Friday, October 31, 2008

The Big Apple, Here I Come!

The day finally arrived to leave for New York! My flight was at 5pm so I figured I'd leave work at 3pm. And as usual, it was a crazy day with a long list of things that I JUST HAD TO GET DONE before I could leave. And next thing you knew, it was time to go.

The flight left 3o minutes late, but we were still "scheduled" to arrive on time. The flight was good; I watched Sportscenter and the beginning of the USF vs. Cinncinatti game. You gotta love Jet Blue's tv at every seat! As we made our approach we were put into a "holding pattern" for 15-20 minutes. It took another 15 minutes to get an open gate. We came into the new terminal at JFK. It definitely looks new, but it's very sterile and industrial looking; no character!

I got into the city and got situated close to 10pm. By then I was starving!!! So I went to a little Italian restaurant nearby and had a nice glass of wine and linguini with mushrooms and garlic; Yum Yum!!

Now it's Friday morning. I'm getting ready to go meet my stepmother and head to the Expo. At 11am, I'm going to meet up with 6 or 7 other Phedip runners at the Team Boomer exhibit.

I'm going to have to get some running tights at the expo. The temp last night was 37 degrees. Just a tad bit chilly for this Florida gal. Thankfully today it should be in the 50's and 60's. But Sunday's weather is expected to be in the 40's. Ugh!!! That's a little bit cooler than I was hoping for. And there's no way I'll be able to run in shorts. Yeah, I know I'll warm up once I start running. But I don't think that will be enough. And, I want this to be a pleasant experience; I don't want to only remember that I was freezing my butt off.

After the expo I'll probably do an early dinner with Dad and Anne. I want to get a good nights sleep tonight since I know I won't sleep well Saturday night.

That's all for now.......

Sunday, October 26, 2008

1 Week Countdown.....

The dream is starting to come true......the New York Marathon is next Sunday; 1 week away. I can hardly believe it! And now comes the hard part, counting down the final days till the marathon!!!

I've been watching the NY weather for several weeks. And it's ranged from the upper 40's to low 60's for the "lows"; their "highs" have been from the 50's to 60's. Considerably cooler than the temps I am used to in Florida. I'm starting to worry about what I should wear for the marathon. I'm always cold to begin with, so I'm thinking I should wear running tights or capris instead of shorts or my new running skirt. Or, maybe the skirt will be okay, but I'll wear a LS shirt. Aaaaah, so many decisions!(#*@*!@#*#)(!!@

For the week....
  • Karate: 3 classes, 4 SWAT classes; 4 days of extras =150 push-ups, 150 sit-ups, 50 lunges, 50 kicks off each leg (side, front, round, back)
  • Runs: 4 runs; total mileage 17+ miles
Fun Stuff.......

#1. The Gators beat Kentucky, resoundingly! But we only moved up from #10 to #8 in the BCS poll. Next Saturday we play Georgia. That should be a great game. I better be able to get the game up in NY!!!!

#2. Saturday night was the karate Halloween party. My costume went over very well! I was "Miss Hap", a beauty pagent contestant who has seen better days! Get it, a "mishap". I had the beauty pagent part down with a gown, tiara, tons of make up. The "mishap" part was a fake cast , a fake wound, wearing a foot boot (thanks to RJ's recent injury) and on a crutch (thanks to my torn calf injury). It was quite realistic! Several people freaked, thinking I had really gotten injured with only 2 weeks till black belt testing!!! I'm hoping someone who took pictures will send me a copy!!

The party was nice. It was great to go out for a "social" adult event. There was lots of food, a good turn out of people and good dancing tunes!!! There was even jello shots. I don't think I've had them since college!! Cool beans!!!

Well, it's 11:40pm and the Phillies just won game 4 of the World Series 10-2. It's not looking too good for the Rays. But, you never know.......

Yawn. Time for bed!!! Goodnight all!!!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

First things Gator football this weekend. I hate bye weeks.

Today was Pre-Check #2 for the December cycle Black Belt candidates. Pre-check #1 = forms and katas, Pre-check#2 = Bugo (sparring). We started class by running 4 laps of the dojo; trampoline high knees, side shuffles, backward running. Then we lined up and started stretching and worked our way into some ab work and boxing combo drills.

