Thursday, March 31, 2011


Bella made it to Tampa with her tail wagging.

Both were very happy to see each other again!!!! Too bad the weather in Florida has been so crappy the past few days- Im sure Bella cannot wait to explore Florida when it finally dries off and there are no threats of twisters..

As you can see she is already making herself comfortable.

Welcome home beautiful girl! Can't wait to meet you in a few weeks!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A bad 1st impression

I was held by Bill Rodgers in 1983.

When my Daad found out I was running the Boston marathon this year (he ruined the surprise by accidentally finding me in the entrant list. We have the same last name) he sent me this photo.

My dad writes:
"Char was about 14 mths old. Bill Rodgers had already won 4 Boston Marathons and 4 New York City Marathons. This was taken at the Cayman Islands 10K. Char was not happy to have Boston Billy holding her !

Tom Fleming. another world-class marathoner at that time is on the far right hand side of the picture in the white t-shirt. He won the NYC Marathon twice and finished in 2nd place behind Rodgers twice in Boston."

Look at me! This is embarrassing! Clearly I did not appreciate his accomplishments or care who he was at the time.

Hopefully I can see Bill in Boston and apologize for this meeting 28 years ago.

The race was actually 9/18/1983.

Daad found it through a company that specialized in destination races.

My daad was pretty fast back then!


Belladog has made it to Houston and is waiting for her flight to Tampa this afternoon!


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Run to overcome

Was really excited this arrived in the mail today. (along with a few other running-inspirational books)

I was so excited that I started reading it as soon as I got home. I read a quarter the way through and had to pry myself away from it to go do my evening run. (I woke up early and did some morning miles today!) 8 miles for the day! Whoo hoo!!!

After getting a quarter of the way through I would highly recommend it to everyone. It is truly the story of the American dream and how it is still alive.

I met Meb after the 2009 rock n roll san Jose half. He took 1st. It was his comeback race from a bad injury. He won the NYC marathon a few months later. He was super nice to take photos with people after the awards ceremony. I practically spilled my beer on him. He laughed at it. He seems like a really humble and hard working guy. I am inspired by him and his work ethic.

On an unrelated note, please send good thoughts/ prayers for this beautiful dog.

Her name is Bella and she is flying from Mexico to The USA tomorrow to be with her Dad (my dad too!). She is from Mexico and was dumped off at the evolucion animal sanctuary and saved from a life on the streets because her "owners" were divorcing and both didnt want her- something like that. Her history is clouded. She was infested with ticks and had several illnesses and now thanks to my dad, she is in perfect health. My dad volunteers at the sanctuary when he is living in Merida for a few months at a time during the year. He was walking her and for both of them it was love at first sight. Her tail was wagging energetically the whole way home back to her new place. It was as if she knew she would be very happy living with my dad- she is exactly what he needed in his life, and he was exactly what she needed in hers.

I am praying that she has safe flights, and a smooth transition to the United states tomorrow.

I'm sure she will enjoy sniffing all the new smells America has to offer! And I know that she will be super happy to see my dad again- it's been a few weeks since they have been apart. (the process for flying a dog out of Mexico is VERY complicated because the TSA thinks people will smuggle drugs inside dogs- which im sure happens, but things have changed A LOT since I flew my CB out after living there a few years)

I can't wait to meet her in a few weeks!!


Monday, March 28, 2011

Cold is nothing.... (Chi-Town recap)

Cold is nothing compared to what it feels like to give in.

40 miles this past week.
240 miles for the past 6 weeks... wow!

(who said running is simple?? For this race: Nike headband/ear protector from the cold, iPod, chomps, salt stix, bloks for pre race, Nike longsleeve, Saucony jacket, moving comfort sports bra, race number, garmin, gloves, fluid recovery mix for post race (drank muscle milk instead) Nathan pack to hold my transit card, road runner sports capris, CEP compression socks, Nike lunaracer +2)

It was bitter cold for the Chi-Town half. Maybe 30 degrees at the start? And it was a little windy.

I achieved a PR by almost 7 minutes. I ended up with a 1:53.17 I am thrilled. I cut nearly 12 minutes off since my last half marathon- the soggy,cold US half in November 2010.

Race highlights:
  • There seemed to be an ample supply of port o johns
  • The race started on time
  • The start was one of the smoothest I've experienced in a while. I wasn't dodging walkers for the first few miles like other races. Everyone lined up by their anticipated pace. It was a dream!

