Friday, September 28, 2012

Cold Two

I think I'm sick.  Ugh.  Second time this year.  Not sure if it's allergies that led to sinusitis that led to an upper respiratory infection, or if it's some kind of virus, or if it was just exhaustion, but I feel like crud.  Maybe my breaking point is to work out for every single day, at least once a day, often twice (if you count 90 minutes of hot yoga!), for about 3 weeks. 

It's funny, usually if my body needs a rest day from exercise, I feel it in sore muscles, most frequently it seems to be somewhere in my calf muscles.  And I usually listen -- take a day or two off, and then come back feeling better.

But this time, I am soooo sleepy, my nose is running and stuffy, I have a horrible headache, and I feel like I can't breathe. 

I sucked it up and went to urgent care and he gave me the allergies/sinusitis/upper resp infection line.  And meds.  I guess that's all that really matters.

I don't think China will let me in the country if I show up sick, so I need to get better quickly! 

Fortunately, if I don't get around to most of the stuff on my long to-do list for this weekend, it won't be the end of the world.  It will make next weekend significantly more chaotic, but I'll manage. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Writing to Beijing

Now the Beijing marathon delay is becoming more and more official (so far it was only news reports from the Financial Times and Runner's World that indicated it was cancelled).  I'd be lying if I said there wasn't still a little part of my heart that was hoping they were wrong.

But now the official marathon travel organization for foreign runners posted an announcement on the webpage:
Dear marathon runners,

China International Travel Service, Head Office received an urgent notice from the Beijing Marathon Organizing Committee (BMOC) that the prior designated race date (Oct. 14th) is largely PRONE TO DELAY due to multiple factors. No further information is available from the organizing committee yet.

We advise you NOT to book Beijing flights and hotels at the moment in case of any schedule changes. CITS, as a designated marathon entry agency for foreign amateur runners, and as China's largest and most trusted state-owned travel operator, fully understand the situation and feel sorry for all the inconvenience. We deeply regret the organizer's inappropriate moves on the announcement of race date and will spare no efforts in urging the committee to publish their final arrangements. For applicants who have already paid the entry fee yet cannot come due to the delay of information shall e-mail us at to apply for refund. We'll reply a.s.a.p and report to the committee accordingly.

Please keep close track on the official website of Beijing Marathon ( about the latest updates of the event. We will also keep our entry site ( updated.

Hahahaha.  About three weeks before the scheduled race they tell you to hold off on making travel arrangements??  Who really flies to Beijing from abroad for a marathon and books their plane tickets on three weeks' notice or less?  Seriously, who? 

So I sent this email:
I just wanted to let you know so that you can report to the marathon committee that I have wanted to run the Beijing marathon ever since I watched the Olympics on TV in 2008.

Because this is a very expensive and major trip, requiring a lot of money and many vacation days, my husband and I saved and planned to run the marathon in 2012. We spent over $2,000 on plane tickets, another $400 on visas, and we reserved a hotel near the marathon starting line for over $700. Unfortunately, because the marathon has been cancelled, I will not be able to run it, but we cannot afford to lose all the money we have paid, so we will still be taking a vacation to China. It is very disappointing and I had much higher expectations for a big city marathon. It is also disappointing that I have spent all summer training for the marathon, and I will now not be able to run it -- I wonder if the committee that cancelled it knew how many people worked so hard, running 20 miles on a hot summer morning to be prepared to run in Beijing on Oct. 14. We will be arriving in Beijing on October 12. I will never plan to run Beijing again, this was a very bad and disappointing experience.

Please note, I know this is not your fault. I just wanted to share my experience and disappointment with you so that you could share it with others as you deem appropriate.
I feel that was a good way of summing up how I felt, and I hope I didn't come across as bitterly and hatefully as I feel most days when I think about it. 


Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Salad Change

So I posted about this before but we had to have our blood drawn for work and get our lab results if we want to be on the PPO at work (not the high deductible health plan) and have part of the costs paid by our employer.

My blood work came back okay, despite the fact that I hadn't technically been fasting that day (I'd eaten a granola bar at about 5:10 a.m. before I ran out of habit, then had my blood drawn just after 9). But there were a few items listed among my blood test results that were not great.

First, my BP was "elevated.". About 123/84, so not bad, but my doctor said it should be under 120 and under 80.  But just yesterday at the dentist's office, it was 123/77, so marginally better.  Still a bit higher than it should be. 

Second, my cholesterol was "borderline.". It was 204, and the doctor said it should be under 200.

Third, my iron was totally out of whack. Not unusual for a vegetarian woman who exercises a lot, right? Well, it would not be unusual for a vegetarian woman who exercises a lot to have low iron, but mine was high. Wtf? I would say generally I'm a pretty healthy eater too.  (As an aside, my doctor sent me a letter telling me to stop taking all iron supplements immediately -- which makes NO sense since I'm not taking iron supplements and I never have, so for now I just cut out my multi-vitamin per the doc, and will get the iron retested in a few months.)

Fourth, least alarming, were my many allergies. They tested for a lot of things (it was an elective test I chose at no cost!). The good range for a reaction to an allergen is 0 to 0.05.  I ended up with lots of things in the .1 to 1.0 range.  But for some things like cats and dogs, I was over 4.0!  But most shocking I thought was Kentucky Bluegrass, and my number for that was over 65.0! Yikes!  Guess I should find out where that is and never ever ever go there. 

Anyway, back to the things I can control at least somewhat like BP, cholesterol and iron. 

Coincidentally, this month's issue of Vegetarian Times had an article about how to lower cholesterol naturally. Well, less article, more Q&A. Someone who is a vegan asked about lowering cholesterol. Some of the suggestions were to eat more beans, oatmeal, okra, barley, and soy (and nuts, but given the allergies, that would kill me) and less olive oil (actually less of all oils).

So my big plan, put into effect last night after yoga, is to make my dinner salad after yoga with my usual mix of veggies (usually spinach or mixed greens and red onion, then sometimes some avocado and/or artichokes and/or olives or whatever else we have around), topped with only red or white wine vinegar and pepper. I'm also going to try to add beans to the salad a couple nights per week.

Guess we will know next year when it gets checked again if this helps.  Or maybe if I get my iron retested in a few months, they can check cholesterol too. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hood to Coast Van Decorations

One of the more enjoyable parts of the relay was checking out all the other vans and their decorations.  I wish I'd thought to take photos of more of them, but I did take shots of a decent number.

If I had to pick a favorite (at least from among those I photographed), I'd probably go with one of the lawyer jokes or the Princess Bride one (I think third photo below).

