Monday, May 26, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day @ Universal Studios!!!

It was a nice holiday weekend. I left early from work; ok, only 15 minutes, but that's still early!!! We loaded up the Jeep, stopped for Dunkin Donuts coffee, got a tank of gas, and had to buy a car charger for my phone. But by 6:15, we were on our way to Orlando.

Normally, I don't travel on holiday weekends. It's for the same reason I don't go out on New Year's Eve; too many idiots on the road. But, scheduling and the bowling tourament forced me to deal with these idiots. And from Fort Lauderdale to past West Palm Beach, there was tons of people trying to get out of Dodge!.

We finally made it to Orlando close to 10pm. Of course, it started raining 10 minutes before we made it to the hotel. Which meant we got a bit "wet" unloading the Jeep.

Saturday morning: We did a quick breakfast at McD's. Next, it was back to the hotel for a group picture. Then, off to the bowling alleys. Saturday was the "short" day; only 3 games for Team. Lauren bowled well; all 3 games above her average. Ryan on the other hand; well, let's leave that for another day.

After bowling, we went back to the hotel to change clothes. And then, it was off to Universal Studios. We got to the park and the 1st ride we went to was "The Mummy". The wait was advertised as 45 minutes, but actually was only 30. Ryan was a bit apprehensive and closed his eyes for most of the ride. Next, we went to the new "Simpsons" ride. This was brand new; it only opened this past week. But, there was a wait of 110 minutes. We still went there, but after about 10 minutes in line, we decided to go somewhere else.

So, we left Universal Studios and went to Islands of Adventure. And, the 1st thing we did was go to "The Hulk" rollercoaster. The wait was probably between 45 and 60 minutes. But as always, the ride "ROCKED"!!!!!. Next it was off to "Dueling Dragons". But alas, after a 20 minute wait in line, rain and lightening forced the ride to close. The kids and I took refuge in the gift shop as the sky opening and rain came pouring down. When it finally eased up we headed for the exit. Getting out of the parking garage was torture; definitely not as organized as Disney is.

Sunday morning we went to Cracker Barrell!!!! Love the "mama's breakfast"; 2 eggs, bacon & 3 pancakes. I always ask for Blueberry syrup!! YUM!!! Now, time to bowl. Sunday was team and individual bowling. Lauren bowled with Danielle for team. Lauren did very well and bowled a new personal high score of 166. She didn't do as well for individual, but that's ok!. Ryan bowled with Melissa for team. He bowled under his average for both teams and individuals; he did not have a good bowling weekend!

After bowling on Sunday we drove home. The kids would have like to stay an extra day to go to either Universal or Disney. But, since I am leaving Thursday for California, I wanted to have Monday at home to take care of things; like laundry, packing for Cali, etc.

Tuesday May 27th is Ryan's 11th birthday. The plan was that Mark would take Ryan to BC Surf & Sport shop so that Ryan could pick out his BDay gift. But, Ryan was "whooped"!!! He didn't have a fever, but he said he had a headache, and spend most of Memorial Day in my bed either sleeping or watchintg TV. So hopefully Mark will take him to BC after school on Tuesday.

San Diego Rock & Roll Marathon.......................

1 week to go!!! I got in an 8 mile run this morning (Monday) in 1 hour 24 minutes. I ran around the neighborhood. It was around 80 degree F; and felt worse when the sun popped out from the clouds. I'm planning on runnimg Wednesday night. We have a 2 mile timed run for karate, and that will be my last run before the marathon.

I'm so psyched. I'm going to be running with my sister Yvonne; plus, Alex from karate is also going out to SD to run the race. Plus, from the Phedip group, there seems to be several other runners. So, I will be running with many friends!!! My training could have been better; but, with everything else going on in my life, I'm happy with what I was able to do.

As a previous Phedip poster put it; I have 3 goals
#1 Goal: to finish my 1st marathon
#2 Goal: to finish in less that 5 hours
#3 Goal: to finish ihn less than 4:30

I am excited and nervous!!!! I've never run this distance before. But I am a person who loves a challenge and this is my longest challenge to date!!!! I WILL PERSEVERE!!!!

My next post will be after the race. I want to thank all my friends and family who have been following me on my blog and wishing me well. Thanks!! I have the best friends and family a person could want!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Baby Birdies & Countdown to San Diego RNR

A bird has made her home in my old (not being used anymore) ashtray sitting on top of our tv on the back patio. Mama bird has been on her nest for a few days so I think we're going to have baby birdies soon!

Marathon Countdown has begun!! June 1st is almost here!!!

On Monday I did my "usual" pre-karate run. I ran 4.01 in 40:53. I wore my "new" Nike air pegasus that I got for the marathon and have been slowly "breaking in". I kept my orthotics in my "old" Brooks and bought some heel inserts for the Nikes. The thought was for the marathon, I'd wear Nikes + heel insert which weigh considerably less than the Brooks + orthotics. But, I'm now feeling pain in my right heel. So......

On Wednesday, I ran my loop around the neighborhood, running 5.05 in 52:29. For that run, I wore my Brooks + orthotics. And my heel definitely felt better. So, for my next run, I'm going to take the orthotics from the Brooks & move to the Nikes and see how that works.