  • The course was scenic, but I wasn't a fan of the parts of the course where runners would cross each other going in different directions.
  • There was ice in some of the tunnels... happy I didnt slip, or see anyone else slip
  • There were some a lot of TALENTED runners out there. In fact, I was surprised at how good the field was. For such a small field- 640 something finishers, the times were SMOKIN! 
  • I got 20th in my age group. For a "local" type race in the san fran area, I would have been in the top 5 (for AG) with the same time I ran for this race. Chicago is a running city for sure. I am motivated to train harder and do better. I know i am not at full potential yet. I plan on joining a club to train for the Chicago Marathon.

  • I am happy I did this race. I had some thoughts the day before about how cold it would be, but after watching "Spirit of the Marathon" the night before, I was pumped to run. I especially wanted to see if all the training Ive been doing the past 6 weeks had paid off.
  • The training definitely PAID OFF. quality miles= much better time!

  • This race was the first half/ full marathon where I wasn;t looking for a port-o-john during the event. That is huge for me- every long run, every half marathon I've done- i needed to stop. I didnt drink anything before the race- except a sip of water to wash down my luna bar an hour and a half pre-race. I also drank at nearly every water/ gatorade stop. I ate some watermelon chomps, and a few salt stix and felt GREAT! YAY!
  • This is the first race I've used music. I'm not sure if it helped or not. Although about 5 minutes before I was to cross the finish, Chariots of Fire came on... I pushed the pace even more. :)
      No injuries, no muscle soreness. I jogged back a mile to the L to catch my ride home. (maybe i could have run harder? lol)

      The medal! (wish the date was on it...)

      Post race had an awesome eggs Benedict with the most delicious bloody Mary EVER. Mmm

      Life is so good. Im ready for the running season now!

      Saturday, March 26, 2011

      Hace frio!

      Walked around for a bit today. Decided it would be cool to take pictures. It was 20 something windchill...

      I was very cold now. Tomorrow for the race it will be just slightly warmer than the 20 something windchill I was experiencing. My face was frozen and my hands were in pain. Im already looking forward to a huge chai latte post race.

      I must have been bordering on hypothermia because i wanted to read with the creepy wolves in the park.

      I knew CB was weird, but this is proof. Caught him resting while i was on the pc.

      GO AWAY COLD!!!!!!!!


      Thursday, March 24, 2011

      Chi-Town half

      Woke up to this today.

      Some leftover snow/ice from last night. Had to take CB out last night and the wind/frozen stuff flying made it really difficult to keep our eyes open.  high predicted for Race morning, 34 degrees!  :(

      Dear winter,

      Get out of here!


      Spring. <3

      This Sunday I'm running the Chi-town half marathon. It's my first race of 2011 and first race since moving to Chicago. This is also the inaugural running of this race. I have no idea how many entrants there are. But it's a certified course!! Yay!! I'm really excited and kind of nervous. For the past 6 weeks I've trained with more focus than before and also pushed myself harder.

      (he is too serious!)

      (CB is my personal trainer. He makes sure I   R.I.C.E. If I have a pain after a workout.)

      The main goal is break my pr of 2:00:05. Should be easy since I've hit it on my longer runs in the past few weeks. I also need to remain healthy for my upcoming races for the year (a 5k, an 8k, a 10 miler, about 7 half marathons, and 2 marathons)

      I also want the PR so I can get into a corral for the soldier field 10 mile "finish on the 50". I'd rather do it with this half than risk it on a sub 44 minute time for the shamrock shuffle 8k on April 10. (I'd like to just coast on this one)

      I have no idea what I'm capable of for Chi-Town,  and would love to go all out, but I need to remain focused on the larger goal right now and not blowup.Ive just been taking it easy this week- minus the intervals on Tuesday. I'll probably take off tomorrow, and then do a shake out run on Saturday.  then 8am Sunday, Game on!!

      Can't wait for packet pickup tomorrow after work!

      My dinner from Monday. A burger with bacon, cheese, hash-browns, and an egg on top. YUM!!!


      Tuesday, March 22, 2011

      Rain Rain go away! (and snow too!)

      (this photo would have looked much better had a bus not plowed through the water. I really liked the reflection of the cones in the water. Maybe tomorrow....)

      So it rained today. It was dodgy when I was walking home so I decided not to get stuck outside during a thunder storm and just do some speedwork on the tread.

      Did 5 x 800 repeats at 7:47 per mile pace with a 400 jog in between each one. The 6th repeat was a whopping 1200 at 7:47 pace followed by a nice 400 to make it 5 miles for the day.