Themes I noticed -- lots of 12-year-old boy humor.  We love to Fartlek.  My third leg is hard.  Our third leg is harder than yours.  Chuck Norris would run 400 miles.  Where are my nipple guards?  My wife is going to take my very hard third leg.

You get the idea.  Anyway, checking out the vans was a fun way to pass the time.  Wish I'd been better about photographing my favorites. 

Princess Bride:

This one made me laugh -- pimp my airport shuttle:

Jocks in a box, as featured in the Hood to Coast movie I believe:

I just liked the protruding foot on this one:

The back half of this van was picutred above.  The D'Feeters.

I take it this means 5 male runners, 1 female?:

Less a van pic, more just a random relay exchange, but vans right along the road:

Hood to Coast virgins?  No idea...  One of the guys in our van thought we should catch up and ask but we didn't. 

Sweet!  A Texas van!  (Not ours)

Monday, September 24, 2012

FMM: Fall Favorites

Busy but mundane weekend.  Had a good race at the 5k -- actually got an age group award, which was exciting, but like I said, it was a slow field, so it wasn't really an impressive feat.  I went out too fast and had to slow down, but it was a good run.  Nearly a minute off a PR though.  Oh well, that wasn't the goal. 

I did some work on uploading and captioning my Hood to Coast pictures to share with my teammates. 

I wore my dirndl and went to Oktoberfest, but it was a little blah this year.  I had a smaller crowd of friends there than usual, and I wasn't drinking much so I could run the following morning. 

My long run was only 15 miles but it didn't go very well.  I struggled on the second half and slowed down a lot, I'm a little worried that I'm getting sick.  I was very wheezy and felt like I had no lung capacity.  I went to yoga and thought about going to an urgent care place afterward, but the line was too long and I'm not feeling quite miserable enough. 

I'm reminding myself that I'd rather be sick now than in a few weeks when we're in China.  Actually, in about 2.5 weeks!  Wow!  Getting very excited, although I don't feel even a little bit prepared yet.  I need to study a lot more! 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Fall Favorites

1. What is your favorite thing about this time of year? Cooler temps bring festivals.  It's funny because I grew up in the north, and there were tons of summer festivals, which I loved, but in Dallas it's so blasted hot in the summer that all the festivals are in the fall.  Within the last two weeks the has been an Oktoberfest festival, a balloon festival and a grape/wine festival.  This coming weekend we're doing a double -- Friday night to the Greek festival, Saturday to the Texas State Fair!  I also like the cooler temps for running, and officially being into marathon season, having friends racing every weekend, spending Sunday afternoons looking at race results and pictures on facebook and congratulating friends. 

2. What do you hope to do again before Summer is officially over?  Well, summer is officially over as of a couple days ago (Sept. 21 I think), so I guess this one is moot. 

3. When did you last go on a hay ride?  I think it was Christmas 2010.  It was a sleigh ride through the snow, but there were hay bales that we sat on.  Not sure about the last fall hay ride -- they usually bother my allergies a lot, and it's not exactly something you find around Dallas.  We live pretty much downtown. 

4. What is your favorite pumpkin dish?  Hmm... my favorite is probably pumpkin bread, but I like pumpkin in lots of things.  I can make a very good pumpkin soup, but carving out the pumpkin is so much work, and it's just not very good if you use the canned stuff.  I also like adding pumpkin to my yogurt sometimes.  There's also a dessert that friends made for us last year that I want to try making myself this year. 

5. Do you decorate your home for fall?  Not beyond our Thanksgiving centerpiece.  I have a lot of decorations, but somehow I'm just not into it.  No one around here seems to decorate. 

6. Do you have any hobbies that are seasonally specific? If so, what are they?  Not really.  I like doing puzzles when I want to be inside -- here that can mean in the middle of summer or the middle of winter.  I guess running races is kind of seasonal.  I mean, there are races of varying distances every weekend all year round here, but in the fall, there are definitely more marathons and more of the best races. 

7. Apple cider or hot chocolate?  I guess I'd choose hot chocolate, but either one is very good. 

8. Are you a fan of football? If so, who is your team?  No.

9. Share a fond Fall memory.  For the this ast few years, I've always gone trick-or-treating with my godson.  I'm kind of bummed that we'll miss it this year.  We come back from China on Oct. 29 and then fly home for a wedding on Oct. 31.  That is going to be a very crazy 2 days! 

10. It’s not Fall until…  I have to wear long sleeves for a morning run.  That probably won't happen until November! 

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions. Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dinner Fail

So for our seven year "shackiversary" on Wednesday night, we planned to go to a little Italian restaurant right by our house, then for drinks to a very upscale restaurant even closer to our house. In short, we planned to do exactly what we'd done seven years ago.

I got home from work and we walked to the Italian restaurant.

Guess we don't go there often enough. We were greeted by the sign below. Bummer!

Fortunately, there are about a dozen good non-chain restaurants within about 3-4 blocks of our house, so we just walked to another little Italian place and had dinner there. It was great, and then we went for drinks at a nice restaurant with a bar that I used to frequent all too often more than seven years ago. It was fun to see some of my favorite bartenders and servers.

Guess we will have to come up with a new shackiversary tradition -- I think we might switch off between Italian restaurants in our neighborhood, or maybe we'll just always go to the one we visited this year.   

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Weekend Plans

Thursday isn't too early to be thinking about the weekend, is it? 

One of my two absolute all-time favorite local 5k races is this weekend, Oktoberfest.  It's where I unexpectedly set my current 5k PR a couple years ago. 

The course is not particularly easy, but it's in the city where my husband works, and I imagine he and several of his co-workers will be out on the course and will cheer for me. 

One awesome thing about the race is that it's run by the store where I do my running training, and although it draws A LOT of walkers and very slow joggers, it's fairly easy to line up right by the front.  Most years, even 2-3 rows back from the start line, you still end up with a bunch of kids in front of you that you have to weave around for the first minute or two, but then the crowd thins (except of course those fast runners in front of me).  And even with a fairly mediocre time, if I put some effort into it, I can usually end up toward the top of my age group. 

After the race, lots of food (mostly soft pretzels, yum) and beer.  People hang out for a while, and then, when you come back that night, you get free admission to Oktoberfest with your race bib. 

Last year was a little crazy since I went in costume.  This one to be exact:

Haha, it's funny to read about how uncomfortable I was last year when I wore it!  But of course I look absolutely nothing like the picture when I wore it. 

Not sure if I'll wear it again, but my plan for Saturday is to run the 5k in the morning (no PR this year, but hopefully still a solid and speedy run), enjoy the post race festivities, run a few errands, study Chinese, volunteer for a couple hours, and then go to Oktoberfest that night.  Only 15 miles for the long run on Sunday, followed by a day o' projects and organizing I hope. 

