Back to Life, Back to Reality

I’m borrowing the song title from En Vogue because that’s exactly what is happening in my life. Last year started out strong, but fizzled with the pregnancy of my third daughter. I hadn’t anticipated I would be expecting, so it hit me like freight train. Don’t get me wrong. It was a happy freight train, but a freight train nonetheless.

Little Wonder’s nine months in the womb was a battle between us. She felt I should spend it nauseous and I had a hard time accepting I had her growing inside of me. We both fought hard to the end and she arrived just as expected in the middle of November.

In terms of my races, Baby Dylan was very gracious to me. I think it might be the only time she and I were on the same page. I ran my last race, a 10K, just three weeks shy of her birth date. I enjoyed the time with her after my C-section delivery and worked from home during my six weeks off.

After spending the holidays with my other two daughters on winter recess from school, we all went back to our normal routines yesterday. My littlest comes to the office with me and spends most of her day in her crib by my desk or in her Baby Bjorn. I’m fortunate enough to have her with me at work. It’s essentially the best of both worlds.

I received the clearance from my OB to resume running right at the new year. I went on an annual New Year’s Day hike with a good friend and began chipping away at the rust that has accumulated for months now. I tested intervals yesterday for the Rebel Challenge happening next weekend at Disneyland and found I can keep a pace well below the expected 16:00 minute mile, so I will be just fine.

In 2015, I don’t want to pigeon hole myself into stereotypical resolutions with completely unrealistic goals. Rather than say I want to spend less and save more, I will simply say I plan to be more frugal. I will also focus less on trying to be perfect because it is okay to make mistakes. I then become less of a robot and more of a human being. Lastly, I want to try and be a little more mellow in general. I think these are resolutions I can actually live with.

Are you running Star Wars Half Marathon next weekend? See you there if you are! I’ll be hitting the race with my running BFF and we’ll be rocking our usual Sparkle Athletic skirts. Go Team Sparkle!


2015 Already?

I find myself baffled by how early registrations are coming up for races now. It’s so hard to commit to something for the summer of next year when I’m seven months pregnant now. I kept telling myself as registrations opened I would restrain myself, but it’s so difficult. I already had issues dealing with missing the Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World next February. I literally tried to figure out a way to somehow bring my newborn to Florida with me and have perhaps my husband or mother watch her while I ran the Glass Slipper Challenge again. Then I realized how ridiculous I was being and that it was just one race weekend. I wasn’t going to die if I didn’t remain legacy for GSC.

At what point do you admit you’ve become a full-fledged runner? It all starts out so innocently when you set out for your first run and before you know it, you’re trying on running shoes at your local running store and shelling out hundreds of dollars without batting an eye because you know you NEED these items to improve your race experiences. Once that commitment is made, you’re already so far gone you don’t even realize it. That’s what happened to me anyway.

The next step is venturing out of your local area for races. Sure, it’s one thing to travel a car ride away to stay overnight somewhere to run, but that didn’t sustain me. I wanted to travel and have new adventures. This leads to committing earlier and having to budget and save up for these travel excursions. Deciding whether or not to travel with family or by myself was the next step. Ultimately, it was more cost effective and time efficient for me to travel alone for my furthest races, so that’s exactly what I did.

Now, my priorities have shifted and I have to think of my soon-to-be three children. I can’t feel as good about leaving them with their father especially when the little one is so young. I don’t want to miss being there for her as I was with her two older sisters. Thus, I devised a plan to only run the runDisney events in 2015 because they are local and can be enjoyed by the whole family. We can make a small vacation out of the weekend in Anaheim and have fun together.

Of course this should have been enough, but it wasn’t. I don’t know what is wrong with me, but SeaWheeze registration opened last week and I had heard so much about this race, so I was curious to what all the fuss was about. It just so happened I checked on the day registration opened and before I knew it, I was hitting ‘Refresh’ on my computer to see if I could get a spot. Once the glorious ‘Register’ button popped up, I was feverishly trying to beat the clock to fill out all of my information. I don’t know what came over me. Out of fear I would back out, I immediately booked a hotel and started looking at plane tickets. I know it sounds crazy! The most ridiculous part about it was the race isn’t until next August! That’s almost an entire year away. What if I don’t even want to run anymore by then? Yeah right. Who am I kidding? I’ll be the first person at the gate for my Air Canada flight to Vancouver for the event weekend. It looks like my youngest daughter’s first plane ride will be to Canada.

