Wednesday, October 31, 2007

This Is Halloween

My kid's favorite holiday was (and still is) Halloween. Now I think it's my Grandson's favorite holiday as well. When my kids were little I made all of their costumes, or we would trek on to Goodwill to make up components to their costumes. Even though my Grandson received a nifty Spiderman costume for his birthday, complete with muscles, he really wanted to be Thomas the Train. His mommy found it for well under $20.00. I can't argue with that!

No workout or running today.


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Follow You, Follow Me

Activity: Run
Date: 10/30/07 10:44 AM
Distance: 2.66 miles
Time: 0:27:49
Speed: 5.7 mph
Pace: 10' 27 min/mile
Calories: 255

Since the air quality has improved, I thought I'd be OK to do a very short and easy run today. It's my first run since the NWHM on 10/21/07. Today is probably the first day since we came home from SF that it doesn't smell like smoke in the air. I didn't have any breathing issues, but I didn't go out with full on speed, run up THE HILL, or try to break any records. I just kept it easy.

I signed up my husband to participate the Silver Strand Half Marathon with me on November 11, 2007. He did go about 9 miles following me at the NWHM, pictured here, so he figured he'd be OK. The Silver Strand Half Marathon is flat, with a few rises here and there, but no hills what-so-ever. He'll be just fine.


Saturday, October 27, 2007


I'm not sure what's up with my computer, perhaps the settings have been messed with, as my 4 year old grandson likes to surf the net for, and car websites, but my blog font is huge on the sidebar when I look at it under Internet Explorer, and looks just right when I look at it under Mozilla Firefox. Also, I've never noticed before, but under my profile it said my industry was accounting. I'm so very much NOT an accountant. I'm perplexed. I changed it to Arts since there was no medical option. I do have an Arts background. If anyone has suggestions on how to fix my settings/fonts so they're consistent on either server, do chime in. Hi. My name is Irene and I'm a computer idiot.

The NWHM 2007 was the type of event I needed. My summer runs were very lacking for me. I am normally excited to run in events, but I just had no spark this past summer. It's kind of like I was just going through the motions and not enjoying myself. San Francisco was the perfect back drop for the event. Even the finisher's T shirt was awesome! It's a women's cut, made out of that wicking/fit-dry fabric, it's pink, and it fits! I have every intention of running in next year's event, provided I can get in. If I do get in I will make plans to stay right in town, stay longer so I can spend more time with my running friends, take full advantage of the expo (I didn't get a massage or pedicure because my family was waiting for me), make sure I get in a faster starting corral, and make sure I have a designated meeting place to meet my running friends after the race is over, and enjoy San Francisco. Since this was my first time at this event, I didn't know what to expect. Now that I do, and saw all there was to experience, I will make more time to soak it all in!

My heart is breaking for all of those who lost homes, family and friends in the fires this past week. I know I've complained about the dust and crud I've had to constantly wipe or vacuum, but that is petty, and I am very thankful that I do have a home to dust, and that my family is fine. The dust is settling, and we noticed stars in the sky last night. The local news is constantly showing people returning to what is left of their homes, and trying to sift through the charred debris for something reconizable, such as jewelry, coins, dishes, anything. With any disaster, there is also plenty of finger-pointing going on, as to proper protocol. The Santa Ana winds were so strong, I don't know if there was any more anyone could have done. The authorites are now playing the "if only" song and dance. I suppose they do need to hash out "if only" so that they can learn from these firestorms for next time. I hope there is no next time.


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Here are some of the details of the Nike Women's Half Marathon 2007:

The night before we left for San Francisco, I only had about 4 hours of sleep, so I was going on pure adrenaline all day Saturday. In a couple of the pictures I've posted (in yesterday's post), to me, I look incredibly tired. That night I barely slept. I was thinking about the race and just couldn't sleep, kind of like a kid at Christmastime, anticipating the day ahead.

Race Day
My brother, husband and I made it to the start area at Union Square well before the crack of dawn. I tried to find Leslie and Denise, but it turned out that Leslie's cell phone was out and it was just too hard to find Denise in the huge sea of runners. I moved up to around where the 10 to 11 minute milers were waiting towards the back of that corral, thinking I would be OK. My brother and husband took a few pictures of me waiting in the dark with other runners, but the pictures turned out fuzzy.

