Tag Archives: workout

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!

Mud Run Experience – Long overdue update!

Hi readers! It’s been a week since I updated my blog. My husband and I were out-of-town for a week after the Mud-Stash. And now, I’m back! I was only updating my Facebook and Instagram the past week. Please follow me on Instagram (username: ja_ml) if you haven’t already.

So, last Saturday, Sept 8 was my first Mud Run ever!!! I had so much fun! I did it with my husband and uncle. Our time slot was at 9:30 am. We got to the place around 8:30 am to check in at the registration area, get ready, take pictures and walk around the place before the race. 🙂

According to the Obstacle Course Ranking, Mud-stash is one of those races you have to check out. They ranked it as their Top 7 best obstacle course. Although, they described it as not as difficult compared to other obstacles races like Tough Mudder and Warrior Dash – where you crawl under live electric wires (I’m glad, we don’t have that! Thank you!), still, the race was difficult for me. Or maybe, that’s just me since I was a newbie. I hope it gets easier the next time I sign up. Yes, I’m definitely doing it again!

Honestly, I had a hard time in some of the obstacles but I made sure to complete and do everything! I’m not really a fan of heights and I have to admit that some of the obstacles freaked me out a bit, but I learned to calm myself down during the process. I didn’t let myself think too much about the height factor. I just concentrated on where my feet were going. I did the obstacles slowly (and carefully), but surely 🙂 I wanted to survive the race with a smile on my face and injury free.

It rained the past few days and that morning before the race. The rain made the course really muddy and slippery! It made it tougher to climb up and down the hills and hold on to the ropes. The venue is a ski resort during winter, so I already expected slippery hillssssss during the course. Hills were endless!!!

Some of the pictures below are clips from our video. These pictures are just some of the highlights during the race. My husband recorded our mudrun with his Contour GPS video camera. He strapped the video camera on to his head and recorded the whole thing while doing the race. You can watch our video here.

We called our team “The Three Mud-Skeeters” 🙂

The atmosphere was so much fun! Music was blaring from huge speakers. They set up the place where the spectators watch from the deck of the Main Lodge. This gave them a nice view of the participants crawling through the mudpit. 🙂 From the deck, you pretty much can see some of the obstacles. I thought that was a cool idea. They also had a stage set up for the band and host beside the mudpit.
Next picture was one of the obstacles – it’s called Ice Pit. We saw it being filled up with buckets of ice before the race. That’s going to be cold!
These are some of the obstacles that you can see from the deck.
Crawl through Pipes.
Slip n’ slide.
Cargo Net Climb.
Barrel Bash.
I wasn’t able to count how many obstacles we had in total. There were a lot of mud pits and streams that we had to cross. I tried doing all of the obstacles but I fell on the monkey bars after one swing. I had to pass on that. LOL.
That’s me waving at the camera, still happy, so clueless :), and all smiles before the race.
There were duct tapes available at the starting line. They encouraged the participants to duct tape their shoes but I skipped it. Anyway, I made sure I tied my shoe laces really really tight.
At gun time, we let other people go ahead of us first. We waited for about 5 minutes before crossing the start line so we don’t have to wait in line for the obstacles.
And the hills begin…
Some random container that we had to pass through.
Deep mud ahead!
My husband and I got STUCK! LOL! 🙂 Not bad for our first obstacle. 🙂 The mud was very sticky. I thought my shoe would come off. I was freaking out in my head. People from the deck were watching & cheering for us. I had no choice but to survive. LOL!
We made it through, eventually.
…crawled through pipes
… ran through mud pits
…muddy creeks
…more hills
…more creeks
…and more hills
…climbed on cargo nets
…ran through heavy barrels
…endless hills
Water Mist. This was my favorite part. 🙂
We were washed clean and cooled off at the same time.
This was the part where my legs started to cramp up. We had to make big steps going up this steep hill and through logs.
Some of the participants rested for a bit. I feel their pain. This part was hard!
…going down through ropes to the stream
…and climbing back up again
You’ll see beautiful views once you made it to the top. 🙂
They called this “Jacob’s Ladder”
Off to the Cable Bridge where an official photographer was waiting. 🙂
Our first crawl through a mudpit. 🙂
…more mud pits
This was a long walk through a stream that goes deep up to your chest at the end.
…balanced through those beams
Here comes the part I have been waiting for, the dreadful monkey bars. LOL!
We had to swing on 16 bars. But, after my first swing, I fell to the muddy ground. LOL! 🙂
They called this the “Lilly Bads”. I love this obstacle. I had fun doing this. It was quite hard to balance on those but I was able to cross without falling in the water. 🙂
Almost at the final leg of the race. Few more obstacles to go.
One last uphill to the Slip N’ Slide.
It was so much fun! I felt like a kid again. 🙂
In the Ice Pit. Brrr.
One last MUD PIT!!! This one was tough. It was like your stuck in a quick sand. It was really a challenge because I was already tired from all the running through the hills. To top it all, the spectators were just right there above watching, so I really had no choice but to drag myself out. LOL! I loved it though. 🙂
…off to the last obstacle
One more obstacle to go! 🙂
I MADE IT! 🙂 One Mud Run under my belt!
They provided a pre-rinse station at the finish area.
They also provided Mobile Shower Trailers with hot water which I thought was awesome! This event was so organized!
I’m glad I signed up for this. This is something beyond my comfort zone, probably beyond my physical means but I loved every minute of it! Never thought I would do something crazy like this. It unleashed the sporty side of me. Definitely worth the experience! 🙂
Our medals look so cool, by the way.
…and so are our souvenir shirts which I will have to show on my next post. I plan on wearing the shirt on my next kickboxing class. 🙂 I’ll post a picture soon. 🙂
I had a blast and I am so thankful my husband was there to run it with me! He is awesome!
He did a great job too 🙂

