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Thankful for October

Oh I love this month of October! I cannot believe two weeks have already gone by. Some months may have been better for others but I have to say, October is definitely treating me fabulously well. So far, so good! 🙂

Here’s a list why I am loving this month of October.

1.) Grill Upgrade!

My husband loves to grill! He’s from Texas and he loves meat! We used to have this small charcoal grill from Wal-Mart but he got tired of how slow the charcoal would heat up and how much time it takes to cook food.

Then we bought a small gas grill.

The small gas grill was fine for the two of us but it’s difficult when we have guests and family coming over our place. Trying to squeeze chicken breasts, corn on the cob and veggies onto a small grill at the same time was impossible. Since we are just renting our place for now, we never really thought of getting those big grillers. We try to control ourselves from buying stuff for the house because we know we are still moving out. Then one day, we thought, whatever, we’ll just have to deal with that when the day comes. Plus his Texan friends were already making fun of him when he posted that pic above on facebook. LOL

We finally thought about getting a big grill!

Hello, beautiful!

So excited to have the new “real” grill! LOL! I am excited to no longer be boiling hot dogs and baking chicken all the time! 🙂 And I’m so happy that it’s not just me who’s cooking in this house. When this new grill came, my husband was the one who prepared and cooked dinner for the past week while I stay inside and wait. Two thumbs up for that! LOL! To all wives out there – *hint *hint! This is an effective way to put your husbands in charge of the cooking (*evil laugh*).

He loves his new grill so much! We invited our friends to come over for dinner to break it in. It was so convenient. I am so amazed how all the meats & veggies cooked together quickly. It was fun!

2.) Our First Cook Books!

I have never really bought cook books in my life. I have some cook books that were gifts that I have never really read properly or tried out any of the recipes. This is actually the first time my husband and I bought cook books for ourselves. Since he’s raving about his new grill, he searched for good grill cook books online (amazon.com). He also got me one of those slow cooker cook books. Wait, why did he buy me that? I thought with the new grill, I’d be able to skip cooking, I guess not. Lol.

3.) REI Store! YAY!

My husband and I love REI Store!

REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) is a national retailer that sells outdoor gear and clothing. It is where we usually get our snowboarding gears and other outdoor stuff. We used to shop and order through their website (www.rei.com) and I’m so excited that they just recently opened a new branch here in Cincinnati (Rookwood Commons). For me, this is the best outdoor store anywhere!

So last weekend, we went to visit the new store.

My goodies from the store. 🙂 More workout clothes from Brooks Running!

I’ve always been curious to know how it feels like running with this.

4.) We Are Snowboard Season Ready!

Yes, we are! 🙂 I know a lot of you are dreading the cold weather, but we can’t wait to hit the slopes this year! I am also excited because my family from the Philippines are coming over to spend Christmas with us. Relatives and cousins from Canada are coming over too. It will be fun! My younger sister and brother from the Philippines would like to try snowboarding. So, in preparation for their arrival, my husband bought a roof rack for our snowboards. He ordered them at REI.com and bought some parts at the store last weekend.

He was so excited about it. I woke up one morning and was surprise to find him busy fixing it.

He woke up so early just to install the roof rack onto his car.

And the final product!

5.) New Running Shoes 🙂

I don’t know when to really replace running shoes but I’m already feeling discomfort with my old one. My husband thinks his running shoes are not the best kind for him. He’s been dealing with ankle pains with his shoes. They say your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability over time which causes pain and injuries. So, with all the pain and discomfort we’re feeling, we finally decided to get new pairs of running shoes.

My husband went from Brooks Adrenaline GTS12 to Newtons Sir Isaac

He’s been running with midfoot strike so his transition to Newtons was good.

I, on the other hand, who’s still heel striking but would like to transition to a midfoot runner. I went from Brooks Pure Cadence (which I really really love) to Newtons Lady Isaac S.

I did a 3-mile test run on this shoe, it didn’t feel right on my feet. It felt a little bulky for me. I went back to the store to return the shoes and they recommended the Newtons Distance U for me instead.

This definitely feels a lot better than the Isaac. It is close to the feel of my PureCadence. It’s very light and very comfortable. I did a test run yesterday and I felt my calves get a little sore as well as my shins. They said this is common when you are transitioning to this kind of shoes since a midfoot strike engages the calf muscles. It would take time for me to learn the proper running form but I know it’s going to be worth it. Learning the proper way to run prevents me from injuries and knee pains. I’d probably still wear my old running shoes for my next half marathon race (Indianapolis Monumental Marathon) which is already in two weeks. After that, I will concentrate more with these shoes and my running form.