We then worked on our self-defense holds and grabs. We lined up with a partner; 1 person attacked the other person with 3 different Holds & Grabs and then we switched positions. We did this a second time, but with 5 holds and grabs each. Then it was time to perform. All the guys lined up on deck and performed their 5 holds and grabs then the ladies did the same thing.

I did much better with my H&G today than I did on Wednesday; I was "sharper". But on Wednesday I was able to tell my attackers which H&G I wanted so that I could pick the ones that were more "dramatic" and showed off my skills better. Today we were at the mercy of whatever H&G our partner chose. My partner (who is awesome!) chose H&G that were not my favorites, but that's the way the cookie crumbles!

After H&G, we put on our sparring gear, except for our headgear. We started out with light boxing moves and kicks for 2 rounds. Then, it was time to put on the headgear and to get into 3 person safety zones. Ma'am assigned me with Sensei Stephanie and Alex.

My 1st round was with Sensei. Now she could easily kick my a## because she is so talented/strong/skilled/you name it, she's it. But she's also a great partner and works with you. Overall, I was ok with my sparring against Sensei Steph; not great, but not bad. I took a number of kicks and punches from Sensei, but I was able to get in a few front kicks and punches of my own! After our round, Steph sparred with Alex and I got a short break. Then it was my turn to spar with Alex (high-red belt). Alex is considerably taller than me but I was able to get inside and throw some punches and kicks.

Then it was time to switch zones. And the zone from here on our were 2 person zones (which means no breaks!). Ma'am assigned me to spar with Ms. Melissa. Yes, Ms. Melissa who just competed in her 1st Muay Thai competition and kicked butt!!! Melissa had the height (and skill) advantage. She is an awesome partner. She could have easily powered against me, instead she worked with me. So, I did ok; not great, but not bad.

Next was Jennifer, the 3rd degree dynamo! The ONLY thing I had against Jen was a height advantage which I can take advantage of by throwing my jabs or front kicks. Jen tends to throw a lot of round kicks. For the most part, I will "take" the kick because blocking it takes away most of the force. I can then come in with a straight line counter.

After Jen, I sparred Olivia. She and I are about the same size. The last time I sparred Olivia, I did very well, keeping up against her. But today I was starting to get tired. I had sparred continuously against Alex, Melissa, Jen and now Olivia, without a break! I tried my best to concentrate on not letting my fatigue cause me to get sloppy with my skills.

After Olivia, I sparred Lori, a 1st degree from LHP. She had some good front kicks and she was really good throwing her jab over and over and over! . Finally......Ma'am had the candidates line up and Mel and I got to spar. I really don't remember too much of the round; I was so pooped by then. I just wanted the round to end. And it did. And I was done, yeah!!!!!

Several months ago I would have been so intimidated to have to spar Sensei Steph, Ms. Melissa, Melanie, and Jennifer. In my journey to 2nd degree, my bugo skills have improved, although there's still plenty of room for improvement! But, the area that I feel I've had the greatest improvement is in my confidence in sparring. I'm no longer "scared" to spar certain people. I don't "shell up" like I used to.

Morgan, who is going for his 3rd degree black belt, had to spar one last round. He had 3 opponents, each opponent got 1 minute against him. First it was Picasso who has awesome speed and kicks. Then it was Christian who kept throwing punches after punches. And finally, it was Gavin who is skilled beyond belief. Each of the opponents had gotten a "break" waiting for their turn. Morgan had to spar continuously. You could see the fatigue set in (and I'm sure that's what he was being tested for) and yet he was able to throw kicks and punches. Impressive!

Kyoshi ended class talking about managing emotions and then sent us off to get ready to run our timed 2 mile run.

So I had made it through the bugo part, whew! Now, all I had to do was run 2 miles and Black Belt Pre-Test #2 would be done! The weather was cooperating; it was in the low 80's with low humidity. Everything was great. Except for my right heel.