I am hoping for more races like this for me in the future! 🙂 I tell you, I’M ALL IN!

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! 🙂

Get Off The Road. Go Nature!

What better way to start off Labor Day weekend than with a Saturday Morning Trail Run!!! My husband and I are still in high spirits from our last week’s trail running in Indianapolis. So, we decided to check out Ceasar Creek State Park Trails for our Saturday morning run. 🙂

It is one of the most scenic trails here in Ohio. It’s a 13+-mile loop trail for hiking/running. There’s actually a race event here on Sept 29 – White Tail Trail Half Marathon and I’m now thinking of signing up for this. The race is too soon, but we’ll see!

They do have other events too like Triathlons and Duathlons.

If you’re the outdoorsy type of person, I recommend to check out their website because there’s really a lot to do here depending on the types of things you enjoy. Next week, we’re checking out their mountain bike trails to challenge ourselves running through the hills. 🙂

Our pictures below are clips from our video that my husband took with his ContourGPS. If you’re a lover of all things action and outdoors, this camcorder is for you. Feel free to post your questions about ContourGPS in the comment section below. My husband would be willing to answer them or even make a review about it for you. 🙂

Watch our trail running video here.

We arrived at the trail around 7:00 am.

As we continue to follow the trail, it led us to an open field overlooking the lake to our left side.

Of course, I couldn’t let it pass. I had to stop and enjoy the scenery.

And this is me telling my husband, “look there’s the lake!” 🙂

For the most part, the path is nice and wide.

It can also be narrow, bushy and rocky in few areas.

There are a few obstacles along the way. We had to hurdle on some roots and tree branches, and climb on few hills, which I think made our run more fun and challenging.

And this is how my husband dealt them.

Some parts are right next to waterfalls where you do some water crossings, but they’re completely dry this time of the year.

During the course, we allowed ourselves to stop for a while and appreciate the surroundings.

According to my watch, we ran 6.14 miles, with a little bit of walking and sightseeing on the side :).

That was one very relaxed 6-mile run! It’s very relaxing to be surrounded by trees and wildlife. I’ve heard that once you start trail running, you won’t want to go back to the streets. I know the road may seem more convenient but sometimes you should “treat” yourself to something nicer. I feel the trails would prepare you just fine for your road races. You will be ready for anything and your body will be even tougher because you work a lot harder. It’s not just flat ground…you are going uphill, downhill and leaping over things. You tend to have a forefoot strike rather then a heel strike which is what you should be doing to avoid foot injuries. The ground is soft, covered with leaves, dirt and grass which is actually better for your joints. I feel like my knees are thanking me for giving them a break by running on trails every once in a while. 🙂

For me, trail running shoes are not really a necessity, unless you are really serious about trail running. I know a lot of people use their regular road running shoes on trails and they work just fine. My husband and I bought ourselves a pair, anyway, since we know we’ll be doing a lot of trail running in the future. We’re hooked!