Once the start gun went off, it took well over 16 minutes to arrive at the start line, which activates the timing chip, and that's where I started my Wireless Run Tracker GPS on my cell phone (WRT). It was slow moving after the start because just about everyone in front of me was walking or sort of jogging. I also noticed that my WRT was not in sync with the mile markers on the route. My WRT would beep several hundred feet before I got to the mile marker. It took a while but I started to weave in and out of the walkers where I could, but in some areas it was just too hard to squeeze through so I had to be patient. It was like that for the first couple of miles, then I was able to ease into a about a 9:30ish minute mile pace, until mile 6, where it bottle-necked and people started walking up hill. I had no choice but, again, to be patient and wait for an opening to run up hill. That hill was about a mile up, and I was able to run up past people who were struggling with it. There were a few more hills to go, one that was a little more steep, but I felt confident that I did all that hill training in my neighborhood, so the San Francisco hills were challenging enough but not a huge struggle. We ran through some beautiful neighborhoods. I wished I had some sort of camera hat or helmet cam to take pictures without stopping because I would look around and be amazed with the views and some of the architecture. The view after mile 10 was spectacular. The weather was crystal clear and we could see the beach/ocean ahead. At that time I didn't realize that was where the finish line would be - at the beach. At mile 11 was the chocolate. The handed me about 6 Ghirardelli chocolate squares. I wasn't sure what to do with them so I shoved them in my already crowded hydration pack. Towards the end there was a tent/canopy that we ran through which played movies of people running, perhaps celebrities, reciting words of encouragement. I really didn't pay attention because I was trying to pick up speed there and it was a little dark in that longish tent/canopy thing. At mile 12 I tried to put on the speed but I was once again stuck behind people, and I had to slow down. I thought I may have PR'ed this run, based on my WRT time, but it did not match my chip time, and the course distance was a little off on my WRT, as it gave me 13.5 miles. This is the first race where my WRT was that off from the chip time and distance.

I broke even on my time. My official time of 2:19 is about what my personal record is, but my brother reminded me that this course had some serious hills, and the other course I PR'ed (at the San Jose Half Marathon 2006) did not have much in the way of inclines or hills, and I should consider this an improvement. One little thing, though, is that I didn't put an estimated finish time when I registered, so I was put in a starting corral with the walkers. Even though I was able to change corrals, it still wasn't far up enough with more of the runners. Don't get me wrong, it's great that there was a huge contingent of walkers, and I have great respect for all of them getting out there and participating -- I was just in the wrong corral for my average mile time. I've learned to take each race as it is and quit doing the "if only I did X different" thing. It is what it is. Live and learn for next time. I'm still feeling good about my finish time and I felt fantastic on race day. This race was good for my psyche.

Here's some of the great points about this event:
*Seeing Leslie again - Which felt like seeing a dear friend I've known all my life.
*Meeting Dori, Michelle, Elizabeth, Julie, Margaret and Denise, and a few others - sorry I don't remember their names!
*Perfect weather. It was crystal clear and mild.
*My brother and husband trying to run ahead of me so they could cheer for me. (I think they ran about 9 miles.)
*Running somewhere near Fisherman's Warf and seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.
*After the last summit, after around the 10 mile mark, turning the bend on the hill and seeing the beach/ocean down below. It was breathtaking.
*The chocolate mile.
*The cute guys in black tuxes, with silver trays full of little blue Tiffany & Co. boxes with while satin bows, which had the finisher's necklace inside.
*The finish line area was at the beach.
*At the end of the day - Sleep.

I plan on participating in this race next year, arrive on Friday instead of Saturday, plan on staying in a hotel near the event, arrange to spend more time with my running friends, and take advantage of all of the services the Expo has to offer.

The media has been saying how much better this fire disaster has been handled in comparison to Hurricane Katrina. People displaced who are staying at Qualcom stadium are being well taken care of and constantly asked if they need anything. People are remaining calm and there is very little threat of looting in the affected neighborhoods. I did hear of only one incident of attempted looting, but the authorities were on it and have already apprehended the two accomplices. Several homes were lost, and unfortunately one life was lost, but everything is being handled well, and most people are cooperating. My home is currently not in any danger, but things can change so quickly, so we have certain items ready to go, just in case. My father lives close to one of the fires and he's ready to come to my house if the authorities tell him to leave. Everyone in my neighborhood is home, but have remained indoors. A few of my neighbors have friends or relatives who have been displaced staying with them until they're able to return back home. Hopefully, their homes are still standing. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

Activity: Run - Nike Women's Half Marathon, San Francisco, CA
Date: 10/21/07 07:09 AM
Distance: 13.52 miles
Time: 2:18:45
Speed: 5.8 mph
Pace: 10' 16 min/mile
Calories: 1288

Chip time/Official Time 2:19:53
(I broke even!)