I have bursitis in my right heel. It's inflamed because of my running. So the only treatment choices are to stop running (not an option) or take anti-inflammatory medication. So I've been taking daily doses of Aleve. For many weeks. Last week, I think it was a combination of the pain wasn't noticeable (because the Aleve was working) and I was so busy that I forgot to take the Aleve (I'm a very forgetful medication taker). Well, today at the end of class, the pain reared it's ugly head.

But I had to run. For the first 2 laps, the pain was uncomfortable. The discomfort caused me to shift my weight to the left foot which shortened my stride and slowed my pace. But by lap 3, the stiffness worked itself out or my pain threshhold increased. Either way, I ended up finishing the 2 miles in 15:44, which is the exact same time I ran last week. I'm very consistent!!

And now I've completed Black Belt Pre-Check #1 and #2. I should get feedback this week from Ma'am about my Pre-Check #2 performance. And with luck, I will be a candidate for Power Week (which is the actual black belt "final exam") which starts right after I run my marathon............

And now to end a busy day.....good night

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I was finally able to log my time from Sunday's WWFoR Half Marathon; here's my finisher's certificate!

Karate: Getting ready for Saturday. It's Black Belt Pre-Check #2; sparring.....

Class @ 8:30. Demo practice night. We started off in dojo 1 and did a "normal" warm-up, then into the demo practice. Morgan, Mel and I worked on our creative kumite. We added a jump front kick into the kata and a crescent kick at the end. That was the added "flair" the kata needed.

Class @ 7:30; SWAT @ 8:30. Class was good. Mel and I did our "extras" after class. This week the "extras" have been increased to 150 push-ups and 150 sit-ups. No problem!

Wednesday: Exam Demo
Mel, Morgan and I performed a creative kumite. Mel and I did the same moves and Morgan did his "flair" in between the 2 of us. It was a short but dynamic kata. The 3 of us also demo'ed holds-n-grabs. We each had 3 attackers and they each did 2 grabs. My 6 were: (1) rear, arms free; (2) side-shoulder grab; (3) front choke; (4) double wrist grab; (5) double lapel; and (6) side-headlock. I finished them all with leg take downs, schlocks or guillitoines (sp?).

The December candidates had to stay on deck during testing so demonstration and performance. We did kicking drills and MMA drills. Then we went on to weapons. Mel and I performed American Bo Form and we had our best performance ever; our timing was so perfect together.

Ryan decided to come to the exan demo with me. He got a few frames of video on the camera. The quality isn't great. He got everything on "video" except for our Bo routine; oh well.



Sunday, October 12, 2008

Race Reports

This morning I ran 2 races. I ran the A1A Marathon Training Run 30K, AND, at the same time, the Phedipidations World Wide Festival of Races 1/2 Marathon.

The WWFoR 1/2 Marathon was a "virtual" race; it's motto was Think Global, Run Local. There were over 1,100 runners from over 41 countries participating. Runners could run a "real" race or just run the distance. It worked out well for me that I already had a scheduled 18-mile "race". I ran the 1/2 marathon in 2:08:47; which is a PR for me!

The "real" race today was the The A1A Training Run. The "race" was sponsored by my running club and was targeted to runners who will be running the A1A marathon (which isn't until February). The "race" had 2 distances, 15K and 30K. I did the 30K (18.6) miles since I needed the long run for my NYC marathon training.
We started in Deerfield Beach, just north of the pier and JB's. There was probably around 200+ runners?!?! We ran north on A1A; through Deerfield Beach, into Boca Raton and then on into Highland Beach. At 9.3 miles we turned around and ran back. It was a scenic run; beach views and expensive residences. Everytime I go through that stretch of A1A and see all the beautiful houses, I really wish I had been an architect instead of a pharmacist........ oh well.....I can still dream!!!
It was a great run. Because it was held as a "race" there were water/gaterade/goo stations. This meant I didn't have to wear my hydration belt, which shaved 2 pounds off my hips! 2 pounds doesn't sound like much, but over many miles, you notice it.
The weather was good. Temps were in the low- to mid-80's. But luckily, it was a bit overcast, keeping the sun behind the clouds which made a huge difference. The last 2 miles it started to rain which was a nice cool down.
The miles went by well. My heels, feet and knees felt good; just a bit of soreness and discomfort which is to be expected with the distance and my age!!! But my "legs" (muscles) were sorer than usual, which was odd because I ran fewer miles this week and we really didn't do any extreme leg work at karate. I think all my mileage is just starting to add up. It's 3 weeks out till the marathon so my body will really appreciate the taper.
Breaking News......The Gators moved up in the rankings; we're #5!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sports Injury.....

