offered tickets to the Cal v. UCLA game, we jumped at the opportunity.  The game started at 5 p.m., so we left early to beat the traffic and ate an early dinner.  One of D’s colleagues who knows we like “cheap eats” recommended that we eat at Gushi, so that is what we did. 


It is definitely a hole-in-the-wall place.  The patio is basically on Galey Ave., and it is super-loud with motorcycles revving their engines, and screeching tires. 


We shared a Combo Plate, which comes with a drink for $11.  It was quite a lot of food!  We reminisced about Steve’s Place in Berkeley, which was also known for large quantities of Korean BBQ.  Being around colleges always reminds me of my own college experience. 


We gobbled down our food and walked quickly to Pauley Pavilion.  It is a very nice facility and so convenient since it is in the middle of the campus.  The game was a disappointment since Cal lost, and actually was never in the lead.  At times, UCLA was up by a lot, but Cal did make a mini-comeback which at least made it somewhat interesting.  One highlight of the half-time show is that we saw a guy win a free Kaplan course by shooting a lay-up, free throw shot, three point shot and a half-court shot all within thirty seconds!  I like how basketball games are so short in comparison to football games.  We were home by 8 p.m., just in time for me to record the Grammy’s (since I forgot to set our Tivo). 

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The Sixth Time’s a Charm

On Sunday, I ran my sixth and final marathon. Leading up to the marathon I was so burned out from training for my fourth full marathon in the last 12 months that I didn’t stress out about it. I chose the marathon because the temperature is usually in the 40s and 50s; however it ended up being in the 50s and 60s. In fact at the beginning of the marathon the MC said that most won’t get a PR due the higher temperatures (it was in the 70s at the end of the race). That gave me a good excuse if I didn’t PR. I also was resigned to the fact that I probably would never break 4 hours in a marathon given that my previous PR in five tries was 4:08:58. The race started at 6:15 a.m. and leading up to the race it was smooth. The marathon started over an hour before the half marathon so parking, the porta-potties, and finding a dry warm place to stretch was not a problem. Being a smaller race, it wasn’t really crowded at the beginning of the race like the L.A. Marathon. I started out the first mile at a 9 minute pace. At mile 7 I was under an hour, and at the mid-way point I was around 1 hour and 50 minutes. I thought I was going out to fast and would soon regret it, but I was feeling OK so I kept the pace. Soon after I lost half of my salt tablets while reaching for them. Trying to keep calm I thought if I got to mile 20 in 3 hours, I would have a shot at a PR. I past the 20 mile marker in 2 hours and 50 minutes. I started cramping at mile 22, but fought through it. By mile 24 I thought 4 hours was possible, so I just tried to enjoy the view for the last couple of miles. I really didn’t think I could break 4 hours, and am still not sure how I did it. I know God kept me calm and answered my prayer of just doing the best I could. I am glad that after 8 years (4 10ks, 6 halfs, and 6 full marathons) I finally accomplished the biggest goal I dared to dream: A sub-4:00 marathon! Praise God. I can officially change big bucket list item #2 to… Run a sub-4:00 hour marathon (Carlsbad 2014)

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Las Vegas Rock ‘N Roll Marathon, Part II

We currently have a sick child at home (k) and are crossing our fingers that it does not spread.  I do not mind being home all day when it is raining/cold, however, so that is one positive.

Back to our Vegas trip, the marathon was scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.  Therefore, D was supposed to carbo-load in the morning, as opposed to the night before.  I had purchased two Spice Market (Planet Hollywood) brunch buffet passes from Groupon before, so that is where we went.


We were a little early for the brunch, so we started out with the breakfast items and paced ourselves for the brunch (more savory) items.  I thought the selection was good, and they had a lot of fruit and vegetables too (although not pictured here).

D mostly skipped dessert, but I had to sample some, of course.  The specialty was cupcakes, but the dulce de leche one I tried was not very good—too dry.  I did enjoy the crème brulee, though.


We took a post-brunch, pre-race nap.  Lunch was not necessary, of course. 


We walked the start area and D met up with his fellow Mazda runners.  

We had access to the VIP tent, which was nice.  Unfortunately, D did not have access to the VIP bathrooms. Sad smile




The All-American Rejects put on a concert.


The race starts at the southern part of the Strip, and all traffic was diverted.