I got theColumbia Ravenous Amphibian Women’s Trail Running Shoe in Aqua/Gray/Blk size 8.

I never knew Columbia have great running shoes. At first, I tried running with them on the road. This is definitely not forgiving on your feet when you run these on the road, but when I ran with them on trails… it’s heaven! It definitely felt more natural and is extremely comfortable. These shoes are sturdy but very light. It has very good traction. I don’t slip when I run in the mud and hills. They fit like a glove and breathable with it’s mesh-like design. It has Omni-TechTM waterproof feature which helps keep your feet dry when you run through puddles and water streams. Overall, a great shoe for running. These shoes are 100% recommended. I plan on wearing them for my Mudrun race which will be in 5 days from today.

My husband got the NEW BALANCE 610.

My husband is very pleased with the fit and feel of these NB shoes. I can’t say much about these shoes but when I asked him about them, he is happy and satisfied with them. Leave your questions on the comment section below if your want to more about his NB shoes. He’d be more than glad to answer them for you.

We really enjoyed running in this trail. We would definitely come back and try the rest of the connected trails northbound next time. We want to see where that part of the trail will lead us to.

I hope your three day weekend is treating you well! Happy Labor Day!

Why I Love Running

Running got me to start this blog and today marks my one two three four five six seven months of blogging!!!

I am enjoying it so far. I am having fun sharing my everyday journey to the world and reading all your comments and emails. 🙂 It gives me so much happiness when I meet people who loves the sport too.

I am asked what is it about running that I love so much. I am never really able to give an answer right away.

I just do.

I run for my sanity.

I find inner peace in running. You can talk to yourself and figure out your thoughts. It is when I do some of my best thinking…. really! Sometimes I would find myself narrating in my mind the process of Glycolysis and Krebs Cycle when I’m running. 🙂 Seriously!

I remember the day that hooked me to running. I know I talked about it a little in my About me page the reason why I started. It was because I was packing it on…the pounds that is. I started to feel the urge to become active and healthy. I signed up for 5Ks and eventually for a half marathon last May. The pounds started to drop off slowly, and then I started feeling good about myself. I feel lighter, healthier and more alert everyday. Once I realized running was my ticket to weight loss, and then maintaining it, there was no turning back. My passion for running grew so quickly that I continued to train to improve myself.

My first Half Marathon – May 2012

I know I lost only a small amount of weight and you might think this is just nothing compared to other people’s 100+ pound weight loss success stories. But like most of them, losing weight was never easy for me. I certainly had ups and downs too during the process. This may not please everyone, but I am not here to please everyone. At first it was just about losing the extra weight, which is a good thing, but then NOW, it is actually becoming strong and healthy. I am sharing this to give you the motivation that anyone can start doing this. You don’t have to wait until the scale says a certain number and become overweight before you start living healthy. Yes, I have a lot more to learn, I do admit. I strive to learn as much as I possibly can each day.

Running introduced me to do other workouts, like kickboxing and pilates which became my favorite now. I learned that it is important to incorporate other exercises to your training plans to workout other muscle groups of your body.

Lastly, running makes me feel good.There is not a run that I “regret” doing. It’s not always easy and it’s not always enjoyable especially when it’s 100+ degrees outside. But, I have never returned home from a run sad.

I love this running quote.
source

If you have ever thought about running, I encourage you to give it a try. What you can accomplish may surprise you. 🙂

There you go, now it’s your turn! I’d love to hear your thoughts on what you love most about running?

Interval Training

I did it today! I think that’s why I’m having a hard time typing this. I’m shattered! I’ve been doing interval training the past few weeks to improve my time and pace. My goal was to finish 3 miles in 30 minutes. I was able to do it in 32:10 minutes last time. Today, I did it in 30:50! 🙂 Well… almost! 🙂 Almost there! 🙂 Few more practice and I will eventually hit the goal.

To many of you fast runners, this is nothing, but for someone like me who just started serious running this year, I’m happy with my progress and I am hoping to improve more as I continue my training.