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Anniversary

Tonight we're going out to dinner at the same place we've eaten every Sept. 19 for the last seven years, an little Italian restaurant a few blocks from our house. 

This is our seven year shacking-up anniversary.

Seven years ago last night, a sweet guy I'd been dating for a while called and said he was thinking about coming over.  Cool.  Unremarkable, but cool. 

And then he said he was thinking about bringing his stuff and asked if that was okay.  I said that would be great.

And that was it.

He threw a bunch of his clothes into a couple suitcases and he came over.  I don't think we slept more than an hour or two that night -- not sexy stuff, just talking, figuring out what it all meant and if we were both sure we were ready.  We concluded we were.  The next day, he brought boxes and bags of his stuff.  The following weekend, it was furniture.  And by October 1, everything he owned was either at "our" place or in a storage locker. 

Seven years of his sweet face as I fall asleep and wake up. 

I know there are some who frown on living in sin, but it worked for us.  And no double rent just for propriety's sake.  I wasn't in a huge hurry to get married for numerous reasons -- my parents divorced when I was growing up, I have a couple friends who have gotten divorced, I wanted to be as certain as I could that I was making the right choice before saying "I do" (or "Lo voglio," as we said in our Italian vows), and we don't want to have kids. 

There is no denying that after about 5 years of living alone, having him live with me was a huge adjustment, and not always easy.  But I think we went through a lot of those "sharing space and habits" growing pains the first year we shacked up, making the first year of marriage a breeze (while people who don't shack have all those adjustments after the vows). 

In fact, there are still things we each do that drive each other crazy.  I don't understand why he doesn't immediately close a cabinet door after taking out the dish or glass that he wants.  He doesn't understand why I slurp my coffee when it's hot though it irritates him to no end.  I could probably list about 20 other things for each of us if I gave it a moment's thought, but in the end, it doesn't matter. 

Overall, it's been seven wonderful and fun years of being together as much as we can.  Woot!  That's officially more than 1/5 of my life! 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Happy PR

So yesterday I wrote about running the 10k this weekend.  And back in July, I wrote about my mid-year update on my resolutions.  To my amazement, those two things have something in common. 

Well, yesterday while I was eating lunch at my desk, I took a minute to put the weekend's 10k race into my race results spreadsheet. 


I got a PR!  Only by 7 seconds, but heck, a PR is a PR!  That means I can check another of my 2012 resolutions off the list as being done.  Sweet! 

It's crazy because I felt like I was running hard, but at the same time, most miles I felt like I could have kicked it up a bit more, but I didn't because I knew I had a 20 mile long run the following morning.  And my first mile was the slowest of the race, and I thought there was no way I'd be able to come back from that. 

This is an underlying problem with racing that I've had lately -- I have failed to have my PR time fresh in my head, and know exactly what pace it takes to beat that.  I feel like I know and will always know my marathon and 5k PRs, but all the ones in between are kind of a muddly mess.  But this time, it wasn't a big deal that I didn't know what time I needed to beat, since I beat it anyway.  It would have been a major disappointment if I'd missed it by just a few seconds.  Sweet!! 

Perhaps more importantly than meeting one of my 2012 resolutions though, this PR puts to bed a long-standing family controversy.  The question had been whether my brother's 10k time run during an Olympic triathlon was eligible for the family's 10k running title.  I firmly said it was not (though obviously I know that if you can run X time in a 10k in a tri, you could run faster in a straight-up 10k), but of course my brother insisted it was.  Thus, for the last few years, the family 10k title has had a little asterisk next to it. 

It's all moot now.  Because either way, I have blown his Olympic tri 10k time out of the water!  Well, if you can call beating it by 5 seconds "out of the water".  Haha.  Works for me. 

Let the trash talk begin. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

FMM: Blog Stuff

Weekend was good and busy.  10k on Saturday morning that was much faster than I planned, but still too slow to PR.  The best part was feeling like I was crashing toward the end, and then seeing a super-fast friend who'd already finished heading back my way for his cool down, and turning around to run back in toward the finish with me.  It made such a difference!  Spent lots of time after the race hanging out at the beer garden (though I wasn't drinking), watching the awards ceremony, and then walking through the Arboretum, looking at the glass sculptures again.  After that, lunch, napping, and some major house cleaning with hubby's help.  It was actually a thoroughly enjoyable day.  Sunday was yet another long run -- 20 miles.  Unfortunately, it was all in steady drizzle or steady rain.  Ugh.  But it was a very strong 20 miles.  I made the mistake afterward of not taking an ice bath.  I won't make that mistake again.  I think the science of ice baths is very mixed, which is why I let myself take a pass on doing it.  But given how sore I am today, I will not do that again.  Next time I run 20 or more miles, straight into an ice bath.  It might not work for everyone, but I think it works for me.  Anyway, after the run and getting cleaned up, I met hubby for lunch, came home and organized a little, met my local bestie for an ice cream-cookie sandwich, and then went to yoga. 

All in all, the weekend was quite wonderful. 

It's going to be a crazy work week I think though.  Actually, since I only have 3 more full weeks in the office before we leave for China, I think all the work weeks are going to be more crazy than not.  Oh well! 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Blog Stuff

1. Have you ever met anyone through your blog that led to an in-person friendship/relationship?  No. 

2. Most bloggers have a specific niche. What would you discuss if it didn’t seem inappropriate on your blog?  I guess maybe more about my family or friends.  I wouldn't want to say something that would hurt someone I love, and I wouldn't want to invade anyone's privacy. 

3. If you could meet three bloggers, who would they be?  I guess I'd say two Amy/Aimees, and one Bella

4. If you had to choose between Facebook or Twitter which one would you choose?  Easy -- Facebook.  I haven't gotten into Twitter at all. 

5. Do you vlog (video blog)?  No.

6. How many blogs do you read on an average day?  It depends on the day.  On an average day at work where I can take lunch to myself instead of working through, I'd say I read about 8?  I've never counted. 

7. What is the coolest thing that you’ve seen online recently?  Haha, there's a picture on Facebook called "Today's Modern Woman."  It says: 
Clean house.
Healthy dinner on the table (at dinnertime).
Fit, trim & well-groomed.
Works full time.
Laundry done and put away.
Great sex life.
... pick any two. 
It was funny because hubby and I have a pretty clear division of labor.  He always grocery shops and I always do laundry.  Well, "doing laundry" on a day when I also run 20 miles, is not exactly the same as finishing laundry.  I was pretty happy yesterday to have washed darks, folded all darks (but didn't hang up any of his hanging stuff, just laid it flat), and I washed whites and got them either hung to dry or into the dryer.  But I didn't get to socks or finishing up the whites.  And I know hubby envisions coming home to laundry that's actually done (the same way it irks me if I come home and the groceries aren't put away).  So I sent him that little FB photo this morning -- still no response! 

