Friday, May 28, 2010

Five Senses Friday

Woohoo!!  Friday is here!  It has been a loooong week, in fact it has been a long two weeks.  I am leaving early tomorrow morning for NYC, and I really haven't started packing so it might be a long night.  Hm, reflecting on my Five Senses and I think you sense it has been not a very fun week.  Negative?  Just a bit...  Anyway, since we are heading into prime training season (for me), I am adding a new section especially for training to the five senses.  While it may not be particularly interesting for all, it does help & motivate me! :)  Of course the week I decide to make this new section I did not do much in the way of training.  A couple later nights at work disrupted my schedule.

  • A scene straight out of Make Way For Ducklings - on my bike ride I came across two families of Canadian geese herding their little goslings across the path.  Had I thought about it, I would have taken a picture.
  • Myself speak as I go through what I will be talking about in NY.
  • I will be eating a lot of good food in NYC!
  • Incredulous, mixed with frustration – really, I mean really? Which then leads to stress... I tell you, I will be happy when this week is over.
  • Asphalt – I will be so happy when the construction is done on the new building!
  • First bike ride of the year! I kept it on the short side, but was feeling really good on the way out. After I turned around and started back into the head wind, I realized (at least part of the reason) why the out felt good. The in was a bit more of a struggle, but all in all it felt good to be back on the bike!
  • 2 pool swims

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

List #8 Questions I Still Have About Lost

I just watched the finale of Lost, or I should say cried my way through the finale.  I'm still processing, but here are a few thoughts.  Sayid & Shannon's reunion even brought a tear, but I bawled with Sun & Jin, Kate, Claire & Charlie, and especially Sawyer & Juliet.  And Jack, what can I say about Jack?  I had actually soured a little bit on Jack the last few seasons, but that all changed this season.  I re-connected with my love for Jack.  And while the finale didn't answer a lot of my questions (hence the list), it was a really well done episode.  I thought it was very compelling, and at least it answered this season's question!  But here we go with some of my questions:  

  1. What was the deal with the numbers?  I mean, I realize they are candidate numbers, but why were they on the hatch?
  2. What made Desmond special?
  3. Who built the statue?
  4. Why wasn't Michael, Walt, Miles, Frank or (especially) Richard at the church?
  5. Why did women have problems with getting pregnant and/or giving birth on the island?
  6. How did Dharma find out about the island?  And why were they there?
  7. Why was Ben able to kill Widmore (when he couldn't a few seasons ago)?
  8. What's up with the wheel?
  9. What happened with Claire in the three years she was lost in the jungle?
  10. What was the point of the bomb?  Did it go off?
  11. I could go on, but those are my major questions.
Couldn't the producers come out with an addendum?  Or a Q&A session?  I'm okay with the answer being, it was a red herring or it was a story line we decided not to develop.  I just want to know.  And can I say I would happily watch a Sawyer/Ben show?  Or a Sawyer show?  Or a Ben show?  Sawyer can bring the funny sarcasm like no one else (not to mention how yummy he is without his shirt), and Ben, well you can never know what Ben is thinking.  Or a Ben/Hurley/Sawyer show.  Or a Sawyer/Miles show.  Or, or, or...I guess what I'm trying to say is I would love to see Josh Holloway or Michael Emerson on my TV again.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

List #7 Things to do in NYC

I haven't done a list in awhile and I thought this would be a fun topic!  And feel free to chime in with any suggestions!  I am off to NYC for work, and since the meeting is right before Memorial Day and for the first time in awhile I don't have any Memorial Day plans, I decided to go a few days early and explore since the last (and only) time I went to NYC was for less than a 24 hour period in an attempt to get enough miles to be elite.  So here is my wish list of things to do in NYC, in no particular order:

  1. Empire State Building
  2. Statue of Liberty/Ellis Island
  3. Central Park
  4. American Museum of Natural History
  5. Ground Zero
  6. Times Square (and can I just say how disappointed I was to find out it wasn't an actual square?)
  7. MoMA
  8. Rockefeller Center
  9. Serendipity