By the way, I’m still a Brooks fan. I still love Brooks Running. It’s my first love. 🙂

6.) Someone’s Getting A Year Older In a Few Weeks

That’s me!

I’ll be turning the big 3-0 on the 26th. It’s the end of my 20s! I’m not quite sure how I feel about that.

I still get mistaken for being in my teens or early 20s, so I’ve never really felt my age. Just last weekend, after we visited REI store, my husband and I ate dinner at a restaurant. I ordered a mojito and the server asked for my ID. When I handed him my drivers license, he gave me this weird -“really-you’re-29”-look. It’s flattering but sometimes a bit embarrasing.

But, I’m kind of excited for my birthday. I get a lot of freebies from restaurants and stores. I get free meals in Red Lobster, ice cream in Cold Stone, burger from Arby’s, coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks… etc. 🙂 One of my favorites are the ones I get from Sephora.

Every year, they never fail to give me awesome birthday gifts. 🙂 I always look forward to getting their card in the mail. I can’t wait to claim this at the store.

It’s been amazing to look back and remember the days when I was still in my early 20s- the love, laughter, sadness, and life it gave me.  I had a wonderful and beautiful 20s. It was the years that I really ventured out and made decisions for myself. And now, I’m given another year of life to live. I’m grateful for another birthday.  I have sooo many things to be thankful for, I don’t even know where to begin.

I am thankful for nine years of friendship and three of those being married to the best man on this earth. I love this man!

I am thankful for my family, who have always been there for me.
I am thankful for good health.

I’m thankful for three awesome years of living here in the US. It sure was difficult to adjust with the culture difference but it was one exciting adventure!

Thankful for awesome neighbors, my husband’s friends from work, my friends from the Philippines, and my new friends here in the U.S. We have so many!

Thankful for nature! I am so refreshed and revived when I get into God’s creation during my trail runs.

Thankful for simple pleasures like food, water, …coffee. It’s the simple things in life and sometimes I forget that.

So long for now 20s. Thanks for all the memories! Here’s to my 30s and many more years to come, God willing. Cheers!

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Inspired to Run

Last week, my husband and I watched a documentary film on Netflix called Running the Sahara. Its about three athletes who ran 50 miles a day for 111 days! It’s a great film and very inspiring. They travelled through 6 countries, 4,300+ miles (6,920 kilometers) by foot. To have the physical and mental capacity to do that, is really amazing!

Here’s the movie trailer.

 

We got so inspired by the film. So, over the weekend, my husband and I got up early and started our day with our morning run at the trail. No, we are not planning on running 50 miles everyday for 100 days! LOL! We’ll leave that to those three great athletes. 🙂

We ran 14 miles, our longest run so far! All of my runs have been below or at 13 miles from my half marathon races. I’d never really thought of increasing my mileage, until that day. From then on, I am convinced just how much power your brain can do when it comes to running. And we plan on slowly increasing our mileage every week, and hopefully soon, we’ll be ready to train for a full marathon.

It was so gorgeous that morning! The cool weather (40-50s degrees F) and the views of different colors of trees made our run very enjoyable. I love it! I love Fall Season!

They say, “running is 90% mental, and the rest is physical.” It’s true! It is a mental game. It’s the mental aspect that makes running so tough.

If your mind is not into it, chances are you’re not going to have a great run and you’re probably not going to get very far either.

Let see how this goes for me. I hope that as I go through my training, I can develop some sort of strategies to be strong mentally.

How about you? Do you believe that “mind over matter” is always true? What mental strategies do you use to help yourself through a tough run or a race? 

Trail Half Marathon Update

Yesterday, my husband and I did the White Tail Trail Half Marathon. This was basically my second half marathon, but this time on trails. I never thought I would squeeze in a trail half marathon before my Indianapolis Monumental Half Marathon in November, which would be my third then! 🙂

Well, the trail run yesterday was a lot of fun. It was brutal, but fun! 🙂 My husband and I ran a few miles on that trail a couple of weeks before the race. But we didn’t get to check out other parts of the trail after that. Check out my blog post about it here.

