Sunday, September 21, 2008

NYC Marathon, 35 more days!!

Wow. I can't believe it's only 35 more days till the New York City Marathon.....and 94 days till 2009......

I ended my last blog the night before my Black Belt Pre-Check #1. So how did it go?????

Well, as I suspected. Neither of my kids wanted to come and support me. 11 and 12 years olds don't want to "hang" with their moms. So, RJ went to the Yacht club, LR went to her friend's house, and I went to the dojo early so I could get in an extra good stretch!

I felt really good with my performance. I was energetic, I showed intensity, I powered through the strength drills (push-ups) and I rocked my katas! I only had one tiny "oops" in my American Bo Form, where my bo hit my leg when it should have been spinning. But overall, I was very happy with my performances. I was on cloud 9 when I left the dojo.

A couple of days later I got feedback from Master KC; she says that she and Kyoshi noticed my conditioning but I need to work on my upper katas, focusing on my performance energy.

Since the Black Belt Pre-check #1, the days have gone by in a blur. I took the pharmacy law exam for Nebraska this past Thursday and I'm not feeling that great about it. But then again, after I took Louisiana's exam I was certain I had failed, but oddly enough, I passed!

Speaking of Louisiana, I got the call this week that I have been scheduled to appear before the Board of Pharmacy. I am taking that as a sign that my background criminal check and fingerprints "passed" and that I am being granted a license to practice pharmacy in Louisiana.

So, with Kentucky, Louisiana, and Nebraska done, next comes Arizona, then Oregon, followed by Tennessee and Arkansas. Yep, I'll be busy for a while!!! :)

Now on to the homefront. The first open house was this weekend. It really sucks that so much effort was put into getting the house cleaned and staged and there was only 1 couple that stopped by. And, they weren't pre-qualified for the price of our house. We did get feedback that they loved the kitchen, the master bedroom, the master closets and the master bathroom.

Good night.
Dani :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Twas the night before Black Belt Pre-Check #1

Now I lay me down to sleep..............But first I have some thoughts to keep
I guess I'll blog before my test...............and pray the Lord I'll do my best

Karate: Class at 8:30, SWAT at 7:00 and 7:45. Tonight was demo practice; but that didn't take the full class so we were able to get in some bag work. And, it was an extra tough workout because the transformer blew; the lights came back on but not the AC. And oh my, was it hot!!!!
Running: Rest day :)

Karate: Class at 7:30 and SWAT at 6:30; a good "A" day workout
Running: 8.07 miles in 1:31:23

Running: 3.05 miles in 28:54
Karate: Exam night!! The Demo went well. I did American Bo form with Ms. Kim and Ms. Mel. We were going at performance pace and the 2nd "set" where you do 4 figure 8's on the left, well I was a bit behind the other ladies. But I finished strong! After the bo staff, me and 13 other black belts and high-red belts performed 3 set kumites. We performed it in a square formation. It looked really cool and the staggered running kicks looked great. We did a pretty "easy" finale and then exited the floor. I went to the ladies room to change into my running clothes since Mel and I had talked about doing our 3 mile run after demo. But Mel wasn't in her running gear; instead, she was on the bench holding her knee.

She twisted it pretty good. And the stubborn lady she is, she was still talking about going out and running. But after some persuasion from a number of blackbelts, she iced her knee, she tried to "work out the kinks", and eventually went home to do RICE.

I then went on to the floor to help with the exam and after a few minutes, Mr. Mike asked me to check on a white belt who just went into the ladies room. Ms. Kelly wasn't doing very well; she was in the midst of having a migraine. I definitely could empathize with her. Migraines are the worst!!!! And I say that from personal experience. Unfortunately, Ms. Kelly wasn't able to go back to testing. And needless to say, I spent most of Wednesday night in the bathroom. :)

5.11 miles in 50:21
Karate: Class at 7:30, SWAT at 8:30. It was a great Bugo class for me. I started off by partnering with Kathy. She is awesome; she's very good about giving you feedback (keep your right guard up higher; move to your right side). When we went into 3 person safety zones, I first was with Marlene and Kathy. Marlene and I are about the same size so it was a pretty "even" match. Kathy is shorter than me, but she's a petite powerhouse. Tonight I decided I was going to focus on staying in tight with my opponent and just keep throwing punches (and yes, expecting to take some punches). I did much better against Ms. Kathy with this approach.