Sunday, May 23, 2010


A visit to the orthopedic surgeon, followed by a visit to a neurologist and it seems we have an answer to Chloe's symptoms.  The diagnosis is one of the disks in Chloe's back is irritated.   Apparently shih tzus have long backs, similar to a dachshund.  So now Chloe is on bed rest for the next 3 to 4 weeks.  No walks, no playing, and definitely no jumping.  The hope is bed rest will allow the disk to heal, and if not, an MRI to see if surgery will be required.  This will be interesting - keeping Chloe quiet, while not destroying her spirit.   

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Heroes 10K

This morning, bright and early, I showed up at Gas Works Park for the inaugural Heroes Half & 10K.  It had slipped my mind until this week, but I thought why not?  A 10K shouldn't be too bad.  I should have rethought the race when I saw the start time was 7 a.m.  Ugh, which meant I was up early.

I made it to registration and picked up my number, t-shirt and chip.  The t-shirts looked quite small so I asked for a men's shirt, hoping it would fit, and it did for the most part, but hearing a couple of the girls complain about how small the shirts were behind me in the line for the bathroom, I think I did right in asking for a men's instead of a women's shirt.

The race started in waves, which wasn't clear until you got up close to the front.  They asked the slower runners to hold off, so I stood off to the side until probably the second to last wave.  I didn't have a good plan going into this race for a run/walk ratio, so we'll be playing it by ear (or knee as the case may be).

I knew the 10K split from the half at some point, but I wasn't familiar enough with the course map to know where and I started getting nervous.  I kept looking for blue race numbers (10K) but all I could see were the red race numbers (half).  But there was no need to worry - they had volunteers at the separation point, and I dutifully followed the 10K signs.  My first walk break was forced when I came across uneven wooden railroad tracks.  Even slowing down to a walk didn't stop me from slipping a couple of times.  Somewhere between 2K and 3K the fast boys doing the half started passing me.  A little demoralizing that it happened so early, but not unexpected.

I kept trudging along, walking through the first water stop (approx mile 2).  One of the fast boys said to me as he passed "Great job!  Hang in there!"  I'm always so impressed by people who cheer on others.  It's all I can do to breathe!  Thanks!!  I accept any and all cheers!!

I walked through the second water station (approx mile 4).  I was starting to feel it a bit in my legs so I decided to run 6 songs, walk 1.  That lasted through one hill and halfway up another before I slowed to a walk.  I got to the top of the hill and started running again.  I had another unanticipated walk break on the downhill - it was fairly steep and given my propensity for tripping I thought it would be better to slow to a walk. 

I had reached the top of a hill (another one) when I realized I didn't have my race number anymore!  I stopped trying to see if I had just lost it, but it was nowhere to be found.  I was so disconcerted.  I don't lose my race number!  I shook it off and continued.  I was beginning to think I was going to have to rethink my strategy and start running 1 song and walking 1 song.  But all the worrying about the race number had carried me to the 9K sign.  1K?  I can so run 1K!  With that reassurance I powered through, although that might have been the longest 1K ever!  But finally I crossed the finish line!!  Yay!!

And the stress over losing my race number?  Well I'm almost embarrassed to admit, but guess what I discovered when I looked down after I crossed the finish line?  Yup, my race number.  My race belt had slipped and gotten tangled with my layers of shirts and when I initially looked down, didn't see or feel it, I assumed it was gone forever.  Whew!

Going into the race, I had hoped to finish in around 1hour 20 minutes.  After the second water station (when I began to fall apart), my new goal was 1 hour and 30 minutes.  As I crossed the finish line the clock read 1:28:52 (or there abouts).  Woohoo!!  Plus, this was the clock time, not my chip time.  Sweet!  My chip time, you ask?  Why, 1:20:48 - nice!

