Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nobility, Me???

Normally I try to post my blog every Sunday. This week I'm a day late and a dollar short, or something along that line. For some reason, I had a major blonde moment. I had saved the blog in draft mode, but couldn't get back in to edit it. I finally figured it out, so here we go.....

A couple of blogs ago, I mentioned I found a Hungarian language podcast. I posted a comment/question on their forum and I got a response!
  • (Dani) Many years ago, I had an extended visit to Hungary and became semi-fluent in the language. Since returning home, I haven’t had the opportunity to speak Hungarian. It’s been great listening to your podcast and quickly “relearning” the language. Question: When I was in Hungary, my “extended” family couldn’t pronounce my name (Danielle) and instead called me Gizzyka (excuse the spelling). Any translation? Thanks!

  • (Response) Danielle, I think that they may have been saying “Gizike,” which is a diminutive of Gizella. It’s not a very common name, but one with lots of history. Gizella was the first queen of Hungary, wife of King Istvan I. Perhaps they thought you were of noble blood??

I lived in Hungary from 1984-1986; it's a long story, way too long for this blog. But for over 20 years, I wondered what they were "calling" me. So it was quite a surprise to ready the response. I was expecting something along the line of "crazy-blonde chick". But, they may have thought I was noble!?! Wow!!! LOL!!!

Running: Low mileage this week.

  • Monday I ran intervals; a total of 3.98 miles in 35:14. Warmed up with 1 and 1/2 mile in 14:14, then did 2 quarter-mile and 2 half-mile intervals, finishing with a 1 mile cool down run. On Wednesday, I did a 3-miler in 27:17.
  • Saturday: First, I finally figured out how to get split times on my Garmin. It's amazing what you find out when you read the manual!!! I ran 6.5 miles in 59:18, my best mile time was mile #4 @ 8:58. The last 1/2 mile, I "semi-sprinted" and did it in 3:45. Overall it was a very good run. I was happy with my split times, my knee really didn't hurt too much, the weather was good, I was in a good mood. Just a really good run :)
  • For the week, I only got in 3 runs for a total of 13.47 miles. I should have got in at least 20; but, I'm happy that I got in those 13! Overall, I think I've been pretty darn good (for me) in adhering to my planned training schedule. I'm not going to stress myself out for 1 bad week! Plus, there's 9 weeks till my marathon so I have plenty of time to make it up!
Karate: oops, missed Bugo class!
  • I only made it to karate twice this week; Monday and Friday, both "A" days. I didn't get in a "B" (Bugo) day. Oh darn...... Instead, I stayed home Thursday night and made 2 pans of baked ziti; 1 for the pot luck lunch at work on Friday, and the other for the house.

  • I got in 2 days of "Extras" this week. I've added squats to my workout. So going forward, I will generally be doing 100 sit-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 round kicks, and 100 squats.

  • Overall, it was kind of an "easy" week, which was nice!

Just Another Manic Monday (yep, it was my B-Day)

  • Yep, Monday the 24th was my birthday. It's easy to remember; it's always 1 week after St. Patrick's Day! And what did I do to celebrate you ask? Well, I went to work, ran almost 4 miles, and went to karate class. When I got home, Mark and the kids had a cheesecake for me. Overall, nothing spectacular; but that's allright by me! It's not that I'm anti-birthday or trying to hide my age. I believe age is all in your head. And, my head seems to think I'm still in my early 30's (shhhhh, it doesn't need to know the truth!). I just think there are much better things to celebrate other than my birthday. Like my kids' birthdays, Arbor Day, etc. The one exception, of course, will be when I hit the next big milestone. Then I will expect some massive celebration (eg. trip to Ireland). Of course, this means I will have to plan it if I want it to happen....... oh well.......

  • I previously interviewed for 2 different pharmacist positions and both said they were interested in having me come in for a 2nd interview. This week I received a call from the staffing agency and the administrator regarding the "teaching pharmacy" position. The administrator said there was some delay in the hiring process and wanted to know if I had a timeline. I advised that I did not.