I tried to spot D, but I could not find him in the crowd of runners, which included several Elvis’, tutus and superheroes.


Since I had a few hours to wait, I went back to our hotel room and watched local news coverage of the race on tv.


I met up with D at the post-race VIP tent at Serendipity @ Caesar’s Palace.  D finished with a second-best time of 4:14:34!


I ate some Chinese chicken salad while I was waiting for him.  By the time D finished, there was only sandwich fixings and some pizza.  We also tried a shot of the famed Frozen Hot Chocolate. D wasn’t too hungry, and took the sandwich I had made for him back to the hotel.


After we returned to the hotel, I realized that I hadn’t taken a picture of D’s medal.  Here’s D’s “rock ‘n roll” pose.


On the way home the next morning, we stopped in Barstow to visit the newly opened Dunkin’ Donuts.  I hear people in California can’t wait for a DD to open, but I didn’t really see how they were special.  The famed coffee was just ok, too.  (BTW, don’t be deterred if you see a bunch of tour buses in the parking lot.  We were almost not going to go into Barstow Station when we saw four buses in the parking lot.  However, there wasn’t even a single person in line for DD!)

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Las Vegas Rock ‘N Roll Marathon

As mentioned before, D ran the Las Vegas Rock ‘N Roll Marathon this past Sunday.  We left for Vegas on Saturday morning, while my parents took the kids to Disneyland—lucky kids! 

We went to the Las Vegas Convention Center to go to the expo so D could pick up his bib.  Mazda had an impressive booth, which included a picture booth that makes you look like you’re running fast by blowing wind into your face.


There was also a fueling station with some sort of berry infused water and granola bars.


Outside, they were offering test drives.


We tried to check into our room early, but it was a no-go.  They did allow us to pre-register, so we just had to call in at 3:00 for our room number.


It was the perfect opportunity to go to Planet Hollywood and share a sandwich from Earl of Sandwich.  Chicken chipotle avocado—yum!


Afterward we checked into our room at New York New York.  With the resort fees/taxes, it was more spendy than we would have liked.  The room was nice, though, and it didn’t seem as smoky as the Rio in the casino.  The location was also pretty good, as it was in between the start and finish lines of the race.




This is just some of the swag D received for running the race.  Very nice.

We were also invited to a nice dinner at an Italian restaurant called Zefferino’s, located in the Venetian.




The food was absolutely delicious.  The waiter started us off with appetizers to share.  For our entrees, D had fettuccine with crab meat, shrimp and lobster.  I had sea bass with lobster tail—wow.  This was definitely a highlight of the trip, and I was able to meet some of D’s co-workers.     

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Two Marathons in Six Weeks

In the last six weeks, I doubled the number of full marathons I have run. This wasn’t on purpose though. I thought I wasn’t able to run the Surf City Marathon on February 3rd, so I signed up for the L.A. Marathon (March 17th). However, after I signed up for L.A., I found out I was able to fly back from Austin, TX on Saturday night (Feb. 2) and just get enough sleep to run the full marathon. I even needed help from my brother-in-law to pick up my race number. The Surf City Marathon, didn’t go as planned. I had been training well, running two 20 mile runs at 8:30 pace. Since my best time up to this point was 4:17:04, my goal was to break 4:10. But with the training going so well I had visions of breaking four hours. In Austin, I was entertaining our customers, so I wasn’t able to get adequate sleep, properly carbo-load or hydrate. The first 18 miles went OK; however at mile 18, I cramped so bad my toes on my right foot curled. A runner asked me, are you cramping? As I hopped around, I told him yes. He graciously offered me a salt tablet, which I took. However, by that point it was too late. I fought through 4 miles, but at mile 22 my legs were done. I had to walk the rest of the way, and ended up with my worst marathon time (4:22:28). During my six weeks in between, my focus was on recovering. I only went up to 16 miles on my long runs, since recovery was key. I also researched the best way to avoid leg cramps. The two solutions were slow down at the beginning of the race and take “salt” tablets (actually salt, calcium, and magnesium). I decided to bring 13 salt tablets with me and borrowed a race belt from my co-worker to carry a gel shot, and sport beans (salty jelly beans). I also wrote down a list of things I needed for the race. For the Surf City Marathon, I forgot my watch, sunscreen, and salt tablets. The weather for L.A. was ideal; in the 50’s. The course starts at Dodger Stadium and ends in Santa Monica. Some of the highlights include… Dodger Stadium, Chinatown, Olvera Street, Little Tokyo, Hollywood, Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Beverly Hills / Rodeo Dr., and Santa Monica. I started out slow as I was in the “Open” corral, which is at the back of the pack. I had to pass people to go at a decent pace, but I didn’t want to expend too much energy going around people. It was probably a blessing in disguise, as it forced me to conserve energy. After the first 3 miles, the course opened up and I got in a rhythm. Once I got through mile 22 without cramps, I was feeling good. Since the last three miles were downhill and the weather actually was getting cooler as I was nearing the ocean, it helped keep me strong. This was the first full marathon that I didn’t cramp much at all, and it resulted in a PR (4:08:58). The one thing that the L.A. Marathon did that nothing else could was make me not hate the song “I Love L.A.” They played it prior to the start of the marathon. Growing up in NorCal, that song always bugged me. But the marathon was a great experience. Being with 24,000 other runners was exciting. The volunteers were great and was I glad for all the orange slices and pretzels that they handed out. After the marathon I realized how much L supports me in my running endeavors. Every weekend she deals with my inflexible training schedule, and even every weekday, I realized that there are things I neglect due to my training. I am glad God provided me with such a wonderful wife.