I don't even know where to begin and end because this event was great! I'll just go the highlights and explain more about the run later.

Leslie and I managed to find each other at Union Square on Saturday, where the expo was held. Union Square was busy and noisy with people (mostly women) picking up their race numbers, timing chips, and enjoying the services the expo had to offer. It felt wonderful to see Leslie again.

I met Dori (She Do Run Run) for the first time, in person! Dori had arranged for a few of us (who mostly know each other through blogs) to meet up at Starbucks, just 2 blocks from the expo. At Starbucks, here's the running bloggers : from left to right - Me, Michelle, Dori, and Elizabeth. I did meet another wonderful lady there, Margaret, but she didn't want her picture taken, so she became the photographer.

I had to leave the group for a while and meet back with my husband,brother and sister-in-law for lunch, but met back with the group briefly so I could meet Julie (Juls - Keeping Pace) and her son in front of Macy's.

At Nike Town, they had a wall with all of the participant's names listed. I found me!

Look what I got for finishing! It was given to me by a really cute guy in a black tux, holding a silver tray with several little, blue Tiffany boxes on it. (I did try to take a picture of these guys with my cell phone, but I forgot to save it... DOH!)

I finally met up with Denise, who I know through Yahoo running groups! It was so busy at the start of the race that I didn't know exactly where she was, but thank goodness we hooked up after the run! Look at us modeling our finisher's necklaces!

These guys (and their friends) were hysterical. I don't know who they are but they were NOT shy about having their photos taken! If you double-click on the picture you can get a bigger view, then read their shirts! There was a large group who had different sayings on their shirts, all in support of their friends and significant others who ran in the event.

I'm near the finish line festivities at the beach! Life is good. I'll post the finer details tomorrow. I wished you were all there!


RE: California Fires
I live just north and south of some of the fires that are burning in San Diego right now. The college my kids attend has been closed and is being used as a meeting place for law enforcement, rescue teams, and fire fighters. We're OK, but praying for everyone!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Geek In The Pink

Carb loading has commenced.

After babysitting for a friend yesterday, I hit the outlet mall near their house, in search of a pink athletic top to go with my pink running skirt. I'm usually all about function and comfort over cuteness when it comes to running clothes, but the Nike Women's Half marathon and Marathon are geared more towards women, and I thought it would be fun to get some new garb and be all girl-y girl in pink. I normally don't seek out the pink clothes, and for some reason I thought it would be easy to find a top to match my new pinky-pink skirt. The task was easier said than done. The Nike outlet store had pink tops, only in x-tra large. I normally take a small or a medium, depending on the cut. I did find a singlet in my size for about $10 that had nothing to do with what I was looking for, but it was a bargain that I couldn't pass up. Over at the Adidas store, I did find several pink tops, but since I didn't have the actual skirt with me, I could only guess on the color, and made a purchase. Once I arrived home, I put the pink skirt and the pink top together. I thought the pinks didn't match quite right, and It sort of hurt to look at the two pinks together. My husband has an eye for color, and he seemed to think I could get away with wearing the two different pinks, but in the light of day, the pinks fight with each other, and loudly. Maybe if I were a 5 year old girl this look could work, but it didn't work on this 48 year old woman... I wonder how PinkChick - Dawn does it? She always wears her signature color, pink, to her run events. Since I had to trek out run errands this morning, I brought the skirt with me and matched it up to another top, which actually matches the color of the stripe on the pink skirt, and the colors don't fight. ;) Maybe I should have just stuck with function and comfort instead of fashion. Well, at least I'll be findable in a big crowd...

Oh yeah, I mentioned baby sitting. My friend and his wife have a 5 month old daughter. His wife went back to work for the first time in well over a year. I am officially their daughter's first babysitter. At 5 months old, she is but a rolly-polie ball of cuteness. So far, as babies go, she seemed easy-going and didn't pitch a fit when her parents left. Thank goodness... Once mom and dad returned, they offered me dinner and I obliged. While dining, they asked if my husband and I would be their daughter's Godparents. Wow. I was very surprised that they asked us, but very honored.