Again, running the shorter race meant there wasn't a long line to get stretched out.  Wow, he stretched me in ways I didn't know I could move.  I stretched a little more on my own before getting in my car and heading to hot yoga to continue the stretching process.  I was fairly useless in hot yoga but I did get a few good warriors and chattarongas in.  I have found going to hot yoga after a longer run greatly reduces the soreness the next day.

And that was my morning!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Five Senses Friday

  • Rain, rain go away!
  • Birds chirping – oh, that sounds so nice except when it is too early in the morning and before my alarm goes off. And wouldn’t you know it, I don’t fall back asleep until 5 minutes before my alarm.
  • I will be tasting some cupcakes later today! Yum!!
  • Frustrated & challenged – it has been an interesting week to say the least
  • Very chilly pool water – shouldn’t the pool be a little heated?
  • The leftover scent of someone’s cloying perfume in the elevator

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Patient

Chloe is not a model patient. Poor thing - she is suffering from cabin fever already. All she wants to do is play, but she forgets about her ankle, or is playing through the pain. Her ankle is still quite wobbly. The stairs are now blocked to prevent her from running up and down them, which means I need to remember that as well!

And in other news - in spite of rumours of rain, the sun was out today, and had some heat with it. There is no place like Seattle when the sun is out!! I went for 4 miles in the park. I felt good, and my knee felt good. It was nice to be out in the sun! I'm not sure when I became a runner, and while I'm not fast I do think I can now call myself a runner.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Saturday Musings

My knee, while still a little "off", is much better than it has been. So this morning it was off to kickboxing and then hot yoga.

Speaking of knees, I'm not the only one with problems. Chloe has been acting not herself and then was noticeably limping so it was off to the vet. At first the diagnosis was her knees and she would need surgery. Yikes!! But the x-rays showed it wasn't her knees, but her ankle. We should hear back in the next week what the next step will be. For now, the goal is to keep Chloe resting, which is not an easy task.

Back to today - my sister had signed up for a cooking class on Thai Restaurant favorites which intrigued me so I signed up as well, as one of the dishes they were advertising was Phad Thai. And anyone who has eaten thai with me knows that I love Phad Thai! And so learning how to make it myself was quite appealing.

The class was good - we were split up into groups of four and we made Green Curry Chicken and Phad Thai. The other two dishes the instructor made most of, but talked us through it. One of the more interesting parts of class was when the instructor showed us how she dices an onion. I'd try to explain it here but I don't think it would translate quite well... The Green Curry called for Thai eggplants - which look a lot like tomatoes. I had never given eggplants much thought before. I'm excited to try the recipes on my own!

And now I'm going to sit back, relax and watch Princess & the Frog (I know - I can't believe it has taken me this long to watch it either!!)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Five Senses Friday

* Mountains!! Is it just me or are they looking especially majestic lately? Or maybe it's because the sun is out and you can see them! :)

* My inner 12 year old girl self is loving the new Jonas Brothers song

* Mostly allergen free carrot cake (i.e. no wheat, dairy, eggs, etc.) made by my sister. It was yummy!
* Nonfat Vanilla Bean Frappuccino with a shot of espresso - I will be both sad and glad when the frappuccino happy hour promotion is done with, but until then I will happily sip my frappuccino and not think about calories!

* Happy it is Friday and almost the weekend!!

* Chlorine

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Kirkland 5K

Well I wasn't sure how this race was going to go. Last week, I upped my miles a little too quickly (or at least that is my self diagnosis). My knee didn't hurt exactly, but wasn't feeling quite right, very tense, stiff and almost as if it was compacted. I decided to take the week off from everything but swimming, hoping that rest was what I needed. My chiropractor was on vacation, so I went to the vacation chiropractor. She helped loosen things up, but it wasn't the same. Towards the end of the week I realized that while my knee was bothering me, the problem might be my hip. Hmm. I decided to see if I could get in for a massage. Wow! What a massage! It was not a relaxing massage by any means, but she really worked my hip and my knee.