Yes, that's RJ in a pink cast! He got hurt during his basketball game last week. Then he extra-injured it during a soccer game. The diagnosis is a fracture of the growth plate in his ankle. He gets 4 weeks in the cast and that will put an end to his basketball season.
Running: Rest Day :)
Karate: SWAT @ 7:00 and 7:45; Class @ 8:30; tonight was Demo practice. Morgan, Mel and me were assigned to perform a creative kumite. We came up with a beginning; some hand combos, a bunch of kicks, some cool hand movements from Mastik.....but we still need to come up with a "flashy" finish.
Running: 8.35 miles in 1:19:48
Karate: Rest Day!
Running: Rest Day :)
Karate: Class @ 8:30. Since it is "Spotlight" week, there is no Bugo (sparring). We did a lot of ground workouts; how to defend when you are on the ground. Check their legs, offensive forward kicks, technical lifts. A lot of work on the abs!!!
Running: 4.06 miles in 38:06
Karate: SWAT @ 8:30, Class at 7:30. Tonight's class was pretty much a repeat of Wednesday nights class. But that's ok because it was a great ab workout.
Running: 3.04 miles in 28:43
Karate: Rest Day! I almost always go to Friday night class. But I had the kids and I knew they would put up a stink about having to sit through karate. Plus, I really had a bunch of work stuff that I needed to catch up on. So, I took the night off from karate. The kids had friends over, and despite that, I was able to knock off a bunch of stuff from my "to do" list.
Karate: Candidate Class @ 8:30
Todays candidate class was a pre-bugo check. Next Saturday's class is Black Belt Pre-Check #2 and will focus on sparring. So today was a "test run". I was pretty psyched; I got up early and ate a good breakfast, got to class early to have time to stretch. Everything was going well. We ran a few laps to start class, stopping at every XXL bag for round kicks and then doing a pretty standard warm up. Then it was time to get into full sparring gear.

Ma'am assigned everyone to 3-person zones. I was put with Terri and Shirley who are both high red belts. I wondered why I hadn't been put with other black belts but I figured when we switched partners that would change. So round 1 was just boxing skills. After that, we didn't switch zones (Hmmmm); instead, we sparred round 2 using just kicking skills.
After round 2, Ma'am had everyone line up. She said she was calling the December candidates; she started with the 2nd degrees (Morgan), then she called the 1st degree black belts (Mel, and the 2 junior 1st degrees) and finished with the high red belts. But wait, why didn't she call my name with the 1st degrees? Am I not on track for December???
I don't even remember watching the bout. My mind was going 100mph; I was upset, I was confused. Am I not on track for December? I've done everything that's been assigned, I've made my run times since day 1; I've done the demos; I doing my SWATS, what could be the problem? Or, was I just fogotten again? I was pissed; I was upset; I was confused. All these thoughts are not very good in light of this week's Black Belt Message ("Black Belts control Their Emotions").
Round 2 of the "spotlight" bugos came and I did get called. Olivia was assigned to spar with me. She definitely had the height advantage on me, but I was able to get in a good number of kicks against her. After bout #2, class ended and it was time for the timed 2 mile run.
Running: 2 mile tmed run in 15:44.
After class, I went to change into my running clothes. I was still upset about being "overlooked" and for a moment, I actually thought about just getting my stuff and going home. But, I knew that wouldn't "fix" anything. So, I changed, puffed on my inhaler, gulped down a goo packet and went outside to get the run over with.
Today was the last day for candidates to make their run time. I had already made my time, but Mel needed to do it today. The run started and I had my headphones in both ears listening to the Black Eyed Peas "Pump It". After I finished lap 1, I realized I was ahead of Mel by 100 or so yards.
It was at this point that I snapped out of my "sucks to be me" funk. Mel needed to make her time and I could help her. So I slowed down and stayed with her for the next 3 laps. I screamed, I shoulted, I pushed, and we finished at 15:44. I was so happy that she did it!!! And Mel was so thankful; but it was all her doing, she had it in her all the time.
After the run we walked over to Vince so that he could write down our times for Ma'am. And sure enough, my name wasn't even on the list. Needless to say, at that point, I pretty much lost it. I've busted my ass for how many months and I'm not even on the list!! WTF??? Thank God Mel was right next to me. She calmed me down. Well, enough of the karate drama..................
So Saturday started pretty crappy. But, it is ending on a Great Note!!! The 11th ranked Gators are right now leading the 4th ranked LSU Tigers 42 to 14. Woohoo! It's Great To Be A Florida Gator!!!
And now, it's time for bed. I have an 18 miler to run tomorrow morning!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