Regarding my last post:
I should have been a little more specific to what I wrote. The issue with my brother and talking is more of a sibling thing. I truly believe we want what's best for each other, but we still drive each other nuts. My brother is very high strung and regimented. I'm not high strung (or maybe not as high strung, if you ask my husband) and tend to go with the flow. We don't run at the same speed when it comes to running or life. My brother is a great guy and has been one of my biggest supporters when I started running. He just expects that I'll eventually "catch up" to him. I can run and talk, as long as you run and talk at my speed, and don't mind if I happen not to say anything from time to time.

I'll be back on Monday or Tuesday with my half marathon report!


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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I'm Lonely (But I Ain't That Lonely Yet)

Today's workout was lower body. Sans weights -- squats, back extensions, side leg lifts, and abs.

I run by myself the majority of the time. I know I've said this before, but running is my "ME TIME." Most of the time running is my therapy, my Zen, my escape, my meditation, mine. From time to time I wonder how it would be to run with a group or another person who runs about my speed on a regular basis. Would my running get faster, get easier, be more fun? My next (sort of) goal is to get with a running group so I can answer these questions. I have several options, as there's actually quite a few running groups here in town.

My brother has volunteered to unofficially run with me at the half marathon this weekend. I love my brother dearly, BUT my brother finds my pace slow (he has about a 7:30 to 8 minute mile pace for a half marathon) and gets kind of antsy right away. Plus, he's a talk runner. He'll talk the whole way and keep pace. I do enjoy a little chatter here and there during a run, especially when the other runner runs about my pace. The conversations from my brother are not just little chatter here and there, they are full on conversations about the meaning of life - and then some. I don't think I have the energy to have my brother run with me. I appreciate the sentiment but I'm not up to his speed, and I don't think I'll ever be there. I think his support will be better appreciated if he cheers for me on the sidelines, for a change. I rarely have anyone cheering for me on the sidelines. I've already asked my husband to be waiting for me at the end, and I'm hoping my brother will humor me and hang out with my husband. Besides, they both work in the same field and will have plenty to talk about.


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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Activity: Run
Date: 10/16/07 09:55 AM
Distance: 3.10 miles
Time: 0:32:52
Speed: 5.7 mph
Pace: 10' 36 min/mile
Calories: 295

Even though I wasn't feeling 100%, I felt like I needed to get in some hills, so I took on THE HILL, the one just after the 1.5 mile marker. It kind of helped that I didn't run THE HILL right at the start, but had somewhat of a warm up prior to it, so I was able to sort-of run up. Even with a couple of stops for traffic along the way, I'm feeling really good about my time because I wasn't pushing for speed. I even turned off the mile marker beep on my WRT, so I wasn't really sure how far I had gone until I was finished, but I did have an idea.

I don't make it a practice to weigh in every day, but I felt like I needed to since my activity since Saturday wasn't all that great, even with yesterday's lack luster UBW. I weighed in at 124 this morning. I'm not holding my breath with that number right now, especially with the carb-loading I have planned this week, but it was sort of nice to see the number drop. Technically, I'm just a pound from my initial goal of dropping 5 pounds from the last challenge, and getting to wear the new running clothes (red & black) which was my prize for losing that 5 pounds. If everything continues as it has, I'll give it about 2 weeks time to settle into the 124 spot.

Today is my daughter's 24th birthday. I'm not sure if we're doing anything with her tonight or not. I believe she has plans with the BF. He already brought her a dozen red roses first thing this morning. We'll probably have a little cake this evening and a few small gifts. We'll see how the day goes.

We managed to get the cat back in the house, or at least I did. She was meowing, in the bushes near the front porch. I had to coax her out with food, and grabbed her. She was happy to be back in and was glued to me all night... My cats live indoors, and she had never been outside of this house since we moved here. She didn't know how to get back in.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Nothing At All

It's taper week. I had every intention to run the hill yesterday but I woke up feeling like I was beat up. No, I wasn't beat up, but I came down with a flu bug/cold/something. I suppose it started on Saturday night, but I chalked up feeling fatigued to just being tired -- after all, it was about 10:00 PM when the incredible urge to fall asleep set in, but keep in mind I'm usually up until around midnight on weekends. Homemade chicken soup with brown rice was comforting, and I'm guessing all the OTC drugs helped too. I'm feeling like this is a short-lived illness because I'm already starting to feel better. I might put on a workout DVD and attempt some sort of workout today, and see how the rest of the week goes, where running is concerned.