  • I got a call regarding the 2nd position, aka "the director", and a 2nd, phone interview was scheduled. I really do not like phone interviews; I think I have a much better "live" presence. Anyways, the connection was not very good; I had a hard time hearing the questions or comments. When I left the 1st interview I felt very confident; I didn't have that same feeling after the phone interview. The 2nd interview was on Wednesday afternoon. I didn't get a call back on Thursay or Friday, and since I know they want to fill the position quickly, it didn't bode well that I wasn't contacted. If I don't get a call on Monday, I will assume that I didn't get the position.

Well, that's about all for now. I have to save something for next weeks post! Have an awesome week!


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter!

Wishing Jelly Beans & Chocolate Bunnies to all!


The running week started off well. I ran intervals on Tuesday; starting with a 2 mile warm-up, followed by 8 quarter-mile intervals and finishing with a 1 mile cool-down. I Felt Great! Not sure what my times were because my Garmin battery was dead, again. I really have to make an effort to make sure I am charging the battery!

Friday I did my long, beach run. The scenery, as usual, was beautiful. The beaches were packed with Spring Breakers. I saw several UF students (Go Gators!!) as well as some from Univ of Tenn. The temp was in the upper 70's and there was a good breeze. Around mile 8, my knees (mostly the left one) really started to hurt. My great run was turning into a "grunt" run. I stopped a couple of times, but that only made it feel worse when I started running again. I finished 13.95 miles in 2:38:00, for an average pace of 11:13 Yuck!!!! Not a good run. Plus, I finished all my sports drink at mile 10 so I had to go almost 4 miles with no fluids. And, to top it off, I forgot to put sunscreen on my shoulders and ended up with a nice sunburn. Remind me why I am doing all this??????

Saturday the knee still hurt so I decided to take a rest day figuring I could easily run 5 miles on Sunday. Well Sunday came and it was still a bit sore. I was going back and forth; I should run today, I should take another day off. Well, the rain came down and that about answered it for me. Rest day it was! I ended the week with 4 rest days and 3 workout days. Compare this to last week where I had ZERO rest days, I still ended up getting in my 3 karate classes and my total mileage for the week is only about 1.25 miles less. So, hard week, then easier week. Not a bad concept. Although, that means this coming week needs to be another hard week.


I guess to make up for my "not-so-good" running week, I had a really good karate week. I went to Tuesday morning class (after my 5 miles of running) and Wednesday 5pm class. I know know why my usual Wednesday 8:30pm sparring class has so few ladies; it's because they all go to the 5pm class! I had some great bugo rounds and no intimidation!! Friday night was BBC night; the curriculum was MMA (mixed martial arts) part 3 and we had the honor of having Kyoshi teach the class.

The Kiddo's sports.......

Lauren did well pitching and fielding at her softball game on Tuesday. The Twisters won 8-5, so they are now 2-1 for the season. Ryan had 2 baseball games this week. He did well on Thursday; hitting a home run and striking out 2 batters. His team is 2-2. The kids are on Spring Break this week but because the softball and baseball schedules follow the public school Spring Break schedule (which is the following week), both kids have games this week. So Mark's plan of taking them to Orlando looks like it's out of the picture.

Other stuff.....

During a long run a couple of weeks ago, I thought of a "catchy" running website name. When I checked, I was surprised to see the domain was available, so I bought it. I'm not really sure what I want to do with it yet. And, it's not like I have a lot of time for another "project", but I've started playing around creating a website. I could just move my blog to the new website and have more "room/pages" for other stuff. But I'm not sure. So I'll keep playing with it until the next "inspiration" hits me.