8. If you gave your blog a new name what would it be?  Maybe something about Dallas or being a vegetarian, but still with some kind of a connection to Italy and to running.  Or maybe I'd focus less on running and more on travel -- we only take one big trip per year though, so it would be hard to sustain a blog based on that! 

9. Have you ever attended a blog conference like Fitbloggin? If not, would you?  No, I haven't, and not likely that I would.  It just seems like I don't have enough time to travel for something like that -- well, that's a lie of course.  It's just that I wouldn't prioritize something like a blog conference highly enough to do that instead of something else.  I'm still not entirely sure why I blog and I've never focused on "growing" my blog or something -- if either of those changed, maybe I would. 

10. In the past I have asked why you blog. Now I want to know why you read blogs? What do you take from it?  Oooh, I love hearing about what's going on in others' lives.  What they're up to, what they're thinking about, what's working, what's not, what goals are being set, what records are being broken.  I don't read tons of blogs regularly, but I feel like I care about the people who write the ones I do. 

Now it’s your turn to fill out this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

Friday, September 14, 2012

HTC Stats compared to Predictions

More for reference if I ever do this again, on the Hood to Coast relay, at least for the first 24 legs (of 36 total), here is how our paces differed from what was predicted.

The race has you input a recent race time and distance and then basically seems to assume you will average that pace per mile (maybe slightly slower) for every mile you run if you extrapolated that race to a 10k race pace. 

That to me seems unrealistic, but for me it was surprisingly accurate.  I input a 10k predicted time -- I didn't have a recent 10k race that was representative of my running (the only 10ks I've done this year were while wearing a weight vest).  I didn't put in my 10k best time, since that was more than a year old, but I made a good guess and what pace I'd run if I raced a 10k in early July (when our pace predictions were due).

But my 10k race time prediction was a pace that I thought would be pretty difficult to sustain, more than a minute faster per mile than my usual running pace, and significantly slower than my planned marathon pace (for Beijing, not...). 

But when I put in that time, I didn't realize that the race would assume I'd run that exact pace on all three of my runs.  Running a hard 10k is not the same as running a hard 10k, then about 9 hours later running another hard 10k, then about 8 hours later running ANOTHER hard 10k.  But I guess the cooler weather helped, or I'm in better shape than I realized, or race weekend endorphins and/or new scenery gave me a boost.  Either way, I think I was the most accurate person on our team.  Certainly the most accurate in our van. 

So here it is by leg number whether the runners in our van were faster or slower than predicted and by how much. Obviously it varies some for people who were aggressive in their pacing (like me) or not, whether someone was hurting or cramping, etc.

Our chart, by leg number, faster or slower than predicted and by how much:

1: 9:45 fast over 5.6 miles (down Mt. Hood)
2: 7:58 fast, 5.7 miles (still going down Mt. Hood)
3: 5:02 slow, 3.9 miles
4: 1:00 slow, 7.2 miles
5: 0:35 slow, 6.1 miles
6: 11:20 fast, 6.8 miles
7: 7:58 fast (van 2 begins), 6.3 miles
8: 0:07 slow, 4.6 miles
9: 0:04 fast, 7 miles
10: 1:10 slow, 5 miles
11: 7:00 fast, 4.8 miles
12: 0:25 fast (me!!) (over 6.3 miles, so about 4 secs/mile faster than predicted)
13: 0:59 fast (this is van 1 again), 4.2 miles
14: 6:04 fast, 6.1 miles
15: 11:03 slow, 7.3 miles
16: 2:11 slow, 4.1 miles
17: 16:03 slow (detour added 1.7 miles for a total of 8.8 miles, so actually very close to on-pace)
18: 7:25 fast, 5.2 miles
19: 3:04 fast (our van again), 5.9 miles
20: 14:37 slow (tough leg with tons of hills that she ran with lots of knee pain), 5.8 miles
21: 0:52 slow, 5 miles
22: 5:25 slow, 6.8 miles
23: 7:32 fast, 4.1 miles
24: 0:08 fast (me!!!), 4.9 miles (so less than 2 secs/mile faster than predicted)
25-30 no data
31: 4:21 fast, 4 miles
32-35:  no data, but 32 was slow, 33 was about 11 mins slow, 34 was slow, 35 was about 10 mins slow
36:  1:08 slow (me!!!), 5.2 miles, so about 13 secs/mile slower than predicted

Since each runner goes in the same order, it would either be me or runner 5 (whose final leg data I don't have) that was closest to on pace.  Not sure what the take-away would be from that info, other than to say that in inputting your Hood to Coast predicted finish time, use a hard effort 10k race (or what pace you'd guess you'd run for a hard effort 10k). 

My net time (taking all my miles together compared to my predicted pace for a single 10k) ended up being a total of 35 seconds slower than I predicted, meaning I ran too slow by 2.1 seconds per mile on average.  How's that for crazy accurate???!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

NY Marathon Changes

I'm late on this, but that whole 200 mile relay thing got in the way, then I was so focused on the Beijing marathon being cancelled that I wasn't really thinking about other things. 

Short version is that the NY marathon has decided to eliminate bag check in the typical fashion (at first, a few weeks ago, it was wholly eliminated, this week it appears they are stepping back from that).  At most big marathons (and actually at most small ones, including some that are point-to-point), runners can take a small bag (usually provided by the race) and drop it off, and then it will be at the finish line.

I don't always do bag drop, but when I do, this is usually what I include:  a car or hotel key, money and/or credit card for transportation and any merchandise I want, my phone, flip-flops, my favorite recovery drink, a long sleeved shirt.

Well, the NY marathon announced a few weeks ago that it will no longer offer bag drop.  Ostensibly because so many runners complain about the long delays and big crowds after you cross the finish line.  Then later this week they basically said everyone had to elect expedited finish or finish with bag drop. 

I was really surprised about NY dropping the general bag drop. I never thought bag drop was the problem at the finish line, but there is definitely a major problem at the finish line. I ran NY in about 2005 and it took hours after I crossed the finish line to walk about a mile out of the park (which you are forced to do, unless you just sleep in the park or something), then about a mile back south outside the park, and across Columbus Circle (my hotel was right on Central Park south).  At least 1/3 the time was in a crowd cluster at Columbus Circle.  Hours of that headache after hours of running is insanely miserable. But I didn’t have to pick up a bag, and those who did seemed to have no issues.