I didn’t know there were so many hills in the entire 13-mile loop. The other parts have more hills, more obstacles and more river crossings. During the race, there were times that you had to make a complete stop in order to jump over big logs or go under tree branches. I was surprised and that race was definitely a challenge for me. Miles 6-12 was crucial. That’s where all the crrrazy hills were. I thought to myself, this was like Mud-stash 21k! LOL! Since there’s no way to exit from the trail if you decide to give up, you really have to do the whole thing in order to get out. It’s like you have no choice but to finish! But no, I wasn’t thinking of giving up. I just had that random thought in my mind while I was running the course. LOL! Don’t you have crazy random thoughts too when running? 🙂

Here’s me, ready to leave our house. It was chilly that morning before the race. Low 50s High of 71.

The race started at 9am. We got to the parking lot around 8:15am. I had to leave my jacket in the car because I knew I would get hot when I start running. So here I am, freezing.

We were transported from the parking lot to the start line by those school buses.

Me, freezing while waiting to get on the bus.

I normally run on trails on weekends but I have never ran longer than 8 miles on a trail. I think running on trails is way harder than running on paved roads. Your body gets more worked out when you run on trails. During the race, at mile 11, I was already starting to feel tired. I was already pushing myself to run but I could only do few minutes and then walk to take a break and catch my breath. And I did that through mile 12. And yes, there were still hills during those times. The moment I saw those bright orange flags at the finish line, that was when I really pushed myself to run. I just wanted to finish!

I finished in 3 hours and 3 minutes. I thought that was not bad at all considering it was my first race on a crazy hilly trail. This extreme adventure is worth taking. This is one of the best ‘firsts’ that I have ever engaged myself in. It wouldn’t be my last, either. 🙂 I am still considering doing a race on a trail in the future. But I realized that running on trails needs a lot of skill and training. I need to do longer runs on trails for my training from now on, and I will be back next time, more prepared, with my battle face on!

Our medals! 🙂

My husband and I spent a few minutes lying on the grass after the race to relax and rest. I felt cold after running and the warmth of the sun was just a nice feeling.

What better way to do after the race than to eat good food! So, my husband and I decided to go to our favorite hole-in-the-wall Indian restaurant and splurged on Chicken Tikka Masala, Goat Biryani, and Garlic Naan. I was so hungry and seemed like that was one of my best meal ever!

So, this is our faces when we are hungry

I get really cranky and my husband gets crazy when we’re hungry.

…and here’s my face when the food arrived! 🙂 LOL!

That’s it for now!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend! 🙂

One Race At a Time

We have another race coming up… and it’s tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow! I know, it’s insane. It’s been week after week for my husband and me for these races. And we are loving it! 🙂 Fall weather is the perfect time for all these running events and we are definitely grabbing every opportunity we can get before winter season.

So tomorrow, we are running a trail half marathon. It’s called White Tail Trail Half Marathon. I’ve already mentioned about joining this race in my previous post – Get Off the Road. Go Nature! and it’s the same trail that we are running for tomorrow.

A while ago was packet pick -up and here are our goodies! 🙂

I love the color of our technical shirt. It’s unique. I don’t think I’ve ever owned an orange shirt before. I like it! We also got Body Glide samples and bought some seamless socks from our giveaway coupons. 🙂

It’s going to be exciting for us, because for one, it’s again something different, other than the usual road races, and second, I love running in trails and being connected with nature. Oh, the scenery will be gorgeous tomorrow, for sure! Since it’s fall season, the changing colors of the trees and the view of the Ceasar Creek Lake will be at sight! It’s going to be beautiful and I am excited to see it! I love running with beautiful scenery other than buildings and cars which you get when running on roads. This is definitely going to be a fun race!!! 🙂

By the way, I wore my Mud-stash shirt to kickboxing class last Wednesday.

Sorry for being so pale. This was right after kickboxing class and our instructor pushed us really hard. LOL!

I love my shirt! I felt different wearing it! I felt like a warrior. It’s like there’s a “don’t-mess-with-this-girl” kinda feeling. After surviving that mudrun, oh boy, I tell yah, it made me tougher. I used to underestimate my capabilities, but now, I know I can survive anything. I guess, it’s true when they say – “You’ll never know what your capable of until you try it.” So true.

And that’s why I am trying this trail half marathon tomorrow. We usually run in the trails on weekends but I have to admit, I have never tried running longer than 8 miles on a trail. So wish us luck tomorrow. I hope we’ll survive it!