And now to talk about work, something I have purposely not blogged much about. I'm pretty much in the "damned if I do, damned if I don't" position. I stepped down from a high-stress management position to a "staff" pharmacist position to improve the quality of life (eg. have time to run, go to karate, see my kids, etc.). But, 1 year out and I am not being challenged. I don't dread going into work, probably because I really like the people I work with. But I'm not excited to go to work. So, a while back I put my name out to a recruitor and started watching the job sites. In the past couple weeks, I actually got calls on 2 different positions. I went ahead and interviewed for both of them. The 1st was for a Pharmacy Manager position in a "teaching" pharmacy. The pay/benefits/schedule are very similar to what I have currently. The 2 advantages would be more autonomy that what I currently have (anything is better than micromanagement) and the opportunity to mentor students which I thoroughly enjoy. The 2nd interview was for a director position and definitely presents a greater challenge. I think I interviewed well and I think they are interested in me. They said there would be a 2nd interview so hopefully I'll get a call this week. If it's meant to be, it will happen; if not, it won't.

Quit Report.....

Today is 47 days without a cigarette. On Ash Wedneday, February 6th I chose to give up smoking for Lent, knowing it would be something I would "suffer" through. And I have. It hasn't been easy. Every day I think about smoking. But for some reason, be it my personal conviction, the stars all in alignment or divine intervention, I have resisted the strong and frequent temptations to smoke again. Most years I looked forward to Easter Sunday to end my "suffering", to give in to temptation and partake in whatever it was that I gave up (eg. ice cream, soda). But not this year. This Easter I am not looking to end my suffering. I am working to end my 25 year addiction to tobacco and I know it will take more than 1 Lenten Season! It may take years. But, now that I'm not smoking, I'll have those extra years!!!

Happy Easter & God Bless

Sunday, March 16, 2008

No Rest Day This Week!

Between the kids' activities and my workouts, there was no rest day this week!!!!
  • Mon: Karate
  • Tue: Softball, Run, Extras
  • Wed: Karate Demo
  • Thu: Karate, Baseball
  • Fri: Karate, Run, Extras
  • Sat: Bowling, Karate Seminar, Baseball, Awards Dinner
  • Sun: Run

And things are only going to get worse. In 3 weeks I "officially" start my 1st cycle as I go for my 2nd degree black belt. This means every week I must take 4 karate classes, get in 4 days of "extras", complete 4 runs each week AND do 3 SWAT classes. Scheduling all these along with work and the kid's sports is going to be a NIGHTMARE!!!!

Running: Ugh!! a slow week

  • Tuesday - Interval run: I started with a 1 mile warm-up @ 10:34, then ran four 1/2 mile intervals (4:32, 4:32, 4:56, 5:07) and finished with a "quick" sprint (0.22 @ 1:45).
  • Friday - Strength run: I ran 5.14 in 51:28 with an average pace of 10:00.
  • Sunday - Distance run: I did the beach run, this time starting at the north end (Commercial Blvd) and running south (Las Olas) and then heading back to the start. I ran 11.7 miles in 2:11:22, for an average pace of 11:13.
  • Up to now, I have been slowly but consistently improving my run times. Well this week shot that to hell! I'm going to "blame" it on the warm temps; Sunday's run was in the upper 80's with quite a bit of humidity. For March, that's pretty warm, even by South Florida standards. And, it's only going to get worse!!!
  • So, for the week: 3 runs for a total of 20.19 miles. Another distance record week.

Karate: 3 classes, 1 demo, 1 seminar = 5 days at the dojo this week!

