Keira has a good laugh

I had no idea Keira thought animal sounds were so funny, but apparently they’re a hoot! I was lucky enough to catch her ridiculous cackling on video. I was kinda worried she was going to choke in her food though, so was trying to be really careful she didn’t have any food in her mouth! This video always makes me smile.

Night Before Seattle Half Marathon and Fitness Challenge Finale

So after the birth of my first child, Keira, there were plenty of easy excuses to get out of shape…no sleep, changing diapers, burping Keira, etc. In fact, in 2009, I did many half marathons and also my 1st – the fabulous Portland Marathon. In 2010, I switched up gears and did my 1st Olympic Triathlon and really enjoyed that too. At the end of 2010, Loren and I, desperate to keep in shape, and both needing motivation decided to embark on a fitness challenge.

There were 3 components to it: (1) 5K time, (2) Inches around the belly button measurement, and (3) % of fat as measured on my scale. At that time, I was in pretty good cardio shape and felt that winning the 2010 challenge would be very difficult since it is measured on averaged percentage improvement. I just didn’t think I could cut more time off of my 5K. The loser bought dinner for the other plus their spouse. So Loren won in 2010, and we went to a delightful meal at Crush (one of our favorite restaurants).

This year, we embarked on another one right around my bday (10/20) until tomorrow 11/27. With very little running, no tris, I felt that I needed this spark to get back in shape. This time the challenge was similar yet slightly different. We ran a 10K and then extrapolated what that would equate to for a half marathon. Then we measured inches around the belly button plus weight (since we didn’t think my % fat on my scale was accurate enough).

Right after my bday, I went on my 1st cruise with my wife, Keira, and her family out of Long Beach. And yes, that did not help with my fitness. But when I realized I had about 3 weeks left, I decided to get serious. No more alcohol which helped me cut off unneeded calories plus helped me wake up more alertly (although the 1st thing I do after showering, weighing, and measuring…is drinking a Manny’s beer on tap :). Then I decided to eat less at night plus snack more during the day to cut down on big meals. Then I also started to limit my carb intake too.

On the running side, I brought out my old 3-4 week 1/2 marathon plan that I used for the Scotia Bank Half Marathon, a.k.a., “The Race of My Life” when I was trying to break 2:00 and ran a 1:40 which left my coach astounded too. I definitely left everything I had on the course and ended up cramping while hobbling back to my hotel. So with the proper motivation, plan, and diet, I started to run faster and feel better.

Now the day is in front of me. I feel like I’ve already “won” regardless of the outcome. The picture below is the forecast tomorrow with 90% chance of rain plus 20 MPH winds. Not ideal conditions, but I feel mentally ready. I trained hard and have little to no regrets. I hope Loren and I both run hard and fast and the results will be close since I know he has been training hard (too bad we couldn’t train more together since having a 8 month old makes everything tougher).







I even got on my bike to do bad weather workouts. I had my bike adjusted earlier this year when I thought I might do another triathlon…but no such luck. So it was good to get back on the bike although my butt cheeks didn’t really appreciate it 😉

So my predicted time based on my 10K is 1:50. That’s the time I’m going to be targeting especially given the anticipated conditions. I think anything faster than that…I’ll be very pleased given the short amount of time I had to get ready for this. But that’s where I feel I’ve already won. It’s set me up to have a healthy Thanksgiving, given all the temptations, and I feel very good for the rest of the year. And this no drinking thing is really scaring me…I kinda like feeling 100% without being tired or thirsty the next day :) So we’ll see how I react after my Manny’s tomorrow because I distinctly remember drinking my large Bud Light after the Portland Marathon when I was sitting on the shower floor in a bed of ice…that it just didn’t taste that good.

Here’s to wishing a great and safe race to all the participants tomorrow. And this was a video I stumbled across when training on my bike that gave me goosebumps and brought me to tears. I have it now on my iPod Shuffle to motivate me up those hills around mile 9. Hope you enjoy and please feel free to share any other inspirational videos that moved you. So here’s to running hard and fast…leaving everything out there…because I AM A CHAMPION!

Eating the Day Before the Seattle Half Marathon


So ever since I entered my “2011 Fitness Challenge” with my co-worker, Loren, I’ve been trying to be very diligent about what I eat.  I basically cut out alcohol for a month and really tried to be carb free as possible too.  Since tomorrow is the race, I decided to simulate my race morning meal of a Clif Bar.  Then for lunch, I had Yasuko’s Terikyaki with some yummy sauce and rice.  Alice also noted that it was particularly yummy today.

imageThen before dinner, I juiced up some kale, carrots, plums, and apples. It was pretty yummy, but I wish the apples were sweeter. For dinner had penne pasta with chicken sausage. May even have some pumpkin pie since I was pretty good for Thanksgiving too. So overall, I think I’ve done about as much as I could on the diet side. Wish that I was a bit slimmer so I don’t have to lug all that extra weight around for 13.1 miles. But hopefully this is the right trajectory as I get ready for the holidays and my life insurance blood draw.

