October 25, 2015

Kapiolani Park

Honolulu, Hawaii

0500 start

 BioAstin Marathon Readiness Series

(That’s me on the right)

Time:  2:24:50

Pace:  7:46/mile

Distance: 30k (~18.5 miles)

Place:  1st place in 35-39F division

Overall: 43rd
Running races with friends is the best.  I was so happy to get to run with my buddy, Kiyomi.  We ran most of the way together!  I must be getting faster, because she’s usually not even in sight!  My training must be paying off, big time.  
Awards time

Don’t I look so proud of myself?!  Hahaha. 

Great running with my friend, Ryan.  He’s training for his first marathon this year.  He’s definitely training hard and should have a good race if he can stay healthy!  He’s running a very steady pace during races.  So proud of him!  Good luck, Ryan!

Kiyomi placed 3rd in her age division!  40-44F

Great job, Kiyomi!!!!

As you know, recovery is just as important as training!  So, we eat and drink a lot to nourish our poor bodies after the race.  

The race organizers provide fresh fruits, like bananas and watermelon, and I bring my own protein shake and hydration mixes.  

But really, my favorite part of cooling down is eating my ice cream!  I’ve been trying all the different flavors of Brio ice cream provided after each race of the series.  Today, I had Spring Strawberry.  It was yummy!  (But the coffee is still my favorite)

Race results are always posted quickly and it’s super exciting to see your official time, especially to find yourself on the first print out!  Yay!  First page!  Top 50!  Woot!

My trust watch keeps me on a good pace!

Top 3 in each age division get medals.  So proud to get 1st place this time!  😊 Especially so, because it’s the day before my 37th birthday.  So happy birthday to me!

Kapiolani Park is a wonderful place to start and finish a race.  Lots off space for everybody to enjoy themselves, lots of parking and bathrooms.  

And I ran a hole in my shoe!  Hopefully these shoes last me just a bit longer!  Marathon is only a month and a half away!  



Results officially posted in the Star Advertiser newspaper in Honolulu on Monday morning.


Brio Ice Cream 25K

October 4, 2015

Kailua Beach Park, Kailua, Hawaii

BioAstin Marathon Readiness Series

14.75 miles

0530 start

time: 1:57:55

pace: 8:00/mile

age division (35-39 F): 2nd place!  (that’s me on the left)

overall place: 58

This is the third race in the BioAstin Marathon Readiness Series, and this course is my favorite, because of the hill and the weather.  But, it’s different than last year, because we couldn’t get access to Kaneohe Marine Corp Base, we had to run a shorter route.  The new course has a big hill (about a mile, if I’m remembering correctly) right around mile 8.  It’s tough!  But i loved it!

Kailua is on the windward side of Oahu, where it’s generally wetter and colder.  The weather on race day was perfect.  Nice and cool, with a slight mist for a little while.  I tend to overheat so really…. Couldn’t ask for better!  

Always run for ice cream!  Different flavor today, Vanilla-Caramel.  Yummy, but my favorite is still the coffee flavor.  

  And at this race Brio brought a topping bar! woot!  Healthy choices for the runners, of course, like granola, corn flake cereals in different flavors, sliced almonds, and honey.
Wicket, my traveling ewok, loves ice cream and decided on corn flakes and sliced almonds.  Yum!

Run to the finish!  (that’s not me running, obviously, since i’m taking the picture, but this is what the finish looks like).  I took this picture from where i parked my car.  

The race organizers, 808 Race, keeps official times accurate by using a chip system:  we get a velcro band to wear on our ankles that track us from start to finish (and sometimes at mile markers along the way).  The orange pads at the finish clock your official finish time.  It’s a great system, because then you don’t have to worry that you’ll have a slow time if you start at the back of the pack and it takes you extra time to get to the start:  when you pass the start mat is when your race starts (though don’t be late, because the start mat does disappear after a few minutes).  

Runners cooling off and recovering from the race.  Some people even bring their dogs too.

My watch says it was a short race.  Isn’t 25K supposed to be 15.5 miles?  oh well, I didn’t run my hardest because i was babying my sore knee.  No, it’s not from pounding the pavement.  I did hurt it during my last Honolulu Marathon, so i’ve been doing extra leg exercises in the weight room.  That’s how i hurt it.  And really it wasn’t hurting.  It still felt like it needed time to recover, but i didn’t want to ease up, so i ran as fast as i thought was comfortable.  I still felt it ache during the race a little bit, but like a lot of pains i get when running long distances, after a while it went away.  Yay!  I finished strong and because it’s a new route, it’s an automatic PR.  hahaha….

Race results postedd on a fancy board!  
they changed the font so i didn’t make the first page.  shucks. 