  • Monday - Demo practice: took out the holds & grabs; doing kamaset form 2 instead. Yeah!
  • Wednesday - Exam Demo: Overall, the demo rocked! I had a small misstep on kamaset 2 at the end, but not too bad! And, I was very happy with my nunchucks performance.
  • Thursday - Bugo: I went to the morning class. Hadn't taken an A.M. class in 3 years (maybe longer!). Sparring went well. The first group was with Kathy and Marsala; Kathy was intense; she has awesome speed and I was totally intimidated by her. My round with Marsala was much better (more evenly matched). Next I was "assigned" to spar with Picasso and a brown belt girl (not sure of her name but I've sparred her before and she's another "heavy" hitter). I really didn't want to spar them and felt like walking out of class. But I stayed and did okay; not great, but I didn't get "killed". I'm not sure whether that's because they "held up" for me or what. But, I was very glad when it was over.
  • Friday - Happy Hour: the April black belt candidates had their power weekend in dojo 1; the "rest of us" had our "happy hour" class in dojo2. It was a great conditioning class (think lots of push-ups, sit-ups, etc).
  • Saturday - Bo Seminar: Mr. Mike Galindo had a bo seminar. We started with the basic moves and then moved to some "showy" spins. I really loving doing all the weapons (chucks, kamas and bo); I just need to find more time to practice them all. Ah, more time..........
  • Extras: I didn't get all my "extras" in this week. On Tuesday, I only did half; 50 PU & 50 SU, no kicks. I did a full "extras" after Friday's run; this made the push-ups and sit-ups in Friday's class even more enjoyable, LOL!).
Quit Report: 40 days!

  • I quit smoking on Ash Wednesday and today is 40 days without a cigarette. But wait, Easter is still 6 days away and Lent is supposed to be 40 days, so what's up with the extra days? I checked Wikipedia and discovered that in Western Christianity, the 6 Sundays in Lent are not counted towards the 40 days because, "each Sunday represents a "mini-Easter", a celebration of Jesus' victory over sin and death". I didn't know that. Or maybe I did at some point and just forgot it.

Speaking of Easter...

  • The kid's spring break starts this week. They have early release on Wednesday, so they are off on Holy Thursday and Good Friday, plus the entire week after Easter. I know they are counting down the minutes!

Till next week.....Adios!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Daylight Savings Yeah! More running hours

Running....... A pretty good running week; I'll give it a 7 out of 10

  • Tuesday: 1.45 @ 11: 35. I didn't have much time to run so I did a "mini" interval session behind the karate dojo. I kind of skipped the warm up and started with a 1/2 mile @ 4:30, then another 1/2 mile @ 4:01. Then I wanted to do 1/4 mile sprints, but I wasn't exactly sure where the 1/4 mile ended and I didn't want to check the Garmin because I would have had to slow down to read it. Anyways, I did 0.28 @ 2:00 then 0.19@ 1:04.

  • Wednesday: This was supposed to be a "strength" night. During the run, a fire truck and a rescue truck came to a house on the back of the island and every time I ran by, the diesel fumes about gagged me. So, I only did 3 miles and I'm estimating the time @ 28:00 since my Garmin battery died (again) during the run! One of these days I'll figure the darn watch thing out !?@?#!

  • Saturday: This run was just to get in some mileage since I didn't do much on Tuesday or Wednesday. The weather was nice; upper 70's and a bit breezy when running east/west. I had planned on running 5 miles, but since Tuesday's run was 1.45, I decided to run an extra 0.55 to bring the total to an "even" 10 miles. So I ended up doing 5.55 in 52:58.

  • Sunday: Long run day! Did the beach run again (Las Olas to Commercial and back). It was very breezy (NE @ 15mph). And, my knees and calves were sore, probably from running 5.55 on the previous day. Needless to say, I ran slowwwwwwww. I wanted to do 10 miles, but settled for 8 @ 1:28:15. I "semi-sprinted" the last 1/4 mile @ a 7:45 pace; my overall pace was 11:01. That kinda stinks because my "paces/averages" have been steadily improving. Until today.
  • So, for the week, I got in 4 days of running and ran a total of 18 miles. That's the most mileage I have ever run in one week!! But, the marathon is in 12 weeks and I have to get the mileage up to around 35 miles/week. So I still have quite a bit of work ahead of me.........

Karate......spotlight week (means no Bugo!!!) YEAH!!!!

  • Monday: Good cardio class!!