To run 3.00 miles in 30:00 minutes (using the 3/1 run/walk technique), I have to be in walking pace of 15:00 per mile and my running phase pace should be 9:00 minutes per mile.

I tried! 🙂

At split 16, my pace turned out to be like that because I was trying to figure out how to end my watch timer. 🙂 Next time, I will set my watch properly.

By the way, I injured my feet yesterday but this did not stop me from running today and attend kickboxing class yesterday.

I accidentally hit my right foot at the corner of our computer chair. It hurts a little when it rubs against my rubbershoe but I’m okay, pain is bearable. 🙂

Good night everyone! 🙂

Olympic Spirit

I love the Olympics! My husband and I watched it on NBC last Friday and I think they did an awesome job, specially the part when they lit the Olympic torch.

Friday night, watching the Olympics.

Have you seen this video, Call Me Maybe – 2012 USA Olympics Swimming Team? Oh I love them! I thought it was cool. 🙂

YAY! Go Team USA!

Of course, I take pride for my original country.

Did you watch the opening of the 2012 Olympic games? What did you think of the opening ceremony? Which country are you cheering for? Which event or sport is your favorite?
I’m cheering for the USA and my favorites are Women’s Volleyball, Beach Volleyball and Swimming. What about you?

The athletes from that night’s opening ceremony inspired us. The following day, Saturday, my husband and I got up early and went to our favorite trail to do our morning workout and be active.

Me in my favorite workout shirt. 🙂

As you can always see in most of my pictures, I never leave without my handheld water bottle when I go for a run.

I got this when I was training for half marathon. It was when I realized that I need water bottle with me if I’m going to run for an hour or more. At first, I tried the hydration belts that my husband bought for himself.

It did not work for me. They jiggle and bounce around my waste and the bottles are in the way of my arms and elbows while I run.  It was very bothersome. I also think it looks a little bit tacky wearing those. I immediately thought of the Power Rangers the moment I tried them on. 🙂 I don’t know, that’s just me. 🙂

My husband thinks otherwise. He loves them. He said it is very comfortable and never bounces on him.  He has the Nathan Speed 4R Waist Pack. He survived his first half marathon with it.

half marathon.

I also tried the Camelbak hydration backpacks.  It doesn’t fit snug on my body and bounces around a lot as I run. I use it when we go snowboarding and biking. I think it’s designed for those kinds of activities, not for running.

Since I had issues with hydration belts and backpacks, I settled for handheld water bottles. I got the Nathan Thermal Sprint Handheld Bottle. I never had problems and survived my first half marathon with it.
I am completely happy with the product. Holding only 10-ounces doesn’t weigh down the hand too much. It fits comfortably on my hand and doesn’t leak. Easy to carry and you won’t even notice it’s in your hand. When I want water, all I have to do is squeeze the bottle. A valve opens and allows water out with a squeeze and then automatically shuts when you are done. Unlike other hand-held water bottle with a valve that you have to open and close with your teeth. There is also a small pouch where you can put your keys, money and cellphone. It also has a wide mouth so it was easy to refill with water at the water stations during the race.

How about you? What hydration packs/bottles do you use?

Going back to my morning workout, we are having cool mornings lately here in Ohio, which makes it perfect to go outside and have fun.

I ran 6 miles and it was easy. I never really notice my miles when I do my runs in the trails because I get distracted with the beautiful sceneries.

I talked about my house hunting adventures in my previous post. So after our workout at the trail, we passed by this beautiful neighborhood before heading home.

I just have to say that this is my dream neighborhood. This is the kind of neighborhood I like for our future home. I love the lake, the scenery, the ambiance, the walking trails, everything about it. It’s close to everything, to the city, to the trails, parks, and the ski resort that we go to during winter season. Just perfect!

We stayed for a while and relaxed (while dreaming) for a bit.

That’s it for now! I’m off to watch women’s volleyball. Once upon a time, I was a volleyball player too but these girls ROCK! Go Team USA!!!

Good Night!

My DIY Workout Shirt

I have this t-shirt that I never wear anymore because it’s a little loose on me now. I don’t want to get rid of it since it has a sentimental value to me. It’s my first race shirt from my first 5k race. This shirt will always be a reminder of where and why I started running.