Between this Canadian excursion and my attempt to complete my first full marathon at the thirtieth anniversary of the Los Angeles Marathon, I think I have signed up for two big enough adventures to sustain me for 2015. I say this of course three months before 2015 has even begun. I’m going to try really, really, really hard to maintain my composure and not let the excitement of another race take over me. I’m only looking to either run the Napa-to-Sonoma Half or the San Francisco Marathon (1st Half) in July, but I haven’t committed yet to either one. Otherwise, I think I’m good. I have to be good, right?

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Life Lesson

I have always been fascinated with how the human mind works. It initially started more as a hobby and then became an obsession. I find myself glued to the most curiously morbid shows primarily because I can’t stop wondering what causes one person to cross the line. A line clearly there to not cross under any circumstance and yet people still do.

By nature, the aspect of dissecting someone’s mindset to understand them has drawn me to psychology. The main concept I continue to think about day in and day out is want and need. This specific idea has stood out above all else and is something most people never even take time to consider.

Being a child, all relationships are need based. The relationships with your family, especially your parents, are there to guide you in hopes for you to grow into a sound minded adult who can function well in society. A person who can contribute in a positive way and who knows the difference between right and wrong. Of course, there is also the dependence for food, shelter, clothing and security.

As you reach the age of being a young adult, your relationships become less about need and more about want. For example, your first love. In most cases, this is the beginning of the first test you have with balancing need and want. You select this person for yourself and fall in love. The easy part is over. That’s the want. Depending on how mature you are, the need becomes the issue. Needing this person to be there in order to feel complete or relevant. This is hard. I think most would agree this is the first time this conflict of want and need has existed inside of you. At this point though, you don’t realize what it is.

As we grow older, we are tested in all kinds of relationships. Friendship and romantic relationships begin to take on a different dynamic because we begin to understand the difference between want and need. See, want and need are two totally opposing ideas. When you need someone, the reason they are in your life is not healthy. When you want someone to be with you, it is based on the understanding that you yourself are a complete person and are not looking to anyone else to fulfill you. Some people can go their entire lives and not really grasp this idea in a healthy way. The constantly seek approval and validation in others to feel whole. When relationships end for them, they can be devastating to the point that they can’t think clearly or rationally. It’s a tragedy really. The smartest person in the room can turn into someone unrecognizable and their actions can be alarming.

I always feel sorry for those who feel badly about themselves because they are alone. Not because they are by themselves, but because they have tendency to feel as though something is wrong with them. There is nothing to feel ashamed about or to doubt in yourself because you are alone. Being by yourself and content is far better than being miserable in a relationship. Being lonely and being alone are not the same thing. I wish this was expressed to young people more because then they would not grow into adults constantly questioning their worth and value.

I don’t really know what I was trying to say in this post except to just write down some thoughts I was having. I have been watching friends go through a rough patch lately and I think they are dealing with their problems in a healthy and productive way rather than becoming negative and resentful towards one another. I hope they can find the strength to get through this and know that it’s okay to sometimes just walk away.

Photo Credit: Craptastical

Want vs. Need

 


Little Wonder Announcement

I took forever to actually announce I am expecting. I remember with my first child, I couldn’t wait until the twelve week mark to tell EVERYONE. The second time around, it was the same, but since we were also buying a house too, it was a little delayed. This time, I just couldn’t seem to pull the trigger on making the news official. A few close people knew, but otherwise, we kind of just kept it to ourselves.

I think I might have been in a little bit of denial. That sounds ridiculous, but since this pregnancy caught me off guard, I couldn’t seem to come to terms with the fact that I am indeed carrying a child. I had my whole year planned out with a few more races and a trip to Japan for my cousin’s wedding. I was even toying with traveling to Germany for work, but those plans all came to a halt once Little Wonder’s confirmation came from my doctor.

Of course I’m excited and realize how blessed I am. My husband and I just thought we were finished having children. We contemplated maybe having more children, but definitely not in our immediate future. However, the plan for us was to have one more wonderful baby grace our lives. We are grateful for the opportunity to become parents once again.