4 Weeks Till NYC!!

It was way too fresh to talk about on my last blog post, but I think I can finally open up about it now. Yes. My Gators lost. To Ole Miss..........By 1 point.....It was a painful fall all the way to #12.

But, there's always another game. And sure enough, the Gators won this weeks game against Arkansas, 38 to 7. A little bit of redemption and feel-goodness after Ole Miss. But unfortunately, Tebow's record of no interceptions in over 160+ passes came to an end; what a bummer. Next Saturday we face LSU and that's going to be a tough one. But at least it is a home game; the Swamp isn't friendly to Tigers!

29 days till the NYC marathon....4, the days are just flying by!!! This year's NYC marathon will have a wave start. The wave assignments are based on your prior marathon times. Since I am not a "fast" runner, I will be in wave 3 (the last one!) which has a start time of 10:20.

Running: 5.02 miles, 48:52
Karate: Class at 8:30; SWAT @ 7:00 and 7:45

Running: Rest Day! Whew!

Karate: Class @ 7:30; SWAT @ 8:30; Ma'am & Mr. Daniel worked us hard!!! Got in our "extras" 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups during class (yeah!); did some great conditioning bag work, and after class ran through all of our katas.

Running: 8.06 miles in 1:18:19
Karate: Rest Day

Running: 3.07 in 28:11
Karate: Class @ 7:30; Bugo night. In the 1st "3-person zone" I sparred with Sandy and Alex, both of whom are considerably taller than me. I couldn't get inside with Sandy but held my ground. I did a bit better against Alex, as I was able to get inside. Next I sparred with a High Red belt who just moved to our dojo from LHP. Then I sparred with Jen (3rd degree) and Eduard (2nd degree), which was awesome. My last round was with another High Red belt. Overall, it was another great Bugo class.

Running: Rest Day!
Karate: Class @ 7:00; a true "Happy Hour" class! Mr Mike ran us ragged!!! We did core work, push-ups, sit-ups, and tons of squats and lunges. We did pad work (the big ones and then the muay thai pads). It was a great workout, but I was thinking that I would be really feeling it on Saturday morning during candidate class.

Running: 8.02 miles in 1:21:28 and 1 mile timed run 7:11
Mr. Galindo ran us as hard as Mr. Mike did the night before. Again, we did our core work, stances, katas. The class seemed to go on forever. But, it finally ended and then it was time for our timed run.

I really wanted to run the 1 mile in 7:00 or better. But, right as we all started, Veronica (a junior high red) fell flat on her face and my "mother" instinct kicked in and I stopped running. I started again after I saw others attending to her, but I lost some time. I didn't have my ipod because when we 1st walked outside it was sprinkling so I didn't want to get it wet. And, my Garmin was taking forever to link up the satellites that it wasn't ready when the run started. But despite all these "glitches", I ended up with a time of 7:11; which is 1 second better than my previous PB of 7:12.

I finally updated my marathon training log today. I've been remiss in that I've only been focusing on my karate training log; although most of the training is interchangeable. Anyways, since I "officially" started my NYC marathon training on July 14th, I've run 53 runs for a total of 485.28 miles. I wish I could say I enjoyed every mile..........

Well, off to enjoy a glass of '06 Napa Valley Merlot and finish watching the Ohio State/Wisconsin game. I love football season!

Go Gators