Thursday, September 29, 2011

San Jose Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon Prep

Sunday I will do something I haven't done before; run a 1/2 marathon as a training run. This is a new phenomenon for me. Run a race, but not really race it, just use it as practice? How is that even possible? If you know me at all, I have zero patience and rarely play by the rules. However, come Sunday, I will try and use this 13.1 miles as any other training run. I won't go out too fast. I won't compete with those around me. I won't mentally psych myself up for getting a PR (personal record). I will simply lace up my shoes, go out and imagine running with my closest 15K friends.

Sunday is the San Jose Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon; and only my 3rd half marathon overall. I'm excited to see how it goes and see if I can practice the art of "patience grasshopper"; the infamous words of my dad. Two weeks from Sunday is "race day". The Nike Womens full marathon in San Francisco.

On a side note, two things not in my favor for the 1/2 this Sunday. Well, three really:
  1. I woke up with a sore throat and not feeling well today (after being in Dallas all week)
  2. I haven't run since last week due to work travels
  3. I am still completely sore from my first soccer game in 21 years last Sunday
Well, here is to being patient. I even laugh as I write that.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

1 Year, 365 Days, 525,600 Minutes

...the length of time since I whispered in her ear "Thank you for being my puppy. Have a safe journey.".

Reflection. I reflect back on the life of a furry little girl who was taken too soon. Her name was Lola. She was the calm in my sea of storm. She remains my proudest moment. She had bone cancer. She fought. She died. The tears are still here. The hole left behind remains. I still reflect back and wonder if I did the right thing. Fight harder? Do differently? Do nothing and save her the endless vet visits? Through it all, regardless of pain, she loved me and I her.

She was brave. I love her. I miss her. I grieve still.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Run + Ramen

Yesterday I met the ladies (Katie, Alyssa, Alisyn) for a run in San Francisco. Now this is a treat for me. I rarely get to "the big city" for runs; and certainly not on a work night. It was foggy and windy, so your typical San Fran day. We met under the big clock at Fisherman's Wharf and immediately got into our stride. Great conversation followed, by a few wacky moments. Hey, runners are not all serious :-P

I logged 6.6 miles @ 8:27 pace. Runs certainly are more enjoyable when shared with friends!

The best part? RAMEN after. Why else did you think I named the post "run + ramen"?. There is a great place over in the Inner Richmond area called Genki Ramen. They serve tasty noodle bowls and is the perfect anecdote to a chilly run.

Thanks ladies and see you soon!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The People You Meet in Yum Yum

Last night I tried something new. Thought outside the box. Colored outside the lines. Broke the rules. Dared to be different. Tested my comfort levels. I dined with 5 complete strangers. *GASP*, yes, I said strangers. Actually, one of them, Courtney, wasn't a complete stranger. She is an awesome gal I met at a recent running event, but going into tonight, I knew very little of her. I had the pleasure of learning more about her life and seeing her infections personality spill over.

A week ago I had signed up for my first GrubWithUs dinner. It's a funky, mostly unknown, site that organizes dinners in various cities around the US and allows strangers to come together for a great meal and even greater conversation.

We all met at Yum Yum Hunan Garden in San Francisco and spent the next 1.5 hours covering conversations from work, to play, from pets to potstickers. All while enjoying a 10 course meal.

Some might think it uncomfortable to knowingly dine with strangers, but it was oddly beautiful and communal. I met 5 wonderful people from a Yelper, to a runner, to a gal who reminded me of my cousin Nina, from a dog lover to a fellow "work from home" guy, that I would otherwise have never met. The great thing about it is you get to try a vast array of the menu. Ours consisted of:

Hot & Sour Soup
Spinach & Tofu Soup

Vegetarian Pot-Stickers
Vegetarian Spring Rolls
Bok Choy w/Mushrooms
Vegetarian Orange Chicken
Salt & Pepper Tofu
Fried Bananas

*Not pictured is Kung Pao Tofu and Eggplant in Hot Garlic Sauce.

All in all, this was a fantastic experience. I will defintely come back to Yum Yum, will most certainly enjoy the experience of another GrubWithUs dinner and I hope to see the 5 strangers I met at a table of mine in the future.