  • Tuesday: Demo practice!! I'm in the group doing nunchucks (a variation of Chuck Form I). We're also doing self defense holds and grabs where the guys "attack" the women. Each group will first do the same 2 holds and grabs (front choke and something else, I don't remember). Then each group will do 3 of their own choice. I think I'll have my "attacker" do the double lapel (finishing it with the guillitine), rear arms pinned (finish with the throw down), and rear choke (finish with the "schlock"). After class, I stayed and did my "extras" with Sherry (100 pus-ups, 100 sit-ups and 50 round kicks off each leg).

  • Thursday: Since it is spotlight week, there was no Bugo this week (yeah! yeah!). Instead, we had another good cardio class and worked on self-defense. This was a warrior's weekend so there were lot's of sensei's from other dojos and other systems of martial arts. 5 of them took class Thursday night. After the whole class did holds and grabs, the April candidates "spotlighted". I was an ouki for Dawn and gave her 8 random holds and grabs. She did awesome. Then, the guest senseis demonstrated the holds and grabs using their system's defenses. It was awesome! It's always great to see new methods and different styles.
  • "Extras": Got in my 3 "extras" workouts of 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups and 100 round kicks (50 off each leg) on Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday. I think this week they added 50 lunges to the "extras", but I "purposely" forgot them!! LOL!!

Looking for new podcasts!!

  • This week, I went searching for some new podcasts to subscribe to. My sister told me about NPR's "Wait, Wait" podcast and it is absolutely hysterical. I listened to a couple of episodes this past week at work and everyone must have thought I was nuts (oh wait, they already do!) since it seemed like I was "laughing to myself" at inappropriate times.
  • SQPN has a number of podcasts; so far my favorite is the Saintcast. Growing up catholic, I am familiar with many saints, but really don't "know" much about them, so the website has been very educational. Case in point, the patron saint of athletes is Saint Sebastian.
  • Last month when I was "browsing" through the itunes podcast directory, I saw "languages" as a category. I thought, "wow, what a great way to learn a language". I went ahead and subscribed to Coffee Break Spanish with the intent of "relearning" Spanish (for like the 6th time). I listened to the first 5 episodes (most of which I already know) but wasn't really motivated or excited by the podcast.
  • This past week, on a fluke, I searched for Hungarian language and found "Lets Learn Hungarian". When I lived in Hungary (many moons ago!), I became semi-fluent in the language. But you know the saying, if you don't use it, you lose it. Well, since I didn't have anyone to speak Hungarian with, I lost it! Anyways, I went ahead and listened to the first 3 episodes. It was great to hear the language again and surprisingly, I remembered a lot more than I thought I would. Plus, theres a girl at work who's Hungarian, so I can practice on her (she'll probably get tired of me real soon!!!)

Quit Report: 1 month and 3 days of No Smoking!!!!!

That's about all for now. Until next week.......

Viszontlátásra. (Good-bye)

Sunday, March 2, 2008

my race report on Phedippidations!

Running.....guilt is mounting.....only ran 2 days this week :(

Tuesday: Speed work day. I started with a 1 mile warm up (10: 41), then ran 4 intervals of 1/2 mile (4:56, 4:53, 4:31, 4:02) and finished with a "cool down" of 1.18 miles in 10:05. Yes, the "cool down" was a bit fast. As I was starting it, Mark came out to run our dog Ali, so I decided to join them. I thought it would be nice to run as a family; well, Ali ran with me, Mark rode the bike! The first lap around the island, Ali was in the lead. But, by the 2nd lap, I had taken the lead. Yes, I am competitive, even with my dog! After the run, I did my karate "extras". This week it was push-ups and leg lift sit-ups in pyramid formation; 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 20, 15, 10, 5 (total of 125). By the last set (5), you arms or abs are like putty, they hurt so bad. But, the results are worth it!!

Thursday: Got home from work and was in a funky mood; kinda tired, kinda blah. So, I decided to make it a "rest day" and chilled on the couch with a glass of wine watching TV. I rarely watch TV, but HGTV and the Food Network (especially Alton Brown, Bobby Flay and Duff from Ace of Cakes) are my exceptions!