We know where Luna the cat is. She was in the work shed at the far end of the yard, but my husband thought it would be a good idea to run the Shop-Vac just to make enough noise to scare her out. That sort of worked, but she's hiding now under the house. The main thing is that she's safe and we can at least leave food and water for her.

I also did a lot of blog reading this weekend. I need get in the habit of at least saying "hi" in the comment section when I visit. There's a lot of great people out there.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Good Day

Activity: Run
Date: 10/12/07 11:03 AM
Distance: 11.13 miles
Time: 1:57:23
Speed: 5.7 mph
Pace: 10' 32 min/mile
Calories: 1053

I had intended to do only 10 miles, but to get back to my car I had to put in the extra 1.13 mile. Today's run was much easier than last Friday's battle with the wind. Today I didn't push so hard and still got in a decent average mile, and that's something to feel good about. It's also gorgeous outside with big puffy clouds, a mild sea breeze, and just the usual small groups of parents and their toddlers at the playgrounds, the occasional runner, a roller blader, and a few bike riders. I also passed a couple of women playing guitars and harmonizing, and that was a nice "pick-me-up" to run past.

Last night was date night with my husband. I pretty much planned out my clean meal, which was chicken and shrimp fajitas, leaving the tortillas out of the equation. I ended up sending my meal back because the chicken was over cooked and the shrimp was like rubber . Basically, I ended up with nothing, and the waitress took my meal off of our bill. We've eaten at this place before, and the food is usually OK, with the standard, touristy take on Mexican cuisine. Maybe the chef was having a bad night. I don't know. I really wasn't that hungry after that, so I pretty much chugged on water the rest of the evening.

I'm not sure what's planned for this weekend, yet. It might involve some shopping for my daughter's birthday on 10/16.

My little girl cat, Luna, is missing. I'm not too worried yet, because the first week we lived in this house my tabby boy kitty (Lumpy) was gone for over a week, then one night he was up in the pine tree in the front yard, wailing. I had to coax him down with smelly canned cat food. I kind of think Luna will do something similar.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Hard To Say I'm Sorry

Today's workout - Rodney Yee's Yoga DVD

Before I completely forget, this is a picture of my brother-in-law, George, participating in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon last month, running to the finish! Congratulatons, George!

By now, I'm sure everyone has heard about the Chicago Marathon. Since others have discussed it much better than I ever could, I won't write much about it here, but you can check out this article/opinion over at CRN, which conveys everything I'm thinking, and then some. I did call my sister who lives just outside of Chicago to hear her take on it. She agreed that it was quite ridiculous that the event organizers ran out of water and electrolyte drinks, and blaming it on the runners was rather irresponsible. She mentioned that her son, who works on Michigan Avenue, said that the streets resembled a war zone after the event was called off. I'm only hoping that the event organizers formally apologize to the runners they may have offended (if they haven't already) and learn from this event debacle so it never happens again.

There are 10 more days until my half marathon. I still want to fit in one more long run, probably tomorrow morning. For all practical purposes, I'm ready. My goal is to run the entire way, even with the hills, which I know I can do (and have done several times before.) I'm hoping that not walking will give me better finish time than my last half marathon, even with those hills. Aside from the event, I am looking forward to seeing fellow bloggers Leslie and Dori, and from the Yahoo Running group, Denise.

I *think* our internet connection is finally fixed. The electrician came back out yesterday and did more re-wiring.


Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Orange Crush

I've been sans-internet for a couple of days. My very handy husband accidentally drilled through the internet wiring while working on something else. Our electrician came by last night and re-wired what he could, so now I do have internet access, but it's slow. The electrician will return sometimes this week to get everything back to normal.