I made it to karate on Monday and Tuesday, for class and SWAT. In class, we were introduced to XMA chuck form 1. We'll be working on that kata for the next couple months. I think I got most of it down pretty good; I'll just need to work on getting all the details nice and crisp. I did my "extras" on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

So it's now Thursday night and I have to go pack for the weekend. The kids are bowling in the state tournament again this year. And again this year, it's being held in Orlando. So, the kids and I will leave Friday after I get out of work. We should arrive close to 9pm. Saturday will be the "short" day, it's the Singles bowling (only 3 games). Sunday is the "long" day since they'll bowl 3 games for Teams and 3 games for Doubles. Saturday after bowling, we'll head out to Universal Studios. I'm so psyched because the new "Simpsons" ride just opened up this month. Cowabunga dude!!!! We're heading home Sunday night. The kids would love to stay there through Monday (like we did last year). But since my marathon is the following weekend, I need that Monday to pack for the trip to San Diego, plus actually have a day "off".

Day off!!!! Who am I kidding, there's no such thing as a "day off" with kids!!!

Till the next blog, Run long.........

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Twisters Rock!!

My daughter Lauren plays softball for the city city of Oakland Park. This year, like last year, she is on the Twisters team. Last years team had a number of good players (including Lauren, but that's my biased opinion!!!). They made it all they way to the championship game, but unfortunately, lost. This year's Twister team struggled with hitting and fielding and had an "average" season. Expectations weren't that high for the playoffs.

This past Monday night was playoff game 1; Twisters versus Cyclones. On the Cyclones was Lauren's BFF Katie. Twisters won the coin flip and were the home team. It was a good game. Final score, Twisters 7, Cyclones 4. Yeah!!!

Thursday night was playoff game 2; Twisters versus Storm. Storm was the "best team", having only lost 1 or 2 games in the season. Storm won the coin flip, so the Twisters were the visiting team. Monday night, the girls played well. But Thursday night, the girls ROCKED THE HOUSE!!! The were catching balls like crazy; they went into a hitting rally; they were amazing. Where was this all season!!! All the parents in the stands were cheering like it was a MLB game. The final score, drum roll please........Twisters 14, Storm 4. The girls were so excited to win; and to get to the championship game.

Friday night, Championship game. Twisters versus Thunder, aka the highlighter team (their shirts are the same yellow color as highlighters). Twisters won the coin flip and were the home team. Both teams were playing well, and at the end of 1st inning, Twisters were in the lead 4-2. Fast forward to the bottom of the 4th inning; Twisters 7, Thunder 5. There were 20 minutes left in the game, so another inning was started. The first batter popped a quick out. But then, they scored 2 runs and the game was tied 7-7. The tension in the stands was intense!!! Lauren then went into stealth mode; she pitched quickly and lethaly, striking out the next 2 batters and the inning was over (whew!!!). Now, to the bottom of the 5th inning. Shannon is up to bat and hits a double. Meghan hits into an out at 1st. That's ok, only 1 out. Next up to bat is Lauren. And, she smacks a hard hit into right field, bringing in Shannon to score. Yeah, Twisters Win!!!! It's amazing how exciting it was, to both the kids and the parents.

It was a bittersweet week. For as much as I enjoyed Lauren's softball, 3 games in a week pretty much shot running and karate out of whack.


I only made it to the dojo 2 times this week (UGH!!). Monday's class was primarily demo practice. We made some changes to the kamaset 2 kata. Wednesday night was exam night. The demo went well and I think Kamaset 2 rocked!! We're at the point in black-belt cycle where the candidates "test" with the examinees. So even though my goal is December (not August), I asked to perform with the other candidates; the performance experience is always good. I did well; a few missteps on a kicking routine, but that's ok. I got to lead Chuck form 1 and I think we rocked it!!!

I have to go through 2 "cycles" to get my 2nd degree black belt. Each cycle is a 16 week interval of HELL!!! (but I love it!!!). In cycle, we are pushed to reach our physical "peaks". One of the main requirements is attendance and committment. Friday night was the 1st black belt "check" (pre-exam). It was also the night of my daughter's softball championship. Both are important to me, but I had to choose. I chose my daughter. She might only have that 1 championship game where she drives in the winning run. And I would feel terrible to miss it. Missing the karate pre-check may push back my goals by a few months, but that's okay!


Only 3 runs this week. Tuesday I got in 4.11 miles in 39:44 (wow, not bad for me!!!). Thursday I ran a quick 2.08 miles in 15:55. Sunday was my long run. I had to make up for missing last weekends run. My thought was to do 14-16 miles and I ended up with 13.82 miles in 2:28:22. Not a great time, but considering it was in the mid to upper 80's, I'm happy with it.

So for the week, I ended up with 20.01 miles. And, 2 weeks from today (Sunday) is my 1st marathon!!!!!! I am getting psyched up. I can do it!!!!