I decided to go ahead and do the 5K, with the thought that I would slow down to a walk at any time my knee started bothering me. I picked up my race shirt and chip the day before, and while I was there I picked up a foam roller! Check #15 off my 33 Things list.

I drove to the race site, nice and early, knowing parking could be a problem. And there was no parking to be had at the main lot, so I turned off and parked along the street about a half mile or so from the race start. I walked to the start, tried to keep warm by standing in the sun and stretched until it was time to line up.

And GO! What is fast becoming a pet peeve of mine is when people don't line up according too their pace. I know I'm not fast so I line up at my pace marker. I don't want to be run over, and I hope other people don't want to run me over. It is a chip start people, your time doesn't start until you cross the timing mat. I spent the first part of the race dodging people and checking in with my knee. While I was prepared to walk, I was hoping to run as much as possible. I was doing okay until the hill. I knew if and when I stopped running it would be that much harder to start again and as I long as I kept running I would be okay. I hung on as long as I could but about 3/4 of the way up I lost my momentum and slowed down to a walk. No problem, I can do this. I reached the crest of the hill and started running again. Somewhere between Mile 1 & Mile 2 I had a second shot as there was a shorter, steeper hill. This time I nailed it!! It was mainly downhill after that. And I'm happy to say I ran every remaining step (after the brief walk up the hill).

My time? I knew going into this I wouldn't PR, but I was pleasantly surprised with my time - 39:07. Not my best, but far from my worst! And even though I didn't run the whole thing, I am counting this as race #1 of 12 to satisfy #21 on the 33 Things list. Alrighty, we are making progress on the list!

The best part about running the shorter distance of the race? All the goodies were there at the end of the race! Usually by the time I arrive at the finish line, all the goodies are picked over and sometimes there is no water left. But not this time! The line at the massage booth was short so I hopped up on the table for my 5 minutes. Afterwards, the therapist asked about my hip - even in 5 minutes she could tell I was having issues. Yes, it is still tight, but not nearly as bad as it was at the beginning of the week.

I walked back to my car and made it to church. Then it was time to celebrate Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day Mom!

And now it is time to take some ibuprofen, and chill with my ice packs!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Five Senses Friday

* Weird weather, rain, sun, hail and pretty much everything in between. And sometimes all in the space of a couple of hours!
* Denise Austin at my building - I saw her, knew I recognized her, but didn't put the pieces together of who she was until she spoke. And then I knew - that voice had told me what to do before!

* “Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married” One of my co-workers is getting married today and yesterday several people walked by her cube singing that song

* Cinco de Mayo potluck at work

* My knee is feeling out of sorts – not really hurting, but not right. I’m continuing to ice it. And we’ll see about my 5K on Sunday...

* Onions, which made me cry as I chopped them up

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Tulips, Waterfalls, & More

I haven’t been good about keeping current with all my adventures, but with this post I should be just about caught up! Khrissy came up to visit, she has been enamored of seeing the tulip festival for awhile now and it finally worked out for her to come up. Yay! I picked Khrissy up at the airport and after dropping off her luggage, we headed over to Redhook for dinner. It was great catching up, and a little surreal seeing her in Seattle and not Houston.

Saturday we started the morning off with a trip to Krispy Kreme since there aren’t any more in Houston. We drove up to the Tulip Festival, hoping that the big dark rain clouds would stay behind. The clouds did follow us, but it only sprinkled. We walked around the tulips, admiring all the different colors. It was the last weekend of the festival, so there was only one field open, but it still had a lot of tulips. After that we drove up to Bellingham, along Chuckanut Drive to have a late lunch/early dinner in Fairhaven.

Sunday ended up being a photo-stop tour of Seattle. First was Newcastle Golf Course to admire the view across the lake to Seattle, followed by Snoqualmie Falls. I gave Khrissy the option of appreciating the view of the falls from the top or hiking to the bottom and then back to the top. She chose to hike, so hike we did. From there we went into Seattle, stopping at Kerry Park for the view of the Space Needle. Then it was a trip to Pike Place Market before heading back over to try a cupcake from NY Cupcakes.