The problem is definitely the funnel out of the park and resulting chaos. I absolutely hated it. But NY remains one of my fave marathons b/c the run itself was incredible.

So it sucks for people running NY -- they aren't reducing their fees for the reduced services to runners, and those people are still going to be stuck in that finish line chaos, and they won't be able to put on flip flops or hail a cab (unless they carry money). 

Oh well, maybe when NY still realizes that even w/o bag drop, the post-finish-line is a mess, then maybe they will make some other changes to improve it. 

It's not clear to me how much better the new "early exit" plan will work.  My guess is that it will still take many hours to cross the finish line and get back onto the south side of Central Park south.

This is the official explanation of the two options, and there's also going to be some kind of pre-paid you-ship-it-home, but there are basically no details about that so far.

Here are your two options:

• New No-Baggage "Early Exit" option: If you choose this option, you'll be guaranteed the earliest exit from Central Park. After you finish, you'll receive a Marathon Finish Line Poncho and a long-sleeve limited-edition T-shirt, and have fastest access to the Family Reunion area, "Call Home" stations, and public transportation.

• Baggage option: If you choose this option, you'll check baggage in the Start Village and pick up your bag as you leave Central Park at exits farther up on West Drive. Please note that we still anticipate congestion, and it could take up to an hour to retrieve your bag and exit the park. The bag will be smaller than in years past (although large enough to hold shoes, warm clothing, and small personal items).

Of the runners I am coaching this year who are running NY, I suggested trying the early exit.  It will be very interesting to see how it works.  I'm going to ask one of them to stop his watch when he's done running, then start a new timer to see how long it takes to get back to Central Park South. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Return to Bikram Yoga week 4

Oops, just saw this in my drafts folder, having been written on 8-22 but somehow never published.  The notes are mostly so that I'll remember what it was like if I ever go for another 30 day challenge.  I just started back to yoga again last week after a nice little 2 week break.  I'll finish up this month in early October, and then we'll be in China for almost 3 weeks, and then in Milwaukee for a wedding for 4 days.  And then it will be time to go to San Antonio for that marathon! 

Weeks are just slipping by now...

But this is probably the last of these posts for a little while.  See below. 

Wed., 8-15-12, Class 22:  David, the owner of the studio, was the instructor.  I had big progress in some weird postures tonight.  Biggest strides were actually in half-moon, which is right at the beginning of class.  I have no idea what was in my back (or maybe some bones dissolved or something?), but I was able to lean about 100 times further back than usual.  I also felt like I made a correction in awkward pose that made it tougher and better -- so it seemed like less progress, but since my form has improved, that's actually better.  And then wind-removing pose -- suddenly my knees were getting closer to my shoulders.  All in all, quite exciting. 

Thurs., 8-16, Class 23:  Karen, who is married to David and also the owner of the studio was the instructor.  I think she's my favorite.  I feel like she makes eye contact with everyone in the room and seems to attempt to give a bit of personal guidance to almost every single student on at least one posture.  For me, during standing bow pulling pose, I was focused dead ahead on my eyes in the mirror.  She told me to relax my face and relax my gaze.  It was kind of funny.  I forgot my towel today, so I used a rental and it was soaking at the end.  But I had two bottles of water, which was nice!  Of course, the ice was all melted.  I was also having some foot pain -- very ironic Bella.  Thankfully I'm fairly certain it's not broken or sprained or strained. 

Fri., 8-17, Class 24:  Gina from NY was the instructor again (the weight loss one).  It was a fairly small class since I went at lunch time, and I think it was my worst class yet.  I ended up having a work call at 11:45 that I took in the parking lot of the studio.  Before class at noon.  Yikes.  And the call went on and on and on.  I know from one other miserable experience that if they finish the opening breathing sequence, our studio won't let you in.  Finally the call ended and I ran to the studio as fast as I could (across the parking lot and up one flight of stairs).  I made it in time.  One of the staff members kindly went to put all my stuff in the locker room and I just went straight in.  I managed to do the last 5 or so breaths, and then we were into class and I was just off.  Unbalanced, out of breath, tired, thirsty, the works.  First time, I skipped some postures (but I stayed in the room, so I give myself partial credit).  I basically skipped one set of each of two postures in the spine-strengthening series (the last two postures).  I just wanted to chug my water.  My mind was the opposite of quiet -- thinking about the call, work, the afternoon, everything.  I kept having to take gulps of air to breathe.  I felt like I was going to pass out in between sets of toe stand.  Not a great class for me.  Oh well.  Break coming in just two days.

Sat., 8-18, Class 25:  Andrew was the instructor again, and it wasn't very remarkable.  He's such a happy instructor that it was the most enjoyable class I've had in a long time.  I did all the postures, I drink tons of water, especially once we were on the floor, I kept slipping and grabbing the bottle to drink more, but it felt pretty great.  Can't believe I'm about to break the streak. 

Sun., 8-19:  NO CLASS!  Studio was closed for staff appreciation day.  I've been thinking about a day off from yoga basically for the last 2 weeks, and when I heard this was happening, I decided I'd try to refrain from taking a day off until the day there were no classes.  Long run of 18 miles today though and I tried to be very good about stretching afterward.  But wow, I did 25 days in a row!  I'm kind of excited about that and proud of myself. 

Mon., 8-20, Class 26: Karen, one of the owners, was the instructor. Felt way out of shape after the day off. I felt fat and bloated. My legs in eagle posture felt like sausages. My wrists and ankles felt swollen and sore during standing bow-pulling and fixed-firm. And I drank ally water but the last little sip during class. But it was still enjoyable. She called me out as going well in half-moon and gave me advice about lining up my hips in standing bow-pulling.

Tues., 8-21, Class 27:  Tom from Oregon was the instructor and this may have been my break-through class.  I still felt kind of fat and bloated.  Sausage-legs in eagle.  Off balance a bit.  But progress in getting my forehead to the floor, which was nice.  But the big break-through for me was the water.  When we had our first two water breaks while we were standing, I took only the tiniest sip each time.  I didn't need it.  And the rest of the class just flew by.  I realized we were done with both sets of camel and I looked at my bottle and it was still above the halfway mark.  Wow!  Finally.  Breaking the water bottle crutch, at least for one day.  So it's kind of fitting that I paid up for another month tonight!  Yep, that was the big decision.  I'm going to take a couple weeks off (will go to class tomorrow but then will be out of town in Oregon for the race, then my best friend is visiting).  But I think I'll try to go from about Sept. 5 to about Oct. 5.  I do not plan on going 7 days per week again.  I think I'll probably try to do something like Tues, Thurs, Sat, Sun most weeks.  I'd get to see my sweet hubby more and have a bit more of a life.  But I like doing it so much, I like losing the water weight, I like feeling more flexible and less bloated, and I want all those benefits leading up to the Beijing marathon (you know, if they have it while I'm there.... argh). 