I saw on the Phedip group that the NY marathon was still accepting entries. For some reason I thought it had closed. Anyways, I went ahead and registered. The "lottery" is in mid-June. It would be so cool if I get picked. It would give me an opportunity to go visit my dad in NY. I think my chances are pretty slim; but, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. The biggest problem would be training in the hot weather down here. While treadmills in the AC may work, I can't imagine doing anything more than 5 miles on it.

In my last blog I had a picture of Lauren with the hair she cut off for Locks of Love. This past Saturday I cut off 6 inches of hair. I couldn't grow out the other 4 inches (10 inches is the minimum LOL will take). My hair hit a plateau and wouldn't grow anymore! And, with the running and the heat, the length was driving me nuts!!!! But, now it feels wierd when I wash or brush my hair, it's all gone!!!! It's a girl thing.......

I know I haven't mentioned much about work. So many other things are going on. But, everythings going well. I'm really happy; it was a very good move, lots of good people!!!

Buenos noches!!!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Longest Run

Here's Lauren holding the 10 and 1/2 inches of her hair she's donating to Locks of Love. I'm so proud of her!


Monday I did my 4-miler behind the karate dojo in 38:05. I really like that run! It's a straight run, up and back 2 times. Plus, it's in a residential area and I'm running at the time when people are taking their evening walks or are out walking their dogs. So it's a "friendly" run.

Wednesday's run was 5.14 miles in 47:52; not too bad! Saturday I was supposed to do a timed 2-mile run after karate candidate class. But I had to leave because of the kids' softball and bowling. So instead, I ran that night around the island, doing 3 miles in 27:04.

Running is supposed to be an simple sport; all you need is a pair of running shoes. Yeah right; maybe if you are only running one mile. But this week, it was time for my last and longest long run. Yep, my 20-miler. So, Saturday night I had to do some prep work. Sunscreen, check. Sunglasses, check. Hat, check. Cran-razzberry shot blocks, check. Garmin watch (charged!!), check; heart rate monitor, check. Non-chafing socks, check. Ipod loaded with favorite running podcasts, check. Chilled bottle of water and warm bottle of sports drink, check, check, check!!! OK, off to bed to rest up for the morning run.

Sunday morning I was up at 5am, showered and had my usual cup of coffee and a Luna protein bar. Then all of a sudden, oh no, the GI rumble........and.....then.... well, I won't go into specifics, but suffice it to say, I wasn't going anywhere....

So here's the problem. it's getting way to warm to run at any time other than 1st thing in the morning; we're talking upper 80's to low 90's UGH!!!. Second, this was supposed to be my last long run then I would start my taper my long runs to 12 and 8 miles. Now, since I didn't get the 20 miler in, I'll have to get in a 14 or 16 miler next weekend.


Monday's class was demo practice. I'm doing a modified kamaset 2 (again!). This is the 3rd or 4th demo I've done this kata. I think it's a great kata and I love the kama weapons, but I'm really ready to do something else. Thursday's class was great because it was "Spotlight Week" which meant NO BUGO!!!! Friday's class was a good "happy hour" class. Saturday morning candidate's class was good; we started with a good cardio workout and then worked on most of the forms/katas (bookset, XMA forms 1 & 2, chuck form 2 and the bo staff). It was a good karate week; I got in all 4 classes and did 5 days of "extra" work.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Starting the countdown~~

So I'm late again in posting my blog. Initially, I thought I'd have no problems posting my blog every Saturday night (since it's not like I have a life and actually do anything on Saturday nights!). Well, that quickly turned into, I can post my blog on Sunday night, after the kids have gone to sleep. Boy, what was I thinking of. We do so much running around on the weekends that on Sunday nights, I'm going to bed about the same time the kids are. So, the blog gets pushed back to Monday night, which then turns into Tuesday, and so on.

I really enjoy "blogging". But, like so many other things that I enjoy in life, running, karate, NYT crossword puzzles, etc., they all fall second fiddle to more important things like grocery shopping, paying bills, picking the kids up from school. You know the routine.

But now the true reason for my rambling digression into my blogging schedule. Basically, I'm putting in fluff, filler, extra sentances; because I have barely anything to report. Yup, scheduling last week SUCKED!!! The kids had baseball/softball games on 2 nights, Mark worked 2 nights, and we had the annual inventory at work on Friday night and Saturday day. So I didn't make it to karate at all. I was in Karate withdrawals!!!!!

I mentioned we had inventory at work. What a difference. Friday night, we started around 5:30pm and I was home by 10pm. Saturday we started at 8:30am and I was home by 3pm. Compare that to my prior employer where I was still at the facility at 2:30am Friday night/Saturday morning. Things ran so much smoother.

I was able to get in 1 run on Sunday; running 12 miles in 2:11:08. It's funny; after doing 17 miles last week, 12 miles seemed like a breeze!! And it wasn't that long ago when I was training for the 1/2 marathon when I though 13 miles seemed humongous!!! Actually, I think 13 miles is perfect; it's long enough to test your endurance, but not so long that it'll kill ya!!!! Speaking of which, the marathon is in 3 and 1/2 weeks!!!! Woo Hoo!!!

Till the next blog, Cioa!