I still plan to run throughout my pregnancy. I haven’t been training at all on account of battling morning sickness all day long. I have simply run the races I already had planned. I completed three half marathons since I’ve been expecting. I have been horribly sick. Even now at seventeen weeks, I’m still not myself. It is what it is. I just hope it will pass soon. It’d be nice to eat a cupcake again without feeling yucky after. Cupcakes are my favorite indulgence in the world! The only sugar the baby likes is natural sugar from fruits, so I’ve been eating lots of grapes, peaches, strawberries and pineapple. It’s a tragedy to not fill myself up on artificial sweets and junk food, I know. Like clearly, I have nothing to complain about. I feel like a jerk even writing it now. My child wants to be healthy. Imagine that.

I have gained one pound so far and have no real baby bump to speak of. I’m definitely not complaining. I know the baby bump will come. I’m just enjoying Little Wonder’s first fist pumps and karate kicks right now. It’s nice to know someone really is in there and on this journey with me. I can’t wait to see his or her face in November.

No Disney2LV for me this year. I’ll be deferring both races. My last race weekend will be the Disneyland Half Marathon weekend. I will run the welcome event, 5K and complete the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge. I have to make sure I stay legacy. After that, I will begin my hiatus. My return is slated for the Star Wars Half Marathon weekend where I’m attempt the Rebel Challenge eight weeks post delivery. My doctor gave me the thumbs and I decided to green light my full marathon training to follow that. I plan to run my first full marathon in Los Angeles next March. It will be just shy of my thirty-sixth birthday. I figured a new baby and my first marathon would be a great way to finish out my thirty-fifth year of life.

Big Sisters


Eating DC

Since this was my first visit to Washington, D.C. for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, I relied heavily on the suggestions of my hosts, the Kearney Family. They moved to the East Coast a little over three years ago and I trust Tom and Gabby know me after so many years of friendship and all of the places we have been together. I was right. They showed me exactly what I needed to see and eat.

http://www.farmersfishersbakers.com/

Shrimp Scampi, Gnocchi & Leafy Greens

I asked for the gnocchi to be replaced with their handmade spaghetti and it was AMAZING! I couldn’t believe how perfectly the shrimp was cooked and how many there were. Normally, there is supposed to be an amazing view of the Potomac River. However, Nike had taken over the plaza with the We Run DC preparations, so I enjoyed that view instead.

http://bakedandwired.com/

Unicorns & Rainbows Cakecup

When you have good friends who know you well, they take you to awesome places they know you will love. Baked & Wired is a fine example of that. I wish I had bought another cakecup. This is more incentive to go back to DC soon.

http://www.deandeluca.com/AboutUs/WashingtonDC.aspx

My Dean & DeLuca obsession actually began in Japan. It was at a café in Tokyo when my sisters and I traveled together in 2005. This love affair has lasted as long as my relationship with my husband. Since 2005, I have visited stores in New York and California as well as multiple locations throughout Japan. When Tom and Gabby told me there was a location in Georgetown, I made a beeline to the store and was there for a long while. I couldn’t contain my excitement. I wish there was a location in Los Angeles.

http://www.southside815.com/

New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

It was raining on Friday evening, so rather than attend the San Diego Padres game versus the Washington Nationals, we went to eat at this fun spot. The menu was extensive, so I asked the server what he suggested and he said this was his number one pick. Can you tell I love shrimp? The dish was delicious and the atmosphere cozy.

http://www.ebbitt.com/

Cannelloni di Casa

Can I say this dish changed my life? I know that sounds crazy, but it’s as if no other dish existed before this one in my life. It’s funny how it works out when you aren’t expecting the world and then it’s delivered to you.

The restaurant is fantastic because there is so much history to it. Across the main street from the White House, I found myself in awe of every building from the Metro Station to the restaurant itself. I looked over their menu and could not decide what to get. It was a little chilly out, so when I read the word “baked”, I was hooked. The dish arrived looking very unassuming, but when I took that first bite, I fell head over heels. BEST DISH EVER. I haven’t stopped talking about it since.

http://petesapizza.com/

Spaghetti

This will seem very boring of me, but since it was the night before the Nike Women’s Half Marathon, I ate spaghetti. It was comforting and good. I nibbled a little of the antipasti featuring beets and liked it as well. I wish I had had more of an appetite that night to try the pizza too. Sadly, I did not. What I did enjoy a lot of was the Puck’s Old Fashioned Soda. Black Cherry? Yum!

I’m grateful to Tom and Gabby for planning out my DC foodie adventures at places they knew I was sure to enjoy. I ate my way through the city in both new and old places. I had the opportunity to explore new neighborhoods with each destination we headed to. I’m thankful to have such thoughtful friends.

Georgetown