Wed., 8-22, Class 28:  Tom from Oregon again.  Sausage-legs seem to be going away.  But I kind of tried to take it easy tonight so that my legs are strong for the running this weekend.  Short notes, I'm exhausted. 

And that is it for my first month back to Bikram since the end of January.  My month ends on Saturday, but I fly to Portland today and won't be back until Sunday, then it's a big week with my birthday and my best friend coming into town for 5 days.  I will probably start back up after Labor Day. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

FMM: Have You Ever

So, I've made no secret of the fact that this past week was miserable.  I have probably cried more tears in the last week than in the last year combined.  On some level, I realize how lucky that means I am -- there hasn't been a single death that has touched me personally since my local bestie's younger sister passed away last year in October.  Yes, very lucky that life in general is good and happy.  But this week, not so much. 

On top of that, I feel like I didn't even have a weekend.  Lots of stuff to do both days.  Yesterday, for example, I got up at 4:45, went running at 5:30, ran 20 miles (given that the Beijing marathon was cancelled this week and I don't see how I'll be able to keep training while we're in China, for what will now be solely a vacation, I have no idea why I bothered to run 20 miles...), stretched with friends for a little while, went to a gas station to buy ice, came home to take an ice bath and then a shower, threw in a load of laundry, went to meet hubby for lunch, went from lunch straight to a friend's house to pick up his TV (which we were buying because ours is old and he's moving in with his fiancee), slight delay at his house to play a game with his daughter (age 5, we played "memory"), drove home and brought the tv inside (all by myself), put laundry in the dryer, had a Chinese lesson (thankfully, my tutor came to my house, so I was able to run upstairs twice to "grab a book" and really hang up my line-dry laundry), went to yoga, then came home to fold laundry, then it was time for dinner, and I fell asleep on the couch as soon as we were done eating and trying to watch a little tv.  I seriously felt like I had less than 30 seconds of "chill" time yesterday.  Not my idea of a weekend!  But I guess no one made me do any of it, so there's no one to blame but myself. 

Now that it's Monday, time for Friend-Making Monday. 

If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section here at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

Have You Ever?

1. Jumped out of an airplane? No, but I would if given the opportunity and I was able to talk myself into it.

2. Lived alone? Yes, from about age 25 until about age 30. 

3. Met a celebrity? Yes, but nothing is coming to mind right now.  But I'm sure I have.  Haha, I ran with Dean Karnazes earlier this year.  Does that count? 

4. Said something to someone that you immediately regret saying? Yes.

5. Had a manicure/pedicure? Yes.  I almost never get professional manicures -- I did before my wedding and I've done it a few other times, but I get pedicures pretty often. 

6. Gotten a hickey?  Probably ... not in the mood right now to try to remember my college days, and don't think it's happened since I grew up.  Hubby is dreadfully adult about things like hickeys. 

7. Owned a pet that was not a dog or a cat? No (nor have I owned a dog or cat; allergies). 

8. Been outside of your home country?  Pretty much at least once a year!  Hubby and I make all kinds of lifestyle choices to reflect that we love to travel -- choices about how we spend our money and our vacation days.  Next up, nearly three weeks in China beginning in less than 5 weeks! 

9. Kissed your best friend?  Every day! 

10. Eaten food that fell on the floor?  Matt Lauer discussed this on the Today Show once -- yes I have, and whether or not I will depends first on the floor.  Assuming it's a clean non-public floor, such as my kitchen, then the next question is the food's moisture content.  Something wet (like an orange slice or a chunk of tofu) -- never; something dry (like a skittle or a piece of uncooked pasta) -- yes. 

11. Met someone online? Not sure I understand the question -- meaning found someone online then met in person?  No.  Unless you count one time I bought something on ebay and picked it up in person. 

12. Been on TV? Yes.  I was interviewed on MSNBC once in about 1999 or so (about Beltway politics), and then on a show called "hot on homes" in about 2001 (post-condo purchase). 

13. Had braces?  Nope! 

14. Gone skinny dipping?   Yes. 

15. Been to the opera?  Yes.  Super excited to check out the Beijing Opera next month.  It will be very different! 

16. Been caught making out by a policeman?  No, but I have been caught making out WITH a police officer! 

17. Sung in public?  Karaoke only, never singing to a crowd as in a performance.  But I suppose technically, singing happy birthday in a restaurant counts as singing in public... 

18. Handed out candy on Halloween?  Yes.  Most years lately though I go to my godson's house and then his mom and I go trick-or-treating with the kids.  Sometimes her husband stays home to hand out candy, or if my husband comes to their place with me, he stays behind to hand out candy and my friend's husband comes with us and the kids. 

19. Been snowed in?  Yes. 

20. Fallen in front of other people?  Yes, but not since July!  Funny that I posted about that when it happened in another FMM post! 

21. Cheated on a test?  Not intentionally.  Once I forgot to do my homework and I was writing the answers on my arm as they were read out loud in class (I honestly was planning to do the homework and check my answers when I got home).  But then we had a pop quiz and I had all this writing on my arm.  Fortunately the teacher saw what was going on and before the test started, she had called me out into the hall and made me go wash my arm.  Seventh grade.  Social studies.  Mrs. Drewell.  Corner classroom, walked out the door, straight down the hallway, bathrooms on my right.  I remember it like it was yesterday, not 20-plus years ago. 

22. Regretted saying “I love you” to someone?  I've said it to people other than my husband (besides my family and friends, I assume this means romantic love).  I would love to have said it to no one but my husband, but I definitely thought I was in love before and said it.  Not sure I really regret it, but it would have been cool if I hadn't. 

23. Finished a meal in a restaurant and realized that you didn’t have your wallet?  No.  My brother has an awesome "fake wallet reach" he does -- sometimes he doesn't even have a wallet!  But as far as I know, he only does that when he's out with someone he knows is paying. 

24. Shot a gun?  Not recently, and it's actually something I'm considering doing.  My husband loves shooting targets (never animals, thank God!), and I hate guns, but since they are in the house, it would be smart to have at least done it once, though obviously if disaster struck and there was an intruder in the house, I know the odds too well and I'd never grab a gun to attempt to defend myself. 

25. Heard a song that was written for (or about) you? Yes.

Now it’s your turn to answer this week’s questions! Don’t forget to come back here and link up in the comments! Happy Monday, friends!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Deciding Not to Run

I couldn't decide whether or not to run today.  I've voted no.

