Memorable Moments of 2009

I've been writing a blog since 2007 and at the end of the past couple of years, I take some time to go back and read through what I wrote over the previous 12 months - sometimes even farther back than that. Its so much fun to relive the moments. This is a recap of my favorite postings from 2009 (along with a random photo or two from that month).

From January to June, my blog was hosted on Blogger, and from January to March, I didn't really blog much. I can't remember exactly why, but I think it was because I had a huge project in February that made January a stressful blur (just thinking about it still gives me nightmares). Anyway, point is, blog postings were slim pickings during Q1 of 2009.

January I was just beginning to experiment with including video in my blog posts and posted these videos from my Fall 2007 trip to Paris.

At this time I wasn't that into running yet. Having just come off of my first half-marathon 8 weeks prior I thought I needed another 6 months before I could do another one.

February There was only blog post I made in February, but it was a good one that consisted of just one sentence:

"that which matters most should never give way to that which matters the least."

I need to refer back to this more often.

March I had signed up for my second Half Marathon - the Seattle Rock 'n Roll - and began training in March. This is one of my first blog posts about training for this race and it lists my favorite treadmill workout.

Spring Training '09 Photos

April April was a fun month because:

1. I went to the Britney Spears concert. Yes, I love her - don't judge. Her music is great for dancing and running.

2. I learned that what you eat has an even more profound effect on your body than how much you workout. And thankfully I did because I got injured on Easter weekend (an injury that still nags me today) and had to curtail my workouts dramatically.

3. Baseball season started - enough said.

I couldn't pick just one blog post for April here to read them all.

May This was my favorite post in May, and I don't need to say anything more about it.

June In June I moved my blog over to Wordpress. My main reason for doing this is to learn some new Web skills. I went through the process of buying my domain name (if you're wondering, I couldn't think of a creative one and just copied Kady's email with my own name), setting up a Web hosting account, then working on the layout of my blog - and choosing and designing a template. It was a lot of hard work, but I learned a lot and I'm glad I gained some of those skills.

And, after 2 months of physical therapy, I ran my second half-marathon in Seattle. Of the 3 halves I've ran, Seattle is still my favorite.

Also, from this point on, a lot of my posts are about training for the races I ran in the 2H of the year.

July I started a new adventure in July - swimming lessons! Just because you grow up in Hawai'i doesn't mean you know how to swim. Let me clarify...

In Hawai'i, we go to the beach to boogie board and just splash/float around in the ocean; we're not actually swimming least I never did and so I never did learn how to swim with proper form. So as soon as the Seattle race was over, I started swimming lessons and found that its a complete workout without the harsh impact on your body. It was the best thing I've done this year.

August I ran the Giants 5K race in August - the race where we got to cross home plate. Up until this race I always thought 5K's were easy because they're only 3 miles. But here I learned how hard 5K's are - in some ways much harder than a half-marathon! I ran it with my friend Yvette who's much faster than I am. She set our pace which was a lot faster than I would have run alone, but I kept up with her, making this one of my proud moments of the year. I felt really good after this race and now I have a much respect for the 5K.

September This post is a mishmash (as its aptly titled) of random topics, but the reason I chose this one is because I got to spectate my first triathlon ever. Triathlons fascinate me and one day (perhaps maybe even in 2010?) I hope to do one. That's why I was so excited to finally get the chance to see one in person.

October I ran another race in October. This one was a 12K - the first time I'd run a race with this distance. As you can read, this was one a struggle, but I did it and had a great time doing so. But it was also at this race that I realized what a lonely sport running can be. For whatever reason, I ended up doing this race alone without anyone there with me (to run or spectate). I was fine with this until after the race when I saw the other runners with their cheerers. It made me kinda sad...but on a bright note, I love the photo of me with the GGB in the background - it ended up being my Christmas card photo this year. :)

November There's 2 posts from November that are my favorites:

1. The one about my 1st Runniversary because it reminded me of how far I've come in the past year.

2. The one about the Mermaid 5K race because it was seriously one of my favorite race experiences ever. I am definitely doing more Mermaid events in 2010!

December December's fav post has to be the one about Vegas because it was the culmination of 16 weeks of training and another 3 months of physical therapy.

When I look back at where I started the year and compare it to where I am now I realize how much I've learned and how far I've progressed. It was a year of setbacks and frustrations, but also one of hard work and most importantly, fun! I didn't really start 2009 with specific goals, but one of the things I learned this year is not only to set goals, but to be specific about them, write them down and have a plan for accomplishing them. I'm definitely working on this for 2010 and will share them soon!

Have a safe and Happy New Year's, or as we like to say, "Hauoli Makahiki Hou"...see you in 2010!

From sand...

To snow...

When Running Meets Baseball...

Its no secret that 2 of my most favorite things are baseball and running...