This past weekend was spent working on tending to several of the fruit trees in our yard, such as pruning, fertilizing, organic spraying, watering, and so on. One orange tree needed to have the ripe fruit taken off before we sprayed. The outsides of the oranges weren't that pretty but the insides were a deep orange, juicy, and perfect for juice. The activity of juicing was not lost on my grandson. He had a blast. I wish I could have snapped a photo, but I had my hands in the juicing process as well. We made about 5 quarts of juice, and there's still a whole large bowl-full of oranges waiting to be juiced. Oh, and by the way, the juice was SWEET! I love fresh juice. The only problem is figuring out what to do with the plethora of oranges we're going to have with in the next month or two, AND avocados.

I haven't run since my run in the wind last Friday. I plan to fit in a couple of small runs this week, plus the usual low weights/high reps workouts. I'm also winding down in regards to the Nike Women's Half Marathon. I should be in taper mode right now but I want to fit in at least one more long run of at least 10 miles.


Friday, October 05, 2007


Activity: Run
Date: 10/05/07 10:41 AM
Distance: 12.34 miles
Time: 2:18:26
Speed: 5.3 mph
Pace: 11' 13 min/mile
Calories: 1168

What the above stats don't show is how incredibly windy it was. I had a good, steady pace for the first 3 miles, in the 9:50 to 10:00 min/mi range, then it was all a struggle from there. It was so windy that I was actually having regrets about doing this run today, and I tried to justify that it would have been easier to run up and down "THE HILL" several times to fit in at least 12 miles. I can't remember a run where my quads were so tight right afterwards - probably from pushing myself into the wind. I ran at the bay, my ususal route, except for a little detour towards the Sea World parking lot, just to get in the miles. It was so windy that I could see sand clouds in the distance, and I was dreadding that I'd have to be running throught that. I was also thinking that I could actually fit in 13.1 miles, but it was so windy that, somewhere around mile 8 or 9 I lost a full water bottle off of my hydration belt, and that would have been enough to carry me thorugh mile 13. I couldn't even hear the bottle drop because my ears were very wind blown and actually hurt. I'm glad this run is over. San Francisco has to be better! No, San Francisco WILL be better!

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Cook With Fire

Non workout/run day.

Last night was the finale of Bravo TV's Top Chef. I currently don't follow a lot of TV shows but I was drawn to Top Chef's season 3. I really enjoyed seeing the skills of each chef, the culinary delights or disappointments that the chefs would come up with, the melding or clashing of certain personalities, and the anticipation of who would hear "pack your knives and go." I didn't follow season 2 very closely when it was initially on, but Bravo rebroadcasts their shows a gazillion times, so I eventually caught up once that season was over.
I was anticipating the season 3 finale since I had followed it closely. Would the winner be the imaginative and pretty Casey, technically proficient and intense Hung, or the culinary creative and every body's friend Dale? I even made myself comfy in front of the TV. SUDDENLY, right before the broadcast of the final episode, the picture on my TV screen becomes pixeled. Then it freezes. I start flipping through the other stations to see
if it's happening on other stations as well. About 6 stations in a row were pixeled and frozen. *UGH*... Obviously, it's my cable service having some sort of satellite transmission problem. I thought I could just jump on the internet and watch from my computer but I couldn't find a feed for Bravo. Then I thought, just maybe, I could find a chat or a board that discussed who the winner was, since the broadcast was eastern time, three hours ahead. Nada. I'd just resigned myself to find out who won via internet the next morning, and tried to settling in to watch something else, but kept checking to see if the frozen screen was still there. Eventually, with about 25 minutes left in the show, the pixeled screen was "fixed" and I was able to view a part of that episode and, finally, who won. Sheesh. It was no surprise to me that Hung took the victory. He wasn't one of the fan favorites, personality wise, but this was culinary competition, not a Ms. or Mr. Congeniality contest. He did have his foibles along the way, like the breakfast cereal diorama ~I can't find a picture but it was pretty funny ~ but when push came to shove, he did a lot of shoving to prove himself. His hard work and skill did pay off. I personally would love dine on a meal put together by Hung, or the other two finalists on this show. Oh, and since this show is really about the finished product, here's a picture of Hung's duck with truffle.

Now that Top Chef is over, I'm anticipating Bravo's next season of "Project Runway."