      I felt great. I'm in much better shape now than when I trained for 16 weeks leading up to the Nike womens marathon last year. I made it a point to take it easy and not get injured then. But I never really pushed myself at all. I've accomplished more in the past 6 weeks of training than in the 16 last year.

      I'm anxiously excited about the chi-town half marathon this weekend. I know I'll get a PR. I've hit my pr 3 times now on my long runs (which seemed effortless). I have not been operating at my full potential for the past few years. This year I have put in quality miles and it is making a huge difference. I would like to set a goal for this half other than break the PR by a second or minute. I'm just not sure what I'm capable of currently. I want to push, but have a few other more important races coming up that I need to be healthy for. I might even tack on 3-5 extra miles after it to make it one last long run before the taper.

      I must think about a goal/ strategy/ plan for this race.

      Good night!


      Sunday, March 20, 2011

      Sausage with pasta

      Easy recipe!

      Cook pasta per box directions

      In another pot sautee onions with some olive oil until clear.

      Dump in sausage and sautee a few minutes.

      Put cut up fresh tomatoes in pot and stir for a few minutes.

      Dump the cooked pasta in the pot and stir a few minutes.

      Voila! You're done!

      Add some cheese. This is goat cheese in the photo.

      Add some wine

      And it's awesome!



      16 miles, felt like poo

      Planned to do 20-22 miles on Saturday. Ended up with 16 in 2:29

      33 for the week
      200 for the past 5 weeks.

      Not too shabby you might say. However I just felt heavy, fatigued, and like I was struggling to put one foot in front of the other. Around mile 11 my favorite underwear for long distances decided to act up and cause wedgie after wedgie which I couldnt seem to fix. Don't like the chaffing that resulted.This run was the first bad run ive had in recent memory. I couldn't pinpoint it to anything specific, guess it was just one of those days. Weird thing was i only averaged 4 seconds a mile slower than my 18 miler last week. But I felt so good last week. 

      On the way back around mile 11

      It was a bit chilly. More than I expected because it was so sunny I assumed it would be warm out. I'm glad I brought my gloves. It was 34 with some nice wind.

      Almost got run over by some senior citizen who decided to drive on the trail. He almost caused an accident trying to get back onto the road a half mile down the trail. He should NOT be driving anymore.

      Soldier field in the distance!

      Less than 2 miles to go!

      So I ran out a little more than 8 miles so I could walk a few blocks home. I pushed the last mile to 8:20 something to make up for the crappiness of the previous 15 miles. It felt good to walk a few blocks back. When I got home all of a sudden I started feeling like I was going to puke and have major stomach issues out of nowhere! Bam! Luckily I started feeling better after drinking some more water and later on some mt dew. It cures any stomach issue I've had. Maybe because I never drink soda except while I'm sick- it was pretty awesome how it fixed me so fast!

      (the water really did look like that yesterday... Crazy!)

      Decided to take today off to recuperate. This week sucked. I. Stomach flu earlier in the week and now this. I'm feeling good about this coming week.

      On the menu for this week is the Chi-Town Half marathon. My first race of 2011, and first race as a resident of Chicago. Im excited and cannot wait to PR in this race. Im in better shape now than when I was training for the Nike Women's Marathon last year.

      Off to make a new pasta concoction..


      Saturday, March 19, 2011


      Made sauce from scratch last night. It was my own recipe. I decided to take this on because I bought a jar of commercial sauce last week and I couldn't eat it because it was too salty.

      I think each week I'll create a new recipe for sauce or pasta-combo.

      Ingredients! Tomatoes, paste, onion, garlic, shallot, italian seasoning

      The veggies sautéing in olive oil. Then once the onions were almost clear I added some Italian seasoning and stirred for another minute.

      Added the paste and a little water to the pot and also added 2 chicken stock cubes.

      Next i dumped in the 2 cans of tomatoes.

      Brought the goodness to a boil and Then let it simmer for around 45 minutes.

      Finished product:


      A little less healthy with the cheese.

      Also had mozzarella baked garlic bread And some meatballs and sausage from the Italian place near my house.

      Good carb loading for my long run this weekend!



      Wednesday, March 16, 2011

      4 miles on the lakefront trail

      Ran with my favorite redhead tonight.

      He takes running seriously. I think he was mad we had to wait for the garmin to locate the satellites instead of hitting the pavement at full throttle as soon as we stepped outside.

      It was beautiful and the warmest day here this year. The trail was packed with walkers runners cyclists and rollerbladers.

      Cb might have to stay home next time because the cyclists are going pretty fast while passing the people on foot.