Here i am #58. 

I brough a big bag of clothes to donate, so i got entered into a raffle… and won!  I got a backpack and a bottle of BioAstin Hawaiian Astaxanthin!  Yay!  i’ve been taking BioAstin for a few months and i feel like it’s helping with my recovery after workouts.  So happy to get some for donating my old clothes!  Good reason to clean out my closet!  Oh and that’s my awards medal in the picture with Wicket too.  
Happy October!

Runner’s HI  20K

September 6, 2015

Barber’s Point Elementary School, Kapolei, Hawaii

BioAstin Marathon Readiness Series

0600 start

12.4 miles

Time:  1:36:51

Pace:  7:47/mile

Age division (35-39 F): 2nd place!

Overall place:  48

This is the second race in the BioAstin Marathon Readiness Series, and despite feeling like crap, I ran a PR!  I bested last year’s time by 2 minutes.  woot!  But it really was a hard race for me:  legs felt heavy, it was hot, and I was on antibiotics for a sinus infection (that hadn’t even started to go away yet).  I was able to push through it and race my heart out.  

This course is my least favorite of the series.  We run three laps around Kalaeloa/Barber’s Point.  The first lap is, of course, the easiest, but not just because I’m still fresh, but because the dang sun hasn’t come up yet.  When the race starts at 0600, the sun is still sleeping.  The second and third lap, we run for about a mile into the sun (each lap).  Not fun at all.  I don’t run with sunglasses, so i feel the full effect of the sun burning my eyeballs…. and yes, it motivates me to run faster.  (i can’t run with sunglasses because of my lack of a nose.  they just bounce and slide off.  i’ve tried.)

That said, the course is flat and very fast.  And, in case of emergency, help is not far away.  There are benefits to running laps.  

The Brio Ice Cream waiting for me at the finish line was definitely a great reward!  I tried the Mellow Dark Chocolate flavor this time… and yes, it was delicious!  I will always run for ice cream!  
The ice cream is nice and cold!  I was so hot and sore that I used it as a mini ice-pack.  It needed to soften up anyway.  Felt great on my legs!

808 Race always provides lots of nourishment to help with your recovery after the race:  lots of fresh fruit and bready carbohydrates.  

My beloved Garmin watch helps me a lot.  Even though i generally run by effort and not time, when i’m dying and I feel like i’m running slow, and it’s telling me i’m still doing well, it really does make me feel better and i feel like i fight harder to keep going.  

Organizers post results very quickly so you know how well you did officially.  My official time is always faster than my watch because I take a few seconds after i finish to remember that i have to stop it.  And, this lovely yellow sheet of paper tells me if I placed.  If I do well enough, i have to stay for the awards ceremony where they give out medals to to three finishers in each age group, and prizes for the winners. 

To tell you the truth, the finish line is big and beautiful and the best thing I saw all day!  I was so happy to be done.  

Awards ceremony after the race.  Participants and race organizers are so supportive.  I love the running community here.  I never feel awkward showing up by myself and always seem to find some one friendly to talk to (even though i’m mostly an introvert).  If you’re ever thinking of running the Honolulu Marathon, i hope you’ll consider joining us in racing the marathon readiness series.  If you can keep up with the increasing distances, you’ll be more than ready to run the marathon in December.


Why so serious?

why do I find it easier to write a long, personal blog post rather than tell somebody my problems or feelings?  Mostly, the introvert in me thinks that sending these thoughts and feelings out into the ether that is the Internet will give me anonymity.  Yes, I post a link on my Facebook page, but my FB friends also have lots of friends and really… Do you read everything everybody posts on FB?  I try to, but I don’t know that everything pops up on my new feed.  I don’t assume anybody will read it and care much.  They might make a comment or two, but they’ll forget about it soon enough.  There’s so many other things to see on FB (like videos of friends’ kids and pictures of cats and dogs and crap like that).  I’ve even been asked if I actually write these blog posts, or did I just copy an article.  Is my writing not believable?  Maybe because I don’t write like how I talk?  It doesn’t sound like me?

Writing this blog is easy too, because I can write over a course of days or even weeks!  There’s no pressure.  Not like in a conversation.  Introvert doesn’t like being asked hard questions and being expected to answer immediately.  People are sometimes so difficult!  Even the ones I like.  It’s like taking tests all the time.  What’s the answer?  I didn’t study for this!  I don’t know….

I do have a personal journal that I keep and actually write in with a pen and everything, but that stays home.  My phone, on the other hand, is always with me.  If I have a thought, I can jot it down.  Save it for later publishing.  Or immediately send it out if I’m feeling super spontaneous!  

