Breakfast (9:00 a.m.): Freshly-squeezed orange juice! Oranges came from my parents’ backyard. Tastes so much better than the grocery store kind.

Smoked salmon sandwich with onion slices, which looked like Rango.

Lunch (12:30 p.m.): My favorite onion salad with smoked salmon and avocado, accompanied by sourdough break toasts. I love Hojicha.

Snack (4:30 p.m.): Had the leftover Hawaiian plate from yesterday — marinated short ribs, rice, and some vegetables. I also had three scoops of strawberry ice cream … a total emotional eating.  I lost control.

Dinner (8:30 p.m.): Leftover onion salad from lunch, and a sandwich (same as breakfast).  I’m eating way too much.  I wonder if I’m depressed …

Yesterday’s half marathon made me fall in love with the city of Pasadena all over again. It’s a breathtaking little place, with so many historical beauty sandwiched between modern trends. Aside from having to walk about 1.5 miles to get to the starting line, the event was well organized (with lots of porta potties) and it was great participating in the race.

Every race is such a learning experience for me, and I wanted to take a few minutes to reflect …

  • Hydration: I got muscle cramps in several parts of my body, including Charley Horse at Mile 8 (eeek). I think it had to do with the constant inclines but it was also because I didn’t hydrate properly the night before. Drink more, stretch more. Yoga, here I come.
  • The Mental Game: During the latter part of the race (from Mile 9), I got weak and just gave up running altogether. I need to stay strong and motivated throughout the entire race, not just in the beginning. If I really, really tried, I know that I could have shaved at least five minutes, just on the last two miles alone.
  • Excuses: During Miles 10, 11, and 12, I found myself spending all my energy coming up with excuses as to why I couldn’t finish under three hours. Instead, I should have just ran.
  • Hills: I love hills …. I love hills … I love hills. I’m going to turn myself into a hill-loving machine!
  • Training: I need to do more … enough said.

13.1 Los Angeles Half Marathon

I’m not a competitive person by nature. In fact, I hate confrontations. I’m more of the “let me make you dinner and make up” type of person. While I think those people who always feel like they need to win or have the last word to be a bit of a self-righteous wacko, I envy them a little because they have the balls to stand up for what they think are theirs to claim.

I know that my lack of competitiveness comes directly from my lack of self-confidence. Being competitive means that I would face a greater chance of failure, which could reinforce the little voice in my head that says, “I’m not good enough.” Being competitive also means that I truly need to trust in myself and believe that I am capable of achieving greatness … and I don’t think I’m there yet.

I ran a half marathon over the weekend with my sister and her running friends. It was Inaugural 13.1 Los Angeles Half Marathon that took runners through the streets of Santa Monica, Venice, and Culver City, under the sunny Southern California sun (one of those moments that I truly am thankful for living in Los Angeles). Although it was an inaugural event, I was impressed at how organized the race was with plenty of water and Gaderate stations, and most importantly, plenty of porta-potties! Oh, and check out the finisher’s medal — it’s a serious bling and one of the best-looking medals I’ve received in races!

This was my sister’s first half marathon and she finished the race at 2:01 (two hours and one minute). My sister, always the ultra competitive one, was kicking herself after the race because she missed her goal by mere seconds (her goal was to cross the finish line in less than two hours). Mind you, this is an amazing time, like, really, really fast! (Just to put it in perspective, I ran my race in two hours and 54 minutes and I thought I was going pretty darn fast!) Watching my sister stress over few seconds, a part of me thought, “Is she crazy? I can only dream of running that fast,” but later realized that this is what being competitive is all about. Competitiveness is not about being self-righteousness or wacky; rather it’s about believing in yourself, and constantly striving for improvement. Watching my sister, I knew that she would use this experience as the stepping stone to reach for her goal of a sub-2 race in the future. And I know she will get there.  She really sparked a fire in me yesterday! She is truly inspiring.

Motivated by my sister, I’ve decided that my new running goal is to give myself a little more credit and believe in her that she is capable of taking me to the next level. I truly love and thank my body for taking me on the 13.1-mile journey yesterday and staying with me every step of the way. I had a wonderful three hours with you and I can’t wait for our next outing! I will make sure to push you a little bit more (because I know you like that!) even if my little mind tries to tell me otherwise … because I know I am capable for going further!

So, the next time some a-hole cuts me in line at a supermarket, maybe I will flip a bird and tell him off, just to show that I am not afraid to stand up for what’s right … or not. 😆