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Secret Life of Plants

Activity: Run
Date: 10/02/07 10:57 AM
Distance: 3.50 miles
Time: 0:38:17
Speed: 5.5 mph
Pace: 10' 56 min/mile
Calories: 331

I've just received my race number/confirmation for the Nike Women's Half Marathon in San Francisco. I've been training all along, but I realized that it's San Francisco, and the half marathon route does have some hills, (DUHHHH!) and I'm not sure how intense those hills are just by their elevation charts. It looks like there's a pretty good one after the first 10K distance. I figured I should tackle "The Hill" again, so that's what I did yesterday. No real warm up. I just started out my front door, right at the first corner then up hill. I did take a slightly different route than normal, but it's still a climb. I even went past where I normally turn to go back down, and went up even more and reached the summit. My average time looks kind of slow but keep in mind that it's about an 11% grade going up, and about a 19% grade on parts of it going down. My splits got faster as my run progressed, not because of going down hill, but because of some of the flat parts of the route I took.

Lower body workout - Hammies - 5 sets of 30 on The Bean, outer thighs side kicks - 5 sets of 20, obliques - just like side kicks but knee to elbow 5 sets of 20, abs 4 sets of 100, and back extensions 5 sets of 30.

Other Stuff
No word back on the blood tests from last week. I'm hoping that no news is good news. I'll give the doctor's office a call if I don't hear anything by the end of today.

Yesterday I visited my local nursery. It's a pretty nice nursery and they play classical music, have several running water features, and lush plants, which lends to a very calming experience. The afternoon at the nursery was very therapeutic for me. I was looking for a particular sized pot that I could not find at the Dollar Store, Target or Walmart. For all practical purposes, gardening season is pretty much over for most of the country, so the selection for pots and gardening tools a the larger chain stores is pretty limited right now. My local nursery is somewhat on the pricey side, but they continue to carry a wide array of plants and gardening goodies to keep the avid gardener happy. I did find a pot, which was way more than I wanted to spend, especially since I usually find my pots at the dollar store, but this plant is going to be around for the long term, so the pot has to be hearty as well. I rescued a coffee leaf plant from the office, that was bound for the garbage because one of my coworkers forgot to water it. It was near dead, but as soon as I brought it home, re-potted and watered it, it came back to life and the existing leaves turned red. It was never red at the office. The new leaf growth is a bright green. This plant, which was considered trash, is now flourishing in my living room, in a nice ceramic, burgundy colored pot. It's quite happy.

They also had, on sale, smaller pots of mums. The rich burgundy color of the mums made me want to take them all home, but I only came home with three. I couldn't resist the fall colors of the mums.

Speaking of bringing things back to life, this succulent was a part of one of my grandmother's potted plants. It was the only living potted plant left from my grandmother. She passed away over 20 years ago. It amazed me that this plant could survive such neglect, but it was pretty sad looking, and parts of it were shriveled up. It's a hearty succulent. Granted, they don't need much water, but with just a little water and dusting off, it has grown in size, and it has produced flowers.

No gardening experience is complete without my trusty sidekick, Logan. She's always there to make sure I am not alone, and that small flying objects, like bees, won't get in the way.


Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Borrowed Tune

It's time for the list of the September winners for: "NAME THAT ARTIST /BAND/COMPOSER/MUSICIAN/ETC." For those of you who haven't played yet, it's pretty simple. I title my blog posts with song titles. Be the first to correctly guess who recorded/performed the song, post your answer under "comments," and if you are correct, the glory, and a little notoriety, is yours.

9/30/2007 Caught a Little Sneeze - Tori Amos - Barbie2be Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/29/2007 New Roads, Old Places - David Weiss

9/28/2007 The Road and the Sky - Jackson Browne - Note To Self Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/27/2007 The Stairs - INXS

9/25/2007 Doctor! Doctor! - The Thompson Twins - Miss Rachel Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/23/2007 Lose Yourself - Eminem - Run-DMZ Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/19/2007 Mental Hopscotch - Missing Persons - Barbie2be Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/18/2007 Something in the Air - Thunderclap Newman, Tom Petty, etc. - Barbie2be Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/17/2007 A Change Would Do You Good - Sheryl Crow - Barbie2be Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/15/2007 Almost Paradise - Mike Reno & Ann Wilson - Smartypantz32 Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/14/2007 The New Workout Plan - Kanye West - Barbie2be Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/12/2007 The Immigrant Song - Led Zeppelin - Barbie2be Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/05/2007 Earthquake Weather - Beck - Erin Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

9/04/2007 Looking Out My Back Door - Creedence Clearwater Revival - FV Tom
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Back to my regular post tomorrow!