And then, there’s the therapeutic part of writing.  It’s like I’m actually talking to my therapist.  I’m telling my side of a story.  It involves me and my feelings.  I can open up without being judged… Well, there’s always the fear of being judged, but it doesn’t happen right away like it does in everyday life.  The delay in the judgment makes it less important, so it doesn’t make me upset as much as letting all the crazy thoughts run around in my head.  If I write it, read it, and send it out into the vast expanse… I feel a weight lifted off of me.  It’s not the same as writing in my journal that nobody is going to read.  I can’t really explain why.  I’ve tried.  Lots of things are in my journal… But the really important things that nag at me and keep me up at night need to be in the blog.  Weird.  Maybe I need people to see me?  The me that hides deep down inside.  The introvert that doesn’t want to come out, but has so many things she needs to share with the world.  

Maybe I do need the validation, too.  To know that I’m not the only one dealing with these problems (whatever may be bothering me at the time).  And that I have somebody in my corner, backing me up (even if it’s a stranger).  I only directly send my blog posts to a couple of my friends so I can make sure they read it… Probably, because I know I already have their support.   

So, this blog will continue to be a mish mash of my fun food and running adventures… And my thoughts and feelings.  Joy and seriousness.  That’s me: the hangry runner.

I’m dying… Yes and No.

so I went to the doctor on Monday.  A week after I found a lump in my breast.  But for me, more like a bump on my chest.  Not very big, smaller than a pea.  But something abnormal definitely.  I was in the car (driving) and something felt weird so I tried to massage my shoulder thinking it was maybe a tight muscle from lifting weights.  It was Saturday and I had lifted the day before, so soreness is normal.  This was not. 

So, for a week, I thought maybe I was dying… I could have breast cancer.  Breast cancer runs in my family.  Both my mom’s and dad’s sisters have had battles with breast cancer.  It’s just a matter of time before I get it too, right?  So this shouldn’t be a surprise…

Or, it could be nothing.  


The bump was found on Saturday afternoon when the doctors’ offices are closed.  Nobody works on Sunday, so I called on Monday.  Got the messaging system at my Obgyn.  Left a message and waited for a call back.  For two days.  Nothing.  So I sent my primary care physician a message on Tuesday (he uses email so I could send the message in the middle of the night).  I got a quick reply on Wednesday morning saying he could see me on Monday, but try my Obgyn again.  Called the Obgyn and finally got a person to answer the phone, and got an appointment on Monday.  

So, from Saturday night till the following Monday afternoon… I had no idea if I was okay or dying.  You think of a lot of strange things when you could be dying.  And I guess we’re all dying a little bit everyday, we just don’t really think about it much and go on with our lives like nothing’s wrong.  Like there’s always going to be a tomorrow.

For a week, I tried to pretend nothing was wrong.  But my perspective changed.  I didn’t waste my time with stupid things that don’t matter.  I tried my best to concentrate on things that mattered to me.

I still went to work, because I need the money.  I still went running, because I love it and it makes me feel good and it helps calm me down.  I still spent lots of time with my family and my dog.  The Saturday night I found the bump, I went to book club to see my lovely lady friends and talk about fun things.  And on Friday night, I went out with my work friends to eat Korean food and have fun venting about work.  We went shopping for useless toys to add to my collection.  Because having cute things make me happy.  

And I prayed.  I forgot how comforting it is to not be alone.  I can talk to God whenever I need to and he listens.  I prayed for strength and patience.  I didn’t pray for the bump to be nothing.  I prayed for comfort.  He blessed me with all these things.  No matter what the doctor said, I knew He would be there for me, and that meant that yes, everything would be okay.

I took the whole day off to go to the doctor on Monday.  I didn’t know if I could go back to work after getting bad news.  I didn’t know if my doctor would send me to surgery for a biopsy.  It should’ve been simple to get the day off, but it wasn’t.  Nothing is ever easy.  I put my request for sick leave in and emailed a supervisor to approve it.  I waited two days.  Not approved.  The supervisor would be on his weekend the next day… “Are you going to approve my leave?  I don’t want to be AWOL.”  The response was a smirk and “don’t worry.”  I wanted to tell him to go fuck himself.  But it would’ve seemed like an inappropriate response, since I didn’t tell him what the leave was for.  I didn’t tell anybody.  Why would I tell him?  So, instead, I quietly said “okay.” And retreated.  I waited till he left for the day to check if he had approved it, and thankfully, he did.  I’m so unimportant that my leave doesn’t matter, so you put it off?  You don’t care.  I get it.  