I wanted to run because after a high yesterday of about 104, our temps finally came plummeting down last week and it was in the upper 60s and low 70s in places this morning.

I wanted to run because I want to remind myself that even with my goal race gone (thank you communism), I don't run just to race.

But cooler heads prevailed.

I have a 20 mile run tomorrow.  I don't want to do it anymore, but my friends are running, and I'm sure I'll have fun when I get out there.  I know it will be good for me.

I just have such a heavy heart right now.  I want to make myself get over it already!  I should shift my focus to the San Antonio marathon.  It's not inconceivable that I could kick @ss there.  Sure, it's unlikely, because that would require lots of training while we're in China, but it might work. 

Sure, 50 miles during a week in Chongqing.  Haha.  Ugh.

What am I doing, what am I doing? 

Today, the answer is getting ready for a long run tomorrow, and then a day full of errands.  Today, the answer is going to yoga, trying to get some stuff crossed off my "to do" list. 

San Antonio is going to be a train wreck if I try to race there.  I just can't see myself running many miles while in China.  Heck, we'll be on a smallish boat for several days.  And I don't think there are going to be treadmills! 

I seriously have no idea what I'm going to do.  Maybe just do the training with my friends, not race in Beijing, and then run San Antonio easy?  Take December easy, then go to work hard in January to work on getting faster, and then plan my big race for next September in Berlin?  I don't know, I just don't know. 

More sighing.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Beijing Marathon 2012 News

I posted yesterday about my massive sadness about losing out on my fall marathon plans -- and converting my trip to China to run the Beijing Marathon into a trip to China to soak up the sights and sounds (which really, the last two weeks of the trip were going to be that anyway).  But I was kind of in a very sad haze about the whole thing. 

Finally sucked it up today and retrieved the full news article on why I will not be running a marathon in 5.5 weeks.  In trying to find the bright side, it sounds like Beijing will be in top shape when we are there and it will be a very exciting time.  And it does make me glad that we prepaid our hotel reservations for Beijing for those dates! 

I'm not letting the rumored changes create in me any underlying fear of a coup or revolt or something while we are there.  That would just be silly, of course.  After all, they are going to be keeping riff-raff at bay.  Though it is kind of a bummer that the markets and open-air restaurants are closing.  But it's certainly best that those "petitioners" are forced out of the city now. 

Every time I read about "the capital" in this article, I think about The Hunger Games.  I'm guessing the authors of this article haven't read the books. 

Anyway, just reading the article reinforces to me that China is a very different place from the US.  I'm so excited about going still -- and I'm going to come to terms with the fact that I'm not running there eventually...

Here is the original Financial Times article that was the basis for the Runner's World post: 

September 5, 2012 12:10 pm

Beijing’s marathon guessing game nears end

By Simon Rabinovitch and Kathrin Hille in Beijing

Beijing marathon organisers, hotel receptionists and even florists all know something that the Chinese communist party has so far refused to make public: its most important political meeting in a decade will be held in the middle of October.

The party has yet to announce the date of the big occasion, when a new generation of leaders will be unveiled. But for all their efforts to maintain a cloak of secrecy over the event, officials are struggling to keep the timing under wraps.

The Beijing marathon organising committee had applied to hold the annual race on October 14 but this date was rejected, according to a representative. “We are now hoping to get approval for sometime after October 20, when the Party congress is over,” he said.

In another hint that party officials from all over China will gather next month, five-star hotels near the congress venue in central Beijing reported that they were mostly booked up for the middle of October. A receptionist at Capital Hotel, long favoured by provincial officials, said it had only a few rooms available from October 10-25.

Confirming Beijing’s worst-kept secret, government advisers say they have been told to expect the party’s 18th National Congress in mid-October.

In contrast to other countries such as the US, where political conventions are transparent affairs announced months if not years in advance, China’s ruling party and government rarely say in advance when they will hold meetings. The schedule of the annual parliament is published just days before it convenes for a brief session – usually held in March – and even Chinese leaders’ attendance at international summits is often confirmed at the last minute.

As a result there is much intrigue surrounding the leadership that will emerge at the party congress, although the two most important personnel changes are clear. Xi Jinping and Li Keqiang are expected to succeed, respectively, Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao as president and premier .

Municipal planners in Beijing are also taking steps to ensure that riffraff are kept at bay during the week-long congress.

Over the past two weeks, law enforcement squads have told restaurants they must suspend open-air service and closed down some wet markets. A market in Shilipu, in Eastern Beijing, was shut to stop farmers from coming into urban areas on their donkey carts, residents said.

Last month Beijing police began rounding up petitioners, who take their grievances to higher levels of government, and evicted them from the capital. Hotels around Beijing South railway station were warned they would be fined if they admit petitioners over the coming two months.

The party congress will be a boon to some businesses, however. One city district announced it would spend Rmb50m on flowers for the National Day holiday on October 1 and the party congress.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Lots of Tears

Crushingly disappointed and sad right now.  Possibly a disproportionate reaction, but it is what it is. 

Let me start by saying that the last few days in general have been rough. 

Labor Day of course was lovely, but then it all took a turn. 

Tuesday morning my best friend and her husband flew back to Virginia.  After having them visit for almost a week, it felt so lonely suddenly to have them gone, and even worse since hubby's had a very busy week at work. 

Tuesday and Wednesday were very difficult and trying and unproductive days at work due to a virus on my work computer that resulted in the eventual loss of all my personal data (not much really), and almost equally irritating, all my favorites, preferences, etc.  Lost days, hours I'll need to make up in a month with not many weekdays.  Even in-house where you don't bill time per se, tracking hours seems to be the bane of any lawyer's existence, including my own. 

Since I felt so off-track after all the eating out and drinking with my best friend, plus the major work stress, last night, I decided to start back to Bikram yoga.  I had paid for another month a few weeks ago, and I've just been waiting to activate it.  And of course, yesterday was the perfect time to start -- my month will end right before we fly to China, so I'll be lean and mean when I get there!  Ready to tear it up at the Beijing Marathon.  Looking at past results, I would think I could be somewhere in the leading mix of foreign women (not that that's saying a lot, but definitely lots of over 4 hour women doing the race in general, so that would be cool, particularly coming off my one and only marathon WIN this past spring). 

So my last yoga class (before last night) was the day before I flew to Oregon for Hood to Coast.  So for me, it was two weeks away from yoga, but last night was perfect.  I made it through the entire class without leaving the room, without skipping any posture, without being too disappointed in feeling slightly less flexible than I was two weeks ago.  And I came out of class feeling like I was ready to re-center myself.  Ready to put aside the bummed out feeling at having my bestie gone and our guest room vacant, and to put all the work stress and frustration.  Ready to be calm and start Thursday on a whole new happy note. 