And just like that it was time to drop Khrissy off at the airport. It was fun playing tourist in Seattle, I really need to do that more often! And it was great to have Khrissy in town – just like old times!

Congrats to Ben & Jana!!

I think it was in London a few years ago when I first heard about Ben – he worked with Shilpa and she thought Ben & Jana might hit it off. A month later in the Bahamas I started hearing a little more about Ben. Finally I met Ben at Disneyworld and I could see how good he and Jana were together, and how good they were too each other. Fast forward to now, which takes us to their wedding in Playa del Carmen. When Jana asked me to be a bridesmaid I immediately said yes! I would love to stand with you as you get married.

Leading up to the wedding, there was just a bit of panic around the dress. First, was it going to arrive on time? It did. Second, was it going to fit? No problem, in fact it needed to be taken in. Third, what about alteration? And here is where the problem(s) arose. Not having much time, I took it to an alteration place near work and they took it in just a smidge too much and did not reattach the very important hook at the top of the dress! Instead they hooked it with a thread which did not do the job (especially with the dress being a smidge too tight!). With not a lot of time left before I had to leave on the plane I did what I had to do. I called my mommy. (Backup plan was to call Jessica’s mommy. Backup plan #2 – safety pins.) One of the difficult aspects of this all was with it being quarter end I didn’t have a lot of time to be running here and there. With Mom on hook duty, that left the whole smidge too small problem. The problem was easily solved if I didn’t wear a bra. Yeah, I don’t do that – the girls need support. But it was either that or find a smaller bra. And again, given the fact I was days away from leaving on the plane it appeared I was going to have to go braless. This should be interesting...

Before I knew it, it was time to leave. I packed hurriedly the night before. As long as I didn’t forget the dress it would be fine. The flights down were on the turbulent side, but I had been upgraded into first for both legs which helped. (As an aside, I don’t know if I’m going to make elite this year and boy am I going to miss the perks if I don’t make it!) I landed in Cancun, made my through immigration, picked up my bags and headed for customs. Guess what - I got chosen to have my bags searched. It ended up being a fairly painless process and I stepped outside to find my shuttle.

It was raining, but finally I found my shuttle rep in the sea of shuttle reps. Waiting for the car, he asked if I was married and was shocked when I said no. He wanted to know why. You and me both!! He went on to say the guys I know must be stupid. It made me feel a little bit better even if he was only angling for a tip or making conversation as my 33rd birthday draws ever closer.

The rain turned into a downpour as we left the airport. The driver asked where I was from and upon hearing Seattle asked about the Sonics. Oh Sonics, why aren’t you still in Seattle? Don’t get me started – stupid Thunder. The hour drive to the hotel ended up being more like an hour and a half with the rain but I made it. I checked in, dropped off my bags and headed over to the dinner restaurant to say hello.

I could hear the rain off and on all through the night and woke up to more rain. At breakfast I ran into several people and found out the plan for the day was to go into town and do a little sightseeing and shopping. We made it into town and walked around a bit before it started pouring so we took shelter in a nearby restaurant and sat and talked over snacks and wine. Jen (who I hadn’t met before) & I bonded over Disney & *NSync. After lunch and a bit more wandering, we walked back to the hotel. As we had some time before dinner we made plans to head towards the beach but wouldn’t you know it? It started pouring!! Instead we congregated in the hotel bar until dinner. It was back to the bar after dinner but after awhile I was feeling tired and headed back to my room.

Saturday morning I woke up to sun!! Yes, sun!! Hooray!! I walked along the beach before gathering up my things and making my way over to Jana’s room to get beautiful. A manicure, hair style and make-up session later I was beautiful as I was going to get. Jana was stunning!! And Shilpa was beautiful as well. All this beauty in one room! :) And then came the knock at the door. It was the wedding planner letting us know it started raining. What?! And with that the wedding was moved from the beach to the breakfast room.