PS: Updating images in WordPress is total insanity! Don’t know why I can’t click on an image and rotate it in the Editor Visual mode.



David and Keira’s First Turkey Trot

Keira woke up bright and early on Thanksgiving morning at 7AM (as usual). The weather seemed decent enough, so we decided to take Keira for the run. :) I got her fed and all bundled up, prepped her essentials for the stroller, and David pumped up the stroller tires. It was obviously more exciting for us than it was for her.

We got to the race start and had a bit of trouble getting the stroller’s weather shield up, but finally figured it out with only 5 minutes to spare until start of the race. We saw other babies with open jogging strollers and no blankets, but then I wouldn’t be a good Chinese mother if I didn’t bundle her with 10 layers now, would I? hehe

I thought I had enough time to get gas, some pies for dinner and even have some time for a coffee. But David finished the race so fast in less than 30 minutes that I just rushed back to pick them up. Was bummed I didn’t meet them at the finish line and get a picture, but I guess there’s always next year. :)

Great job my two luvs!

Leg warmers brrrrr! Outside temp was in the 40s

Where are we going this time, mommy?

Go Team Niu!

Turkey trotters and turkey getting ready at the start line

Keira keeping up with the pros

All done! Proud papa and baby

Keira at Fiori Cafe in Ballard

Keira takes a walk with mommy in Ballard. It was pretty chilly, but after Gymboree we took a stroll for a coffee and fresh air. It was cold wind and rain for a couple days prior to this, so it was a good break to get out.

Here’s Keira super happy with a mum mum cracker…what’s not to be happy about? Life is good for this little one!

Keira Observations – 3 Quick Thoughts

Just some random thoughts on Keira’s growth:

1. Gaining Weight. Man she’s getting heavy! That was confirmed when we weighed her at own – 22 pounds! Mom calls her our own little Butterball Turkey which is funny with Thanksgiving around the corner. She’s so cute with her belly and trying to get her pants on! Then we looked at the weight calculator for babies her age, and she is between the 90th – 95th percentile! She’s going to get her flu shot today, so I don’t know if they are going to measure her, but it would be great to get the official percentile from the doctor. I just don’t think our daughter will be small!

2. Lumpy Crawling. For lack of a better term, she can get around pretty quickly, but her left leg does a pretty natural crawling motion, but her right doesn’t. The right one seems to want to walk and push out in a more exaggerated manner. But somehow she combines these two to scoot around. I think she’s going to be an early walker.

3. Perfecting Dismounts. I mentioned that I think Keira will be an early walker since she loves to stand while holding things. In days of old, she used to have harsh dismounts and land hard on her bum. But now, she dismounts with much more grace by discovering her knees can bend and then performs soft dismounts!



Keira goes shopping!

We went out for some girl time with auntie Angela and Eugenia today. Had lunch at U Village, then strolled around on one of the rare sunny days of November in Seattle. Pretty significant that we didn’t hear a peep from Keira because she was content to hang out in the stroller and was up from 1pm until nap time at home at 5pm! It screwed up her willingness to sleep easily that night, but it was good to get her out and about as the sunny days become more rare.

Keira wanted to buy the bean bag in the store. Maybe sometime next year…

Yea! Liking the bean bag!

Can we buy it??

What, we’re leaving already?!

Tonight’s dinner

Tonight’s dinner was all over the place with different needs and different schedules. I made Keira a fresh batch of organic veggie greens – spinach, broccoli, potatoes, peas and onions sautéed with a pat of unsalted butter.

David decides he needs soup to go with his salad for dinner… Oh wait… To backtrack, this morning he proclaimed that he was just going to have spinach salad for dinner to keep up with his diet in a health competition with a coworker. So, I let him be. However, he was rummaging around in the deep depths of the pantry and found a chicken tortilla soup that expired in 2006! First of all, i have NO IDEA why it was still in the pantry and followed us to Ballard. And then, David in an accusatory tone asks me “did you throw away that tortilla soup??!!” I was like, I have no idea what you’ talking about… It was probably purchased sometime circa 1999-2000 since it probably had a 4 year shelf life. I think he must’ve had some separation anxiety over it. That soup is older than our nephew Jack…and here David was about to consume it. *rolling my eyes*
He proudly cooks it up, then gives it a taste. (At this point I’m trying to think back to where I put the phone number to the poison control center.) then he says, “hrmm, it doesn’t taste very fresh.” and proceeds to dump it in the sink. there are so many things I could say here, but I refrain because my time is better spent elsewhere. 😉

I had a frozen trader joes pizza.