We only did one 3-person safety zone. Then Ma'am had all the black belts and high-red belts line up in the red zone for a round. I sparred with Ms. Terri, a high-red belt. She too is close to my size and we had a good sparring round. Finally, Ma'am had just the black belts on deck. Ms. Jennifer was "assigned" to spar with me. Now Jennifer is a bit shorter than me, BUT.......she's another petite powerhouse, 3rd degree kick-ass martial artist. I kept with my strategy of staying in tight rather than try to use my reach. And I held my ground!!! I was able to go the full 2 minutes without having Ms. Jennifer kick my butt!!! It was at the end of class and I was getting tired, but my cardio kept up (thanks to my running!!!). I was so happy with my sparring tonight; it's really come a long way; between improving my cardio and really focusing on specific drills, I may end up actually liking bugo. Imagine that!?!?!?

Recap: as of mid-week
3 karate classes
5 SWAT classes; made up a few (I'm still behind a few SWATs) :(
3 Extra 100's; I'll get in the 4th sometime this weekend.
3 Runs for 16.23 miles

Now it really is time for me to go "lay me down to sleep"!!! I'm so excited because tomorrow is the 1st Black Belt Pre-Check for the December cycle. Going for my 1st degree black belt, I was nervous and lacking confidence; I stressed at every Pre-check. But now as I go for my 2nd degree black belt, I have "told myself" that I will enjoy this! I'm not going to stress out. I know the material and I will perform it to the best of my abilities. I will be strong, I will be confident, I will support my teammates and we will all achieve our goals!!

Good night!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Bye Week, Bummer

No Gator football this past Saturday, it was a "bye" week. Next Saturday, we face Tennessee.

I want to get this blog posted, so it's going to be a quick recap of my training.....

Monday 9/8
Running: 3.27 miles; 31:58
Karate: class @ 8:30, SWAT @ 7:45, "extra 100's"
Tuesday 9/9
Running: Rest Day
Karate: Class @ 7:30, SWAT @ 8:30
Wednesday 9/10
Running: 8.03 miles; 1:33:46 (listened to NPR Wait, Wait; LMAO!!)
Karate: Rest Day; "extra 100s"
Thursday 9/11
Running: Rest Day
Karate: Class @ 7:30, SWAT @ 6:30; it's spotlight week so no Bugo (muffled YEAH!!)
Friday 9/12
Running: Rest Day
Karate: Class @ 7pm, "extra 100's "
Saturday 9/13
Running: 6.06 miles; 1:05:07, then a 2 mile timed run @ karate in 15:41 (didn't run at 100%)
Karate: Candidate class at 8:30am. Was "easier" than most candidate classes
Sunday 9/14
Running: 17.02 miles; 3:06:31
Karate: Rest Day; "extra 100s"

Weekly Total

Running: 5 runs totaling 36.38 miles; another all-time mileage high for me!!!

Karate: 5 classes, 3 SWATs, 4 "extras"

Overall it was a great training week on both fronts; running and karate. As of today (9/16/08), I only have 47 days till my next marathon, the ING New York City Marathon. I'm getting psyched, I'm getting nervous, I'm getting anxious, I'm getting concerned.......

I'm getting most scared because with all my training, I'm feeling physically really good; no major aches or pains. With all my mileage, classes, etc, I should be sore, stiff or otherwise complaining. But I'm not. Yeah, I still have my heel pain, but that's minor; it's very tolerable and doesn't really impact my running. When I was in training for my 1st degree black belt, I felt sore every day. Now training for my 2nd degree, I feel great everyday. Well, whatever is the reason, I like it!