Shilpa & I grabbed a towel and held it over Jana as we sprinted up to the breakfast room. Everyone got organized and soon it was time to walk down the aisle. Jana reached the front and there was a huge thunderclap followed by the lights going out for a second! Talk about a dramatic entrance! Jana & Ben said their vows, signed lots of documents, and were pronounced man & wife. The rain cleared up and they were able to take pictures outside. The rest of the evening was spent eating, drinking and dancing the night away! I somehow ended up doing two tequila shots, which is so not me. I told Jana she was one of very few people I would do a tequila shot for!! :)

Sunday I had a massage on the beach. It was nice, and I enjoyed the actual sound of waves crashing as opposed to a soundtrack of it. I was about to head into town to find some lunch when I came across Jen & Carlos and Ben & Jana about to do the same thing so I joined them. We had lunch at a great restaurant (lobster, yum!) and walked back to the hotel along the beach. We said goodbye to Ben & Jana who were off to enjoy their honeymoon at another hotel. I made plans with Jen & Carlos to meet up at the pool a little later. On my way to the pool I detoured and took a dip into the ocean. We relaxed by the pool alternating reading with dozing. It started getting chilly so we made our way back to our rooms with plans to meet up for dinner later. I stopped off at Ben’s aunt & uncle’s room to have a glass of wine with them before meeting Jen & Carlos. After dinner, we went to another place for dessert – crepes and coffee, but they made it in front of us and at one point pouring fire from one cup to another. It was really good!! We walked back to the hotel and said our goodbyes.

I woke up early Monday morning to catch my tour to Chichen Itza. In general I am not a tour person. I like to go at my own pace. Although the caveat is if the guide is really good. I was not overly impressed with the tour or the guide. Or some of the people on the tour who couldn’t make it back at the appointed time. I admit I have time issues and would rather be early but over 20 minutes late? And no apology? Anyway... But I really did enjoy Chichen Itza. It was very impressive!! The tour was an all-day event and by the time I got back to the hotel I was exhausted. I ate dinner, packed and fell asleep, but not before setting my alarm for way too early in the morning.

The shuttle picked me up at 5:30 a.m. and it was time to head home. I was only upgraded on the first leg, but one leg is better than no legs. On the flight to Seattle I was more than halfway asleep and started dreaming I was in a car and couldn’t stop the car. My foot was pushing on the floor (trying to slam on the brakes) and then I started pulling on my armrest trying to pull the emergency brake! It was at that point the pilot came over the intercom and to tell us we were experiencing turbulence. Oh, no wonder I couldn’t stop the car in my dream!

Congratulations Ben & Jana!!

Sunday, May 02, 2010

More Birthday Fun

This week I finally got back to swimrun, next week we will see if we can work the bike into the equation. Each year I think I'm going to keep up swimming, but it hasn't happened. It was good to be back in the pool again!

I had all sorts of birthday fun this week - I had a birthday lunch with my group at work, cupcakes from co-workers, and dinner with Jessica & Nilufer on my actual birthday. Even though it was my actual birthday, it was a joint birthday celebration for all of us. And Friday I had another birthday dinner with Diane, Nikki, Jessica & Nilufer. On Saturday I had a birthday massage (Thanks Dad!). And I had lots of birthday wishes throughout the week!!

On Sunday I headed to the park after church for a "quick" run. The out part wasn't bad, but in part got a little windy. In fact, one runner passed me, got to her turn around point and on the way back called out to me it was better in the other direction! No kidding! I finished up my 5 miles and got home in time for the birthday party. Not only for me, but for my brother and for my dad. Our birthdays are within 5 days of each other. My sister & Kris brought their 2 bulldogs. Chloe wasn't too sure about Jensen & Samson, but from a distance they were okay. It was a fun party. And now I'm sorting through pictures and catching up on some Survivor, Amazing Race & Lost.