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Running

4 Apr

Running

I feel the music
flowing
spreading through my body

I have to fight the urge
to dance
Wild and Free

My arms start swinging
propelling me
my legs find the rhythm
hitting the pavement to the beat

The lyrics carry me
Forward

I feel myself
Floating
Invisible

A wide grin flashes on my face
I can fly
I can soar

Stronger
Faster
Happier
I go

Hip hop
Cumbias
Rap
They heal me
Transform me
As I run

Run free

A Rainy Sunday in LA

9 Nov

It rained in L.A. this weekend, which is news for most Angelinos. There was also the Firecracker Run in Chinatown, which I ran in. In the rain.

I didn’t brave the 10K but I did complete the 5K—gasping to the end. A few friends signed up (at my pushy suggestion that they join an event that benefits local schools, libraries, and recreation centers in Chinatown), so I couldn’t exactly bail on the last minute.

I woke up at the unsightly hour of 5am on an otherwise sweet Sunday. It was hard to resist the seduction of my soft bed. My mother had offered to baby-sit the girls that day, so the first thought that came to my head was: What the heck am I doing wasting my precious free time by running out in the cold?
Two cups of strong coffee and a quick shower later I was up and stretching and nervously awaiting my first “marathon”. I felt like I was going on a date. I considered wearing make-up, but the image of my face streaked with sweat and foundation…eek. I opted for Chapstick and a little mascara.
M and I were going to walk to Chinatown, but I must have taken too long applying the mascara because we had to take the car. At least parking is easy at 7am. I, being the procrastinator that I am, had still to register, but it was pleasantly easy and quick. Among the goodies for the participants was a pair of powder blue flip-flops that might have to wait for my four-year old to fit into. Anyone wear a size 5 ½?
The firecrackers and lion dancers were great, filling the air with an electrifying energy… and then choking you with the smoke. The race started, and to my dismay the route was hill after hill after hill after…well, you get the point. Next time I get marathon-running in my head, I’m going to consult the race route first.

After burning those extra calories, we were ready to reward ourselves with a breakfast at the Nickel Diner.
When we got there, with a friend, I ordered the tofu huevos rancheros – deliciosos!
Former Mayor Hahn also happened to be there and ended up seated next to us. The food was wonderful; the service great as always. (We took our neighbors there once, along with my girls. The pancakes were late, but the staff was so apologetic they gave us the pancakes and fruit compliments of the house!)
We’ve gone to the Nickel several times. It is one of my favorite restaurants downtown and the designated place we take our out-of-town guests, which is why I cannot understand why the co-owner, Kristen Trattner, decided to walk over to my guest and inform him that there was a line of people waiting and that we needed to leave since we were finished eating.
Ouch.
I have never in my life been asked to leave a restaurant, and it hurts and humiliates me that it had to be at a) a favorite spot b) in front of my guest c) when we were speaking to former Mayor Hahn (M’s former employer). I felt so embarrassed and uncomfortable because Judge Hahn was just telling us of his new career, and we were discussing the Firecracker run with his companion who happens to work with Kids Run L.A. We had to cut them short and say goodbye.
I have to admit that at first I had mixed emotions; I still do. I tried to rationalize her actions with the current economic crisis, stress, lousy weather, etc. But I looked around the restaurant as we were leaving, and they were setting a table for four – and there were only three people waiting, in a group. I have been to the Nickel countless times and have never minded waiting to get seated; I know the food is worth it.
M was furious and I tried to calm him down while apologizing to our. When we got home M called the Nickel and explained what happened and that he wanted an apology. The person on the phone said they would have the owner return the call. No one did.

Then, M sent an email, but instead of apologizing or diffusing the situation, the waiter claimed it was he who had told us to leave and that it is standard protocol to ask your patrons to leave when they are done.

This waiter has a vivid imagination, because unless it was he was wearing black and white striped trousers and sporting a black wig, I think I can tell the difference between who I saw and didn’t. Unfortunately, he never apologized but did state that if we didn’t like the service then we could just not come back.
Well guess what? I won’t be going back because in these tough economic times I am very picky about where I spend my money, and I sure won’t pay to be disrespected and humiliated.
FYI, Nickel Diner, we were not finished. We were drinking our coffee that had just been poured and enjoying your ambiance – too bad you had to cut it short.

Next time I have a rainy Sunday off from the kids – I’m staying home.