Thanks in advance and we’ll definitely catch up soon. 🙂

Sweet Victory! – Hudepohl 14k Run Update

We did an awesome race last Saturday. It’s called Hudepohl 14k Brewery Run. My husband & I had a blast and I’m so excited to share the best finisher medal I have ever received…and seen so far. 🙂

Yes, it’s a bottle opener! The moment I saw a picture of the medal in their facebook page, I felt even more excited to run this race. I was so excited when it was handed to me at the finish line.  I thought it’s so cool and functional too. 🙂

Party after the race + a cool medal, it is indeed a sweet victory.

The race started at 8:00 am. We got to the place at around 7:30am. We still had time to do our stretching and take pictures before the race.

It was a bit chilly and windy that morning. Fall season is definitely in the air =). I had to wear my arm bands. I like my arm bands because I can easily remove and tuck them in my spi belt when I am already feeling hot from running.

The after-race party was held outside of this restaurant Moerlein.

Some ran in teams in their costumes and this team was my favorite!

Ghost Busters!!! 🙂

Some people I met from that day are running this race as part of their training for their Fall Half Marathons and Marathons. I’m running a half-marathon too (my second one! yay!) in November and looks like we all thought of same thing. The fact that we are getting a cool medal out of our training, definitely a great idea, right?! 🙂

I finished in 1 hour and 34 mins. And this is me, so happy to finally get hold of that precious medal! LOL! It is definitely run-worthy! 🙂

After the race, my husband and I went back to our car to freshen up, change our clothes and get ready to party. Our bibs have actually stubs attached to it that we can peel off to redeem our free food and beer.

My husband looks like he’s enjoying his share of beer.

There were 2 stubs for each individual for beer. One glass of beer each was enough for my husband and me. We had to give away our other stubs to other people. Those two guys who we gave our stubs to were so happy. Hey, never turn down a free beer. 🙂

But we got use of all the food stubs we had! We were so hungry after the race.

I can turn down alcohol, BUT NOT free food! LOL! 🙂 …Especially after a run. :p

One more pic before I end this post. I just want to share this beautiful view at the party – one of the bridges connecting Ohio to Kentucky. 🙂

I absolutely love Cincinnati races. I did the Flying Pig Half Marathon last May and I fell in love at the beautiful scenery in both Cincinnati and Kentucky. You guys should come check out races here in Cincy! You will definitely enjoy it. 🙂

That’s it for now! Hope you all had an amazing weekend too.

Happy running everyone.

Race Day Again Tomorrow.

It’s only been 2 weeks since MudStash 5k and here I go again for another race  …TOMORROW! 🙂

I’m doing a local race called “Hudepohl 14k” together with my husband. 🙂

After all, I usually do my long runs on weekends, I thought, why not just join this race and get a medal out of it. 🙂 LOL!

But seriously, who wouldn’t get attracted to this kind of ad?! 🙂

Looks fun right?! 🙂 Race & Party, that got me right away! So, I signed up for this race since for me, it’s easier to do a workout when you’re having fun.

A while ago was packet pick-up, so my husband and I went to the pick-up place and I was so excited to see that their women’s technical shirt is in pink! Yay!

Here are some of our race goodies and we’re still getting more freebies tomorrow! 🙂

I also saw a picture of the medal that we’re getting, it’s actually pretty cool! I will definitely update you after we rock this race tomorrow.

Good night everyone!

T-Minus 1 Day ’til MUDRUN!

I was planning on taking it easy on my run today because my mudrun race is on Saturday. Yep, 1 more day to go!

I don’t know what happened but I ran 3.1 miles in 30:18 mins…

and it felt good …AND EASY! 🙂

This used to be my goal when I was doing my interval training. I feel proud of myself that I can finally achieve this with my improved comfortable pace. I worked hard on my interval training and it finally paid off. There’s no way I am stopping what I’m doing. I will definitely keep going to get better.

I can now relate to this quote. 🙂

I regularly check updates for our Mudrun on Saturday. I saw in one of their pictures that they’re having monkey bars as part of the obstacle course. So, a few days ago, I went to the park to try the monkey bars.

This was my attempt on the monkey bars…

I failed by the way. Haha. I have weak upper body strength.

O well, I’ll just have to figure it out on Saturday.

Tomorrow will just be rest day for me. I need to prepare myself for next day’s Mudrun! It’s going to be fun! I’m excited!

I will definitely update you guys. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it, -especially on the monkey bars, LOL! 🙂