Till next week,

Boa noite (good night in Portuguese)


Friday, September 5, 2008

Hanna Hustled, Ike Inched and Dani Did a PB

WOW!!.......there must be a forcefield around South Florida; Hanna took a right turn and hustled to the north. Ike has inched southward and now South Florida is out of the "Cone of Concern". Yeah!!! Good news for us; bad news for the Carribean nations that have already been pounded this season.

On to happier news: University of Florida Gators 26, University of Miami 'Canes 3!!! The 1st and 4th quarters were exciting. Quarters 2 and 3 the Gators seemed to lose some momentum. The 'Canes defense picked up and the Gators had a hard time getting past the line of scrimmage. But the final result is a win!!!

The "for sale sign" got hung and the house listing went up this past Tuesday. 3 days later came the 1st call for a showing on Sunday. So part of Saturday and Sunday was spent moving boxes to the storage unit, and cleaning up/tidying up the house. Then the call came in and the showing got cancelled. Oh well, maybe next weekend.

Training News:


-Running: 5.07 miles in 51:11.

-Karate: 7:30 bugo class and 6:30 SWAT class. It was a good bugo class; Chloe, a brown belt (again, I'm bad with the names), Sam, 1 other person (?name?) and then finished off with Marlene. I did much better in my final match with Marlene on Thursday than I did with her on Wednesday. My SWAT class was with the advanced junior class. I haven't SWATTED a junior class in quite a while and forgot how inattentive the younger kids can be but also how much fun they can be too.


-Running: Rest Day

-Karate: Friday was a candidate class. We warmed up and then went into boxing skills and drills. Next were the forms. Ma'am called for the December candidates to go in the front row; 1st Mel. And then me. I was surprised because normally I don't stand out and get overlooked. We did appreciation form, short 2, bookset, XMA form 2 and threw in 2-count kicking in between. Then the weapons, XMA Chuck form 1 and American Bo Form. I'm sure the 1/2 bottle of Speed Stack before class helped, but I was ON FIRE!!!! I think I performed at my all time best. I was the most happy with my bo form; I performed it at performance speed and everything just clicked. I was smiling so hard afterwards. We ended class with Kyoshi going over the MMA drills.


-Running: Up at 4:30am for the long run; my training plan called for 14 miles. Met up with the running club. For a 14 mile run, the route goes up Bayview to Commercial then crosses over to A1A, heads south to the Yankee Clipper, then turns back north and heads to the running store. There were 4 of us doing that route: myself, Coach Robert, Alicia and Sandy. We started on a good pace around 10 minute miles for the 1st three miles. I ran next to Sandy and we chatted about her training for the Chicago marathon. After 3 miles we picked up the pace a tiny bit. By mile 5, Sandy slowed a bit. I was still feeling good so I partnered up with Alicia while coach ran back to check on Sandy.

Alicia was keeping a steady 9:30-ish pace. My long runs are usually 10:30-11:00 (or more) minute miles. I am not very good at keeping an even pace. Alicia was planning on running 12 miles so I decided to run 12 with her. And, since I was running "faster" than usual, I figured we'd be done close to 8am so I would have time to make it to karate for the timed 2-mile run. That would give me my 14 miles.

Well, my timing was off a bit; we finished our run at 8:15, but only because we started our run late, at 6:15am. We ran 12.01 miles in 1:58:59! It was a great run. And, it was a symbiotic run. Alicia thanked me for helping her finish the distance. She says she probably would have stopped at 9 and 1/2 miles. I thanked her for pacing me. I would have easily run 20 minutes slower if I was by myself.