EDITOR’S NOTE: We spoke to Kristin Trattner at the Nickel Diner, but as of posting she had not gotten back to us with a comment.

Published February 13, 2009

http://blogdowntown.com/2009/02/4063-a-rainy-sunday-in-la

Winter makes me lazy

25 Jan

I woke up at 5 a.m. today and it took me about 15 minutes to roll out of bed.  I couldn’t find my work out clothes and my throat was dry.  I was about to go back to bed when I remembered that I can’t give up so easily so I looked some more and finally got dressed.  As I was standing on the treadmill I thought to myself why not just run 10 minutes and stretch?  I was about to start walking when I felt like a ninny so I sped up to my usual running time.

Eight minutes, nine minutes, nine and thirty seconds… I couldn’t keep my eyes from going back to the timer; it was as if a vicious compulsion kept my eyes darting back and forth from the timer to the morning news time display.  And you can imagine which option is more scintillating: morning news or treadmill timer?  Too bad the treadmill doesn’t come with cable. I really need to get audio books on my iTouch.

 Well I made it until 16 minutes. I jumped off as soon as I stopped it and headed to the weight room for some more torture.  I managed to put in 200 crunches on that ridiculously fun looking bouncy ball and I headed out the door as soon as my 20 minutes were up.

This weather makes me feel like holing up in bed with hot tea and snacks- plenty of snacks.  So I guess I should feel good about getting out of bed to work out.  Maybe by posting here I will feel guilty if I don’t?

Feel free to share your work out tips and regimes.

Happy Sweating!

Running and Walking

13 Jan

So here is my daily dose of exercise- give or take a few.

I wake up at 5 a.m. and go down to our gym and run 20 minutes.  It’s harder to run right after you woke up because your body is still half asleep so I only recommend it if there is absolutely no other time you can squeeze it in (my case); otherwise I would suggest waiting until you are fully awake after your morning routine. 

When I started running again in a regular basis I only ran 3 times a week for 20 minutes and averaged 10 minutes a mile which I though was pretty darn good for a self-professed running-hater.  I hated running with a passion. I mean what is so pleasant about sweating, feeling old and tired, your body swollen and sore, your muscles tangled with all sorts of weird bumps that hurt when you touch them.  Okay, I might be exaggerating a little bit but you get the point- most of us agree running sucks. 

So I suggest finding a running buddy or someone who is also running and will motivate you to keep going- or at least make you feel guilty when you don’t go.  That person for me is M, he makes me feel like a pansy when I don’t run and although I dislike him at the moment (I’m not above swearing at him in my head while he runs ahead of me when we run up Grand Ave.) I appreciate that it works. 

Now I run 20 minutes 6-7 times a week and average 7:30/7:45 a mile which is a big improvement.  I have also learned to not hate it as much and actually like it sometimes- weird!  Sometimes when I’m running outside I feel so free and relaxed that I spread my arms and run around like an airplane.. Don’t knock it until you try it. 

The point is that although I may still feel disdain for running, nothing beats all the benefits that I have felt in my body and daily routine since I started.  When I get to work I feel like I can take on anything; I feel alert, motivated and very awake.  I don’t worry about my weight because I am burning those extra 350 calories every morning.  I don’t crave candy or frosted treats; instead I crave apples, bananas, and hearty healthy vegetables.  It’s amazing! 

I should market running as the latest drug, or crazy super healthy berry like the Acai berry fad- I would make millions…

If you absolutely feel like you can’t  run anytime soon then you should walk.  I walk most days (when M doesn’t give me a ride) to the bus which is 0.4 miles, we take the A Dash to 1st./Central and walk to their school which is 0.3 mi away.  I drop them off and walk to work 0.6 miles.  That’s 1.3 miles of walking that you don’t even notice.  In the afternoon I walk back to the school and repeat the process in reverse which gives me more than 2 1/2 miles a day in walking.  When I feel like taking my time we walk home from the school.  We walk more and get to chat while we look at the shops and restaurants on Spring St., Broadway, and 7th St. 

The lesson here is that you can sneak in exercising throughout your day.  Take the stairs instead of the elevator even if it’s only for a couple of flights.  If you’re craving something you shouldn’t eat, go for a walk and when you get back if you’re still craving it then go ahead and indulge but after your heart rate speeds up- your body will probably decline that Snickers bar. 

So there you are, simple things for simple beginnings.  Eat less, exercise more.  Calories Burned – Calories Eaten = Whether you lose, gain or stay at the same weight! :)

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