So last week, when I sat down to plan my Spring vacation, I found myself in a bit of dilemma between choosing to travel to New Orleans on Feb 28th for the Mardi Gras Rock n Roll Half Marathon or to Scottsdale, AZ for my annual San Francisco Giants Spring Training trip. I should have considered this before I registered for New Orleans, but I registered for it on a whim, not really thinking or planning it through. I've been going to Spring Training annually since 1994 and its not something that I'm willing to skip - for anything. Period. I would love to do both, but I neither have the funds or the PTO. What to do, what to do...

Well for a while I did nothing, trying to avoid having to make a decision. Then a few days later, while on researching races for my 2010 schedule, I came across a half-marathon in Scottsdale during Spring Training! Cha-ching - problem solved! Why not go to Scottsdale for Spring Training AND running!

Today I officially registered for the Race for Ryan House Half-Marathon, scheduled on Saturday March 6th, in some golf course community in Scottsdale. It sounds like a fairly small event and that's pretty much all that I was able to find out about it. But I'm okay with that because:

1. Its on a Saturday. 2. The entry fee was only $43 but will still have chip timing. 3. Ryan House sounds like a great cause to run for. Its a lot like the Ronald McDonald House, where I volunteer at. 4. After the race I can head over to Scottsdale Stadium and watch the G's take on the D'backs. 5. Post-race dinner will be a full slab of baby back ribs at Don's and Charlie's.

While I would love to visit New Orleans, it'll have to wait for another time, but I will get there someday...and to be honest, I could use the extra week of training. This will be my next "big" race, the first one of a few planned for 2010. More to come on the rest of my 2010 schedule shortly...

I love it when a plan comes together! :)

PS I finally downloaded the video of me crossing the finish line at the Las Vegas RnR 1/2 Marathon. Can you find me?

Oh The Holidays...

I took the past 2 days off from the gym to enjoy the Christmas holiday. And perhaps I enjoyed it a little too much... The Oregon Coast After having a fantastic Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, the fun continued with a mini road trip to the Oregon Coast. Whenever we go to the coast, we normally go to Seaside, but this time, we ventured a little farther away, about 2 1/2 hours southwest to Lincoln City. We passed through towns, like Salem and Willamette; its always interesting to see small town life. While I'm from a small town, its an island, not exactly like the traditional small towns of America, so seeing places like these always fascinates me. Lincoln City was a bit bigger than I expected. It reminded me of a typical ocean side town that caters to a lot of tourists.

Having just been in Hawai'i 2 weeks ago, it was fun to be on the other side of the Pacific Ocean. While it was cold and windy in Vancouver, it was much warmer on the coast. We took our obligatory "jump" photo, plus a few family pics.

We had a delish seafood lunch there, then we let the spirit guide us...all the way to the Spirit Mountain Casino. :) Truth be told, we went to Lincoln City because of its proximity to Spirit Mountain. My parents have become what I call "Spirit Mountain regulars"; i.e., they go there whenever they visit Vancouver. Its always fun to do some gaming with the fam; we all left as winners...some more than others.

Lazy, Lazy Sunday Today was all about bumming it and watching football all-day-long. Its no wonder, with how competitive my family is, that we love sports (there was a lot of screaming at the TV). We watched each game, with my head spinning trying to keep track of all the playoff implications. Finally, I couldn't take any more and forced myself off the couch and to the gym. The pool was already open for public swim; i.e. kids, so I stuck to my favorite cardio combination of late - the elliptical and stair climber.

It was the worst workout I've had in ages. I felt nauseous the entire time and had no stamina. I had to drop down a couple of levels and even had to stop a couple of times on the stair climber just to catch my breath. I'd only taken 2 days off, yet felt like I was completely out of shape. I would have understood tired legs, but being cardiovascularly-challenged was something I haven't felt in a long, long time. Although I haven't run in 3 weeks, I've done a pretty good job of keeping up with my cross-training so I can only attribute it to my diet.

I think all the junk that I've been eating during the holidays finally caught up with me...but no more. I've been saying that I'm going to get back on the healthy-eating bandwagon when I start running again at the end of my vacation (next weekend), but I've changed my mind -- it starts now, the eating part that is...

After I was done at the gym I went straight to the grocery store and got fruits, veggies and other stuff to make some healthy meals. No more fried foods, no more sugary treats, no more second helpings. When I got home, I made myself a strawberry-banana-chocolate milk smoothie and had an apple with peanut butter, plus a few slices of turkey for dinner.

Since I am still on vacation for another week, I need to be realistic with how strict I can be with my eating. I think I can do a pretty good job of eating balanced meals, but probably not on the schedule that I'm used to. But once I get home, I'm going caveman again - six small meals and no more processed junk!

I've set some pretty lofty goals for 2010 and I'm counting on all of you to hold me accountable and keep me on track so I can be in tip-top shape (and injury free) to achieve them...(more to come on my 2010 goals later this week).