It's a bit ironic. The night before the run, I was talking with someone at karate about the fact that I joined the running group so that I could have people to run with. But every run so far had left me running by myself. I was starting to think joining the club was a waste of money. And then I have one of my best runs; in fact, it was a "PB" for me. And what timing! As the New York City Marathon quickly looms around the corner, my confidence is starting to wane. So Saturday's run was a fantastic confidence boosting run. I saw that I could handle a faster pace over a long distance. New York, HERE I COME!!!!

The only sour note was that after a brief cool down from the run, I got in my Jeep to head to karate and realized I would never make it on time for the timed run at 8:30. Rats.....hopefully Ma'am will accept my 12 mile run!!


Running: Today was a "recovery" run. Ran 8.08 in 1:30:18. I really like catching up on my podcasts on my longer runs but I definitely run "faster" when I listen to music versus podcasts.

For The Week

Karate: 4 classes, 3 SWAT classes

Running: 5 runs totalling 34.01 miles; another milestone for my training!!!!

I really am starting to feel bipolar. Last week was a pretty crappy (depressed week). Now, this week was spectacular (manic). It was one of the best karate weeks I have ever had. I took 2 bugo classes and didn't feel intimidated. In stead, I felt strong and confident. In the candidate class, I felt like a "2nd degree black belt"; I was able to focus, have "tiger eyes" and perform to the level I know I can. And in my running, I made huge strides in total mileage and in seeing that I can push myself a bit harder.

I guess I need the crappy weeks to better appreciate the spectacular weeks.

Well, let's keep our fingers crossed that this week is another Spectacular Week!!!


Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Holy Hurricanes Batman!

OK, from the pictures, I'm sure you can gather how I will be spending the next week or so. I am already so "over" this hurricane season. Fay, Gustov, Hanna, Ike,'s starting to remind me of 2004 and 2005 Charlie, Frances, Jean, and Wilma.......

My biggest concern right now is Hanna because it looks like she'll be in the Gainesville vicinity around Friday or Saturday. And, Saturday is the day of the Florida Gators versus University of Miami Hurricanes football games! How appropriate that we're playing the Hurricanes!!! Anyways, I am really looking forward to the game and hope it doesn't get cancelled.

Also, I'm not too thrilled that Ike is projected to be a category 4 storm. Wilma was a 3 and we had to get a new roof. A cat 4, yikes!!!

And now for the non-hurricane news.....
My daughter is going to the Jonas Brother's concert Thursday night with her best friend. For anyone who has a teenage daughter, the "JBs" are the hottest thing right now. The concert is in Tampa, across the state. This means she has to miss a day of school. I am not the type of parent who lets my kids miss school; ever (and you can ask either one of them!). But, I know this is something she really wanted. She always does well in school getting good grades and making honor roll, so I am chalking this concert up as a "reward".

Of course now my son thinks he is entitled to getting a "free day off from school". SoI told him, if his grades get as good as his sister's, I will honor that request. He has the capacity, he just doesn't have the drive. He's a typical, normal 11 year old boy who enjoys lazing around, playing video games and watching TV.

Training far this week.....
**Running: 5.15 miles in 53:51
**Karate: closed because of the Labor Day Holiday

**Running: Ran 3.28 miles in 32:00 minutes; ran before karate behind the dojo.
**Karate: 7:30 class. Master KC threw in conditioning type drills in between the "usual" MMA, boxing type of drills. She always seems to do that after a holiday when we get an extra day off! I was a bit tired and extremely sweaty after class, so I didn't stay to SWAT the novice class.

**Runnng: running Rest day!!
**Karate: SWATted the 7:45 novice class and then took my 8:30 bugo class. I was happy to see a good number of ladies for the late night sparring class. And it was a nice mixture of ladies. I sparred twice with Marlene, twice with a Brown belt lady (I'm bad with names!) and once with Ms. Kim. Overall it was a good sparring night for me. I'm trying to focus on using my left jab more; both offensively and as an "entry". I'm also trying to string combos together better using both my hands hands and feet.

Well, enought for 1 night. I'm off to sleep!!!

Dobroi nochi (Good night in Russian)