I came home from yoga last night and hubby was already in bed, so I stayed downstairs.  Ate some leftover tofu and made a big salad.  Watched a couple convention speeches and was thinking about going upstairs to bed. 

Then I decided to check facebook.  And that was when I saw a post from a friend on my "wall" (bacheca in Italian, is that how it translates to English facebook?  anyway...) telling me he was sorry and sharing this link:

And then the tears began.  Are you kidding me??? 

So if you don't want to click on the link (full story pasted below), the bottom line is that because of the National Congress of the Communist Party of China meeting in Beijing in October, the marathon will be held "later in the year."

I'm sure my reaction was disproportionate (let's just say there was some hysterical sobbing, hubby actually thought maybe someone in my immediate family had died while I was struggling to get the words out), but training has been going SO well this season.  I'm running so strong and injury-free right now.  I have had one lousy long run several weeks ago (and it was only a 15-miler), and I've just been kicking butt since then.  I have not missed a single run with the exception of when I was running Hood to Coast (where I ran relatvely fast (for me) and still got in about 18 miles that weekend) (and I guess there was also one weekend at my in-laws' over the Fourth of July where I ran without my usual running buddies -- but I still got the run in as scheduled).  So in terms of distance, I haven't missed a single run.  Seriously, I've been nailing my running schedule this season -- hitting every run and not only getting the miles, but also hitting all the right paces.  In the dark.  At 5:15 or 5:30 every frigging morning all summer long.  Did I mention that summer in Dallas is hot? 

It's not fair that there won't be a marathon.

We bought plane tickets to go to China!  Thousands of dollars! 

We received our Chinese visas this past week!  Hundreds of dollars and hours of crap about getting addresses for "hosts", completing and delivering the applications, getting visa photos, etc. 

We booked (and pre-paid) a hotel right by the marathon starting line! 

I had dreams of wearing a USA Olympic running shirt (since everyone will know I'm a foreigner anyway) and hearing Chinese cheers!

I wanted to picture myself like an Olympian, running toward the Bird's Nest finish line just like they did in 2008.

Soaking up the sights of the city. 

Having a marathon medal with Chinese writing on it.

Having a marathon shirt with Chinese writing on it!  Maybe buying a jacket at the expo too! 

Running my first marathon on foreign soil (something like my 16th marathon overall).  Heck, for my birthday last week, one of my friends gave me a book (Second Wind) about a woman's mid-life quest to run seven marathons on seven continents and my immediate thought was that within the next 18 months, I will have run marathons on 3 continents (Beijing in October, San Antonio in November, and then Berlin next September), so it could be fun to hit the other 4 continents in the coming years.  Just by the very fact that I was doing the Beijing marathon, somehow my running that has seemed to lack some direction after so many years of aiming for a BQ and then finally getting it, suddenly seemed to have direction, a plan, a goal, 7 continents someday maybe, but if nothing else the big continents for sure. 

And now, no.  None of it.

I'm trying to find the bright side -- it will still be a great trip obviously, I mean, China will be so different and interesting and amazing.  My legs won't be sore so I can hike part of the Great Wall on what was supposed to be the day after the marathon.  There's always the San Antonio marathon in November, which was going to be just running for fun with friends (since obviously, not planning to train much in China after Beijing).  Now I don't have to worry about the packing challenges of a foreign marathon plus a couple weeks of traveling clothes.  And there will actually be other marathons in Asia in the future (if I really want to do 7 continents). 

But wow, I've been crying a lot in the last 9 or so hours.  I'm just so disappointed.  So much hard work, so many early morning runs, and now no Bird's Nest finish line to run toward. 

There have to be other people in my shoes -- maybe we can just set up our own marathon that day and have spouses and friends hold out water?  Anyone want to plan our own Beijing Marathon on Oct. 14, 2012?  Something tells me the Chinese government might not like that.  They don't seem wild about rebel assemblies of people doing something other than what the government wants. 

Sweet friends have offered me other options (one incredibly sweet friend this morning even said I could have her NY bib), but I guess the plan will just be San Antonio.  I'm using all my vacation time and our vacation spending budget for the trip to China. 

But damnit, I see a couple more days of tears in my future as I attempt to come to terms with this disappointment. 

I was thinking maybe I should seek out an old runner who was supposed to run the 1980 Olympics and can share my frustration, disappointment, and irritation with the communists....

I know, I know, this too shall pass, but wow, I am very, very sad. 

Big sigh. 

Here's the full article from Runner's World:

The Beijing Marathon, which is usually held in mid-October, will be run at an unknown date later in the year because of a still-unannounced meeting of the Chinese Communist Party, the Financial Times reports.

The National Congress of the Communist Party of China is the ruling party's most important meeting; at it, new leaders are unveiled and policy directions are hinted at, if not clarified. The meeting's imminent occurrence in Beijing is an open secret in the city, as hotels, restaurants and other vendors are quietly told to prepare. The marathon, too, is on the secret, in that it's been told it will have to find a new date.

Last week, the race's Chinese-language site was still counting down the days to the scheduled date of October 14. Now, however, the countdown timer in the upper right corner of the site's landing page is blank. The race's English-language site's most recent information is about the 2011 edition.

Held every year since, 1981, the Beijing Marathon is one of two world-class marathons in China. The course records are 2:06:55, by Benson Cherono of Kenya, and 2:19;39, by Sun Yingjie of China.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dallas Restaurant Circuit

With my bestie and her husband in town for 5 days, I think I have eaten out for every single meal since they got here.  They used to live here in Dallas, so they came to town with a long list of restaurants they missed and wanted to revisit.  I think I am going to have to add about 10 miles to my schedule every day for the next 3 weeks to work off all that I ate and drank while they were here!  And I think I'm going to get back to yoga later this week too, which should also help me feel a bit less bloated.

For breakfasts, we went to Garden Cafe and La Duni (I ate at home one day when I was working, they went downtown; and on Labor Day there was no breakfast for me as my throat was one-direction only for food, and let's just say food wasn't going down it.... ugh!).

For lunches, we went to the food trucks, Velvet Taco, and Mi Cocina (on Labor Day at lunch time, my throat was still food-upward-only, so I skipped that).  And there was Freebirds mixed in somewhere too.

For drinks and munchies, we went to Chuy's, Cru and Old Monk.

For dinners, we went to Steel, Bob's Chop House, Fireside Pies and Morton's Steak House. 

Ooh, it was all so tasty!  But even more, I had so much fun with her in town and I think going home and seeing our empty guest room is really going to bum me out tonight.

Random food photos to share (I clearly forgot to photograph some meals):