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So, instead of just letting it sit in my closet, I turned it into a whole new workout top. 🙂

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DIY Workout Shirt

  • any old loose-fitting T-shirt,
  • a pair of scissors or cutter

1.a.) Cut the ribbed neckline.

b.) Cut the sleeves downwards starting from the shoulder curving down below the armpit seam. You decide how thick you want your straps to be.

 2.  Turn the shirt to the back and make a narrower racerback. Then cut a deep V shape from the neckline.

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3.) To give your tank a high-low look, lay your shirt sideways and flat. Starting a few inches from the front center of your shirt, start cutting diagonally until you reach the back. Fix the front and back center by cutting it a bit straight or else you’ll end up with a weird pointy shape.

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4.). Cut the bottom hem from the scrap of cloth from #3. Knot the string a couple of inches above the V.  Wrap the string all the way down around the center of the racerback. Knot the ends together tightly. Trim the loose ends.

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Clean up the edges of the shirt and DONE! .Throw it on with some cute yoga pants, grab your towel & water, and hit the gym!

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When you guys make yours, please share it to me. Email me your photos at jaml905@yahoo.com.

I’ll collect all your pictures together and feature them here on my blog. I can’t wait to see your creations!

Rainy Morning

Today, I woke up 7:00 am to a dreary, cloudy and rainy morning.

I was supposed to go out and run this morning but there was a steady pouring rain. I immediately decided to do my run in the afternoon instead. So, I crawled back in bed and went back to sleep 🙂

Just want to share this clever snack that I have been munching on lately. I love this tamarind candies from the Philippines that my mom brought for me when she visited last May.

It’s sweet, chewy and a little bit spicy. I was intrigued at first, but taking one would lead you to take another and another and another…it’s quite addicting really. To justify my addiction to this – tamarind is a fruit and I think it’s a better alternative that snacking on some potato chips. I saw this at the international store last Friday, so I’m guessing you can find this at any Asian Stores :).

Finally, the rain stopped by mid afternoon so; I went out and did my run. According to my watch, I finished 3 miles in 32 minutes.

I have been doing interval training the past few weeks to improve my pace from 11 minute/mile to 10 minute/mile. I made a goal to be able to run 3 miles in 30 minutes.  To many of you fast runners, that is nothing, but for someone like me who just started serious running this year, 3 miles in 32 minutes is a fantastic goal!

I would love to improve even more. How do you train to improve your pace? Does anyone have any suggestions what I can do to improve my speed? Any advice would be much appreciated!

While running around the neighborhood, I noticed a lot of mosquitoes flying around. This is usually my issue when I run in the trails, but not in my neighborhood. It’s probably not a good idea to run after a rainstorm. They were bumping into my sunglasses and bouncing off my face. I’ve swallowed a bug in the course of my run. YUCK! Does anyone have a problem of getting mauled by bugs during their runs too?

As my husband and I watched the TV while having our dinner, the news today said that mosquitoes carrying the West Nile Virus are increasing in Ohio. So far, the virus has been found in 213 samples across Ohio this summer. Last year at this time, Ohio had only 38 positive. Of course I got worried and swore to never leave the house without my insect repellent.

What can be used to repel mosquitoes when running? Does anyone know of any good products that will work? I tried OFF before but never worked for me. Bug spray would sweat off right away. I don’t want to avoid the trail and I am willing to try everything, especially with the skeeters carrying the West Nile Virus on the way.

Thanks and have a good and insect-free day! 🙂

Pure Pilates

I’m excited today because this will be my very first post talking about Pilates :).

I love love Pilates. I’ve only started doing it a few weeks ago, and I became hooked after my first class. I didn’t know that it was hard so I struggled at first. It is not as easy as it looks but I enjoyed it! From then, I commit a day of my week for this workout. I also learned that adding one Pilates workout each week will make a difference to my running. It takes more than just strong legs and lungs to get the most out of a good run. Experts say that having a strong core — back, chest and abdominal muscles — is vital for breathing, flexibility, balance and endurance. Core strength is the primary force that controls motion in the hips and spine when you run. Weakness or lack of sufficient coordination in the core muscles can lead to less efficient movements, compensatory movement patterns, strain, overuse and injury.