So the doctor’s visit was okay.  I’m surprised my blood pressure wasn’t higher.  I was nervous.  But the doc came in, talked to me for a few minutes, did her exam and wasn’t worried at all.  She was so gentle and kind.  She told me not to worry, that we’ll monitor it.  It doesn’t have the characteristics of cancer.  I’ll go back again in a few months.  

It’s been two weeks now, and the bump hasn’t gotten bigger or smaller.  It’s still there reminding me of my mortality. 

I’ve learned to be kinder.  Nobody knew what I was thinking… How I was feeling.  But I noticed when I was greeted with a smile, when somebody did something polite like hold the door, and when I was thanked for doing something kind myself.  

You never know what others are dealing with.  Best to be kind.  Always.  Your small act of kindness might make someone’s day.  Might make all the difference for somebody going through a rough patch.  

So, I’m going to do my best to be more empathetic.  I’m going to try and not be rube.  Try to be patient.  Because it’s really not worth getting all upset over stupid things that don’t really matter anyway.  

I very thankful for all the blessings I’ve been given.  I have so much, but take much of it for granted.  I’ll do my best to never take anything for granted ever again.  After all, we don’t live forever. 

Boca Hawaii Norman Tamanaha 15K (and my first tattoo)

August 9, 2015

Kapiolani Park, Honolulu, Hawaii

BioAstin Marathon Readiness Series

0600 start

The 15K is the first race in the Bioastin Marathon Readiness Series that preps runners for the Honolulu Marathon (in December).  The series consists of 5 races: 15K, 20K, 25K, 30K and a half marathon.  They stagger the races every few weeks.  If you are training like you’re supposed to for the marathon, the races are just the right distance to check your fitness.  Many people use the races as training runs.  I like to race them to see how fast I can go and for how long.  Test my pain tolerance.  It’s fun.  😅

Packet pick up is before the race (Friday and Saturday) at Boca Hawaii in Kakaako.  You get a t-shirt, your bib number, and instructions for the race (what time it starts, parking, bathrooms).  

The race starts and finishes at Kapiolani Park in Waikiki (right across the street from the beach) near the Waikiki Bandstand.  And the friendly ducks are a great bonus.  

The course is relatively flat except for the bit where we run around Diamond Head (going and coming back from the park).  The incline is not bad and it’s not a huge hill.  

There’s a few water stations to hydrate at on the course, and lots of snacks to fuel you at the finish.  The usual fruit (bananas, oranges, melon), muffins, and this time…  ICE CREAM!  😍 Brio ice cream.  Yum!

And yes, it was delicious.  Perfect for a hot day! 

Here’s the finish gathering area.  

Around 700+ runners this year, so it was crowded, but still lots of fun.  The running community on Oahu is great.  

The Mid-Pacific Road Runners Club helps organize and Boca Hawaii is always awesome. 

I ran good race this year, setting a new personal record for my 15K.  Best my best time by over 4 minutes!  

I placed 40th over-all and FIRST in my age division (F 35-39).  Yay!


Time: 1:09:28.9

And so… I celebrated by going to the Pacific Ink and Art Expo and getting my first tattoo!  Yes, really.  

(Tattoo artist Erwin Boco)

It’s a small stitched heart on the inside of my wrist.  

I’ve always wanted a tattoo and finally decided what I wanted a few weeks earlier.  

A heart on my sleeve, because it’s easy to read my emotions.  (I’m the worst at poker).  Stitched because I feel like I’ve put myself back together after my divorce… And I sew.  And the placement is exactly on the place where I can see my pulse.  

The processes took only about 7 minutes.  And no, there’s no screaming.  The pain wasn’t bad.  It was like cat scratches when you have a sunburn.  And as a marathoner, I think, we’ve got a pretty high tolerance for pain.  I could get a larger and more detailed piece next time.

And YES.  I’m going to get another tattoo.  Soon.  What should I get?

Freedom Half Marathon

July 5, 2015

Long Beach, California

13.1 miles

Yes, I run while on vacation!  I flew into California (from Hawaii) For Comic-con the following weekend, and arrived the night before the race.  I was excited to run this one because it’s where I first came back to running (after taking nearly a decade off) and I’d get to run with my marathon buddie again!

The course was an easy out-and-back (twice) on the beach pedestrian path.  Sea-level and perfectly flat = Awesome!  It was also nice and cool and overcast so there was no overheating.

And Long Beach actually has a nice long beach.  Haha!

There was one water/aid station that you get to about 2.5 miles in, and pass it again after you turn around.  Lots of water, lots of snacks, and very friendly volunteers.  The niceness of the staff/volunteers made up for the lack of organization (start times were confusing: website and email had different times).

But everybody gets a medal and pictures are free (published on their Facebook page)!


It was a fun and easy half marathon that I’d run again.