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LA Marathon Expo, Grand Central Market & Angel’s Flight

Today D ran the LA Marathon.  I will let him write more about that experience.  Yesterday the whole family went with him to the LA Convention Center so D could pick up his race bib.  There was a Health & Fitness expo geared towards all things running, so we loaded up on samples, including chia drinks/gels, freeze-dried blueberries, pop chips, clif bars, kefir drinks, etc.



Afterward we went to the Grand Central Market, which I had never been to, even though I used to work in downtown L.A. 


We shared a bowl of house noodles from China Café, a chicken taco from Tacos Tumbras a Tomas and a pork and cheese pupusa from Sarita’s pupuseria.  The prices are quite reasonable compared to the trendy food trucks.  The total for our combined lunch was around $11. 


Wow, how unappealing does that look?  There is also a lot of produce for sale, but we didn’t really browse.


Afterward, we went across the street to ride the Angels Flight Railway, “The Shortest Railway in the World”. 


There are two cars, there is no driver, and you pay 50 cents at the top ($1 roundtrip).




At the top there is a nice view of some of the skyscrapers, along with a fancy courtyard with a waterfall.


I would not want to work here.


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Dino Dash

Good thing we all had an extra hour of sleep last night because we woke up early this morning to cheer D on at Tustin’s Dino Dash. D ran the 10k in 50:12, a personal record (although now he is determined to break 50 minutes!) He was 10th in his age category. This race was nice because it was so close, and there was plenty of free parking.

It started sprinkling right when the race started, but it didn’t last too long. k was cold, so she wore D’s shirt.

There’s Dino!

At the finish line.

I think the last race I went to with D was his first one, the Disney 1/2 marathon. I was pregnant with k, so it’s been a while. Even though I complain about D’s running schedule, I’m glad that he is keeping healthy and that he follows through with his goals.

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Surf City USA 2011

Praise God! Philippians 4:13

My sixth and (final?) half-marathon was a PR. My goal since 2010 was to break 1:50 in the half. I ran a half in October, however I didn’t even match my former PR of 1:52:53. This time, the weather cooperated; cool and overcast. I didn’t follow the 1:50 pacer, because I was in a slower corral. However, at mile 5 I followed a group of runners who was running my pace. At mile 10, two fell off pace, but I followed one who kept going at the pace I needed. I started cramping up a little at mile 10 and then at mile 12, when I thought I could turn it up a notch. At mile 13, I out kicked my pacer and finished in 1:48:11.

I just finished a double double, fries and coke. And I am not finished yet!

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Top 5 Races

#1 Surf City USA Full Marathon (Cool, flat, and ocean/park view)
#2 Surf City USA Half Marathon (Cool, flat, and ocean view)
#3 Rock ‘n’ Roll Los Angeles Half Marathon (Slight downhill w/ downtown finish)
#4 Long Beach Half Marathon (Neat combination of ocean and city skyline view)
#5 Disneyland Half Marathon (Hot and only a little bit of Angel stadium)

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