Saturday: Yeah!!! Long run day!!! I needed to get my run in early today; so I was up at 6am and at the beach by 7 am. I started at Las Olas and ran north to just past Commercial Blvd, then turned back to the starting point. I ran 10.98 miles in 1:54:24. The weather was nice, my legs felt good, my time was improving; all things that make for a good run. But today, I had a GREAT run!. Why was it great? Well, at about 45-50 minutes into my run, I totally freaked out. I was listening to my favorite running podcast (Phedippidations, #134-Online Training Logs) and heard my name. I had sent in my race report for the Miami ING half-marathon and Steve Runner was reading it on the podcast!!! How cool is that!!! I broke out into a huge smile and picked up the pace (I think I floated for about 1 mile!). I love listening to Phideppidations mostly because of the race reports and stories of other runners. They are uplifting and inspiring; many have brought tears to my eye! And to think that I was chosen to be one of those "stories"! I don't see myself as inspirational, I see myself as that person who needs inspiration and needs motivation; that's why I listen to the podcast!!! I added the podcast player to the sidebar of this blog; check it out!

  • Overall, it was a good running week. Even though I only got in 2 runs, they were 2 good runs. I have 13 weeks till my 1st marathon and I'm becoming bipolar. One day I am so psyched, I CAN DO IT!!! The next day, I'M NOT SURE I CAN DO IT. But this week I'm feeling more of the I CAN DO IT attitude!

Karate.......Got in 3 classes; Monday, Wednesday, and Friday

Did my "B" day (bugo, sparring) on Wednesday. I tend to go to the 8:30pm class on Mondays and Wednesdays (versus the 7:30pm class on Tuesdays and Thursdays) because it works better for the family schedule. The only problem is the 8:30 classes has fewer people since not too many like to work out that late at night. It really hasn't been a problem.....UNTIL TONIGHT!!!

After the warm-ups, they split the class; the intermediate belts went to dojo 1 and the advanced belts stayed in dojo 2. Well, there were only 11 students in the advanced group and I was the only female. So, I had to spar with the guys. The initial 2 rounds were with a "teen-aged" high-red belt (getting his black belt in April); the rounds went well. Then I sparred with Slade....... he's about Mark's size (BIG!!!) and tough. I felt totally intimidated and couldn't do anything right. The next 2 rounds were with another high-red belt and a red-belt; the last round was with Norm (black-belt). One of the main things I really need to and want to work on for my 2nd degree black belt is my confidence in bugo. It seems like I'll have a couple of good classes then one "bad" one; you know, one step forward and two steps backwards. (sigh) Bugo will always be the thorn in my side................

Fun Stuff
Saturday night we hosted a birthday party for my friend and co-worker, Karen, on the occasion of her birthday! I'll go ahead and say that the party was a success!! I had the easy job of having the party at my house! Beth took charge of decorations and the cake. She made the house look beautiful (and very purple!!!). The cake she ordered was phenomenal (and very tasty!!!). Ernie made 3 different types of enchiladas; they were all yummy and spicy!! Nellie made the mini-burgers and awesome maccaroni salad (if I do say so myself). As usual, we had way too much food!!! The guests kept busy with conversation, pool (the game, not the backyard fixure), and "Rock Band". If pharmacy doesn't work out, some of the guests may have a 2nd career in music!!! But I think the highlight of the night was Ernie's rendition of "What is it?"; I will never hear that song again the same way.................

Gosh, this was another busy, jam packed week. It's kinda funny; I ran into someone today that I haven't seen in awhile. In "catching up with each other", I said, "nothing's new; same old, same old". I think we have been conditioned to think that only "big" things are "important" things. I didn't have news of career change, no news of divorce, no major purchases. But, had I taken the time to really look back at the past week or the past month, I could have reported on a lot of "new" and cool stuff that has happened. It truly is the little things in life that are the most important..................

Quit Update

  • Today (3/2/08) is 26 days without a cigarette................