Aside from it being hardcore, I think it’s the only workout that I can actually wear fashionable and cute workout clothes. I’ve developed this recent obsession for Lululemon clothes. Their workout clothes are sooo cute. And don’t you just like the idea of still feeling and looking fresh and relaxed after a tough workout ;). As in literally, you can go meet up with friends for dinner right after without looking so worn-out and tired.

all prepped and excited for my Pilates class

I use my ToeSox every time I go for my Pilates class. They keep my feet warm. The non-slip dots on these make them perfect for moves where a firm grip on the floor or mat is essential. They are so cute and I love them.

Share your thoughts and experiences too in the comments section below. I can literally talk about Pilates with you any time of the day 🙂

Gloomy Weather Antidote

I woke up to a very dim morning today.  I immediately checked the weather online as I prepared my usual warm oatmeal for breakfast.

Source: weather.yahoo.com

The forecast calls for mostly cloudy scattered showers and thunderstorms for the next few days :/

Honestly, I was never really O.C. about checking the weather reports before. I guess this is something you acquire when you become a runner. The local weather forecast becomes your No. 1 planning tool. You base your training schedule and what workout clothes to wear according to the weather forecast.

For lunch today, I  had chicken on wheat bun with lettuce, onion and tomatoes, and pickles and bokchoy on the side.

I went to the gym at around 5:00 pm today to attend a workout group class. The class is a combination of cardio & weights.  It was tiring but fun.

So, my gloomy weather antidote would be watching the first episode of the new season of Breaking Bad tonight with my hubby. We love this show and is definitely one of our favorite TV series.

How about you?  What are your favorite series to watch? Feel free to share on the comments below. 🙂

Trail Running Tuesday

I still have to get used to waking up early in the morning. I am sleeping late this summer because it’s tough to start feeling sleepy when you still have the sun so bright & shining at 9:00 pm! Yes, I’m blaming it on the sun :). Then, I’ll get to feel really sleepy around 12:00 to 1:00 am. Apparently, my supposed target time to wake up at 6:00 am today to avoid the heat for my morning run did not happen. I woke up late today at around 8:00 am and there was the sun, up and hot already. So, I decided to hit a nearby trail for my run instead.

It’s definitely nice to run in the shade in a hot, hot day and getting out there with nature. I’m happy to finish a 3-mile run despite the hot & muggy weather.

I love my Brooks top that I wore for my run today. I love how it kept me cool and held up to the heat and humidity. It is very thin and lightweight and has become my favorite top to wear for my runs in these summer days.

Women’s Epiphany Short Sleeve
source: http://www.brooksrunning.com

After my run, I made a bowl of oats for breakfast, with a dash of cinnamon powder, top with blueberries and splash of 2% fat milk, plus my coffee, of course. 🙂

A delicious and healthy breakfast gives me just the right start for my day. I really hope I can be out of bed really early and make great days ahead. I will definitely try harder next time.

I also want to share what I had for snacks earlier today. I love to snack on Wheat Thins with hummus…ohhh it is so delicious. I became obsessed with Wheat Thins when I tried it before with Laughing Cow cheese. Good stuff!

For lunch, when my husband and I crave for some southern style barbecue, we go to our favorite restaurant just minutes away from us. We love their smoked barbecue ribs. We usually eat it with spicy sauce, mac n’ cheese, and baked beans. Yum!

The owners of the restaurant are very friendly and really know how to cook southern style barbecue. They are originally from Arkansas – true authentic southerners. That explains why they make their barbecue so good.

I served an easy and quick to prepare steamed fish fillet & asparagus for dinner tonight.

I seasoned the fillets with:

  • Olive oil
  • Cilantro
  • Lemon pepper
  • Garlic salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Lime juice to taste

And steamed them with the asparagus for about 17 minutes.

I love our Black & Decker Food Steamer. I think it’s the best purchase we had from Macy’s. We had it for over a year now and use it almost everyday. It not only steams vegetables and fish to perfection but also chicken and shrimp as well. We love to steam our rice in this too. The rice actually comes out perfect and fluffy unlike with the typical rice cooker that uses direct type of heat, it burns the rice at the bottom.

Once cooked, I drizzle the asparagus with

  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Salt & pepper

There is a lot of good TV shows every night. Our fave shows on Tuesdays are Hell’s Kitchen and Master Chef.  I’m going to take it easy and relax in front of the television tonight until bedtime.

Have a good night everyone!